The next-generation Honda NSX could be fully battery powered, using four electric motors to generate acceleration that could potentially carry it from 0-62mph in 2.5secs and 0-124mph in 6.2sec - making it more potent than a Porsche 918 Spyder.
The revelation that a potential all-electric NSX is under consideration was made by Sekino Yosuke, Honda's head of research and development, during a demonstration of the firm’s 1000bhp Pikes Peak race car, the NSX-inspired 4-Motor Acura EV Concept.
Given the acceleration figures of that car and the NSX’s famed handling prowess, the electric drivetrain would have the potential to give the NSX hypercar-beating levels of performance, although the competition car’s top speed is a relatively low 155mph, and a production car would likely weigh more.
“The technology used on the Pikes Peak car could be interesting,” said Yosuke. “It's not just a competition car; I would like to make such a car in production, and there are some studies around that. We want our electric cars to be joyful to drive, and it is clear that this proposal, with around 1000bhp, is both joyful and uses technology that could one day reach production. We are evaluating what is possible now.”
The 4-Motor Acura EV Concept, which weighs 1.5 tonnes, finished third overall in last year’s Pikes Peak Hillclimb event in Colorado, US. It has a modified version of the SH-AWD powertrain in the production Honda NSX. With an electric motor powering each wheel, the concept is claimed to be the “world’s first supercar with four-wheel independent torque allocation.” As such, each wheel can accelerate or decelerate at any time, offering maximum grip and the potential for handling-improving torque vectoring.
Although it's only required to run at full speed for around 20 miles at Pikes Peak, insiders that say it carries sufficient battery capacity to drive for 200 miles if driven at modest speeds. A production car is likely to require a broader range of talents, and the main barriers to a road car matching the competition car’s performance are said to be the weight (for safety), additional battery systems and the need for more cooling.
However, the current NSX has only been on sale since last year, with Type R and convertible variants still in the pipeline. As such, an all-new NSX is unlikely to be launched before 2023, when battery technology is expected to have progressed significantly.