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Here comes NSX Jr.

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Sounds pretty good to me.

A Baby NSX for Honda: Mid-Engine Cayman-Fighter Planned

<small class="post-credits" style="display: inline; color: rgb(136, 136, 136); font-size: 8pt; line-height: normal; font-family: Arial; vertical-align: 4px;">June 12, 2015 at 3:45 pm by Peter Lyon | Photography by Holiday Auto magazine</small>


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Call it a case of sibling rivalry. The new NSX is certain to enliven Acura showrooms when it arrives late this year, but what about Honda? Sure, the brand will be getting the new Civic Type R and possibly also a tiny mid-engine two-seater, the S1000, a more powerful export version of the Japanese-market S660 kei-car roadster. But how about a real, dedicated sports car that could be a halo model for the Honda brand? Well, it appears Honda will get exactly that, in the form of a slightly smaller, less expensive mid-engine sports car that is in effect a junior NSX.

The edgy Honda coupe boasts similar proportions to Acura’s new supercar. It also incorporates technology from the all-wheel-drive hybrid performance flagship. The image above is a rendering from the Japanese publication Holiday Auto, based on the latest inside information.

A source close to Honda tells us that the Japanese carmaker not only has been debating the viability of a third mid-engine model for several years, but that the green light for development has finally been given. Unsurprisingly, the United States—which will be the car’s primary market—was the driving force behind the decision to develop the coupe.
With development underway, engineers are leaning toward a longitudinally mounted 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC four-cylinder taken from the Civic Type R but tuned to generate an even beefier 330 horsepower. Additionally, the baby NSX will employ a version of the SH-AWD (Super Handling AWD) system from the upcoming Acura “sports hybrid,” with two electric motors driving the front wheels, while the engine and a third electric motor power the rear wheels. Total system output is expected to be 400 horsepower or better. A nine-speed dual-clutch automatic handles the shifting. (For reference, we expect the NSX to produce “more than 550 horsepower,” while the Civic Type R is rated for 306 ponies.)

To keep weight down, the car would use a bespoke aluminum space frame wrapped in body panels of aluminum and carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic. The special construction is one reason why the baby NSX would be assembled alongside its bigger sibling at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center in Ohio.

The target price for the Honda brand’s halo sports car is less than $100,000, which would put it up against theAlfa Romeo 4C and upper-end versions of the Porsche Cayman. We could get our first look at this happy product of sibling rivalry at the 2018 Detroit auto show.

 
But I already have NSX Jr.
RJu0VE.jpg


From their description, it actually sounds like they could be bringing back the Prelude line with a major boost.
 
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The picture posted by C&D is totally cartoonish.. looks like one of these super-deformed forum avatars !
A 6th gen Prelude with mid engine layout would really rock. Basically that's what the Alfa 4C achieved already. I just hope the design will drop the huge bulbous front in favor of something sleek.
 
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Patent leaks have already surfaced. One can expect the proportions will look very similar to this. Don't let the monochrome color and orthogonal drawing fool you. It's going to look pretty good it seems.
 
It's tough to get the mid-engine sub-exotic form-factor to look reasonably good and not stubby and awkward. The Elise, 4C, and recent MR-S all have/had a common shape, which had its appeal to some but not all. Whereas the 458, 12C, Gallardo “package” seems to be visually optimal for mid-engine offerings.

If it's similar to a Cayman, then that'll be interesting...
 
It looks like someone made some renderings based on the patent drawings. I'm really liking it.

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Source: http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2015/06/the-baby-honda-nsx-could-look-like-this.html
 
IMHO, that design is too similar to the NSX and will undermine NSX sales and values. Some consumers will not want to purchase a $160,000 NSX that is likely to be mistaken for a remarkably similar $40,000 Honda. Yes, it is common for manufacturers to have several cars with the same or substantially similar body styles (e.g., Porsche 911, Corvette, Jaguar F Type, BMW 5 Series), and the higher priced models are frequently mistaken for the lower priced models. However, in these instances: (a) all of the models are made by the same manufacturer; and (b) the price disparity between the highest priced model and the lowest priced model is not a factor of four. Moreover, in most instances, car manufacturers introduce the lower priced models first, followed by the higher priced models in the same body style. In this instance, purchasers of the higher priced models are aware of the lower priced options when they make their decision, and cannot complain that the manufacturer changed the playing field after they purchased their higher priced model. Consumers frequently get upset when their luxury purchases are undermined by subsequently introduced products by the same company that are very similar, but cost much less. I have seen this many times in the watch world. Watch company introduces a new model only in platinum . . . after selling out the limited edition for $35,000 each, the watch company introduces the exact same model in stainless steel for $7,000 . . . some of the platinum purchasers will not care because they know that they own the limited edition platinum model and they don't care that others might not see the difference . . . that said, other purchasers of the platinum model will get angry that their $35,000 watch is confused for a $7,000 watch, and that the secondary market for their $35,000 watch has been undermined by the subsequent $7,000 model.

Honda might make a ton of money selling "mini-NSXs," but NSX sales and values will likely suffer as a result.
 
