• Nov 16th 2009 at 2:01PM
  • 14
Honda NSX Mule - Click above for high-res image gallery

When we sat down with a few Honda execs at SEMA, we were told to "watch out for something big" from the automaker's motorsports efforts in Japan early next year. It didn't take much to deduce what they were hinting at: Honda plans to fill the vacuum left by the recently departed NSX-R in SuperGT with an all-new vehicle for the 2010 season.

As you'd expect, the Japanese media has hopped all over the recent rumors, with BestCar putting out a rendering of the fabled GT500 class contender. Unfortunately, beyond a possible V10 powerplant, details on the vehicle are scarce and the demise of the production version leaves more questions than answers. According to 7Tune, Honda is campaigning SuperGT organizers to give the automaker a pass on its homologation requirements, allowing the front-engined coupe to enter the series without a road-going version available to the public. Considering SuperGT's stringent requirements, we're not sure how that's going to play out, and since we haven't seen development mules testing since June of last year, we're all the more skeptical about Honda's triumphant return to the GT500 ranks. We're hoping to know more before the end of the year, so stay tuned.

[Source: BestCar via 7Tune]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      looks production ready, just release the damn thing!
      • 5 Years Ago
      So they want to race without a road-going homologation version.
      WHY do they want so bad NOT to build a supercar?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Excellent question. Dumb move on their part. I guess they could use an S2000 chassis in the interim?
        • 5 Years Ago
        So they want the bonus exposure without paying the price?

        I'd say, nah, not unless we open up a new prototype class for everybody...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe they so badly don't want to lose money on each one like Toyota.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That rendering looks hideous
      • 5 Years Ago
      If its a SuperGT GT500 car then it'll be a 3.4L V-8 as are the regulations. Honda can take it from their LMP racer cars that they already are running.

      The 3.4L V-8 race engine is designed to be compatible with IRL, Le Mans, and Formula Nippon. Which is why GT500 has moved to those engines, GT300 allows for any production engine to be used.

      SuperGT requires that the chassis is based on a road going production car. As the article states they are hoping the regulators will remove that requirement.

      Here's the thing, Super GT is insanely competitive right now. Nissan is running their GT-R a 3.4L V-8s, and Toyota will likely race the LF-A with regulation engine. Honda has nothing at this point...
        • 5 Years Ago

        1.) GT500 cars need to be based on a production chassis, which is what this entire conversation about Honda comes from. They are not tube frame chassis, however a tube frame can be used to strengthen the production chassis (not to mention all the CF bits).

        In the case of GT500 the rules are relatively flexible, if they wanted to enter the LFA they could merely adapt the current SC GT500 chassis and call their entrant a LFA with a few modifications (much like how Nissan had the Fairlady and GT-R entry in 08') They don't need to re-adapt the entire car from scratch. The fact they have a production carbon-fiber chassis as their base obviously gives them more flexibility, but again, that too isn't necessary if they just want to use their current chassis.

        The fact that Toyota uses the SC, and Supra before that isn't meant to sell the specific car, its designed as a promotional incentive for the brand.

        2.) My point was that GT1 entries can be made in GT500, and not the other way around. And not that GT500 and GT1 cars are the same. If Nissan wanted to combine their GT1 and GT500 efforts they are allowed to. However, they would need to significantly reduced the weight of the GT1 car.

        Let's also keep in mind GT1 homologation regulations are also relatively flexible, but are also inconsistent as well. The Maserati MC12 was only this year allowed to score points even tough they met the production requirements.

        The MC12 also illustrates why GT1 and GT500 are so different. Team Goh's MC12 entrant in 2006 showed their lack of pace. In fact, the MC12 was the fastest on the straights then any other car, but Japanese GT500 tracks are very compact and full of curves, hence the longer wheelbase MC12 wasn't very successful in the corners (which is why they pulled out).
        • 5 Years Ago
        Lexus will not race the LFA in super GT. The SC will continue on, and they are already using their new 3.4 V8. Toyota/Lexus have one more year on that chassis and then the will probably change over to the next gen SC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        1- I have it on good authority that the LFA will not be raced in Super GT. It also doesn't need to be. Furthermore, there is no way that it would be competitive against tube-framed, purpose built race cars. It is bloody fast, but I don't think that any production car could keep pace around the track with a GT500 car. They are just about the fastest GT cars out there today in fact. In any case, a 500 model run exotic does not need to be ran on the super gt circuit. It would just serve no purpose. The LFA has been raced while it was under development, and it has served it well. It will only be produced for two years, no need to further develop it on track, and no need to market it it, because I'm betting they are pretty much all spoken for.

        2- The GT-R entered in the FIA GT1 class is NOT a super gt500 car, nor is it eligible to enter in GT500 and would be slaughtered even if it could be.
        • 5 Years Ago

        GT500 cars and GT1 cars are fairly compatible, but not both ways. GT500-spec GT-R is entering into FIA GT1 as you've stated, and the GTA does allow GT1 cars into GT500. As is the case of the Nova's DBR9 GT1 car.

        Who knows, Honda may make a low production run of these cars. Nissan is rumored to be making a limited run of 300 cars for their GT-1 car the R35 LM. GT1 only requires 20 vehicles for homologation.

        BTW this SuperGT contender is not a tube-frame, supposedly its the chassis designed for their new NSX.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Cypher09

        First off, allowing your sport fall to the whims of the FIA aren't preferable. SuperGT is the Japanese equivalent of the DTM. Its a popular regional racing series that the GT1 isn't. As I said before, GT1 cars are allowed to compete in GT500, not the other way around. Also, like DTM they want to standardize engines so that the racing is better, and to reduce costs (granted, only Toyota is following the regs this season).

        What companies like Nissan and Honda can do is to make their vehicles meet FIA GT1 regulations and it will be allowed to race in GT500, that option is available. Nissan may be going this route. Also consider that small teams like Nova aren't competitive in GT500 because their comparative budget and team is small; GT500 is an expensive sport. GT300 is designed for privateer teams, and GT500 is designed for factory teams.

        Using the 3.4L V-8 also isn't isolationist. Its designed to be compatible with ACO LeMans as well as series like IRL, Formula Nippon, etc. The Nissan V8 is also related to the Renault V8 that is raced in GP2. Let's also consider that Porsche/VW also have 3.4L V8s ready for their LeMans efforts, and Toyota's engine is a derivative of their old IRL efforts. These will be the standard engines in LeMans starting in 2011.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I still don't understand why they don't run the new FIA GT1 regs in GT500 & leave GT300 open for all the weight adjusted one offs and RWD converted Corolla sedans. The GTR is already done up for GT1 and with all the motor swapping leeway that's in the new rules Toyota should should have no problem putting together a LF-A or SC.

        Either way Honda should be put on notice, if they want to go sports cars racing you must first build a sports car. If you want to dabble with tube frames and silhouettes that have nothing in common with your production cars, there is always NASCAR.
      • 5 Years Ago
      HaHa very funny honda, after cancelling the NSX successor and withdrawiing from the F1 team just before they won everything, you really are a laughing stock. I wont get my hopes up for anything coming form your stable because the company has lost the talent that made them special in the first place. Nevermind.
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