By Peter Lyon
The legendary Honda NSX supercar is back. These spy shots, taken on the set of the new Avengers movie, show a new Acura-badged Audi R8-sized supercar that previews a successor to the NSX.
Acura is Honda’s US-only luxury brand and the sports car was spotted in Central Park, New York, with actor Robert Downey Jr at the wheel. Its appearance is hugely significant for fans keen to see Honda return to the supercar arena.
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito recently hinted at the NSX’s revival, when he revealed: “We’re making progress with plans for an exotic sports car.” And six months ago, Ito said Honda was keen to relaunch a high-performance sports car like the NSX.
A Honda source told us that the Dual Note 4WD hybrid concept from the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show was our first glimpse at the technology that will underpin the NSX. It used a 3.5-litre V6 to drive the rear wheels and in-wheel electric motors to turn the fronts, generating over 400bhp.
Ten years later, Honda is still perfecting the technology. A source said: “Honda wants to build a supercar that breaks the mould while creating a new technological package.”
Honda is working on a VTEC V6 engine of between 3.5 to 3.7 litres, while the twin electric motor set-up will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and employ a plug-in recharge system for a small electric-only range. The result will be huge amounts of torque, but also the high-revving character Hondas are famous for.
The car will also have a weight-saving aluminium body, and is set to go sale by 2014, priced at a Nissan GT-R-rivalling £65,000.