Acura is allegedly already working on the next generation Acura NSX and this time it’s punching up a class as a full-fledged hypercar with a hydrogen-powered variant.
The new NSX has been on the market for a little over two years now, hasn’t sold more than a couple hundred despite being an absolute barn burner, but has overall been quite the achievement for Honda being the tip of the spear of a rejuvenated luxury marquee. But Acura isn’t done with the NSX yet, far from it. According to rumors already floating around VTEC.net from a handful of famed rumormongers from earlier this week (Jan. 29,2019) Acura is already hard at work working on a successor to the second generation NSX that’s going to be more powerful, be the pinnacle of the state-of-the-art for Honda and will set the tone for Acura (and Honda’s lineup for years to come.)
Here are all the quotes from this VTEC.net thread from RolledANSX.
- “I have been hearing the 3rd gen NSX will go Hypercar (FCEV and HEV.)”
- “CF Tub”
- “F1 Tech Engine Version (HERS and KERS)”
- “FCEV Version”
- “2024 to race at Le Mans”
And to add even more speculation and confusion, this new Hypercar won’t be the third generation NSX at all but will be something else entirely.
- “There might be two versions of the NSX or the Hypercar might just be a new model with a new name .”
Car enthusiasts and critics have waffled back and forth if the first gen NSX really was a supercar with a paltry 270 HP from its NA V6 engine despite the new for ’89 NSX being a revelation in supercar reliability for the supercar market.
There is no doubt that the second generation NSX IS a supercar. Combining three motors+ a 1.3 kWh battery pack with an ICE engine for a total of 573 HP and 476 lb-ft all while masterfully doling out torque vectoring at the front wheels is proving to be a bit too much for the current supercar market to handle and appreciate. Tl;DR the second generation NSX is amazing but isn’t selling well at all. According to GoodCarBadCar, there are only a tad more than 1,000 roaming the streets.
A hypercar will take what the current NSX is and incorporate everything and the kitchen sink that Honda is working on. Presumably, Honda is using F1 as a rolling test bed for this third-gen NSX’s carbon fiber monocoque chassis in stark contrast to the aluminum frame on the current NSX. Stronger, lighter, and more bespoke, a carbon fiber chassis is in line with what other hypercars have (McLaren, Porsche, Koenigsegg etc.) so it’s natural that Acura will ditch aluminum.
As far as an engine is concerned, as RolledANSX mentions, Acura will look heavily to its F1 program for engineering. Currently, Honda’s Power Unit in F1 makes upwards of 800 HP from its heavily turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 engine. If and when the new third-gen NSX comes out, I don’t think Acura will make a supercar solely from alternative energy but you can expect Acura to incorporate a smaller ICE engine than the current 3.5L unit already in the NSX. I don’t think Acura will straight up swap their 1.6L V6 into this NSX hypercar but they will downsize their ICE engine and will rely more on electric motors and of course, turbocharging, to boost horsepower and torque.
I’m going to estimate around 1,000 HP and 800 lb-ft when electric and ICE propulsion methods are going full bore.
What’s really intriguing about these rumors is a Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle variant. Currently, Honda’s Clarity FCEV makes 174 HP and 221 lb-ft thanks to its Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). The entire unit weighs 114 pounds, holds 33 liters, and has a 103 kw power output. Imagine, if for a moment, that combined with a V6 turbo engine of some sort is a fuel cell that pumps up power to that magical 1,000 HP number? I’m just throwing out hypotheticals here.
Honda (and Toyota) really threw their hat in with hydrogen tech so its only natural that Acura’s third gen NSX might have an H2 variant as proof of concept that hydrogen and performance can be in the same sentence.
Realistically Acura will throw in its latest battery pack but with a FCEV version, you’ll fill up your gas engine AND hydrogen tank, one for the ICE engine and the other for the electric motors. Now THAT’S state of the art.
Of course, this thrid gen NSX will look otherworldly, will cut through the wind like sliced cheese, and will be an engineer’s dream so to speak. If it’s going to race in LeMans in 2024, perhaps the shape and body design will be along the lines of a LeMans Prototype more than anything.
The third-gen NSX. It’s coming, more powerful, loaded with tech, and ready to wow the world with the best Honda has to offer.