Honda eyes reviving iconic NSX sports car as EV

DETROIT, Sep 22 (Nikkei) - With only a handful of special editions left in dealer showrooms, the Acura NSX from Honda Motor seems ready to drive off into the sunset. But we might not have seen the last of the iconic sports car.

When it was first introduced back in 1990, the Acura NSX served to demonstrate the technological prowess of Honda's luxury Acura brand, a strategy repeated with the launch of an all-new NSX in 2016. Now, Acura planners are giving thought to how they might bring the premium sports car back to demonstrate the brand's upcoming shift in direction.

While he declined to say whether a third-generation NSX is set to follow, "I would bet on it," said Vice President and Acura Brand Officer Jon Ikeda at American Honda Motor Co. And if it does, he said in an exclusive interview, "it's going to be [all-]electric."

Loosely based on the 1984 HP-X, the Honda Pininfarina eXperimental concept, the original NSX debuted as a 1990 model and was used to highlight such technological breakthroughs as the use of an all-aluminum body and chassis. It remained in production, with an ongoing series of tweaks, for the next 15 years.

After spending nearly a decade exploring ways to revive the iconic nameplate, Acura brought the NSX back in 2016, this time as a three-motor gas-electric hybrid. It was lightning fast, rocketing from 0 to 60 in 2.9 seconds, and used the unusual drivetrain's Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive system to give it the sort of handling that even Ferrari struggled to match.

But production recently wrapped up with the end of a limited-edition run of NSX Type-S models. And, at least officially, Acura says it has no plan to bring the sports car back.

No official plan, but company officials tell another story on background, noting that a third-generation NSX would be the perfect platform to highlight the brand's shift from internal combustion to battery-electric propulsion. ...continue reading

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