Honda's Acura division in the US has unveiled a hybrid sports sedan concept that promises 300kW with miserly fuel economy.
The DN-X concept shown at this week's New York motor show uses a V6 petrol engine to drive the rear wheels and Honda's Integrated Motor Assist electric motor – as used in the Integra and recently-launched, US-market Civic Hybrid – to power the front wheels.
Its powertrain goes against the grain of most hybrid vehicles. But it's the promised horsepower that really puts the DN-X into perspective in the green scheme of things.
While the car-makers involved in hybrid technology have been working to lift public perceptions about their cars, this is the first time a major manufacturer has promised sports car performance with hybrid-style fuel economy and environmental benefits.
Technical details of the DN-X are sketchy at this stage, but Acura certainly isn't shy about claiming the aforementioned, beefy 300kW maximum power and impressive 5.6L/100km (42 miles per US gallon) fuel economy.
The DN-X has what the Americans call a "driver's choice" transmission, with the gearshift mounted on the steering wheel. In manual mode, the DN-X is controlled by a clutchless six-speed transmission.
Other DN-X technical goodies include Night Vision, adaptive cruise control and "lane keeping control". The system uses infra red cameras and voice guidance.
Sure, elements of the DN-X appear fanciful for now. But, given the fact that Honda has built and marketed its Civic Hybrid in the US, a production version of the performance hybrid may well be just around the corner.