This is not a new idea. In fact, we’ve been pretty sure they’ll give the new Acura NSX a red badge at some point since the Civic Type R came out last year. That could involving making Honda’s limited edition supercar rear-wheel drive and a bit more hardcore with active aero as well.
That’s what the UK’s Autocar says is under consideration these days. The current NSX’s electric-hybrid system weighs 330 pounds, and while Honda would have to keep the starter motor, the flywheel and the rear drive motor as an alternator, getting rid of the rest—including the batteries and the all-wheel drive—while also cutting weight would still make the NSX considerably lighter than it is today at 3,802 pounds.
In other words, still a hybrid, just a lighter rear-drive one.
Nick Robinson, Dynamic Development Leader on the NSX project also told Autocar that they do have a maintenance mode on the current car which switches off the ABS and all electric motor assistance, turning it into a “drift machine” with a slightly odd handling due to the fact that it is calibrated to work in conjunction with driven front wheels.
Of this potential Type R, he said:
[...] there is a huge will within Honda do to it – and the hope that the new NSX is just the start of a revival of the company’s sporting heritage. The NSX Type R would be the logical next step.
There are places weight could be cut out. We are Honda so cost [of exotic materials on the regular car] is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?
He also revealed that they did experiment with active aerodynamics before deciding to go without it for the 2016 NSX.
For the time being, they even cooked up a special rear-wheel drive NSX for this year’s Pikes Peak Hillclimb for his brother James to race, who’s also a powertrain engineer at Honda.
The hillclimb car pushes the power up without any of the hybrid stuff or all-wheel drive by using electric superchargers to fill the torque gap. Yes, we’re looking at a twin-charged rear-wheel drive Acura NSX with all the horses.
Last but not least, if you don’t care about a more hardcore NSX, don’t worry. The convertible NSX is likely to follow the coupé soon enough as well, since the chassis is rigid enough to do without the roof.
There will be one for everyone!
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