By Adejuwon Osunnuyi
Honda is plotting a faster, lightweight version of its NSX supercar that will be developed especially for track day enthusiasts, according to a new report.
Following in the tyre tracks of both the 1992 NSX Type R (or NSX-R) the two-seat supercar could go on a strict diet that could see it ditch the two electric motors that power the front wheels and its heavy lithium-ion batteries.
The all-new NSX, that still hasn’t been launched in Australia, is expected to land late 2016 comes with mid-mounted turbo 3.5-litre V6 that combines with a pair of electric motors to deliver a combined output of 427kW/646Nm. It uses a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission to put the power to the ground.
The car tips the scales at around 1725kg; not exactly lightweight, but it is expected to take just over three seconds to accelerate from 0-100km/h. Top speed is 307km/h.
The lighter NSX Type-R could shed hundreds of kilo as a rear-wheel drive sportscar, says British mag, Autocar, who revealed a hardcore NSX could be in the pipeline after speaking to the NSX Dynamic Development Leader, Nick Robinson.
Speaking to Autocar, Robinson said the lightweight version hadn’t been signed off but a NSX Type-R was a logical step.
“There are places weight could be cut out. We are Honda so cost is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?”
According to Honda, the NSX’s hybrid drive system weighs 150kg alone, although some of the system would remain, even in a rear-wheel drive format as the rear drive motor could act as an alternator, starter motor and flywheel.
Robinson also revealed in the interview that even in the standard NSX it will be possible to turn off the front electric motors in a special “maintenance mode.”
Comparing the process of switching off the front motors (and ABS) to a cheat in a PlayStation game the result, apart from odd steering feel, is a “drift machine.”
According to Robinson, the lighter rear-wheel drive model could also benefit from active aerodynamics that was developed specifically for the NSX, but the standard version does without.
Robinson also told Autocar that a targa, or roadster version of the NSX is also likely follow the coupe to market, thanks its exceptionally rigid construction that doesn’t require extra bracing to remove the roof.
“I’m not that convinced by a convertible myself yet, but [technically] it’s possible,” Robinson told the British mag.
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