Is the automaker wasting its time?
Acura is considering the idea of a lighter, track-focused variant of the new NSX supercar, which could even be rear-wheel drive only if the automaker were to skip over the NSX's hybrid powertrain. A lighter, faster version of the NSX sounds like a great thing, but we're sure Acura would find some way to mess it up. As of right now, the NSX has a mid-mounted twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that gets assistance from three electric motors for a total of 573 hp. A NSX Type R wouldn't be as powerful, but it would be lighter.
If Acura were to build a NSX Type R, it would most likely ditch the electric motors and its batteries to lose a substantial amount of weight. Dynamic Development Leader on the NSX project Nick Robinson confirmed to Autocar at the launch of the standard NSX that while the NSX Type R project hasn't officially been signed off, there are a lot of strong voices within the automaker for a more track-focused version of the supercar. Acura looks at the new NSX as the start of a new beginning of the company's sporting heritage and the NSX Type R would be the next logical step. The NSX's hybrid drive system weighs in at 330 lbs., but the NSX Type R wouldn't ditch all of the motors.
The rear drive motor would remain intact and act as an alternator, flywheel and starter motor. In addition to cutting out two electric motors, Acura would look into using lightweight materials. "There are places weight could be cut out," states Robinson. "We are Honda so cost [of exotic materials on the regular car] is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?" A rear-wheel-drive NSX will be racing at this year's Pikes Peak hill climb, which may reveal how far along Acura really is with coming out with a NSX Type R. Robinson also confirmed that a convertible-roofed variant of the NSX is likely to follow the coupe to market. While an NSX Type R sounds like a good thing on paper, we're not sure if the automaker will make it in the proper way.