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Is Honda contemplating an NSX Type R?

The new Honda NSX has only just arrived, but it seems the Japanese manufacturer is already entertaining the idea of a more powerful version.

“There are places were weight could be cut out,” NSX development leader Nick Robinson told AutoCar, suggesting the removal of one or two of the electric motors could make the Type R edition lighter than the current 1,725kg.

Robinson went on to mention Honda’s strong desire to build an NSX Type R and all but confirmed a limited edition version: “We are Honda so cost [of exotic materials on the regular car] is a consideration, but for a limited edition? Why not?”

Removal of the two electric motors that turn the front wheels would make the new NSX rear-wheel drive instead of all-wheel drive, leaving the 500bhp 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6 and one rear electric motor to do all the work.

A benefit of sending all power to the rear wheels is that the NSX Type R would be considerably better at burning rubber while going sideways. And that’s obviously a good thing.

The kerb weight would also be reduced as the complete hybrid powertrain weighs 150kg, of which the two electric motors and the associated batteries needed to keep them running take up a large portion.

So how potent would the Type R be? Think top-end Porsche. “We also benchmarked a Porsche 911 991 GT3,” he added, “but only for steering feel, that’s all. The GT3 is a very track focused car. But for a Type R, of course, it could be a direct competitor.”

Before you get too excited, it took decades for the new NSX to arrive so there’s going to be a long wait before the Type R edition goes on sale, if it ever does at all ─ Honda is yet to confirm anything. Plus there’s the fact an NSX Spider is more likely.

But no one would argue it makes the utmost sense for Honda to continue on with reviving its sporting heritage, using momentum brought about by the new Civic Type R (reviewed here).

The new NSX was finally given a price at the Geneva Motor Show 2016: £130,000 (before you factor in any extras). 100 pre-orders have already been placed for the car, which will be built at Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Centre in Ohio, America.

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