Plans are moving forward for Honda to reveal its new V8 racing car in Japan, the HSV 010.
While the programme hasn’t been fully buttoned down yet, as we hear it, this new car – loosely based on Honda’s axed 'next NSX' project – is tipped to appear in January but will definitely be for track only.
Honda put a lot of time and work into developing a new front-engined V10 super-coupe, to go head to head with the Lexus LFA.
The car was seen testing and was close to being signed off when Honda pulled the plug in winter 2008 as the economic crisis hit, around the same time Honda announced it was quitting Formula One.
Sources say Honda’s plan was to launch the new V10 super-coupe as the Acura Sports, its launch timed to coincide with the debut of Acura, Honda’s luxury dealer channel, in Japan.
In the end, both projects got canned, but not before Honda put quite a bit of work into developing a separate, pure race version of the Acura Sports for Super GT, Japan’s hugely popular tintop race series.
The Super GT version of the Acura Sports would carry the road car’s silhouette but underneath it would be totally different, with an all-new carbonfibre chassis and swapping the road car’s 5.0-litre V10 – good for 500bhp plus – for a race-bred 3.4-litre V8 to meet the new Super GT regs.
Those regs would also see the road car’s high-performance, rear-biased Super Handling 4WD system exchanged for a simpler, more robust rear drive layout, again to meet Super GT regs.
Honda will build a limited run of race cars to meet the requirements of the Super GT teams and the 3.4-litre V8 will come across from Japan’s Formula Nippon single-seater series.
It’s a 90-degree V8 with 3400cc capacity, rev-limited to 10,300rpm and good for 600bhp plus. For Super GT duty, the engine will have to be significantly reworked for a more endurance spec. Super GT races are longer and harder than Formula Nippon and each engine also has to last for four races.
The V8 engine will also be air-restricted to 500bhp to meet the regs in Super GT’s top GT500 class, but will lose the rev limiter.
Honda, it’s believed, is keen to present the HSV 010 as an all-new car, and an unveiling seems likely in Japan before the end of January.