Renderings of an angular two-seater suggest sports car will rival Mazda MX-5

Honda has patented the design of a mid-engined convertible sports car, supporting rumours that it is working on a baby NSX model to rival the Mazda MX-5

Posted on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website, the images show a narrow front section and a lengthy rear that features slats and scoops, for cooling the car’s mid-mounted powertrain.

The images reignite longstanding rumours of a new Honda sports car, but quell earlier suggestions that it would be a spiritual successor to the S2000 with a front-mounted engine.

Honda’s decision to use a mid-ship layout could relate to the sharing of its platform with the NSX - something that was suggested when NSX project boss Ted Klaus told Autocar that the NSX's structure would also spawn a convertible, lightweight version and all-electric model.

While the NSX uses a hybrid-V6 drivetrain that powers all four wheels, power for the baby NSX could come from a simpler, more cost-effective combustion engine-driven rear-wheel-drive set-up.

Honda’s 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, as used by the new Civic, is the top candidate to power the future sports car, offering something in the region of 180bhp in its most potent state.

The turbocharged 2.0-litre engine of the Civic Type R could also be used in some variants. That unit produces 316bhp in the Civic Type R, although it would likely shed horsepower in the sports car.

Senior Honda executives have refused to comment on the prospect of a new sports car during recent interviews. But the marque hinted at intentions to boost its performance line-up with the 2&4 concept of 2015.

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Comments
11

19 July 2017

It could offer both engines, i.e. 1.5l tuned up to something like 220bhp, and the 2.0l in current tune. Which could provide a cooking model with still amusing performance. And a more poweful one with around 5sec. or even sub 5sec. 0-100 time. Two variants might ensure more sales.

19 July 2017

'Cooking' model refers to the low powered base model. You've got it the wrong way around!

19 July 2017

More likely to be design registration than patented design. The general shape and form would be too broad to patent. Generally specific details ate subject to patents. If so, Autocar should check its facts better

Prof

19 July 2017

More likely to be design registration than patented design. The general shape and form would be too broad to patent. Generally specific details ate subject to patents. If so, Autocar should check its facts better

Prof

19 July 2017

Not  so much a mini NSX or an S2000 but a true successor to one of Honda's real masterpieces the Honda Beat kei car a brilliant mid engined sports car sized to satisfy the strict rules for this type of vehicle.Honda built a show car a few years ago but nothing came of it, I'd really like to see this come to fruition

19 July 2017

It's called the S660 and it has been on sale in Japan for the past two or three years. Really it is another kei car, the successor to the Honda Beat. It's possible that the company is also working on a larger sports car to replace the S2000, but here in Europe the company already has enogh halo products. What's needed are more competitive bread-and-butter offerings to achieve decent sales volumes and justify the retention of the firm's European car plant. I believe there's also a new Accord out this week, but apparently it's too big and expensive for Europe.

19 July 2017

...if it happens and for a decent price. Toyota need to do the same with a new MR2 too. Gives a long awaited alternative to the MX5 (or it's Fiat clone) at last.

 

Everyone has a right to an opinion - don't confuse that with insulting your mother :-)

19 July 2017

The illustrations show a car with no windscreen - but there appear to be ducts placed where the screen would normally be. I just wonder whether one of the patents relates to a way of ducting a stream of air above the occupants, such that a conventional screen is no longer needed?

20 July 2017

why 240 hp in a 2000 lbs sportscar? mx-5 and a new s2000 in one? call it nsf-f 4 future. price point 10% steeper than the mx-5?

 

 

 

/EX

20 July 2017

I applaud Autocar for searching Design Registrations but FFS stop calling them patents. Those images are taken from an EU Registered Design, as were the hot Megane images. Registered Designs protect the appearance of a product, nothing more.

Try using wording such as 'Honda has registered a design for an MX5 rival'. But not patent!

Grrrr

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