Unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, the all-new Acura NSX isn’t just the flagship for the brand, it’s a technology showcase for new hybrid and all-wheel drive technologies. It comes as some surprise then to hear then that the Honda luxury division may be planning a non-hybrid version of the supercar.
Speaking with an individual involved in Honda’s motorsports efforts, AutoGuide has been informed that a conventional gasoline powered NSX may be under consideration – though perhaps only for racing. The reason behind the rumor is that Honda has confirmed it will take the NSX racing and that it wants to showcase the car in the best way possible.
Our source commented on possible competition in North America, highlighting the Grand Am series as one option. Currently, however, hybrids are not allowed to race in the series except in the newly created GX class for experimental technologies. While that would seem fitting, we’re told Honda (understandably) has no interest in competing at that level, alongside Mazda’s new diesel effort, which is believed to be based on the upcoming 2014 Mazda6. Honda is eager to showcase the NSX as a genuine competitor to the likes of the Porsche 911 and Audi R8, rather than being lumped in with a family sedan.
Asked if the NSX race car will in fact be a hybrid, Acura PR
manager Gary Robinson said that while, “we do intend to race the new NSX… it is much too early to discuss where or what the specifications might be.” Robinson did, however, rather decisively shoot down the rumor, commenting that, “You can expect that any plans we make will be consistent with the concept and purpose of the car.”
While he didn’t comment on US racing initiatives, he did make it clear that Honda plans to prepare the new NSX for competition in the Japanese Super GT Series. “Under the current Super GT regulations, a hybrid AWD wouldn’t be allowed,” he said, but much like the Grand Am or even ALMS series, “future regulations are not known.”
Expect Honda to lobby series such as Grand Am to allow for hybrids to compete alongside conventional sports cars in the coming years.