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Where is Honda taking Acura?

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  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    LOL, I agree it's nice but almost as nice exterior wise as the 08' G6 GTX ;)

    Rocky
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Yeah, I agree, the current one is a little uninspiring. But the J30 with the six-speeder is damn quick. Like musclecar quick. I really hope that combo is offered on the new one, both sedan and coupe.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    Yeah, I guess we don't know yet what will happen with powertrains, do we? I suspect they will mostly be carry-over.

    Many people have mentioned they would love to see the J30 in the next TSX, and I am with them.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    I am a bit more partial to the 2.4 with the Turbo for the new TSX. I guess I just enjoy working a bit more for the power... :blush:

    I actually think we are going to see the J32 from the TL hiding under the hood for the next go around. The TL is supposed to grab the 3.5 when it gets redesigned. All speculation of course... :D
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Don't really like the front end, too truck-like. However, it is better than the current "Saturn-look-a-like" trend though.

    So Hexagon is going to be the grille design for Honda from now on? Makes sense, since the pentagon was utilized on the Acura line.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    I agree- IMHO it looks good- Can't wait to see the sedan form.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    So Hexagon is going to be the grille design for Honda from now on?

    It already was before refresh of the Pilot...
    image

    In fact, the hexagonal shape most closely mimics the original Honda grill (on S500/S600) and the only difference was that it was wider at the top but still had hexagonal shape to it (link)

    The front end reminds me more of the 1992-1993 Accord more than any other generation since. Nice front, very appealing front and well done rear. One of the rare occasions I have found virtually nothing to complain about in Honda's styling (since 2004-2006 TL).

    image
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Now only if this coupe will have optional SH-AWD or even better RWD then...

    Okay, okay I know, now I am just being greedy. :P
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    As far as looks is concerned- is it just me or does that front end scream IS 250/350?
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    If Honda did that- they would shoot themselves in the foot with the Acura brand IMHO of course ;)
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    ggesq, you know I generally agree with you on most topics but...WHAT? :P

    image

    image

    Okay, maybe A LITTLE bit, with a lot of imagination that is...
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    The TL now has an MSRP of $33625 versus your quote of $27950 in 1999. That is an increase of $709/year. There is no big jump. You're calling the addition of a sport model a price jump which is not accurate.

    Hey....somebody call Cadillac and Lincoln and tell them we've found the formula. Forget about providing products the market demands, just raise the prices! Thanks for the insight, I'll write GM and Ford today letting them know.

    The increasing popularity of SUVs(MDX) and larger cars since 1995 is well documented. This is not an Acura thing, it is an industry thing.

    BTW The new Accord looks great.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Then let us leave the Type-S model aside (although it gained popularity over the cheaper base model despite $3.5K price premium).
    2003 TL: $28,980 (Base price, NAV option)
    2004 TL: $32,650 (Base price, NAV option)
    Is that a big enough jump? In fact, the base TL in 2004 had a price tag higher than the Type-S did in 2003. While we're at it, let us look at sales numbers too.

    2003 TL: 57K (granted it was in its last year, and also includes Type-S model, number for 2003 calendar year)
    2004 TL: 78K (number for 2004 calendar year)

    Hey....somebody call Cadillac and Lincoln and tell them we've found the formula. Forget about providing products the market demands, just raise the prices! Thanks for the insight, I'll write GM and Ford today letting them know.

    Do it! If you mention me, make sure you use my words for it, not a dismantled version. "Just raising" the price won't work. Raising the bar would help.

    The increasing popularity of SUVs(MDX) and larger cars since 1995 is well documented. This is not an Acura thing, it is an industry thing.

    First of all, if it were just an industry thing, we would see Acura SLX all over. That wasn't the case. It also doesn't explain the success of TL from 1999 onwards.

    And secondly, you would see more TSX on the streets than TL. Is that the case? The bottomline to my point is, unlike in the years past, Acura no longer relies on entry level prices/cars towards sales volume. It managed to move up by managing resources in the right way.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    Thanks for posting the pics. I'm technologically retarded. There are "some" similarities, but then again- I do have an active imagination ;)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Sorry to add fuel to an old debate, but I tried skimming all the recent posts and didn't see this listed. My apologies if I missed it.

    Ulrich Hackenberg, head of concept development and body engineering for Audi AG, says Audi is working to integrate torque vectoring with its foundation quattro AWD system. If you can selectively apply torque, "you can get the maximum" from AWD, he says.

    "We are working with (torque vectoring) demonstrators internally," Hackenberg says, adding he has driven the Acura RL and found the SH-AWD technology impressive. "We will not stand still (with conventional quattro AWD). We have to improve ourselves."


