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Honda NSX confirmation nears

The chances for Australia are boosted by strong early interest from the UK.

The back-from-the-dead new-age supercar is being raced towards production in the USA, complete with a new high-tech production facility and - for the first time - an American engineer in charge of development work.

Honda has shown an NSX concept car many times over recent years but is now colouring the picture with details including the factory in Ohio that will build the car and information on Ted Klaus, who heads the engineering team.

It has also opened an order bank in Britain and is promising an early decision on the car for Australia. “I'm at the front of the queue to get it back,” Honda Australia director, Stephen Collins, tells Carsguide.

“We're not in a position to confirm anything as yet. But we're a fair way down the track with it.” The new-age NSX will again be a mid-engined supercar, with a V6 engine - the same package as the 1980s original - and all-wheel drive.

“We have a very clear understanding of the high customer expectations luxury buyers around the world have for a supercar, and our challenge is to exceed them and create new value for the customer,” says Ted Klaus.

He reveals the car will be built by a specially-trained, 100-strong workforce at the new Performance Manufacturing Centre close to Honda's existing Accord factory in Ohio, USA. Engines will be built close-by in another dedicated NSX plant.

The return of the NSX comes almost exactly a decade after production of the original car ended. It was built from 1999 at Honda's Takanezawa factory before production shifted to Suzuka through to 2005.

In Australia, less than 300 cars were sold and none of the later models was brought down under. But Honda Australia is convinced the new car can do well from 2015.

“We've got a solid history with sales of the first-generation NSX. I think we sold about 280 of those cars,” says Collins.

“Give that, and the strength it would provide to the brand, and our history, I'm pretty confident.”

He says the essential business case for the car is already underway and the chances for Australia are boosted by strong early interest from the UK, which is driving development of right-hand drive cars.

“We are very strongly putting a case together and I feel confident that we will get that across the line. The decision is a collaborative one between Australia and Japan. We're still sorting a few of the details out.”

Even though the NSX is not confirmed, Collins says he is preparing a customer plan for the car. That means a priority wait list and dedicated NSX dealers.

“I would anticipate that, given it's low volume and the special nature of the case, we'll have some sort of ordering system in place,” he says.

“Last time we had about a dozen dealers. Given the nature of the car it would be fairly specialised.”

This reporter is on Twitter @paulwardgover