Next-gen NSX to compete directly with Ferrari on performance

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Next-gen NSX to compete directly with Ferrari on performance

Next-gen NSX to compete directly with Ferrari on performance

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Honda's NSX replacement has had several false starts, with the company scrapping the car's design after the public's largely negative response to its Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept, shown at 2007's Detroit Auto Show. Beyond the styling difficulties, ensuring the car will compete successfully with Lexus's LF-A, Nissan's GT-R, and Ferrari and Lamborghini's sport-focused offerings is also taking time. But the company is sure it will do so, and the target date is 2010.

Speaking with MotorAuthority, Acura spokesman Mike Spencer confirmed several details of the upcoming NSX replacement. The car will definitely be powered by a V10 engine, and it will be equipped with the company's SH-AWD system. There has been some discussion of a possible four-wheel steering system (4WS) for the NSX replacement, but Spencer suggested the SH-AWD system would achieve most of the benefits of 4WS without the added complexity.

The original NSX was a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive V6-powered car, so the replacement will share little in common with it from a technical point of view. The replacement is also unlikely to share the NSX name - Spencer referred to it only as the ‘NSX replacement.’

Pricing of the NSX replacement will also be a bit different than the original. The low price of the NSX - $60,000 in the U.S. on its 1990 debut, rising to just below $100,000 by the end of its model run in 2005 - will no longer be so low.

The NSX replacement's primary competition at Ferrari and Lamborghini will come most likely in the form of the F430 and Gallardo, respectively. Spencer said the new NSX would be priced to compete with them, but did not give a specific dollar figure.

Pricing the NSX's replacement at effectively double the price of the last model means Honda/Acura is positioning the car as a direct competitor to Europe's elite supercars - not a budget alternative.

Nissan's GT-R is priced to fit into the latter category, although its 2+2 seating configuration and hefty dimensions take it out of direct competition with lightweight two-seaters anyway. Lexus's LF-A supercar is perhaps a more direct competitor for the NSX replacement and its European counterparts, and rumors of its pricing range from just over $100,000 to nearer the $170,000 mark, tending to confirm that Nissan's GT-R isn't the LF-A's target, either.

When it debuted in 1990, Honda's NSX was hailed by many as one of the best performance cars ever to come out of Japan, and it equaled several of the established European sports cars of the day, including Ferrari’s 348. Its use of high-tech materials and design would set the standard for the next decade.

Although the original car’s 5.2 second 0-60mph time and 13.3 second quarter-mile time would qualify it more as a sports car than a supercar by today’s standards - Nissan’s latest 350Z posts similar numbers, and the standard Corvette coupe beats both figures by at least 0.4 seconds - the updated replacement is shaping up to be a purebred supercar, with a price to match.

Update: We originally reported that the NSX would be priced close to the Ferrari F430, however this has been denied by Acura and no dollar figure was given.

Acura NSX 1989-2005
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Comments (16)
  1. If they're going to price it that high they are really going to be disappointed. Even if its performance figures equal that of the F430's no one that is looking to buy an F430 or Gallardo is going to say "Yeah, but what about that Honda." Part of owning a supercar is not just having an exclusive car but also and exclusive marque as well, Honda cannot offer that to people "shopping" for cars in this segment.

  2. unless you are a honda guy, or a guy into sleepers, or just like the laughs you will be making as you keep up with ferraris IN A HONDA for some guys it's not about prestige it's about racing and head games come into that big time no one expects a honda to keep up with a honda if they don't know much about cars which is most people even rich ones so they wont know this new honda can contend with their car.

  3. Boy they are really ambitious ... I'll give them that much.
    Altho they really should fix some of their other problems first ...

  4. Fully agree with Stephen.
    The appeal of the Japanese (and the Corvette) sports cars is that they keep up with and even beat the supercars for much less money, and with better reliability.
    They should focus on that strength, as Nissan has with the GTR, Mistubishi with the Evo, Chevrolet with the Corvette.
    Ferrari doesn't make Accords, Lamborghini has no Odyssey, and Honda should make a car for the guy who drives a Pilot and now has a big bonus check and wants something from his beloved car company that really gets his blood going...

