SUPER GT’s Honda NSX-GT has always been different from both its road-going self and its competitors: it’s always been a mid-engine layout. But that’s going to change for the 2020 season. Honda is moving its engines to the front.
That’s a pretty big deal for those of you who don’t religiously follow SUPER GT. The Honda NSX-GT has pretty much always been a mid-engined car. Even Honda’s motorsport boss Masashi Yamamoto previously confirmed that the company would be sticking to its guns, Motorsport.com reported:
“To be honest, at this moment we are discussing with GTA about how to incorporate ‘mid-ship’ cars to the regulations,” Yamamoto said.
“At the moment we are planning to enter 2020 with a mid-ship car. It will be a development of the current car in accordance with Class One regulations.”
Somewhere along the line, though, things changed. In a press conference held by Honda this Wednesday, the Japanese company confirmed that it actually would be swapping to a front-engined layout after all.
There’s some history here, though, that helps to explain why Honda might have made this decision. The incoming Class One regulations—a move designed to unite SUPER GT, DTM, and potentially even IMSA’s regulations so that similar cars can compete across each series—really put a damper on the mid-ship dream. Basically, those regulations state that the cars have to adopt a front-engine layout.
It may prove to be a promising move for Honda, though, whether you're a fan of the regulations or not. Last year, the Honda NSX-GT was given a weight penalty for dominating the first half of the season, Motorsport.com reports. The move was designed to level the playing field, since one car really shouldn’t be slaughtering the rest. With Class One regulations in place, Honda shouldn’t have to worry about its engine layout being pegged as over-competitive.
There isn’t currently any other information about the front-engined NSX, but details will likely be forthcoming ahead of the 2020 season.