Rumours are swirling in Tokyo that Honda will revive its stillborn new NSX project and race the car in Japan's premier Super GT tin-top race series next year.
However, it is far from clear whether the race car will be a precursor to the road car project being restarted, either using this prototype as a basis or from scratch according to Honda's new agenda of producing environmentally focused cars.
The new car, front engined and V8 powered, is expected to be called Honda HSV-010. Honda has only confirmed that the name has been registered with the Japan Automobile Federation and that a formal announcement on the car and Honda's racing plans for 2010 will be announced "early next year".
Honda recently retired the original mid-engined NSX after 13 seasons of works-backed support in Super GT (and before that, the All Japan GT Championship). While Honda confirmed it would race again in Super GT in 2010, it didn't say which car it would use.
An announcement was expected after the last Super GT round at Motegi in November but that never came.
Now credible reports suggest that Honda will go with the car that would have been the "new NSX" until it was abruptly cancelled in winter 2008 due to the economic crisis, around the same time Honda also quit Formula One.
Honda had been planning a hi-tech, front-engined super-coupe with V10 power to replace the NSX, as a riposte to Lexus's LFA. The car had been widely seen testing at the Nurburgring and reputedly was setting strong times.
Now it seems the car will live on - but the purpose-built V10 engine will be ditched. Honda instead will need a front-mounted 3.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 to comply with current Super GT regs.
The 2010 race car is expected to be rear-wheel drive and will be air restricted to 500bhp in order to run in Super GT's top GT500 class.
According to the spirit of Super GT, cars are meant to be "production based". Nissan, for instance, is running the GT-R in Super GT and Toyota has the Lexus SC430 coupe. But as with the BTCC, the cars are heavily modified from normal.
Honda, though, seems to have got a pass from the Super GT regulatory body.
According to one source, Honda told organisers that it would leave the series unless its front-engined NSX prototype is allowed to race. Anxious to keep Honda engaged in Super GT, along with Nissan and Toyota, the Super GT top brass apparently have acquiesced.
In the 2009 Super GT season just finished, there were five teams running NSXs with varying degrees of Honda works support.