Honda's New NSX Loses The Plot
According to Jalopnik, Honda has confirmed that it's "un-delaying" (i.e. building) a replacement for its NSX supercar (1990 – 2005). In theory, it's an exciting development. Aside from the new U.S. Accord, Honda has always followed the Colin Chapman's "add lightness" paradigm. And no vehicle fits that mantra better than a high-performance sports car. That's why the original all-aluminum (body and chassis) NSX remains a totemic vehicle amongst those car nuts who can afford changing high performance tires every 58 miles. Ye Olde NSX offered all the handling of a Ferrari, and then some, on a regular basis (i.e. everyday usability). Like the Chevy Corvette– only with two less cylinders– the Japanese-built supercar was something a working class hero. Unfortunately, Honda is now following Lexus (LF-A) into The Kingdom of Stupid. The next NSX will have a 500-horse V10 in its nose. Pardon me for armchair CEO-ing, but this is five kinds of wrong. The next NSX should be a turbocharged, six-cylinder, mid-engined, Super-Handling AWD terror. When Honda blindly follows in opposition to their principles, not even their engineering expertise makes it worthwhile (see Chuck Norris' Ridgeline). Oh, and the concept car is way ugly.
Oh, I thought they were switching to the F1 based V-8 instead of the F1 based V-10? Guess not. Maybe the F1 based V-8 will go into the next Acrua RL? I know Honda is behind on development but at least the NSX will return someday. I am not crazy about the current "angle" design theme at Acura. Looks like they are trying to follow Cadillac's design theme of only angles. Acura's current grilles on their CUV's look like Transformer's logo.
I have another thought in mind. Think about this. Toyota stop it's production of the toyota supra in the US in 1998, they also stop the production of the MR2 in 1996. Can you guys see that during those years these cars were not produce the camry and other toyota vehicles dominated the market. And know that toyota got a firm grip of the market beating out the big 2.8, they are now concentrating on developing super cars to take on the higher exotics. With Honda same thing, the civic and accord are doing good, now they can tweek their expertise around and play big with the highly exotics.
Amen, Landcrusher. Amen. I want to see a Japanese F430 with all the performance, supplied by a high-tech V6 pushing around a lighter chassis. I'm not giving up that hope. That's a good question though: DOES Acura have to produce something with more than 6 cylinders to grow in the luxury game? Or are they happy with the niche that they have...unwilling to part with their brand of 'smaller engines doing just as much work'. The guys I know who drive RL's and LS's aren't goosing the gas off the line. But they both have plenty of power on demand whenever they need it -- usually on the highway or around town. So wouldn't RF say: Don't screw with the brand! Just continue to enhance your V6's! And maybe tinker with a turbo...
Both Honda and Toyota are first and foremost mainstream automakers, they both understand this and take it to heart. That is why these companies are so successful. Both companies have proven time and time again that they can suceed in racing and produce some excellent sportscars. The reason they do not make it a core compenent of their business to build sportscarrs is simply because that is NOT where the money is at! On the other hand you have a company like GM that is willing to spend (waste) billions of dollars on R&D on the Corvette while the majority of their products langish at the bottom of each respect class of vehicles. GM is on the brink of disaster not because the Corvette is so good but because the products that they need to bring in the profits SUCK! As good as the Corvette is, it does serve as a glaring example of how badly GM is being managed. Great at building expensive toys with limited appeal but sucks at do what the company is supposed to do, build cars for the masses. Today the new ZR1 Corvette is analogous to the German Me 262 fighter of WW2, a wonderful piece of engineering that can truly offer up little to nothing to help win the war! Not with the thousands of P-51 Mustangs (Hondas & Toyotas) ruling the sky. Needless to say both Honda and Toyota have been straddling the fence on "green-lighting" production of another resource intensive, low volume supercar. The truth of the matter is neither company actually needs these cars to succeed in the future so why build them? They can easily look to GM to see that having a high-performance halo cars does nothing to improve the bottom line but does consume much valuble resources. Today, Nissan is the company that is doing it correctly, build your sportcars off of an existing platform using existing engines and suspension parts. The 350z has its compromises but it is still a rather fun car to drive. It is also a relative bargin and does not cost Nissan an arm and leg to produce.