Watch out, Porsche: Honda could take on the Cayman with a baby NSX

Honda sub-NSX roadster
HolidayAuto
The long-awaited 2016 NSX will be sold as an Acura in the United States, leaving Honda without a dedicated sports car. To remedy the situation, the Japanese car maker is reportedly developing a sub-NSX sports car that will be badged as a Honda all around the world, not just outside of the U.S.

The yet-unnamed model will take the form of a mid-engined two-seater that will be offered as both a coupe and a convertible, and its proportions will be very close to those of the NSX. A rendering published by Japanese magazine Holiday Auto provides valuable insight into what the convertible version of the model could look like.

The NSX is powered by an advanced gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain that teams a mid-mounted twin-turbocharged V6 engine with three electric motors. The smaller model will also be a hybrid, but its drivetrain will be less powerful and a lot simpler because it will be built around a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder borrowed from the Civic Type R parts bin. The four will spin the rear wheels, while an electric motor will be tasked with zapping the front wheels when additional power and grip are needed.

Lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber will keep the sports car’s weight in check. It could be built alongside the NSX at Acura’s new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, a move that would allow Honda to benefit from economies of scale.

Honda’s sub-NSX model is being largely designed for the United States, so it will be presented either at the Los Angeles Motor Show that will open its doors in November or at the Detroit Motor Show that will kick off the following January.

If everything goes according to plan, the coupe will land in showrooms next summer as a 2017 model. It will fight in a highly competitive segment against cars like the Alfa Romeo 4C and the Porsche Cayman.

What’s next?

Honda has all but confirmed plans to introduce a more powerful version of the lilliputian S660 kei car developed primarily for markets outside of Japan. Tentatively called the S1000, the roadster will ditch the 660’s 63-horsepower three-banger in favor of a Mugen-tuned turbocharged 1.0-liter four-cylinder capable of delivering about 140 horsepower. However, whether the S1000 will be sold in the United States is an open question.

Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Cars

Self-driving, electric, and connected, the cars of CES 2019 hint at the future

Car companies remained surprisingly quiet during CES 2018. But they spoke up in 2019. From electric hatchbacks you can buy in 2019 to super-futuristic mood-detecting technology, here are the major announcements we covered during the event.
Cars

Lexus LC convertible concept teases a new open-air flagship

Debuting at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Lexus LC convertible concept adds open-air motoring to the sleek LC's resume. But Lexus won't commit to a production version of the car just yet.
Cars

Fast and Furious fans get revved up: Toyota’s Supra sports car is back

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.