    I can understand why the Audi fans would not accept how impressive SH-AWD is from Acuraphyles like myself or Robertsmx. But maybe hearing from the guy who heads Audi development will help.

    Here's the full article.

    On a related note, I read some questions about the various torque distribution values for different Acuras during hard acceleration. The RL goes to a 60/40 split and the RDX uses a 55/45 split. The MDX is a little fuzzy on that because they add extra programming logic for hill-climbing. It will split power 30/70, but only for hills when more weight is added to the rear wheels. Acura doesn't list a straight-line, flat surface number for the MDX.

    Why don't they direct a higher percentage to the rear, and why is each vehicle different? Because those numbers closely match the weight distribution of each vehicle (with a driver). This is the same thing Porsche does with their AWD system.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The Accord concept does present some interesting opportunities for Acura. SH-AWD with a 3.5L V6 in an Acura-ified variant could make for an interesting ride.

    Such a vehicle might cut Acura some slack when the next gen TL is released. They can continue the base model at introduction with the addition of a Type S variant at the mid-model change. But the coupe could give the enthusiasts something to chew on while they wait for the Type S sedan.

    I know the CL-S was a much unloved vehicle, but for the first few years it did exactly that. It gave Acura something sporty to sell before adding the much of the same hardware to the TL. And for that first year or two, sales were not bad and reviews were pretty good. IMO two things killed the CL-S in our market: The TL-S looked better (or at least just as good) and the FWD stigma. If they get the styling right and give it SH-AWD, it would have a good chance.

    The trick will be maintaining sales of this fictional coupe once the TL-S is re-introduced.
  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    The concept looks nice, but I've read that Honda will make the next-generation Accord longer and wider than the current model.

    As the owner of a 2003 EX sedan (four cylinder), I don't want a bigger car...the current one is just fine. Why make it bigger?
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    To satisfy the Camry shoppers. The small nimble Hondas, you need to check out the next gen TSX for that.

    Although the new coupe is something I would be very interested in.

    Edit* you have a 2003? My bad. IMO, I can't imagine the actual profile and exterior size to grow much over the current model. They may get a little more creative with the use of interior space but the rear seat accomodations of the current one are cavernous. They'd be tredding on Avalon territory if they thought they needed to go any larger. Even my 02' EX has a generous rear seat.
  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    I know the CL-S was a much unloved vehicle, but for the first few years it did exactly that. It gave Acura something sporty to sell before adding the much of the same hardware to the TL.

    Wife and I test drove an 01 CL, believe it was S model, and it was competent but inelegant. She ended up with an 01 TL and 3 years later got an 04 TL. The 01 TL had very good profile compared to CL.

    Problem with last CL and previous gen Acura coupe and last 2 gen Accord coupes was proportion. There is just something wrong about the profiles. They don't look quite right. Kind of blocky, tall.

    Concept Accord might be just a little to "racer-boy" flavor. Perhaps production will be toned down and grille can be improved. Maybe guys that did grille are the same that did the Ridgeline grille. Grille on concept has too many shapes, a lot going on, but somewhat a lack of integration of lines.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    With the 2nd gen CL, they just took the wrong approach to the chassis. The car was based on the TL and the styling of the TL was based on a long body line without a whole lot of rake to it. My wife and I chose an 01 TL over the CL, too.

    When Acura designers tried to make a coupe based on the TL, they tried to force the long hood/short deck profile. (That is the current design philosophy.) However, the method they chose for shortening the rear stank. Rounding it off to create the illusion of a shorter tail didn't work because the front and shoulders still had the long, level body line. Without much rake to the profile, that stubby tail looked every bit as fake as it was.

    The new Civic Coupe and the Concept Coupe both have the necessary rakish profile. They also share a sloped rear end, which creates that "short decklid" look much more effectively than the bubble butt design. And, more importantly, it works with the shape of the vehicle.

    With that in mind, I think Acura can develop a nice-looking CL. They have a good shape in the Concept Coupe. All they need are the right details and mechanicals.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I think it is about time Acura got a new FR platform for its cars, TL and above, to offer a reincarnated CL as well. SH-AWD is impressive, but its advantages get overwhelmed by the added weight (hurts straight line performance, and fuel economy, two of the things many shoppers evaluate via spec sheet) and cost (another “concern” that shows up on base price on the sticker). It works in vehicles like MDX where one almost expects AWD system and not so much about 0-60 or quarter mile runs, or even fuel economy.

    IMO, 2008 provides a great opportunity for Acura to adopt that route since TL is due for a redesign, and RL could also afford one instead of going thru a mid-model cycle refresh. And Acura will be set for a global stage.

