Rumors have been circulating that Honda is preparing a “baby NSX,” which would be a scaled down and more affordable version of the upcoming 2016 Acura NSX. Patent drawings of an unknown mid-engine Honda sports car fueled the speculation earlier this year, and now an insider says those drawings have “some merit.”
The report comes from Australia’s Motoring.com.au, which says that a source close to Honda confirmed the filing’s authenticity. The car in the drawings is smaller than the NSX, but features very similar proportions. If such a car were to be released, it would slot below the Acura NSX supercar but above the S1000, the higher-performance version of the Japan-only S660 mid-engine compact that could make it to the U.S.
The source told Motoring.com.au that the car’s exterior is “for all intents and purposes, completed.” He also said that the car’s main market will be the U.S., so a global debut in L.A. later this year or Detroit in early 2016 is possible. The main driving force behind the project, according to the Aussie outlet, is the demand from North American Honda dealers, who won’t have a sexy NSX halo car to place in their showrooms. Thus, the car will be fitted with a less expensive powertrain to keep cost down so it can be badged as a Honda. The platform would be shared with the NSX, but the engine could be a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 mated to a hybrid SH-AWD system.
The model could be built in the U.S. alongside the NSX or in Japan alongside the S660 and S1000, though an engineer has told Motoring.com.au that Honda’s Yokkaichi plant would need extensive retooling in order to build a baby NSX.