Honda NSX set to return as halo in radical new EV line-up

Honda NSX EV Autocar render
Honda NSX EV Autocar render

New NSX will adopt more aggressive cab-forward silhouette than its Saloon sibling

The Honda NSX is tipped to return with electric power in the coming years as part of the Japanese firm’s radical new EV line-up.

Following the unveiling of the Saloon concept, which will become the first car in the new 0 Series line-up, company CEO Toshihiro Mibe revealed that Honda is already “researching sports cars in the EV era” and he even went so far as to confirm that “at the R&D centre, we have a sports car”.

He stopped short of confirming any details of what the production version of Honda’s first electric sports car would look like but said work is “steadily proceeding” on its development.


However it is positioned, the sports car is set to serve as a halo for the 0 Series range of electric cars. These models will hit the market from 2026 with a raft of technical innovations aimed at maximising interior space, reducing battery weight and improving efficiency – all while promoting the ‘joy of driving’ with a focus on driver engagement.

As part of this line-up, the sports car will take its lead from the 0 Series concept revealed at CES earlier this month in adopting a low-slung, cab-forward profile and a minimalist, driver-focused cockpit that aims to eradicate distractions.

Honda Zero saloon concept side
Honda Zero saloon concept side

The battery will be significantly slimmer than those fitted to Honda’s current EVs and propulsion will come courtesy of e-axle drive units, which comprise the motors, inverters and gearboxes in one compact unit – all in the name of optimising interior space.

Importantly, said Mibe, a sporting EV will “have a completely different taste” from any performance car Honda has launched before, hinting that a core component of the R&D programme is investigating how such a car can have a distinct character and be truly engaging to drive.

As part of that process, Honda is “doing a good analysis” of the current electric sports car market, he said, although he did not name any competitor cars.

Mibe’s revelation follows similar comments from Akio Toyoda, chairman of rival brand Toyota, who confirmed last year that his company had begun testing its own electric sports car prototype. Like Mibe, he declined to give any technical details, but said: “The first priority of making these kinds of cars is that they need to be fun to drive, no matter what powertrain they use.”

Just as Toyoda is a vocal exponent of Toyota’s continued investment in performance cars, so too is Mibe a driving force behind bringing a Honda sporting EV to fruition. “We have not decided on mass production or timing,” he said, “but, personally, I would like to make it happen.”

It was Mibe who confirmed, way back in 2011 when he was Honda’s R&D boss, plans to revive the NSX for a third generation with an electrified powertrain, telling Autocar then that he believed “electric or hybrid vehicles can be fun as well as economical”.

2020 Honda NSX front cornering
2020 Honda NSX front cornering

More recently, he doubled down on this notion at the reveal of the new Prelude coupé concept. He called the sporty hybrid a showcase of “Honda’s unalterable sports mindset” and pointed to the firm’s continued involvement in Formula 1 as a sign that it remains committed to performance.

Notably, Honda’s US-market premium brand Acura has already previewed its own vision of an electric supercar, with early images hinting at an aggressive, cab-forward silhouette that mimics the mid-engined layout of the NSX. It has not, however, confirmed a date for the full unveiling, and nor has Honda itself linked itself to the project.