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Tokyo show: More NSX variants on the cards

Hybrid hero: There is a chance that Honda could develop an even more performance-honed version of its wild new NSX, following its global roll-out next year.

Honda NSX engineer says there could be more to come from the 427kW sportscar


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6 Nov 2015

MORE versions of Honda's long-awaited NSX sportscar could be on the horizon, with the reborn model's chief engineer suggesting that the new platform has more capability built into it this time around.

Speaking with Australian journalists at Honda's Tochigi research and development facility in Japan ahead of the Tokyo motor show, NSX chief engineer Ted Klaus said there is more performance to be wrung out of the hybrid sportscar.

“I think this chassis has way more capability,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we take advantage of that in the future as well.” Mr Klaus hinted that there could be more variants of the NSX to come when asked if Honda would produce a targa NSX as it did with the original in 1995.

“I am focussed on this one... and we just talked about sustaining this model. I think we are going to have a hard go of it in the future if this (single model) is all we ever do, I think we are aware of that. Honda doesn’t roll out things that way. Be patient, and we will announce when the time is right...” Mr Klaus said there were a number of paths Honda engineers could take in playing around with the NSX, suggesting any additions or tweaks could be “very simple”, “customised” “or it could be more dramatic”.

Asked whether Honda's hydrogen fuel-cell technology could be paired with a car like the NSX, Mr Klaus said a number of car-makers were looking at ways to incorporate green tech into performance models.

“Everybody wants to have that exciting drive force but efficient drive force, but it has to fit within a certain package,” he said. “It has to be exciting to look at.” Honda revealed more technical details of its performance hero at the recent Tokyo motor show, including an overall power and torque output of 427kW and 646Nm from its three-electric motor hybrid system that is paired with a 3.5-litre V6, matched with a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and uses the Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system.

The Japanese car-maker is yet to divulge performance figures for the NSX, saying that the performance of the NSX is more than about numbers.

Honda used four “foundational philosophies” in developing the NSX that were core to the development of the original model.

They include Total Airflow Management – a “wholistic” approach to aerodynamics that boosts response and high-speed stability without the need for “active aero devices” Human Support Cockpit, which ensures the best possible driving experience without sacrificing comfort or usability Multi-Material Body, meaning the use of lightweight materials for a rigid body and advanced construction and joining techniques and an Advanced Sports Package which means to optimise the overall design and packaging in all the aforementioned aspects.

Mr Klaus said in a presentation that the theme of 'everyday supercar' was also key to the development of the new NSX.

The 1725kg NSX is built using advanced materials to keep weight down, but other measures were also employed to minimise any addition to the weight and ensure the best possible driving experience, including the use of a compact air-conditioning unit and air vents.

Mr Klaus also said the NSX has better torsional rigidity than competitors, which includes the likes of the now-superseded Ferrari 458 Italia, and added that engineers worked hard to ensure “zero-delay acceleration” from the petrol-electric powertrain, thanks to the instantaneous torque from the trio of electric motors.

While specific details and timing for Australia are unclear, the NSX is likely to arrive late in 2016, and could be priced north of $250,000 if its US pricing of about $150,000 ($A210,000) is anything to go on.

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