2008 Acura NSX prototype at the Nurburgring
Honda made the announcement about pulling the plug on what was supposed to be the second-gen NSX in December 2008.
2008 Acura NSX spy shot
Just a few months before, this prototype was spotted undergoing testing at the Nürburgring. Caught by spy photographers that summer, the test vehicle had the full production body in camouflage with an arctic camo pattern we haven’t seen in a long time.
2008 Acura NSX prototype
Save for the provisional headlights, the car looked just about ready to drop off the disguise and reveal its aggressive design that might make you think of the Lexus LFA unveiled about a year later.
2008 Acura NSX aerial view
Speaking of which, the aborted NSX was also developed to accommodate a V10 engine. Unlike the original mid-engined NSX, it was engineered to feature a front-mounted powertrain that was thought to be a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter with around 500 horsepower.
2008 Acura NSX profile
According to spy photographers, the V10 delivered a loud soundtrack channeled to those stacked quad exhaust tips somewhat similar to what you’ll find on an F-badged Lexus.
2008 Acura NSX prototype side
Earlier reports had speculated the powertrain would get electric assist, but Honda officials quashed those rumors in 2007, about a year before canceling the project.
2008 Acura NSX spy photo
Seeing the prototype after all these years might seem a bit sad given the fate of the car, but it’s a good reminder of how the second-gen model could’ve ended up considerably different than today’s NSX.
2008 Acura NSX rear quarter
The spy shots go to show the project was in an advanced development phase, with the car likely earmarked for a 2009 launch.
The new supercar was indirectly previewed in 2007 by the Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept.
2008 Acura NSX testing at the Nordschleife
While the road car never made it to production, the project wasn’t entirely abandoned. It served as a foundation for the HSV-010 GT race car that debuted for the 2010 motorsport season. A replacement for the NSX Super GT, it won both the team’s and driver’s championships in the Super GT series. Unlike the V10 road car before it, the track-only machine used a naturally aspirated 3.4-liter V8 with about 500 horsepower.
2008 Acura NSX spied from behind
Super GT rules called for the race car to be based on a production model, which the NSX technically wasn’t. However, there were some exceptions to the rule, with one of them being the use of a production-ready car even if that model wasn’t actually in production. In November 2016, the NSX-GT was revealed as the HSV-010 GT’s successor and was based on the current NSX.
2008 Acura NSX prototype rear
However, it swapped out the road car’s electrified twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 for a 2.0-liter unit channeling power to the rear wheels only. The GT3-spec NSX was also revealed in 2016 with a RWD layout and the road car's V6 sans electrification, while the nine-speed auto was replaced by a six-speed sequential gearbox.
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