By on November 26, 2010

The NSX is one of those in-the-know cars that are impossible to find used, and seem unlikely to ever be matched by a new car. It marked a high point for the Honda brand, and it redefined on-road performance in a manner that now seems remarkably ahead of its time. At a time when the horsepower wars were just beginning, the NSX went to battle with lightweight aluminum construction and a high-tech (yo) V6… and 20 years after it first debuted, it still stacks up nicely on paper compared to a $75k Lotus Evora.  But the NSX’s heritage as a “working class hero” supercar (to borrow the words of Justin Berkowitz) took a hit when Honda decided to me-too the Lexus LF-A and create a front-engined V-10-powered “NSX” that was blasted as an anti-NSX and sent off to do racing duty when Honda hit the Carpocalypse. But apparently there’s a new New NSX in development…

When we asked our Best and Brightest how Honda could “have its cake and eat it too” on the “green sportscar” front, the very first answer from commenter windsworsd had the special sauce:

All he has to do is create a modern version of the NSX. That car was already green in my book if you compare it to other super cars. It did more with less but still had great performance. It doesn’t need special tecknology that will inflate the price just make a modern version of what you had.

Which is exactly what Honda appears to be doing. Rather than reaching for the stars, MT reports Honda is “flipping” its Accord platform to create a mid-engined SH-AWD replacement for the NSX, possibly with up to 400 horsepower from a V6. Which sounds a lot closer to what I would consider a “true” NSX. Is Honda on-track to reclaim some of that missing mojo?

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46 Comments on “Honda Working On New NSX… And This Time It’s A Real NSX...”


  • avatar
    FleetofWheel

    Using a retro design is not a sign of desperation or lack of new ideas when the retro design was so good and forward looking.

    • 0 avatar
      Thinx

      okay, whatever… meanwhile, Honda, can you please just resume building the _old_ NSX as it was at its mid-point in life (circa 1999)?  I will take a red one with the T-Top as soon as you can build it.
      Please just do that for now and then you can go f*ck around with your “new NSX” all you want.

  • avatar
    John R

     Is Honda on-track to reclaim some of that missing mojo?

    If a non-AWD variant can be had, Saints be praised.

    I wondered why Honda was trying to chase the GT-R and the LFA. Apparently they got the memo from Nintendo. You don’t need to beat the Playstation and XBOX in muscle to make sales.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    An Accord with SH-AWD?  Sounds like a front drive based platform to me…..so the answer would be NO.
     
     

    • 0 avatar
      Bytor

      The flipped Accord platform, refers to essentially running the Accord platform backward, so instead of front engine- front drive, it becomes rear engine, rear drive.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      @Bytor: That was my interpretation as well.  It’s a Honda 911 with better AWD.
       
      Mid-engine AWD is distinctly Not Easy.  Only a few production cars have done it.  The ones I can think of: GT-R (mid-front AWD), various recent Lambos (and that AWD is more like RWD with a small amount of torque sent up front).  Some of the killer B’s had trick mid-engine AWD formats, but their production counterparts did not.   Aside from my issues with the GT-R, this is one of the reasons I admire the car.
       
      I’m curious about this NSX, but I can’t say I’m that excited.  I would have preferred Honda had continued to evolve and add power (and even a coupe) to the excellent S2000 platform rather than strike out in a whole new, heavier direction.  SH-AWD does seem to be one of the best AWD systems out there, but AWD cars have just never really done it for me, unless they are rally-oriented…

    • 0 avatar
      JimC

      “I would have preferred Honda had continued to evolve … the excellent S2000 platform rather than strike out in a whole new, heavier direction”
       
      To think the (original) NSX and S2000 weighed within about 100lbs of each other.
       
      But yes, I agree- and also like to see modern cars in general become lighter rather than heavier.

    • 0 avatar

      Jack didn’t like S2000 much, but I don’t remember if it was just lack of power. BTW, metal matrix cylinders? Totally missing the point. Just dump a good V6 in there…

    • 0 avatar
      Ian Anderson

      Pete, the 3.2L C-series V6 in the NSX used metal-fiber matrix cylinder liners to keep things in check when they bored out the original C30A.
       
      Honestly I hope they bring out the supposed DOHC replacement for the J-series V6 with this car if it materializes.

  • avatar
    slow kills

    Talk of “green” and all wheel drive in the same sentence is a joke. Want better fuel economy and lower emissions? Power only the rear wheels!

  • avatar
    Ian Anderson

    They’re flipping the TL SH-AWD platform around, making it a mid-RWD-based car. The only problem?
     
    Motortrend is reporting the 400HP comes with the assist of a hybrid system. If that’s the case, then way to go Honda you still don’t get it!

  • avatar
    Rusted Source

    Except that SH-AWD means all wheel drive.

    EDIT: ignore my comment, I was late to reply.

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    Mid-engine AWD = Audi R8

    • 0 avatar
      imag

      @kita: Good call.  In any case, the Audi is basically the same setup as the Gallardo, from what I understand.

