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Hybrids are proliferating into racing series around the world, but not everyone has embraced the electrical current running through the automotive industry.
The original Acura NSX combined a supercar shape with a high-revving V6 engine where you might otherwise have expected a V8, V10 or even V12 engine. The new NSX, however, is going the high-performance hybrid route. The latest reports, however, indicate that Honda is developing a version of the NSX with a conventional powertrain as well. What we don't know, however, is whether the non-hybrid NSX will be offered as a road-going model, or whether it will be purely a racecar.
The impetus for developing the conventional NSX, according to the report from AutoGuide, is racing regulations. While Le Mans and Formula One racing allow for hybrids to compete, others do not. For instance, Honda may be keen to promote the new NSX in the Grand Am series in North America, which does not currently allow hybrids. Mazda is reportedly developing a diesel racer based on the next-generation Mazda6 for Grand Am, but it may be forced to race it in the GX class for experimental vehicles... something Honda may want to avoid.
Japan's own Super GT series is another likely destination for the competition-spec NSX, particularly considering that the original NSX and the HSV-010 that was originally planned to replace it both raced there with considerable success. But while the lower GT300 class includes hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Honda's own CR-Z, the higher GT500 class reportedly makes no allowances for hybrid racers. Organizers, however, made an exception to let the HSV-010 race in the series altogether, so we wouldn't be surprised to see Honda lobbying to change the regulations to allow its hybrid NSX.