At a press conference in early February, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito shocked the world's media when he nonchalantly revealed plans to launch a detuned production version of the V8-powered HSV-010 race car. Of course, he was referring to a road-going variant of the NSX successor project, which was shelved several years ago.
As it turns out, the next NSX (which is expected to be powered by a 400-plus hp V-8) features heavily in the company's renewed plan to pump out as many as 3 sports cars over the next several years.
Just over 6 weeks ago, a killer earthquake and tsunami threatened to cancel this about-face from Honda, and rob us of some of the most exciting news to come out of Japan since the Nissan GT-R surfaced three years ago.
But a reliable source close to Honda tells us that while these plans have been postponed as the company sorts out its parts supply problems, they are not dead in the water. In the last few weeks, we have been hearing that Honda is working on a high performance coupe powered by a 3.5 liter V-6 plug-in hybrid, a concept that Ito himself briefly mentioned.
The rebirth of the Acura RSX, the car you see pictured here in an artist's representation, is also on the near-term agenda. According our sources, the next-gen RSX will inherit a version of the just-launched 9th-generation Civic Si's 201 hp, i-VTEC 2.4 liter gas engine with slick 6-speed manual and helical LSD. Fitted with specially tuned sports suspension, the new RSX will also employ an interior inspired by the current Civic Type R and an exterior in a sharp, wedge shape.
Further down the line, Honda is also said to be developing a "more reasonably priced" C-segment sports coupe. Driven by a strong request from North American Honda dealers, this coupe is being developed with that market in mind and will incorporate Accord hardware.
1 other concept that we have covered before and awaits the results of Honda's so-called "R-evaluation executive session" is a successor to the Beat. The original Beat was an open-top 2-door, mid-engined 660cc minicar that could rev to 8500 rpm, and the next generation promises to be a new interpretation of that concept with a 1.3 to 1.5 liter gas engine. If built, don't expect the Beat to come to the U.S. We have also heard rumors of a hotter CR-Z getting a 190 hp-plus 2.0 liter gas unit, but that's all we have at the moment, rumors.