The Honda NSX is coming back for a third generation, and it’s likely to be electric.
As for what will power it? Mr Ikeda hinted at what to expect, although he stopped short of confirming electric power outright.
“The first-gen was gas. Second-gen was a hybrid. There’s gonna be another one,” he told The Drive.
The current NSX is on its way out the door with a Type S special.
The swansong NSX made its debut at Monterey Car Week. Every 2022 NSX will be a Type S.
Total system outputs have been bumped up to 447kW of power and 667Nm of torque, up from 427kW and 646Nm in the standard car.
There are new fuel injectors and new intercoolers, plus new turbochargers shared with the NSX GT3 Evo that increase peak boost pressure from 15.2 to 16.1 psi.
Battery capacity is up by 20 per cent, while there’s a revised gear ratio for the Twin Motor Unit that powers the front wheels and provides active torque vectoring. Honda says this in turn gives the NSX a more powerful launch.
Honda claims the 2022 NSX Type S laps the Suzuka Circuit in Japan two seconds faster than a 2021 NSX.
The nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission has been retuned, with a new Rapid Downshift Mode that allows you to skip several gears at a time by holding down the downshift paddle in Sport, Sport+ and Track modes.
Revised programming means now, when upshifting in Sport and Sport+ modes, the clutch is engaged up to 50 per cent faster than before.
The rev threshold for downshifts in Track mode has also been increased by 1500rpm.
The Intake Sound Control and Active Sound Control have also been retuned for a “more integrated engine note”, though a Quiet Mode means you can operate the NSX in pure electric mode for extended periods even if you’re more forceful with the accelerator pedal.
The adaptive suspension and SH-AWD system have also been retuned for reduced body roll and brake dive, while braking is handled by six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes.
The swansong model is recognisable by its more aggressive front and rear styling with more angular air intakes and a reshaped spoiler and grille up front, plus a larger carbon fibre diffuser at the rear.
The mirrors, door handles and badges are finished in gloss black, while the headlight and tail light lenses are tinted and the engine cover is finished in red. Each model will have a numbered plaque mounted to the engine cowling.
The Type S features unique five-spoke forged alloy wheels in stickier Pirelli P-Zero tyres – 245/35ZR19 up front, 305/30ZR20 at the rear – as well as a standard carbon fibre roof.
The rear spoiler and side sills also employ carbon fibre.
An optional Lightweight Package adds a high-gloss carbon fibre engine cover and carbon ceramic brakes, plus carbon fibre accents in the interior.
Overall, the package shaves 26.2kg off the kerb weight. It costs an extra US$13,000 (A$17,708) in the US-market model.
Inside the Type S, there’s an Alcantara headliner, plus a choice of three different Alcantara and semi-aniline leather upholstery combinations. Full semi-aniline leather seating is also available.
Just 350 examples will be produced at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio, with 300 staying in the United States where the NSX is sold under Honda’s luxury brand name, Acura.
70 of these will wear a new Gotham Gray matte paint finish.
None of these models will be coming to Australia, with Honda having already discontinued the NSX in 2020.
Acura (and by extension, Honda) says it isn’t done with sports cars.
“Acura is a performance brand, a company of enthusiasts, and we will continue moving forward, actively investigating what the next generation of sports cars should be in an electrified era,” said vice president and Acura brand officer Jon Ikeda.
Honda’s luxury brand has been rolling out sportier Type S models across its range, including in the TLX mid-sized sedan and MDX large crossover.
This will be the first time the a Type S-badged NSX has been sold outside of Japan.
Honda produced 209 examples of the first-generation NSX Type S between 1997 and 2001.
It featured a mix of lightweight and cosmetic enhancements, including BBS aluminium wheels, a lightweight rear spoiler, Recaro carbon-kevlar seats upholstered in leather and Alcantara, a lighter battery, and manual rack-and-pinion steering. It also used a thicker rear sway bar and stiffer front dampers.
The changes shaved 45kg off the weight, though you could add much of this back on by ticking the option boxes for things like power steering.
The US market received a similar model called the Alex Zanardi Edition, named after the race car driver, of which just 51 examples were produced.
Honda also produced 30 examples of the Type S-Zero for Japan, which deleted features like cruise control, airbags, and a stereo and removed much of the sound deadening to cut total weight by 50kg over the Type S.
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