Mike Stevens | Apr 26, 2011

Honda's NSX hero car is to make its fabled return to the supercar market after all, according to reports out of the Shanghai Auto Show this week.

Earlier reports claimed the new NSX would be downgraded from supercar to six-cylinder sports car, built on a reversed version of the Accord platform.

According to US industry paper Autonews however, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito has confirmed that a spiritual successor to the NSX is in development.

Don't expect a big Lexus LFA-beating V10 engine however: no details have been confirmed, but Honda is understood to have ruled out the big engine approach, going instead for an environmentally-friendly hybrid drivetrain.

"That's the kind of sports car we want to make," Ito reportedly told Autonews at the Shanghai show this week, describing a car that would be exhilirating to drive and environmentally-friendly.

Dropping the planned V10 heart in favour of a hybrid approach suggests Honda is watching closely BMW's Vision EfficientDynamics-based hybrid supercar.

Reports of a hybrid-based supercar marks a significant departure from the red-blooded NSX that was in development before the global financial crisis caused the project to be cancelled.

When it was first announced two years ago that the NSX spirit would live on in SuperGT track-only form, Honda confirmed the fiery HSV-010GT was actually a racing version of the aborted NSX.

Though details beyond CEO Ito's musing are absent, the new NSX will likely utilise a petrol-electric drivetrain with considerably more performance than the company's current hybrid sportscar, the CR-Z.


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