Spied: Is this the ZSX, Acura's "baby" NSX?

Honda has something up its sleeve.

Our spy photographers have stumbled across a mysterious new vehicle that could be our first indication that Honda is working on a smaller version of its Acura NSX sports car.

Rumors of a "baby” NSX have been flying since the hybrid supercar debuted in 2015, and we may finally have proof that Honda is developing such a vehicle. It remains unknown if the vehicle spotted today is a concept or simply a design study, but it certainly has many of the design elements of the NSX.

At this point we have far more questions than answers, but it's pretty clear that this mystery roadster uses a mid-engine/rear-drive layout. If the rumors are to be believed, this baby NSX (which could possibly be named ZSX) uses a pair of electric motors to drive its front wheels.

The conventional engine in the ZSX is likely the same turbocharged 2.0L turbo-four from the Civic Type R. On its own that engine is good for more than 300 horsepower, so this pocket rocket could potentially come with more than 400 horsepower once the electric motors are taken into account.

Previous reports have suggested this mini NSX will be built right alongside the full-size version of the sports car at Honda's Marysville, Ohio production facility. The Civic Type R's engine is also made in Ohio.

On an interesting side note, Australia's Car Advice posted pictures of what appears to be a coupe version of this mystery vehicle back in the summer of 2016. It seems unlikely that Honda would go to the trouble of making two different full-size models of a car that isn't intended for production. But then again, anything is possible.

Although this mid-engine roadster would likely be sold as an Acura in the United States, it could be marketed as a Honda is other global markets (just like the NSX). That could explain why this particular car is emblazoned with Honda logos. However, it's also possible that this car could be sold under the Honda brand as a successor to the S2000.

While we don't know exactly what Honda is up to, we sure are excited to find out. Stay tuned.

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