It seems that Ford isn’t the only automotive giant planning to release more sportscars into the market. Hot off the heels of the announcement of the Civic Type-R coming to North America and the possibility of a larger S660, aptly called the S1000, Honda may have a bonafide baby NSX in the works.
A source close to Honda, tells Car and Driver that not only has Honda been debating the viability of a third mid-engine sportscar, but go-ahead has been given for development. The source says the demand from the North American market is the driving force behind decision to build the new car – it seems our Internet grumbling all over North America is finally paying off!
The new mid-engine coupe would most likely borrow technology from the flagship NSX. The source says this car will serve as Honda’s halo model. It will be smaller than the NSX, less-expensive, lighter and far more affordable to mere mortals.
The baby NSX will more than likely be sporting a longitudinally-mounted VTEC 2L turbo-four, lifted right out of the Civic Type-R. Undoubtedly, it’ll be unleashed for more horsepower and response than the current 306 hp in the Civic.
The AWD system will be based on the Super-Handling AWD system from the NSX. The NSX’s SH-AWD system will employ two electric motors to power the front wheels and a third motor combined with the V6-turbo engine to power the rear wheels. We’re not sure if the baby NSX’s SH-AWD system will be quite as advanced, but you can be sure it will still be pretty advanced.
A nine-speed dual clutch will be sending the expected 400+ hp power to the wheels, down about 150 hp from the NSX.
Lighter is better and the bespoke aluminum frame will be wrapped in aluminum and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic body panels. The technology needed to build this type of car necessitates the baby NSX being built alongside its flagship sibling at the Honda Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.
Pricing for the baby NSX would have to be considerably less than the NSX and the current target price is under $100,000. This price point puts it in line to do battle with an optioned-out Alfa Romeo 4C, Porsche Cayman S or GTS; I wouldn’t be surprised to see cross-shoppers from the 911 crowd, or even the Audi R8 shoppers. Experience has shown there are a lot of buyers in this category who don’t even consider the car’s engine layout. They care about the almighty dollar point and the drive wheels.
According to Car and Driver, we could get our first glimpse at the baby NSX as soon as 2018 at the Detroit Auto Show.
Check out the rendering of the baby NSX, courtesy Holiday Auto (a Japanese publication), via Car and Driver.
It’s truly a good time to be alive for us gear heads.