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      Audi R8 at 1/2 to 2/3 the price, with Honda reliability and low maintenance.  Should sell like hot cakes!
      If the “Flipped Accord” is true, then the NSX will have a transverse engine, which is good for the efficiency of a RWD-biased design.
      If Honda is really adventurous, and the new NSX is really a 100% flipped Accord, it would mean … rear-engine + AWD.    It will be more of a Porsche Carrera 4 than an Audi R8.   With a transverse engine, it will be truly one-of-a-kind.   Like no other production car in the world.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      1/2 to 2/3 of the price of an R8?  The last NSX started at $90K, and that with a V6.  I doubt you’d see change from $100K if this car ever gets built.

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      But the last NSX was built on a bespoke platform.  Shouldn’t a “flipped Accord” cost a bit less?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @KitaIkki, it’s pretty much the same strategy the VW is planning to use with the BlueSport: take the FWD architecture, shuffle the bits and use them in a mid-engine/RWD configuration.
       
      But when you are going from a $20K mass-market family sedan to a near-$100K sports car, how much can you really reuse?  The basic suspension maybe, but if you want the car to be competitive (and not have a Chrysleresque interior) you have to be careful about component sharing.
       
      Maybe they could do it for less than $90K, but if it’s to be an “NSX” rather than an “S2000″ it’ll never be in the $50K range (or under).
       
      But I have my doubts about this being real anyway …

  • avatar
    roamer

    Anything they label an NSX is going to be compared to the LF-A. Building something using an existing platform for the wrong type of vehicle is going to send all the wrong messages.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      The Accord actually has a very good suspension design. The multi links are very similar to a Mercedes design. Using some of the shelf parts is not a bad idea. It is how a company can make a profit with a car like this. If every piece only fit’s the NSX it would only add to the price tag.I assume the even if the platform is flipped around, the engine will still be installed with the bulk of it’s weight in front of the axle instead of in back.

    • 0 avatar
      KitaIkki

      @MBella,
      Why not a rear-engine AWD?  Porsche made it work.  Honda is no less capable.  With a transverse engine, it will be unique in the world.  (And a rear-mounted transverse engine will have better weight distribution than Porsche’s boxer 6, which has a c-of-g further aft)
       

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    As the S2000 went out of production they were promising a successor that sounded a lot like a G35.  No one really wanted that from Honda, either.

    Listen, Honda, please.  We love you for high-revving normally aspirated engine in a simple lightweight car.  It only needs to be slightly overpowered.  The NSX, S2000, Civic Si models all fit this bill.  The CR-Z ain’t it, and neither is this.  Slap an Acura badge on it and sell it against the GT-R.

    While you’re at it go talk the buffoons in the motorcycle department who made the new Interceptor, it has similar problems.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I think it would be better to go off the Civic or even Fit platform
    If they go with the Accord platform they face the same probs that plagued the 350Z… taking a platform meant for SUVs and luxury cars and using all that metal in the base platform on a “should be light as possible” sports car
    Maybe if they limit the adaptation to just the suspension/cross members, it will be OK. Then again, a shortened Accord platform with SH-AWD and a V6 could weigh about 3300-3400lb, esp w/some CF. A flipped S2K is probably an even better bet though

  • avatar
    cmdjing

    What I would like to see is a 3.x liter turbocharged v6 with gasoline direct injection throwing out 400+ hp on a RWD chassis weighing no more than 3000 pounds starting at 30k. Oh and maybe 20/30 gas mileage if possible.
     
    Is that too much to ask Honda? Or is there simply no market for such a car?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Pray tell, why does one NEED 400+ hp in a 3000-lb car?  The Z4 35i has 300 hp and 3500 lb, and it still manages 0-60 in five seconds.  How much faster do you really need to go?

      As to whether MT’s rumour is for real, I won’t hold my breath until there is some more credible confirmation of this project.

    • 0 avatar
      Dr Lemming

      th009, I would feel better about my manhood if I could go from 0-60 in two seconds.  Is that too much to ask?

    • 0 avatar
      cmdjing

      Very few people buy cars based solely on need. Otherwise we would would all be driving slightly more aerodynamic bread boxes.
       
      I could ask the same question of you. Why would someone not WANT 400+hp in a 3000lb car? Last time I checked, this was the truth about cars, not mom jeans.com.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Dr. Lemming,
       
      Try Viagra.  It’s cheaper, and more effective.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @cmjding, you could already buy a 400+ hp car with 3000 lb if you really want.  Gallardo LP550 Balboni meets your weight goal although it does have 150 bonus hp.  Apparently there is a market for such cars as Lamborghini built 250 of them.
       
      By now you might have to buy your used, though.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      th009, if you are selling Gallardo LP550 Balbonis for thirty thousand dollars, sign me up for a couple.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      @MBella, Honda wouldn’t sell an NSX for $30K, either, so it’s no more ridiculous.  The NSX, if it gets built, will surely cost three or four times that much.

