This year marks the end of the Acura NSX as we know it. Its swan song, the 600-horsepower 2022 Type S, saw only 300 made for the U.S. market, and all of them sold out in 24 hours. It’s barely disappeared over the horizon, but Acura’s V.P. and brand officer is already previewing the NSX’s third act.
Speaking with Nikkei Asia, Jon Ikeda was asked whether a third generation NSX was forthcoming. “I would bet on it,” he said. Ikeda also predicted that if the wager lands in his favor, “it’s going to be [all-]electric.” This falls in line with statements Ikeda made a year ago. At the time, he explained that the NSX emerges when parent company Honda wants to make a statement: The first generation was Honda’s vision for an F1-derived petrol-powered supercar; the second generation arrived as an affordable hybrid halo car in the age of gasoline-electrics. He didn’t elaborate on the third generation’s powertrain back then, but this time Ikeda was more adamant about electric power.
Part of Ikeda’s certainty, the article states, comes from global CEO Toshihiro Mibe’s commitment to electrify Honda’s lineup. Soon after taking the top job in April 2021, Mibe announced plans to convert Honda’s entire lineup to EVs and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2040.
As for what kind of car an electric NSX would be, Ikeda has some ideas. “It won’t be just about straight lines,” he told Nikkei Asia. Blistering acceleration is already common in the electric supercar world, so Acura would need to bring something novel to the table. Ikeda wants the NSX to be a technological showcase for ultimate handling as well, something the outgoing NSX did with its driver-focused Super Handling AWD system.
We’ve long bemoaned how the new breed of electrified supercars have incredible specs on paper, but somehow don’t feel as engaging to drive. That’s a niche Acura could fill.
In the often contentious give and take between American Honda and Honda Motor’s engineering departments, the Japan mothership tends to win out. However, these days Honda barely sells anything beyond kei cars in Japan. It’s up to leaders like Ikeda and those who understand the U.S. market to drag the company toward the performance-minded engineering philosophies Old Man Soichiro founded his business on.