For the past five years, rumors surrounding a new NSX "supercar" - the halo of the Honda/Acura lineup - have been circulating throughout the web, often generating tall tales and false information with sprinkles of factual evidence occasionally thrown in. From the beginning, many a diehard motor head demanded the next NSX have a particular contraption or technology, and if it doesn't there would be hell to pay. The funny part is the loudest of the bunch typically can't afford the lofty price tag that Honda / Acura expects will be well north of 100k.
In 2007, Honda hinted at a new flagship powered by a V10 mill with intentions of releasing the vehicle by 2010 and the ability to outrun all competitors on track. It was a lofty goal, overshadowed by the ill effects of a failing economy that seemed to get worse on a daily basis. With no end to the financial crunch in sight, Honda pulled the plug on the project and that was to be the end of the vision for the foreseeable future.
But Wait ...
Somewhere around 2009, rumors of the next generation NSX once again began to heat up, as Honda had to put an end to the original NSX Super GT's racing participation in light of new rules that would no longer allow mid-engine, RWD entries. In order to remain viable for the Japanese sports car series, Honda would unveil a new car, the HSV-010 GT, based on a front engine, RWD platform. The effort had people talking, and word spread like wildfire that this would eventually be the successor to the NSX. However, beyond the race series, the HSV never moved any closer to actual production.
... There's More
A few years later, in 2012, Honda unveiled a concept with a vision of V6 power assisted by Acura's SH-AWD system utilizing multiple electric motors. The idea was compelling, though no official details on the engine were ever released. That is, until the next wave of announcements began to pour out of the automaker's front office and sent shockwaves throughout automotive enthusiast circles.
Having relied on naturally aspirated power for years, most people weren't expecting to hear that the next generation NSX would be motivated by a twin turbo V6 utilizing direct injection, hybrid motor assist and a dual clutch transmission. Furthermore, the shape and design of the NSX had finally slowed and only minor changes were added to the body in recent months.
Now We're Movin'
In late 2013, a running prototype attended the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and Honda announced plans to build a 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE version as well. More recently, the new NSX showed up at the Nurburgring for what many are calling a final testing phase. Though it was draped in convoluted livery like most of the prototypes that make public appearances these days, you can clearly see some changes that have been applied to the car's front end. Most notable is the new lower grill that seems to pull the car away from the sharp, silver beak that's been so prominent on the Honda / Acura concepts released over the previous five years. Additionally, slightly refined headlights seem to fit the car a little better than the previous versions and the hood has been fitted with mild vents.
Are We There Yet?
If this is in fact the final iteration of the NSX prototype, then Acura is indeed on track for a 2015 release. The question then will be, who's going to buy it? At over $100,000, the offering is certainly risky, but if the car delivers the performance and technology promised, it could give Honda's mojo a kick-start and perhaps help to spawn a sporty, affordable offering like the discontinued S2000 - something that most enthusiasts feel is sorely lacking in the Honda/Acura lineup. And while the Internet hounds continue to demand certain horsepower numbers be reached and that the new NSX get this treatment or that, we'll stand by and wait for the big day so that we can finally decide if the wait was worth it.