Honda has periodically dabbled in Formula 1, and apparently the Japanese carmaker was looking to cash in on its involvement in the sport by putting a V10 engine into the next-generation NSX. This was revealed by no less than Honda president and chief executive Takanobu Ito at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show.
According to Ito, Honda already had a V10 engine as well as a transmission to go with it ready for testing on a four-wheel-drive platform, making the new NSX a direct rival to the Audi R8 and the Lamborghini Gallardo.
"I was not very supportive," the Honda boss shared. "I felt that if the new car was to live up to the idea of the NSX, it should be smart-clever. We had to think about the essence of the NSX, namely, dynamic performance, so I had the development plan changed."
Ito, after all, knew what he was saying, being the project leader of the original NSX nearly 25 years ago.
"We needed to focus our attention on power-to-weight ratio and fuel efficiency, and began focusing on a hybrid to achieve this goal," Ito added. "There will come a time when there will be a diminishing of fossil fuels and stricter restrictions on carbon dioxide, and the only way to manage this is to recover energy during braking. We also have to think about yaw and good control of torque, hence the layout (we have chosen). Our direction is for a new car of the future."
And that is how the next-generation NSX went from being a V10-powered supercar to a mid-engine 2.0-liter V6 hybrid with three electric motors.
The new Honda NSX is due to go on sale in 2015.
Do you think Honda should have retained the V10 for the NSX, or is it doing the right thing by going the hybrid route?