Where to for Honda now? Its near-production NSX supercar has been destroyed by fire while testing at the Nurburgring circuit in Germany, only months away from its expected first public outing at the Los Angeles motor in November.
Spy photographers from agency Automedia said the petrol-electric NSX was on its first lap of the 20.8km circuit when it burst into flames and was quickly destroyed. Both the test driver and passenger, believed to be a Honda engineer, escaped injury.
The same NSX had been photographed testing at the Nurburgring the day before without any issues (see previous story). The photos here show the NSX after the incident, along with emergency services and the truck about to take the burned-out wreck back to the Honda base. The tyre tracks left by the blazing Honda as it drifted on to the grass verge are clearly visible.
The mid-engineer supercar was due to go into production next February at Honda’s performance plant in the US state of Ohio, but this latest incident will almost certainly put a hold on that. Honda has yet to officially comment about the fire.
The NSX uses a complex hybrid powertrain combining a mid-mounted 3.7-litre V6 engine and three electric motors – two in the front, one housed in a duel-clutch gearbox in the rear – driving all four wheels. The arrangement is similar to that of hybrid supercars from Porsche (918 Spyder), McLaren (P1) and Ferrari (LaFerrari).
Honda has yet to confirm exact engine power and performance for the NSX, but it is expected to generate at least 375kW and be able to sprint to 100km/h in around 3.5 seconds. The 4.6-litre V8 in Porsche 918 generates 660kW/790Nm; the twin-turbo 3.8-litre V8 in the McLaren P1 is good for 673kW/978Nm; and LaFerrari’s 6.3-litre V12 delivers 708kW/900Nm.