Rumors have been swirling for a while about a new Honda mid-engine sports car, with the most recent reports saying that it would share a platform with and take styling inspiration from the new 2016 Acura NSX. Now, a new report from Auto Express suggests that it will use hybrid power, just like its big brother. This contradicts what we previously heard, which was that Honda planned to mount the 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four from the Civic Type R amidships in this new sports car. But apparently, pressure to meet emissions regulations has caused the engineers to consider a more efficient powertrain instead. Now, the Honda sports car will reportedly use a smaller, 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder (possibly from the new 2016 Civic) mated with electric motors to make around 300 hp. The only thing that worries us about this new setup is that it might decrease the likelihood of the sports car offering a manual transmission—the Acura NSX’s hybrid powertrain uses a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
2006 Honda S20001
Despite the powertrain update, the idea behind this new Honda coupe shouldn’t change too much otherwise. As the company’s first dedicated sports car since the S2000 roadster, the mid-engine sports car should compete with the likes of the Porsche Cayman and the Alfa Romeo 4C, along with other sports cars like the BMW Z4 and Mercedes-Benz SLK. Look for the unnamed Honda sports car, which may be built alongside the NSX in Ohio, to arrive around 2018. Until then, watch this space for more news about this exciting new car.