Honda very publically announced last December that it would be dropping plans to launch a new V-10 sports car as a replacement for its Acura NSX but the company hasn’t completely given up on the performance concept. Next year Honda plans to launch the 2011 CR-Z but despite the car’s sporty styling at the end of the day it’s still just a pumped up hatchback.

If Honda were to launch a fully fledged sports car like the NSX again it would have to be very different to the current crop of high-end performance machines. CEO Takanobu Ito has revealed that Honda would consider launching a new sports car but only if it’s an environmentally friendly one.

"I would like to make a sports car," Ito said today on the sidelines of the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show. "Once we have that technology and once we have cash on hand, I would like to see Honda have a sports car that symbolizes our technology."

He went on to reveal that “it would be environmentally friendly and have great performance." Speaking previously, Ito also expressed his belief that “the era of V-10 engines is gone," a direct swipe at rival Japanese automaker Toyota and it’s recently unveiled 2011 Lexus LFA supercar.

Before you dismiss Ito as just a stuffy CEO with no performance blood in him, note that he was one of the key developers for the NSX.

Furthermore, Ito is not alone in his beliefs. BMW is also focusing on ‘green’ performance. The German automaker plans to replace its high displacement engines with smaller forced-inductions ones and is even working on a sports car of its own based on its Vision EfficientDynamics concept.

[Automotive News, sub req'd]