Honda NSX: Cult favourite resurrected

Two-seater coupe builds on performance credentials of predecessor.

The NSX Concept is a revival of the 1990 original and will take styling cues from a mysterious model to appear in the new Avengers movie. Photo / Supplied
The NSX Concept is a revival of the 1990 original and will take styling cues from a mysterious model to appear in the new Avengers movie. Photo / Supplied

Honda has confirmed that a new NSX sports car will be revealed at the Detroit motor show next month.

Wearing the Acura badge of Honda's United States luxury arm, the NSX Concept is said to "represent the styling direction of Acura's super sports car".

The new two-seater coupe is likely to use the NSX badge in New Zealand and Australia when it arrives in 2013-14. The announcement confirms the resurrection of the second-generation NSX project, which was shelved in 2008 because of the global recession.

Honda had developed various engine options for the Nissan GT-R rival, including a Formula One-style V10, but with the financial crisis squeezing the supercar market, Honda turned the road car into a racing version in 2009.

The new NSX is set to use a 300kW V6 hybrid powertrain, with the petrol engine mounted in the middle and a pair of electric motors at the front,

plus a development of Honda's Super-Handling-All-Wheel-Drive-System (SH-AWD). The look of the new car is expected to be influenced by a mysterious concept car which will appear in the new Avengers movie.

The revival of the NSX will be met positively as the original has developed a cult following. It went on sale in 1990 and was designed to beat the performance of the Ferrari 348 - its rival at the time - but also offer reliability and everyday usability.

The NSX was the first production car to feature an all-aluminium monocoque body and suspension. The use of aluminium saved nearly 200kg over the steel equivalent.

The car ran a high-revving 3-litre V6 - the world's first production-car engine with titanium connecting rods and forged pistons - that delivered about 200kW/304Nm.

The NSX chassis was developed with the help of the late F1 great Ayrton Senna, who convinced engineers to stiffen the chassis. Senna was given two cars by Honda. The newer one, a black 1993 model, licence plate BSS-8888 (meaning Beco - a childhood nickname - Senna Silva and the number 8 is a reference to his first F1 championship in 1988) is still in his family's possession.

Honda will also show off the Acura ILX Concept at Detroit - a styling study of a luxury small saloon which will launch next year in the US. This new entry-level model will have three engine choices, including a hybrid.

Acura will also reveal a prototype of the 2013 RDX, a US-only five-seater SUV. Finally, it will unveil the Accord Coupe Concept.

- NZ Herald

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