We knew Acura has been working on a vehicle to compete with the BMW X6 and and Infinity FX, for some time now. But in the automotive melee that has resulted in the death of many good cars, we’ve forgotten about this sedan/coupe/SUV.
Acura, on the other hand, seems to have been running full steam ahead with the CUV project. This should not be too hard of a car to assemble for Acura. It just needs to rummage through the Honda spare parts bin, and it should find everything but the bodywork. By the time the production car hits the streets in 2010 we would guess that it would be using the 300 hp 3.6-liter V6 from the TL/MDX, or the 200 hp 3.5-liter V6 unit from the TSX V6/Accord V6. The suspension may not even be changed much from the MDX, considering it is one of the most car-like SUVs on the market.
While a vehicle that doesn’t fully excel at being a sedan, coupe or SUV doesn’t have huge appeal to us, Acura knows its customers. This will be the company’s big new thing to show off, and may even have a concept version ready for the New York Auto Show next month.
The gap between the European Accord and the Acura TSX is getting wider. Although they are basically the same car, the horsepower is very different on the two sides of the pond. The European Accord just came out with a Type-S version that uses a 2.2-liter diesel to make 177 hp, and now the hottest Acura TSX will come with a 280 hp 3.5-liter V6 (gas powered) for the 2010 model year.
The engine will be coupled to Acura’s Sequential SportShift automatic transmission that includes paddle shifters on the steering wheel. The new V6 engine, which is likely lifted from the North American Accord, puts the TSX within range of the larger TL sedan’s 300 hp 3.7-liter V6.
The TSX V6 will also get its own suspension tuning and five-spoke alloy wheels. Sales should begin this summer.
The 2009 TL enters the competitive luxury market at an ideal time as the segment in which it competes is expected to remain strong into the next decade. The new TL is forecast to share substantially in this success with a projected sales increase to about 70,000 units per year, an increase of 5.8-percent through 2012. Available with the largest and most powerful engine in TL history, along with the sport-driving focused SH-AWD® system (the world’s first torque-vectoring AWD system when introduced in 2000), the new TL arrives ready to compete with vehicles like the Audi A4 and A6, BMW 3-Series and 5-Series, Infiniti G35 and M35, Lexus ES, GS and IS sedans, and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and E-Class.
For the first time ever in an Acura vehicle, the 2009 TL is available in a choice of front-wheel-drive TL or all-wheel-drive TL SH-AWD® configurations. The new TL is a powerful and precise performance luxury sedan that is as confident and composed on a mountain road as it is in the city center. Replacing the previous TL Type-S is the TL SH-AWD® model, built exclusively for the enthusiast driver and featuring Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™, special suspension and steering tuning, and the most powerful engine from Acura ever.
Unlike some competitors, who add all-wheel drive to their vehicles primarily to help in winter conditions, the TL’s available SH-AWD® was designed to dramatically enhance sporty handling in addition to further enhancing the vehicle’s winter-driving capability.
Under the hood there will be the most powerful Acura engine ever, probably same 3,7 liter engine used in the RL that develops 300 hp.
Honda is an efficient company. It likes to get the most out of its investments, and that’s what kept us hopeful when we first heard the news of the cancelation of the Acura NSX. Dick Colliver, executive VP for American Honda Motor Co., recently helped emphasize our hopes. According to him the NSX could be revived at any time, and even more "development is mostly done." We already knew this but its good to know that people inside Honda are ready to dust off the NSX project when the world’s economy recovers.
But Colliver isn’t completely convinced NSX-like luxury/performance is needed to make Acura a Tier 1 luxury brand - the area of rare air that is currently occupied by the likes of BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, etc. Colliver told Automotive News, "Being a premium luxury brand is not just about product. It’s the way dealers handle customers. You’ve got to earn your way into the segment. You don’t necessarily have to have a $90,000 sedan to get there."
What is even worse is that if Honda does finally come around and bring the NSX back from the dead, will new regulations make its 550+ hp V10 illegal?
Think you were crushed by the cancelation of the 2010 Acura NSX, imagine how Honda supertuner Mugen must feel. But unlike the rest of us who are pouting about how we’ll have to settle for the Nissan GT-R, Mugen looking to the past to show that the old dog still has a few tricks left.
At the Tokyo Auto Salon is the Honda (Acura) NSX Mugen RR, a concept car inspired by the old NSX. All we know is that this is a very cool body kit with a red interior and red brake calipers.
