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Honda NSX, ILX Sedan Concepts Confirmed For Detroit Auto Show Photo:
2007 Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Dec, 13 2011 | 1 Comment

Honda has confirmed that it will reveal an Acura-badged NSX concept at next month's Detroit Auto Show. This follows reports in recent months that the Japanese carmaker has been working on a new sports model.

Could Honda at last be on the verge of making a return to the rear-wheel-drive coupe realm?

It won't be the first time Honda has unveiled an impressive sports concept before banishing it to the back lot. But personal sports cars and coupes would appear to be going through a bit of a renaissance, and, touch wood, this time ought to be different.

With Nissan, Toyota and even Subaru all fielding rear-wheel-drive coupes, Honda's top brass has sent down the call to its track-hungry engineers: it's safe to go back into the water.

If you need more proof that there's a new NSX destined for the showrooms, Honda says the upcoming concept will represent "the styling direction for the next generation of Acura's super sports car".

That's a step up from the 2003 HSC concept and the 2007 Advanced Sports Car Concept, which Honda only ever described as "design studies".

Of course, those concepts came about long before Honda's NSX-loving CEO Takanobu Ito took the helm.

"I spent part of my early career at Honda developing the NSX, and specifically the aluminium body,” Ito told Britain's Autocar in a recent interview.

“I really enjoyed that experience, and learned much, so it is my wish that Honda engineers have the experience of developing a sportscar like the NSX in future. Within Honda, our engineers are already looking at developing such a car.”

The news of a new NSX concept follows photos of Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr driving a new Acura roadster concept on the set of the upcoming Avengers film. Whether this - or a hardtop version - is the car we'll see at Detroit, remains to be seen.


ILX Compact Sports Sedan Bound For Detroit

Honda has also confirmed that it will reveal a new Acura-badged compact sedan concept dubbed ILX.

The carmaker describes this concept as a preview for a new luxury compact sedan that will debut around the middle of next year.

Details for this concept are thin on the ground, although Honda has confirmed that three powertrains will be offered with the new entry-level Acura, including a new petrol-electric hybrid system.

Whether this model will be offered with a Honda badge outside of the US market is unclear.

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