Honda has begun work on a new sportscar in the mould of the iconic Honda NSX, president and CEO Takanobu Ito has sensationally revealed on the eve of the Frankfurt motor show.
However, the ‘new NSX’ will be radically different from its predecessor, with Ito stating that the goal will be to build a car that has a dramatic power-to-weight-ratio as opposed to outright power.
“I spent part of my early career at Honda developing the NSX, and specifically the aluminium body,” said Ito. “I really enjoyed that experience, and learned much, so it is my wish that Honda engineers have the experience of developing a sportscar like the NSX in future. Within Honda, our engineers are already looking at developing such a car.”
Ito declined to comment on when such a car could make production, but he stressed it would be a different vehicle to the original NSX, which weighed 1350kg and had 290bhp.
“You can’t depend on a high power output to call a car sporty anymore,” he said. “The original NSX was about high power but also good driving performance, and 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 sportscar we don’t want to copy Ferrari for power, but to also chase efficiency as well.”
A successor to the original NSX was originally planned to be launched in 2010, but was canned in December 2008 by then Honda CEO Takeo Fukui in reaction to the economic crisis and growing environmental concerns.
However, Ito is pushing for Honda to push its sporting credentials again, so long as they compliment its environmental stance.
“Our recent efforts have been focused on fuel efficiency, and that perhaps gives the impression Honda is behind with pushing the brand image of sportiness, but let me assure you that is not the case,” said Ito. “We will address that impression with our new generations of cars.”