    FF platform on Acura limits Honda’s possibilities (much like the Civic Si versus RSX issue). And if Acura were to offer a CL, IMO, it should start fresh with a new platform. TL and RL can eventually join (or be there with it right from the beginning). I don’t mind TSX continuing to share platform with Accord, but it should have an SH-AWD option to go with a more powerful engine and sport tuned chassis.

    As for the old CL, the primary issue was that the TL looked sleeker than the coupe which looked like an ordinary sedan. Coupe buyers generally go for more style, something CL lacked. Styling works as an incentive worth giving up the practicality of a sedan. For that reason, I doubt the 2008 Accord sedan will be as aggressively styled as the Coupe Concept we just saw at NAIAS. Although I hope it isn’t too “run of the mill” since it is about time Honda stopped worrying about stepping on its own toes and in the process allow others to join the party.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    For buyers who shop on spec sheet, the want easily overrides needs. 17 cu ft trunk looks much better than 14 cu ft. And when automotive reviewers go about assigning points, they remember to take away points for smallish trunk. It doesn’t seem to matter why a car has less trunk (or cabin) space. What does matter is that it doesn’t.

    IMO, Accord is just the right size for its class. And more importantly, for me, it drives like a smaller car. But in the land of excesses, people are buying H2’s where the cabin feels like an expanse of football field.

    To market something successfully, Honda has to do what it takes, and that, unfortunately, could also mean larger dimensions. In John Mendel’s words
    “It's therefore our intention to bring the next generation Accord to market as the boldest ... roomiest ... most refined ... and most exhilarating car in the segment. Indeed, a new benchmark.”

    “Boldest” would be very subjective. “Most refined” throws another dimension. I don’t expect Accord to be as isolating and soft as Camry, but refinement can come in other forms too (better feedback and handling qualities without being harsh as virtually all sportier cars tend to be). “Roomiest”, however, is an interesting statement to make. Accord already is about as roomy as others, if not better. Perhaps he implies adding an inch or half here and there to keep up. I doubt Accord will grow much if at all (it could actually shrink a little on the outside, if not noticeably) because eventhough the sedan is designed in the USA and primarily for this market, it is also offered in several other markets including Japan (sold as Inspire) where exterior size can be an issue.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    To me, the 94-97 Accord has about the perfect exterior size.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Oh, lots of issues brought up with that one, Robert.

    "I think it is about time Acura got a new FR platform for its cars, TL and above, to offer a reincarnated CL as well."

    Your suggestion for an FR platform for both the TL and RL makes sense on the showroom floor, but I doubt it's workable on the factory floor.

    The TL is highly profitable because it can be built in the same plant as the Accord. Both are high volume vehicles being build in NA where they are sold. You muck with that platform sharing; you muck with everything.

    I think pulling the RL onto an FR platform is more workable. Yes, it will require retooling, but it would be on a much smaller scale. The platform and assembly line might also be used for a Honda competitor to the Avalon and eventually a large coupe for Acura. (Maybe one of those 4-door coupes like MB has created.)

    "SH-AWD is impressive, but its advantages get overwhelmed by the added weight... and cost. It works in vehicles like MDX where one almost expects AWD system..."

    Ditto. I think SH-AWD is both more effective and easily accepted by consumers with the CUVs in Acura's fleet.

    That said, I do think Acura can continue with the TL as a FF vehicle in base trim and add an AWD trim for sporting enthusiasts. You mention the added weight of SH-AWD and I agree that is a concern. However, Acura is steadily growing larger V6s along with a V10 and potential V8.

    Realistically, all that's required is a DOHC 3.5 with VCM to power the current TL-S with SH-AWD. That would probably provide all the power and fuel economy needed. In the future, they might need something larger to keep competitive with the hp wars, but they already have the 3.7 on tap. By then, the RL and MDX may be ready for the V8 or V10.

    Furthermore, they can shave some weight by producing an AWD CL and advance the notion of AWD performance at the same time. With the "NSX replacement", Acura has another chance at promoting SH-AWD and making it more acceptable to the public.

    "As for the old CL, the primary issue was that the TL looked sleeker than the coupe which looked like an ordinary sedan."

    Correct. The CL had a sedan body with a stubby tail and a coupe greenhouse. The bottom was too chunky for the top. The TL had better proportions because the body, tail, and greenhouse all worked together to create a long body line.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    those '94-97 accords, they were nice cars. i liked the look and size. i like the look and dimensions of my '02 as well.

    that '07 accord concept has a front and back end that i don't think are particularly pretty. maybe it's just me. too much of other vehicles in the thing, and less and less honda pedigree cues for this guy. i wish it looked more like the civic in the front end myself. dimensionally, it all looks wrong to me. but what do i know?

    i also like the look of my 2nd gen ODY. the '05s and on just seem to have a heavy blunt nose and bloated love handles.

    it seemed to me as though the acuras were more honda-like than honda. maybe intentional?

    anyway, i personally don't think pulling cues from other non-honda vehicles: making them beefier, chunkier, squat, wide, challenging, etc makes sense for the bread and butter shoppers that are looking for reliability, utility and value. i guess it's a good thing i'm not a designer.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If there is something I find weak in current Civic, it is its front end.

