By on July 14, 2015


American Honda CEO John Mendel says he could tell us about the “baby NSX” that popped up in a patent filing, but that would probably get him fired, AutoGuide is reporting.

Whatever the patent filing is — whether it’s a smaller NSX, perpetual prototype or a late-night CAD fantasy — it could find a home in Honda’s lineup that’s decidedly missing a sports car.

When asked if there’s room for a driver’s car, Mendel responded: “Absolutely there is.”

Details on the renderings released last month are incredibly murky. The smaller car wouldn’t likely get the NSX’s twin-turbocharged V6 with three electric motors to help propel it, but it could get some assist from electrons. Honda engineers were feverishly testing electric powertrains at Pikes Peak this year, including an all-electric CR-Z in the exhibition category.

The Civic Si is the automaker’s lone performance car in the U.S. The 305-horsepower Civic Type R is destined for U.S. shores, but it’s unclear when that will happen.

Production of the two-seater S2000 ended in 2009. Production of the CR-Z continues.

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13 Comments on “American Honda Boss Knows, But Tight-Lipped, About ‘Baby NSX’...”

  • avatar

    That’s quite a long front overhang on the car pictured above. I thought performance cars demanded as short overhangs as possible. Any engineering types can explain why it’s sometimes a good thing?

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      The overhang is irrelevant if it weighs very little.
      A long front overhangs is only a problem if it’s housing a heavy engine.

    • 0 avatar

      With a nose sloped like that, you have to have an overhang, the wheel can’t be any farther forward without pushing the hood up. Assuming this is mid-engined, it’s not a huge deal, there’s not much weight in front of the wheel. Disclaimer: I am not an engineer.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not an engineer but a long overhand could be helpful aerodynamically perhaps? A long front end like that would seem to be a good design for a highly aero efficient, high downforce front end.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m an engineer. A front overhang as shown definitely would increase the downforce on the front tires. Aerodynamically the front end of a car is far less important to the overall drag coefficient than the rear end of the car. How airflow through the front end is managed (intakes, heat exchangers, wheel wells) is likely more important to overall drag and downforce than the shape/size of the front end.

        Long overhangs on low-slung cars stink from a livability perspective. A long overhang is only problematic for drivers’ cars if it greatly increases polar moment of inertia and/or throws front/rear balance out of whack.

        A mid-engined car has an inherently low polar moment of inertia but probably a slight rear weight bias. Assuming Honda is going for a sporty but every day reliable driver they would not seek huge aerodynamic downforce on the front end as that would make the handling twitchy and tend to snap-oversteer at speed with rapid wheel inputs without an attending large rear downforce. Downforce requires drag. Not something automakers intentionally include unless the tradeoff buys you something.

  • avatar

    Wow, you guys really ought to learn at least the bare minimum about how patent applications work.

    It’s probably a generic drawing of a car used to illustrate something for which a patent application is filed.

    If they showed a line drawing of a 1980 Honda Civic to illustrate something in an application for a transmission patent, y’all would soon report “Honda Gets Set to Reproduce 1980 Civic: US Sales Manager Denies Rumors”.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      You are correct, unless it is a design patent. The original AutoGuide article doesn’t say what the patent is for.

      • 0 avatar

        It ia almost assuredly a design patent. We see the new versions of cars leaked all the time via these renderings for design patents. A patent for some actual tech bit on the car would just have a basic drawing not a 3d rendering like this; see the Ram pickup sliding bed ramp for an example that was posted today as well.

  • avatar

    For the sake of some mental self-stimulation, a small mid-engined sports car from Honda with the Civic Type R engine could be absolutely sublime. Near Cayman S performance at half the price and a fraction the cost of ownership would be amazing.

    I know that’s a pig cruising at Mach 3 in the stratosphere, but hey, I can dream.

  • avatar

    When asked if there’s room for a driver’s car, Mendel responded: “Absolutely there is.”

    Isn’t that what the NSX is supposed to be? I’m a little confused.

  • avatar

    Maybe the rumor of a baby NSX will distract Honda fans from the fact that Honda hasn’t actually delivered the NSX yet?

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    Yet another content free article . The Rumors About Cars.

  • avatar

    Pul eeze.

    Acura has gone over to the marketers. The engineers aren’t dead, just locked in an underground bunker and only fed if the marketers allow it.

    The marketers spend time staring lustfully at the lower end BMW customer, and like BMW, metal is now second to “style”.

    Yes, we fanbois could look at the very deep bench at Honda, pick parts, and make something desirable. You can look at the Euro catalog and find things you’d like to buy here.

    Here in the US, though, it is all about cash extraction, while living on the reputation gained by those 90’s Accords.

    I SO miss the first gen Integra.

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