(updated) 2009 Acura NSX spied at Nürburgring

(5 new images added) After an arduous day of preparation, Honda engineers have finally hit the race track in their mule for the next NSX. Seeing this prototype in the light of day reveals proportions consistent with Acura's Advanced Sports Car Concept, which debuted at the '07 North American International Auto show.

The S2000-based body panels used on this mule don't exactly correspond to the show car, but it may tell us of the direction Acura is traveling with the next NSX.

First of all, the stacked exhaust set-up on this mule looks similar to the placement on the concept. The mule's large central air-intake at the front suggests that the production NSX may veer away from the styling of the concept, which had a smoother nose with air-intakes mounted wide on the front bumper. Given the lukewarm reception given to the most recent NSX concept, the design transition from concept to production was expected to involve marked styling changes.

The expansive hood on this mule definitely looks large enough to handle a V-8 or V-10 engine.