TOKYO - Honda Motor Co. has long resisted a V-8 production engine, saying it can coax plenty of power from its V-6s.
But now it has decided that there's nothing wrong with a V-10.
Honda will install a V-10 in the Acura NSX successor. The 15-year-old sports car, powered by a V-6, will be dropped at the end of this year.
The NSX's V-6 produces 252 hp. For comparison, the Dodge Viper's V-10 produces 500 hp and the Porsche Carrera GT's V-10 produces 605 hp.
The Honda V-10 engine will be the company's most powerful engine for street-legal vehicles.
The NSX successor will debut in "three to four years," says Honda President Takeo Fukui. The car will be sold globally.
Why a V-10? Honda pride.
"We've got to be the top of the top (group) in producing engines," says Motoatsu Shiraishi, president of Honda R&D Co., Honda's engineering arm.
Shiraishi declined to provide technical details about the engine.
Honda sees no conflict between its goal to produce environmentally friendly engines and the V-10. The V-10 will meet strict emissions standards. And the NSX successor will be a low-volume car, the company says.
One analyst sees the V-10 as a sign that Honda is adopting a new engine policy that might include a V-8.
A V-10 engine will "help Honda build up a brand icon to push into the sporty luxury segment, including V-8 vehicles," says Kunihiko Shiohara, analyst at Goldman Sachs (Japan) Ltd. "If they don't get there, are they going to make the V-10 car just a symbol of Honda? If so, there would be no economic rationality."