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Is it really happening? Is Honda really going to make a baby brother for the NSX? This may become a reality based on a recent trademark the carmaker filed with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. The letters “ZSX” are now reserved by the company for any vehicle it desires.

However, given the similarity to the NSX, we’d like to believe that the ZSX nameplate will be applied on a new sports car from Honda. This may hold some truth according to French site Automoto, whereby an anonymous Honda engineer said there are plans to debut the ZSX as a concept at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The source also claims the ZSX will employ the Civic Type R’s 2.0 litre turbo-four, backed by a pair of electric motors at the front. This hybrid setup is said to have a total power output of 370 hp, propelling a kerb weight of around 1,500 kg.

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By comparison, the 3.5 litre DOHC twin-turbocharged petrol V6 engine in the NSX pumps out a total of 500 hp and 550 Nm of torque, with additional power coming from the front-mounted Twin Motor Unit (TMU). The entire system outputs 573 hp and 645 Nm of torque, through a nine-speed dual-clutch gearbox and Honda’s Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system.

Furthermore, the ZSX could initially be offered as a coupe, followed by a version with a removable metal roof later. Last year, leaked patent images of a baby NSX (or new S2000) made its way onto the internet, where the radical design had everyone (included us) very excited. At the time, it was hinted that a smaller 1.5 litre four-pot VTEC turbo mill would be employed instead.

Autoguide reports that the ZSX trademark is only for Europe currently. Honda also has a filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, but it appears the company has abandoned ownership of the trademark on December 10, 2012. However, the brand’s previous design patents are still valid for both Europe and the US.

GALLERY: Honda “baby NSX” patent images