  5. Isn't SH-AWD FWD primarily with rear wheels kicking in independently when needed? Does not sound like right kind of drive train for supercar.

  6. no it sends most of the power to the front but 30 percent to the back and during full acceleration it sends 70 percent of the power to the rear tires and on cornering sends more power to the outside rear tire for better cornering and also adjusts for weather conditions think of it as active awd.

  7. well if its gonna be rear engined, the SH-AWD could work the same way, just backwards, sending power independently to the front when needed. As far as pricing goes, its a bit odd that they do this, they can consider it as an NSX replacement either, you can say "its our new flagship" but not the replacement. The really should try to focus on filling in that 50-70k void they have with a nice new reliable NSX true replacement.... if Nissan can get a mastodon 3800lbs car to deliver the goods, Honda should have no problem doing so in a lighther more "track" focused car as the NSX was...

  8. Ivan, I'm pretty sure they could set it up either way, especially if the engine is in the middle. The important part of SH-AWD is how the wheels are all hooked up to the engine and it replaces things like limited-slip differentials.
    As to the rest of you, I think it's odd that anyone would discourage Honda (Acura) from building a supercar that will be based on their heritage of winning plenty of Formula One championships (I don't see Lamborghini in that exclusive crowd). This sounds like the old argument of Porsche shouldn't make SUVs, Honda should stick to Lawnmowers and Suzuki should only make sportbikes. With the exception of the latter, I think we've been proven wrong, so let's see what this new Acura brings to the table before we lambast it.

    Of course, if I had that kind of cash, I'd want something red, Italian and reeking of hand-stitched leather.

  9. if it has a the same engine as honda's previous f1 engine(if any left), it should be a great car but only if they go this way, other wise I don't see a brand like honda which is base on getting the best out of a very little thing competing agianst who don't care about anyting but speed.It should've have been this way in the first place. Take them on with a new car. not that pic above. Saleen can do better.

  10. I am disappointed the car will be so pricey. I'm sure Honda will deliver the performance goods though.

    They are one of the most successful racing companies ever.

  11. @Roy:

    Porsche shouldn't make SUV's... :)

  12. Way to expensive, full stop

  13. @ roy, formula 1 championships? are you dellusional? Honda's only had a handful of podiums, nonetheless Firsts, and even more so "F1 Championships"

    I drive a Honda, and Support their efforts in racing, but all their "wins" are in MotoGP not car racing. in 2006 I believe they got 4th in the constructor Championship, closest to a "win" in F1.

  14. @ Mino, how long have you been watching F1?

  15. Honda/ACURA are out on a limb, just like the Democratic race for the White House! They need to shape up as this has been going round and round again, since 2005. Oh... the replacement is for 2006... no wait... 2007... nope... 2008... ok... now it's 2009... opps... 2010 and as far as I can see, there will never be a new car! IF... I am wrong and I say IF... who knows when it will actually get here to the US. Maybe sometime in the next decade... 2020 would be a good guess?! Why all the hoopla in the first place? There are way too many Super Cars with Super Prices on the market anyway! Even Porsche doesn't compete in that market anymore. Times are tough and there are only so many Super Rich people out there in the first place. What Honda/ACURA needs is what they have needed all along... I Corvette competitor in the $60K range! IF they did it right like the before... people would be lined up giving orders for the car. It would be the best thing to come along since the last NSX. So... WAKE UP... HONDA... Get your heads out of the clouds and come back down to earth where your cars are... OK?... OK!

  16. Acura - Get it together - you are blowing your brand that I respected so much. From sedans to the famed NSX, your are ** up. Focus, research, design, execute - in that order. An Acura over $100K at this point is NOT reality - for your brand or the buying public in a depressed US economy.

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