Skip to main content

Rumored Acura NSX Type R could go rear-wheel drive

rumored acura nsx type r could go rear wheel drive 2017
Image used with permission by copyright holder
The Acura NSX hybrid supercar is an impressive technological achievement, but early reviews haven’t been wholly positive. Acura’s finest has been criticized for a lack of character and aggression. But the hardcore Type R model whispered about practically since the NSX was first revealed could cure that.

There is a “huge will” within Acura parent Honda to build an NSX Type R, reports Autocar. The NSX is sold as a Honda outside the U.S., and a Type R version of the previous generation was distributed in those overseas markets as well. While it hasn’t gotten the green light for sale anywhere, the new Type R could be a radical departure from the car Acura just launched, and something U.S. fans won’t want to miss out on.

The standard NSX has an all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain including a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6, a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission, and three electric motors. An NSX Type R would reportedly ditch the front motors, reducing weight and giving the car a livelier, rear-wheel drive setup. The third motor, which is mounted behind the transmission, would remain. It helps drive the rear wheels and smooth out the transmission’s shifts in the stock NSX.

Engineers could also make more extensive use of lightweight materials to bring curb weight down further. The NSX already features body panels made of aluminum and Sheet Molding Compound, and a chassis that’s mostly aluminum and high-strength steel, but that may not be enough. The Type R is envisioned as a track car that could go head to head with the Porsche 911 GT3, NSX Dynamic Development Leader Nick Robinson said.

He also said there has already been some experimentation with a rear-wheel drive NSX. The car apparently has a “maintenance mode” that Robinson likens to a video game cheat code. It shuts off all of the electric-motor assist, defaulting the car to rear-wheel drive. Honda also reportedly plans to enter a modified NSX with no hybrid components in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year.

Speaking of racing, an NSX Type R might also make sense if Honda or Acura follows through on rumored plans to race the new supercar long term. The company is reportedly preparing a version of the NSX for the popular GT3 class in both the U.S. and Europe. It will probably be easier for Acura to certify a non-hybrid version because it would be directly comparable to other cars in the class, and a road going Type R version would make for a nice marketing opportunity.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs Rivian R2: Is the much cheaper Rivian actually better?
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

Mercedes-Benz has finally taken the wraps off of the new "Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology." Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it's basically a new electric G-Wagon. It looks a lot like the G-Wagon you know and love, but with an electric powertrain and a battery. It's not the only electric SUV out there, however, and there are some great ones -- like the Rivian R2.

Both the Mercedes G580 and the Rivian R2 have a lot going for them, but they also approach the electric SUV slightly differently. Is one better than the other? I put the two head-to-head to find out.
Design
The approach that the two vehicles take to design is quite different -- and you might like one better than the other.

Read more
Mercedes-Benz G580 vs GMC Hummer EV: rugged EVs face off
2025 Mercedes-Benz G580 from three quarter view.

There's finally an electric G-Wagon. Mercedes-Benz unveiled the new vehicle, officially called the Mercedes-Benz G580 with EQ Technology, after months of rumors and camouflaged sightings. But it's not the only rugged electric vehicle out there. In fact, there are quite a few EVs that could be considered rugged -- like the Rivian R1S, the Rivian R2, and, of course, the Hummer EV.

But how do the Mercedes-Benz G580 and GMC Hummer EV compare? Is one a better rugged electric vehicle than the other? Here's a look at the two vehicles, head to head.
Design
If you love the look of recent-generation G-Wagons, you'll love the look of the new G580. To be sure, it isn't exactly the same as other recent models, but it's certainly close, with a squared-off design and sharp corners. It keeps the metallic ladder frame panels and the flat roofline, and it's available in a variety of colors.

Read more
The Kia EV3 could be the cheap electric SUV we’ve been waiting for
White Kia EV3

The Kia EV9 was already one of the cheapest ways to get an electric SUV, but now the company is taking things to the next level. After teasing the Kia EV3 last year, the car is now official.

The EV3 is built to be a slightly smaller, cheaper version of the EV9 -- following the path of the Rivian R2, which arrived after the Rivian R1S. It's certainly not as technologically advanced as the EV9, but it still looks unmistakably like a modern Kia, and is clearly a sibling of the larger SUV. On the outside, the vehicle has the same split taillights and very similar Tiger Face front. But it is quite a bit smaller. The vehicle will be available in nine finishes -- however only "Aventurine Green" and "Terracotta" are being announced right now.

Read more