Honda has filed patents in Europe for a mid-engined convertible, suggesting the company is working on a compact sports car to compete with the likes of the Mazda MX-5 and Fiat 124 Spyder.
According to the UK’s Autocar magazine, these patent images turned up at the European Union Intellectual Property Office’s website, clearly showing a two-seat, open-top car built around a mid-engine layout.
Autocar’s contention is this will become a compact roadster that will slot below the hybrid 2017 Acura NSX supercar, which bears the Honda badge in other markets, including the UK.
But the British publication suggests the new car wouldn’t be a technological powerhouse to the same degree as the AWD NSX, which puts electric motors at each front wheel, along with a third that works in concert with the rear-mounted gasoline engine. They suggest this new, smaller sportster might be powered by gasoline alone, a theory that works if they’re right about Honda targeting the MX-5 and its ilk.
In that case, the 2.0L turbo four-cylinder in the Civic Type R would be a good candidate, but we’re keeping a more open mind and think it possible Honda might plug in the standard Civic’s 1.5L turbo mill along with an electric motor to make sports car power. And in these drawings, we see a fairly wide central console, suggesting the engineers behind these drawings have at least left room to move motive power front to rear, whether that be via a mechanical driveshaft or high-voltage hybrid wiring.
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