Acura NSX Slated for Detroit Show

Like the last NSX, discontinued in 2005, the new model will serve as a halo car for the Acura brand.

December 17, 2014

3 Min Read
Production Acura NSX to debut at NAIAS
Production Acura NSX to debut at NAIAS.

DETROIT – Acura will stage the long-awaited debut of the production NSX supercar at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month.

“It’s a wonderful car. I think it will be as demonstrably different and groundbreaking as the original was,” John Mendel, executive vice president-American Honda, tells media here Tuesday during the automaker’s annual Detroit holiday party.

The Acura brand showed a concept NSX at the 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Details on the production NSX are scant, but the vehicle will have the concept’s 3-motor hybrid system mated to what Mendel calls an “all-new engine.” He won’t talk specs, but promises the car has “immediate torque.”

A V-6 twin-turbo is the expected gasoline engine.

As the last NSX did, Mendel expects this model to serve as a halo for the Acura brand, a car that brings buyers into showrooms, even if they don’t necessarily intend to purchase it.

“It’s to prove we can,” he says, noting the NSX is a “Ha!” to naysayers who claimed Acura had lost its way.

The brand is not releasing a sales target for the supercar.

“We think there’s a pretty good market for this car, in this range, but yeah, this is not a 30,000-unit-a-year vehicle,” Mendel says. “But we hope we are not able to keep up with demand.”

Honda has no official program to collect hand-raisers, but that hasn’t stopped dealers from taking orders.

“Our dealers are telling us they have quite a few orders...so that’s been a good thing,” Mendel says.

Pricing likely will be in the six-figure range, he says, jokingly noting the NSX will be “over an Accord but less than, say, a (Bugatti) Veyron.”

Mendel tells the media here 2015 will be “the year of Honda,” due to the automaker’s aggressive product-launch schedule.

At Honda, the brand will debut the new HR-V compact CUV, plus new generations of the Pilot midsize CUV and Ridgeline compact pickup.

At Acura, a heavily refreshed version of the ILX entry sedan is due, as are “advancements” to the RDX and MDX CUVs, likely refreshes for those models as they enter the third and second years of their current generations.

Honda also is slated to launch a new series of turbocharged small engines at its Anna, OH, engine plant. The engine family is due to include a 1.0L 3-cyl. and 1.5L and 2.0L 4-cyl. units, all with direct injection.

In non-auto product news, the automaker will return to Formula 1 racing, 50 years after its first F1 win at the Mexican Grand Prix, and launch the HondaJet business plane in the second quarter.

Honda may have “the very real possibility” of hitting record sales in the U.S. in 2014, Mendel says.

Through November, the brand has sold 1.404 million units, WardsAuto data shows, a 1.0% climb from like-2013. American Honda achieved record U.S. sales of 1.55 million units in 2007.

Honda’s other big news in 2014 has been the ongoing recall of products fitted with faulty Takata airbags. Mendel says Honda continues to “diligently (try to) get customers back in,” as criticism mounts automakers aren’t doing enough to find second or third owners of vehicles.

“Any safety-related recall, we work extremely hard to track those people down,” he says, noting he’s done hours of video testimony on the Takata recalls but that Honda has said publicly all he can legally say on the matter.

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