The new Honda NSX will go on sale early in 2016 and will be aimed at the Ferrari 458 Italia in terms of performance, according to Ted Klaus, the NSX's head of development.
'We have to achieve the type of acceleration that the customer is achieving with the Ferrari,' said Klaus. 'More importantly we have to achieve this every day and also at the Nurburgring.'
However, he said that the intention is to keep Honda's new petrol-electric hybrid supercar more affordable than the 458. 'I think we are aiming within the range of the Audi R8,' he said. 'I realise that is a wide range but the NSX will still be extremely accessible.'
Klaus also said that Honda aims to match the sales figure of the Audi R8, rather than those of the much more popular Porsche 911. 'We will not seek to meet demand – there is value in making the product rare,' he said.
However, while there might not be loads of NSXs sold, customers are eventually likely to have a choice of different bodystyles and power outputs.
'I think we would be foolish to develop NSX without open-top intentions down the road,' said Klaus. 'Should you do a convertible first, should you do a higher performance version first – these are challenges for us to consider.'
He also said that Honda is planning to make the new NSX the cleanest and most efficient supercar in its class. 'The 911 is the most efficient performance car today and we will be well clear of that.'
Honda has shown a racing version of the new NSX, which features a 2.0-litre petrol engine and a 'racing hybrid system'. The production version is due on sale in 2015, initially in North America, with Europe getting cars shortly afterwards.
The production version is set to be revealed at the November 2015 Tokyo motor show, with sales following in the Uk from early 2016. To date, 80 customers have pre-ordered cars in the UK.