Acura NSX Concept: Production Confirmed

December 12th, 2011

Acura in Avengers

Honda quit making the vaunted midengine NSX in 2005 after a 15-year run. There’s been much talk since of a revived NSX, and the company has now confirmed that a new V6 hybrid two-seat sports car, the second-generation NSX, will be built, with the concept revealed at the Detroit Auto Show.

Honda desperately needs a shot in the arm right now, and this car might provide it. Though some might disagree, the hybrid option in a high-performing sports car makes a lot of sense to me (and to Porsche et al.).

No one is sure what the car will look like, though speculation has it that the NSX will be something close to the car (above) used in “The Avengers” movie, filmed in October in Central Park, New York.

Whatever it looks like, the new car will have big shoes to fill. The original NSX was built to outclass the Ferrari 348, and it did. With great handling and ample power, the thing cornered “as if on rails” (did I say that?), was designed in part by Ayrton Senna, and Bobby Rahal also took part in the car’s development.

Acura NSXThe only complaint I ever heard was that the car went through tires like crazy. A friend of mine in California had one, and it was a blast to drive. I once got him very annoyed by calling it a Honda. Those were the days when Acura was making a name for itself as a luxury standalone brand. You all know what’s happened since. Now Acura is trying to “recalibrate.”

Here’s what we know, or what Inside Line purports to know, about the new car:

The next-generation NSX is expected to share Honda’s new SH-AWD hybrid system with the 2013 successor to the Acura RL sedan. The system mates a high-output V6 engine with a pair of electric motors and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. Honda says the V6 hybrid system, which drives all four wheels, will provide “acceleration equivalent to V8 engines,” with the fuel economy of a four-cylinder.

Despite its performance and good looks, the bad thing about the old NSX was how dealers jacked up the price. The car stickered for around $60K, but dealers consistently added markup to $90K and more. Honda sold about 8,900 of these cars over 15 years—the number of Corvettes Chevrolet sells in one year.

Performance ain’t cheap, as we know, so don’t expect the new NSX to sticker for much less than the old one.

What cars do you see as the real competition for a new NSX?

—jgoods

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  1. lawrence grauman
    | #1

    The hybrid version of the Audi R8 would seem to be the most likely competition for this new NSX.

    This history & assessment of the NSX is quite accurate & reasonable (overlooking the inevitable cliches). And I speak as both a historian and a previous owner of a 1993 NSX. My first set of tires needed replacement at 5K miles, and I didn’t really drive it hard! (There was a class-action lawsuit over tire wear, which Honda settled with lots of certificates for new tires.)

    Yes, Honda surely needs a Shot In The Arm (or somewhere) but I doubt that a high-performance, limited-production, very expensive two-seater will do a lot for a major manufacturer. If Honda had high-performance models at all levels, like Audi, it would be a different situation.

  2. Randy
    | #2

    Gosh, I hope it doesn’t have the ugly Acura styling that ruins some otherwise great cars. I remember test driving an NSX a few years after they came out and I was just floored by how great a car it was. It remains one of the few older cars that I’d like to own if I had the opportunity.

  3. J.B. Alcantara
    | #3

    It looks like the McLaren MP4-12C disguised as an Acura NSX successor with a hybrid powertrain. Strange… Well, I’m guessing 120-150k will be the final price for the successor. After all, it looks nice. The thing is though, hybrids have more chances for failure than a normal gasoline powered car. I’ll just pass on this one and stick to the Corvette or the IS250.

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