IMHO, that design is too similar to the NSX and will undermine NSX sales and values. Some consumers will not want to purchase a $160,000 NSX that is likely to be mistaken for a remarkably similar $40,000 Honda. Yes, it is common for manufacturers to have several cars with the same or substantially similar body styles (e.g., Porsche 911, Corvette, Jaguar F Type, BMW 5 Series), and the higher priced models are frequently mistaken for the lower priced models. However, in these instances: (a) all of the models are made by the same manufacturer; and (b) the price disparity between the highest priced model and the lowest priced model is not a factor of four. Moreover, in most instances, car manufacturers introduce the lower priced models first, followed by the higher priced models in the same body style. In this instance, purchasers of the higher priced models are aware of the lower priced options when they make their decision, and cannot complain that the manufacturer changed the playing field after they purchased their higher priced model. Consumers frequently get upset when their luxury purchases are undermined by subsequently introduced products by the same company that are very similar, but cost much less. I have seen this many times in the watch world. Watch company introduces a new model only in platinum . . . after selling out the limited edition for $35,000 each, the watch company introduces the exact same model in stainless steel for $7,000 . . . some of the platinum purchasers will not care because they know that they own the limited edition platinum model and they don't care that others might not see the difference . . . that said, other purchasers of the platinum model will get angry that their $35,000 watch is confused for a $7,000 watch, and that the secondary market for their $35,000 watch has been undermined by the subsequent $7,000 model.

Honda might make a ton of money selling "mini-NSXs," but NSX sales and values will likely suffer as a result.

It's going to be ~$60K+ car and a 4 cylinder turbo versus a twin turbo 75 degree V6 that unique to the NSX at $150K+. I would be surprised if they even made it longitudinal like the NSX.

There's not going to be any sales cannibalized as they're totally different cars and price margins. If anything, it's going to appease the whiners that believe the NSX is too expensive. I'm sure they'll be plenty that still wished Honda made it with a V6, V8, V10, etc tho.
 
It's going to be ~$60K+ car and a 4 cylinder turbo versus a twin turbo 75 degree V6 that unique to the NSX at $150K+. I would be surprised if they even made it longitudinal like the NSX.

There's not going to be any sales cannibalized as they're totally different cars and price margins. If anything, it's going to appease the whiners that believe the NSX is too expensive. I'm sure they'll be plenty that still wished Honda made it with a V6, V8, V10, etc tho.

Agreed! I for one, am not in a position to purchase (at this point) the 2.0, but this is easily in my range and plan on buying one when they come out. Just for the record I am NOT whining! :biggrin:
 
I think if this had to be compared to an existing car, it would be something between an S660 (MR) / S2000 (FR, though nearly MR). Like the NSX, the S2000 was under Shigeru Uehara's R&D team.

It doesn't really matter though, as it may be branded as something completely different. Pretty exciting!

It's going to be ~$60K+ car and a 4 cylinder turbo versus a twin turbo 75 degree V6 that unique to the NSX at $150K+. I would be surprised if they even made it longitudinal like the NSX.

There's not going to be any sales cannibalized as they're totally different cars and price margins. If anything, it's going to appease the whiners that believe the NSX is too expensive. I'm sure they'll be plenty that still wished Honda made it with a V6, V8, V10, etc tho.

I hope Honda is in the same line of thinking as you, because I am okay purchasing this as a 4 cylinder turbo for $50-60k. I can't afford the NSX 2.0.
 
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I hope Honda is in the same line of thinking as you, because I am okay purchasing this as a 4 cylinder turbo for $50-60k. I can't afford the NSX 2.0.
That's directly in line with the carbon fiber laden Alfa 4C though. Do you think Honda still has it so they can produce a car that's just as light, but with a better engine ? Back in the 90's that would have been possible, but now ?
 
I think it's going to be some variation of the S660, which would be pretty sweet for my taste...


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My fear though is once the baby NSX comes out the prices of the gen1 NSXs may drop. There are a lot of us who can't afford the new NSX but may be willing to sell their old gen1 for a brand new baby. I for one was debating between a 15-yr old NSX and a newer S2000 when I decided to buy my NSX. Now Honda's giving us a new toy somewhere in between. It may hit the spot right-on for many of us.

But I'm speculating...
 
I think it's going to be some variation of the S660, which would be pretty sweet for my taste...


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My fear though is once the baby NSX comes out the prices of the gen1 NSXs may drop. There are a lot of us who can't afford the new NSX but may be willing to sell their old gen1 for a brand new baby. I for one was debating between a 15-yr old NSX and a newer S2000 when I decided to buy my NSX. Now Honda's giving us a new toy somewhere in between. It may hit the spot right-on for many of us.

But I'm speculating...

I feel the S660 variant that's US bound (if it even comes) will be something like a 1.0L S1000, and not the car we are talking about. The car that fits in between the range of the S660/S1000 and NSX sounds like it will be entirely different.

From what we can piece together, it sounds like it will look similar to the patent drawings that leaked which feels like a closer to production version of the display model at Honda SV. There's no question it will be mid-engine judging by the pictures. It would make sense to use the same 2.0L turbo from the CTR. What I question is whether they'll go with the 6 speed manual to please purists or go with the DCT. Also, I wonder if they will add the electric motors for more power and helping in the corners.

I have owned my S2000 for 8 years and still love driving it as my everyday, but I am willing to see what this hybrid solution is like with the DCT transmission. The gearbox on some of these new Caymans / M3s I've driven are still very responsive and fun. I'll always have a soft spot for a standard MT though.
 
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