Sunday, October 30, 2011

Honda CEO Confirms New NSX and “Hot” 2012 Civic Type R

Last April, we told you about Honda CEO Takanobu Ito's plans for a successor to the much-missed NSX supercar. Ito had then hinted that the “new NSX” would be more environmentally friendly, possibly using a hybrid powertrain like the Japanese firm's new small coupe, the CR-Z.

On the sidelines of this year's Frankfurt Motor Show, Ito-San reaffirmed the company's commitment to build an NSX successor.

“I spent part of my early career at Honda developing the NSX, and specifically the aluminium body," Ito told reporters from UK's Autocar. "I really enjoyed the experience and learned much, so my wish is that Honda engineers have the experience of developing a sportscar like the NSX in the future. Within Honda, our engineers are already looking at developing such a car,” he added.

Ito was not willing to give away any information other than that the new model would be quite different compared to the old NSX.

“The original NSX was about high power but also about good driving experience. Today power-to-weight is what we have to focus on. The NSX was known for its aluminium body, so when we develop our new sportcar we don’t want to copy Ferrari for power, but to also chase efficiency as well," Ito said.

This is the second coming of the NSX successor: in 2003, Honda displayed the HSC concept pictured here at the Tokyo Motor Show, hinting at a production model. Indeed the company was scheduling a 2010 launch, but the plan was cancelled by then-Honda CEO Takeo Fukui in the middle of the economic crisis.

The high-tech supercar isn’t the only performance model that Honda is developing at the moment. The 2012 Civic's chief engineer, Mitsuru Kariya said that a hot version is also under development.

It seems like Honda’s management changed its mind because it initially denied planning such a version as it didn’t fit in its new, “green” image.

“The performance version is already under discussion”, said Kariya. “We know the Type R was a big success, and we are looking for a car developed in that direction. Whether it will be called Type R is not certain though.”

It’s OK, Mr. Kariya, as long as you stay true to the hardcore character of the original. After all, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet.

  © Project R™ Blog Design by Aaron Chong A.k.a Ah_BenG 2009

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