Mid-engine Honda sports car surfaces in EU patent drawings
20 July 2017 - Autoblog
Based on new patent drawings, Honda clearly isn't done with sports cars.
The design you see above was registered and published by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and was first reported by AutoGuide. The drawings show a rakish, angular sports car design that is very clearly mid-engine. It could almost pass for a Lamborghini.
But the name on the design is Honda Motor Company, and aside from the name, it bares a strikingly similar appearance to a mid-engine design found in a Honda patent two years ago. In fact, the only major difference between this car and the older one (seen below) is the lack of a windshield and top. The shape of the lights and the grille, as well as the front fender vent and character lines running from it, are reminiscent of the S660 kei roadster for Japan. The large, angular intakes look more related to the Acura NSX, though.
Unlike the previous patent renderings of the car, this one has an interior, and the inclusion of it may be why the top and windshield are absent. The interior also leads us to believe that this design is for an upcoming concept. The steering wheel is a small, rectangular piece similar to what you would find in an F1 car or Indy car. The seats also look like thin buckets designed to be as sporty and light as possible. A production version would probably have a bit more cushioning and a round wheel. It does look like there is a pushbutton transmission setup in the center console like current Acuras, though.
So what does this mean? Honda is clearly still working on this design, and based on some of the more radical design choices for the interior, we're likely looking at a concept car that will show up in the next couple of years. Whether a concept will lead to a production car is tough to say. There's definitely room in Honda's global sports car roster between the S660 and NSX for something in between, and Honda has reported that it's getting pressure from dealers for sporty cars. The exterior design isn't so extreme it couldn't be tweaked for production, either. There have also been rumors that Honda is preparing a mid-engine hybrid sports car with the Type R's turbocharged four-cylinder. Honda also holds a trademark for the name "ZSX," which fits the naming scheme of the NSX and old RSX, but at least in Europe, Honda has held the trademark since 2009. We'll just have to wait and see what Honda does.