It has barely ticked past the year mark into the production of the second-generation Honda NSX and already there’s some murmurs of a potential sort-of-sequel. But while the current car is a hybrid that employs a mid-mounted 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 working in tandem with three electric motors, this follow-up is to be fully electric.
All this comes from an Autocar report that says Honda is intrigued enough by the performance potential unlocked by the company's development of their 746kW racer that they sent blasting up the Pikes Peak hillclimb last year.
Sekino Yosuke, head of Honda’s research and development division, revealed that a potential all-electric NSX based on the current-generation car is under consideration to be pursued as a production car, and will use a similar powertrain to the one ran at Pikes Peak - the NSX EV concept - and its 4-motor layout, one for each wheel.
Even in production guise, Yosuke’s speculations paint a car with power and acceleration figures to rival the best of today’s hypercars: 2.5 seconds from 0-100km/h, 0-200km/h in 6.2 seconds, “around 1000hp” or 746kW and torque measurements well into 4 digits.
“The technology used on the Pikes Peak car could be interesting,” said Yosuke. “It's not just a competition car; I would like to make such a car in production, and there are some studies around that. We want our electric cars to be joyful to drive,”
At the famed hillclimb event in Colorado last year, the NSX EV Concept took a third overall finish despite tipping the scales at 1.5 tonnes. Obviously, the strains placed on a race car are very different to those applied to road vehicles. For example, the racer was only required to run at full tilt during during the 20 mile sprint to the summit, and nothing else.
However, those familiar with the technology the car used told Autocar that repurposing it for the road shouldn’t prove all too hard. Its batteries, for example, have enough capacity to take it roughly 320km on a charge if driven at moderate speeds. And since a potential production car would not require the sophisticated cooling of NSX EV Concept, more weight can be cut, resulting in even more range than was previously quoted.
While this - a real fully electric NSX with huge performance and zero emissions - is technically achievable, the prospect of that happening would take a few years at the earliest. The NSX, as previously mentioned, has only been in production for a year (made in Marysville, Ohio) and still has several planned variants to debut first, such as a roadster and an even more high-performance Type R.
Furthermore, Honda is unlikely to pursue a fully electric sports car until electrification spreads to their more mainstream models. Given the potentially acute needs of a high performance EV, it’s speculated that the car could only debut after 2023, when appropriately advanced battery technology has come about.