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With 500 horsepower on tap from a sophisticated hybrid powertrain, there's plenty to love about the new Acura NSX. If the more performance-oriented elements within the Japanese automaker get their way, it could get even better.

Speaking with one of the NSX project's chief engineers Nick Robinson at the launch of the new supercar, Autocar reports that there's an effort underway to develop an NSX Type R. Following a much-loved formula, the more extreme variant would pack even more power than the existing version, unburdened by excess weight.

A big part of the targeted weight savings would come from ditching some of the heavier components from the hybrid system. The electric motor at the rear could stay to serve as alternator, starter motor, and flywheel. But the electric motors at the front would go, helping to shed a few hundred pounds. Throw in some lightweight materials and we'd be looking at a considerable weight reduction. It could even integrate some active aerodynamic elements that were excluded from the NSX on the road to production.

Though the project may still be a ways off from getting the green light, but Robinson and some of his colleagues are working on prototypes ostensibly to make the case. He and his brother James (a powertrain engineer at Honda) will be driving a pair of NSXs at Pikes Peak this year – one that's as close to showroom stock as the regulations will allow, but the other will be closer to what they have in mind for a Type R. It'll ditch the hybrid system and put an electric compressor in its place to eliminate any turbo lag and produce even more power than the existing model. Now if they can only get the go-ahead from the higher-ups at Honda.

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