  • avatar
    Sam P

    “How much faster do you really need to go?”
     
    Faster than a base Corvette at least.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Stoplight racing is apparently very demanding these days …

    • 0 avatar
      Sam P

      Let me phrase this another way. Why would one settle for 300 hp in a 3500 pound car when one could get 400 horsepower?
       
      If this doesn’t make sense, I have a car-related web site for you to surf over to.
       
      http://www.edmunds.com/reviews/list/top10/116141/article.html

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Driving enjoyment isn’t all about just horsepower — at least not for me.  For example, give me a late-60s 911S (or even 911E), a 70s Dino 246 or an 80s 1st-gen MR2.  None reach the 200 hp mark and yet each one of them will be a blast to drive.

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    The NSX had the worst resale value in it’s class. Why build another doomed to the same fate?

    • 0 avatar
      Areitu

      Not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but NSXs have very good resale value. Not a lot of cars from 2005 retain 66% of their value, and early examples are as coveted as twin turbo Supras and air cooled Porsches.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So, would it be rear-wheel steering as well?  j/k

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    I really hope they manage to get it right this time too. (Cause they did, both with the original and the S2000, and with some Type-R Civic’s and Type-R Euro-Accords, before they realized that both Toyota and the Germans can sell cars made out of bricks and lead…) In my dreams I imagine a reliable Lotus kind of car. And I wish Honda can make it look as godd as the original, which is a Japanese classic when it comes to design. (Honda really had a good period between 88 and 92) and I think some of their latest cars look pretty decent for a japanese automaker.

  • avatar
    Neb

    Assuming it comes together, it should be a great car. I was very disappointed when the first NSX replacement was going to be some silly supercar with a completely conventional layout, when the first one was brilliant and unique. It even (started) at a semi-reasonable price. I think if it’s priced right, it will be a big winner.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    So Honda’s reviving the NSX? Just like Mazda has been “reviving” the RX-7 for the last three years? Sorry. I don’t believe it.

    The auto makers know there’s no longer a market for mid-priced sports cars. They just need to keep us interested and look like an innovative, exciting brand. That’s why they keep teasing us with claims that they’re reviving our favorites, but they never will.

  • avatar
    Jasper911

    Screw it. Let ‘em build whatever they want. They didn’t and won’t ask me. I’ve got no money to buy one any way.
     
    And yes th009, my 178 hp 911SC is plenty satisfying to drive. Off the subject but it’s only worth like 75 cents. I was looking at Darts, Hornets and the like and was pretty disgusted at the prices e-bay is getting. Looks like a decent 911SC might be an even trade for a clean slant six Scamp or a Sportabout these days. Screw the nostalgia and romance, I can get just as dirty, spend more time, get more pissed off and be just as broke keeping a Porsche running!

  • avatar
    Crosley

    If they just reintroduced the original right where they left off and maybe slapped a factory turbo on it, people would be ecstatic.
     
    The NSX was a homerun, the problem was people didn’t want to pay nearly six figures and get beat by a Camaro from a stoplight. (even if that is a simplistic way to judge a car’s performance)
     

  • avatar
    quiksilver180

    I’m not holding my breath… the rumored-NSX has been talked about for a long time, and yes, every now and then you would see that magical unicorn out on the Nürburgring. Then there was talk about it being a V10, then a V6, then a hybrid. I would love to see a Honda V10 (I probably wouldn’t buy one, but it would be a welcome improvement/addition to their product line).
     
    So lets say they do build it. Will they f*** it up like the CRX replacement – the CR-Z hybrid (“oh yeah it has GREAT performance along with GREAT milage! Oh, but don’t compare either set of numbers to the CRX – it can’t compete”)? Also in my own opinion, both Honda and Acura have the ugliest designs out now. Can’t they hire some decent designer? Kia/Hyundai did… and it has improved their image DRAMATICALLY!

  • avatar
    Bridge2farr

    “Not sure if you’re being sarcastic, but NSXs have very good resale value. Not a lot of cars from 2005 retain 66% of their value”
    Compare the NSX with a Ferrari, Lambo, Corvette etc and you will see that the Honda is far below the others in desirability.

  • avatar
    Kristjan Ambroz

    The NSX, while certainly a great car, was not one for the masses. Yes, whoever tried driving one came away impressed but too few people bought them, so all the comments of bring back the old one are not quite honest – when it was still on sale only a handful passed the dealer gates each year (especially towards the end), so no matter how good it was as a car, it was not good business for Honda anymore (not that it probably ever was, if you look at it financially).
    In today’s world you will simply find many more buyers for a car of the AMG school – massive grunt and acceleration, great sound from the engine and little effort needed. It certainly looks more promising and satisfying for the majority of potential buyers – driving an NSX in congested cities (where many people who can afford such cars live) is certainly not quite the same fun as a mountain road or even just a plain good B road (let alone a track).


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