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by Jay Traugott
Along with an all-new NSX, Acura has potential plans to build a smaller and cheaper sports car that'll also have many of the former's hi-tech features.
Once upon a time, before the world was crippled by recession, Honda had plans to launch an all-new NSX that wouldn't likely bring in huge profits but would certainly help to reestablish the Japanese automaker's high-performance credibility. Then the global economy tanked and the NSX project was shelved. Fortunately Honda's situation has by now improved. That beautiful all-wheel-drive NSX hybrid concept first shown last January at Detroit is proof, and is now heading to production - possibly with the addition of a baby brother.
Motor Trend is reporting that in addition to a new NSX, Honda also had plans in 2008 to do a "Small NSX" and now it's supposedly back on the agenda as well. A Honda source has told Motor Trend that this car is not so much a spiritual successor to the dearly departed Honda S2000, but more of a "shrunken version of the big-boy NSX". Along with having the new NSX's SH-AWD system and mid-engine layout, this smaller sports car could be powered by a turbocharged direct-injection engine, most likely a four-cylinder unit. The new production NSX will debut in 2015, so it's reasonable not to expect the Small NSX to be ready before 2017.
Pricing will likely be in the neighborhood of $50,000-$60,000 (Porsche Boxster territory), a relative bargain considering the amount of technology it'll hopefully share with the much more expensive NSX.