CINCINNATI - Honda's new version of its Acura NSX sports car will be produced at a new plant inside one of the automaker's former facilities in central Ohio, Honda said Tuesday.
The new $70 million plant, called the Performance Manufacturing Center, will be inside the former North American Logistics facility and adjacent to Honda's existing factory in Marysville. The new factory is expected to employ about 100 skilled workers drawn from existing Ohio operations, with mass production expected to begin in 2015.
Gov. John Kasich and local officials were to be in Marysville on Tuesday for the formal announcement.
Honda's third auto plant in Ohio will be only a few miles from the Honda R&D Americas Inc. Ohio Center, which it said is engineering the Acura NSX for production. The car's powertrain will be assembled by workers at Honda's engine plant in Anna.
The NSX, Honda's highest performance sports car, was last built in 2005 in Japan, where it had been manufactured since 1990. Honda says the new NSX will feature a lightweight chassis, a mid-mounted V-6 engine, a dual-clutch transmission and an all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain.
Honda R&D Americas chief engineer Ted Klaus, who is leading the global team developing the new NSX, told reporters in a conference call Monday that it will provide "tremendously high performance in response to the driver" and strike the right balance between technology and value.
"They can look up and feel good that they've got a product that's performing on the level of a Ferrari or even a higher-level vehicle, but they can look down and see what they paid for the product," Klaus said.
The new NSX to be built exclusively at the Ohio site will be sold in North America and exported throughout the world.
The company now has 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, lawnmowers and general purpose engines.