Mugen is being very tight lipped about the performance specifications. We can’t even confirm that there is an engine in this car. So, if the NSX Mugen RR can run under its own power, we doubt its anything more than the 3.2-liter V6 making 290 hp.
Looks like the executives over at Honda caught a showing of Weekend at Bernie’s over the holiday break and got an idea. Just because the Acura NSX is dead, doesn’t mean they can’t show it off.
There was already a NSX concept car ready for January’s Detroit Auto Show before the project was indefinitely idled, so Honda doesn’t want to waste it. The concept car won’t mean that there is an Acura supercar bound for the U.S. The NSX will be there just to fill space.
From a business standpoint it’s easy to understand that Honda is just trying to get its money’s worth; but from an enthusiast’s standpoint, showing the concept is like Honda is taking us to the strip club. Honda’s New Year’s gift to North America is the ultimate ‘you can look but never touch’ set-up.
RIP NSX. Honda announced today that the NSX program is dead. Honda CEO Takeo Fukui announced the move in a speech that all development of the car would be canceled. It seems that the company has changed its previous statement. Back in October he told Autocar that, "the new supercar is necessary for Honda". Honda will now focus its efforts on (gasp) hybrid cars.
This is a bad time for car enthusiasts, but we kinda knew this was coming. Halo cars are fun, but in times of deep economic troubles, retrenchment strategies are aplenty and come quick. The first to go are the low-volume fun cars. The NSX was not the first to be chopped, and it won’t be the last (now taking odds on the Lexus LFA.)
If there is any hope to come from this news is that we all know how efficient Honda is. We’ve seen the development cars for the NSX, which means that Honda has a large engineering and financial investment in the V10 sports car. So we can all hope (fingers crossed) that when the world economy recovers, Honda will be quick to use a lot of the technology developed in this NSX program to quickly bring a supercar to the market.
When the Acura NSX (known as the Honda NSX outside of North America) first arrived in 1990, it’s high revving V6 and razor sharp handling made it the surprise darling of the automotive press. Unfortunately by the time it finally died out fifteen years later, the industry had surpassed it. But Honda was not done with the NSX. Just like the Nissan’s GT-R, Honda has spend the the last few years meticulously developing a killer car.
We haven’t even seen a clear spy shot of the NSX in over a month, but today AutoExpress took one of the car’s better renderings and turned into a cutaway view of the future Acura supercar.
Under the hood there will be a 5.5-liter V10 delivering 560bhp. The engine will be mated to a six-speed semi-auto box, with steering wheel-mounted paddleshifters. The 0 to 60 mph sprint will be made in less than four seconds, while top speed will go up to 200 mph.
The NSX will go on sale later next year at a price of $150,000 (est.).
After we finished scratching our heads about why Acura is working on a competitor for the BMW X6 and Infiniti FX, we realized it might not be a bad thing. The new chrome shnoz look from Acura may be best suited for a high-rise sports sedan. We got our guy to make a rendering of what this may look like, and we think Acura may have an attractive car/truck crossover on its hands.
In true Honda fashion, this CUV (this could almost stand for Coupe Utility Vehicle) will likely use family familiar parts under the skin. We expect the 3.7-liter V6 from the TL/MDX making around 300 hp to be the power source. From its prospective size, the likely chassis donor will be the TL with the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system used on many Acura models.
So all that’s left is to name the puppy. Considering Acura’s current set up is to name its utility vehicles with a consonant followed by “DX”, speculation could go on for a while. SDX? CDX? XDX?
Honda has made a name for itself with cleaner emission cars. It was the first to meet the stricter U.S. emissions standards of the 1970s, without using a catalytic converter. But this was on gasoline engines. It needed a diesel for Europe, so it reinvented the engine again with the i-DTEC clean diesel engine for the European Accord.
It’s a great history lesson, but the real point of telling that was to get up to speed with the last New York Auto Show. There Honda CEO Takeo Fukui announced that 2009 would see Honda’s first clean diesel engine to be sold in the U.S. The car of choice would be the 2009 Acura TSX - not surprising considering that the TSX is basically the European Accord.
Less than a year later it seems the guys over at Temple of VTEC got the scoop from a tipster that the U.S. diesel has been "delayed indefinitely". The reason: emissions certification failure (really, Honda?)
It’s reported that the manual transmission version of the i-DTEC TSX cleared emissions certification, but the automatic-equipped version has been unable to pass certification. Acura believes that the lazy americans will likely not go for a diesel if they have to go the row-your-own route. In its place Acura will likely drop a V6 into the TSX.