    OTOH, Honda got almost everything right with the Accord concept IMO. Every piece seems to fit together, and even though you may see a lot of vehicles in its you would be hardpressed to not see a lot of any other vehicle (there is only so much you can change without coming up with something as drastic as Aztek or the ovaloid Taurus which actually looked like Infiniti J30).

    The only major deviation in the Accord Coupe concept is adoption of fastback style (the way the roofline meets the rear). The front seems to be an evolution of older Honda design elements. The rear is angular too, and designed to flow with the front. The tail lamp seems to be borrowed from 2002-2003 TL but revised to match the shape of the trunk lid on the inside and match the side of the headlamp on the side (and use the 2004+ TL-esque character line for it).

    The grill is something that surprised me. Honda has rarely used the hexagon (last time... 2003-2005 Pilot), although it is something I have wanted them to adopt since pentagrill is for Acura and having no-proper-grill makes the front look rather incomplete (an issue with 2003-2005 Accord and in fact, with Accord in the past too where the grill has always been "weak"). I was expecting more along the lines of Stream/Odyssey (Japanese market), or in the worst case (thankfully it didn't happen)... something like the current Accord/Civic.

    As for the small Accord, those 1994-1997 were TSX sized, and there is no way Honda could have continued to use that size and compete well, much less lead, in the family sedan segment. Even with the size that Accord has, if you take note, a lot of comparisons put Accord down for being on the smaller side (in terms of less legroom or trunk size or whatever). Good marketing requires addressing issues like that.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    you hate the civic front end. i think it is great. really great in fact. i'm not a fan of the back end though.

    thing is, for the '06, it matches the acura front end and the accord. they telegraph similar pedigree i think.

    the accord isn't a dodge charger or chrysler 300, and shouldn't look like one. oh and the doors and the fenders of the accord proto look like a mustang to me.

    it's all wrong.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don't know about the doors (don't look closely enough to assign a brand to the design), but fenders on the new Accord Coupe concept resemble my 1998 Accord's, and are virtually identical to the fenders in Acura TSX.

    The rear of the coupe is simply a squarish iteration of the roundish theme in Civic Coupe (and both have a horizontal line that lines up with the bottom of the tail lamps).

    This concept has the right mix of square and round themes, unlike the last iteration that got over-rounded in some areas. The squarish shape to design elements also make it look very Honda to me. Down to the shape of the badge (most automakers use round badges or some form of curves), I have associated squarishness as a part of Accord DNA. I see that even in the lettering used for Accord.

    The grill's overall appearance reminds me of 1992-95 Legend, in that it also seems to lean forward a little (that may be considered a design element shared with likes of Charger, Mustang, and also BMWs from the early 90s). It is also very similar to 1992-93 Accord (again, a car that relied heavily on squarish design elements with some rounding offs). This Accord concept is as close it gets to those early 90s Hondas, and also to late 90s Hondas that we never saw (the European/Japanese Accord).

    Not sure where the Charger, 300 or Mustang similarities, as you said, factor in. The most "Charger" I see is limited to the shape of the tail lamp, but you see that in a lot of cars, including Lamborghini Gallardo and the newest iteration of Murcielago. Actually, in Accord, it looks like a revised version of the tail lamp from 2002-2003 TL.

    In the past, virtually all Honda grills have left a lot to be desired. The ones I have either liked or was ok with have not been seen beyond CR-V and Odyssey. Pilot was headed in the right direction with the 2003-2005 iteration when it used the hexagonal grill, but I don't like the current version. Civic's grill, as does current Accord's, leaves a lot to be desired as well. Perhaps, I am not a big fan of the chrome mustache.

    I also detest the grill on the CR-V, which appears to have been inspired by Lexus RX but Honda took it a step further an incorporated a styling element that might be the future (lower grill extending under the headlamps) but in case of CR-V it looks unfinished. If you want to see a better finished version of the same concept, look for 2008 Focus's grill.

    As far as the new Accord's grill is concerned, there is one thing I would have changed. The "cuts" at the corner would look better if they lined up with the lower line of the headlamp (i.e. if they had less angle to it to allow a better flow from headlamps to the grill). Or, perhaps, had Honda used "softer corners" instead like was done for Pilot (2003-2005).
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I think it will make greater economic sense to let TL and RL (and a CL) share FR platform. TL commands large enough sales that it should be economically feasible and beneficial from market perspective to move to FR platform. I don’t know about the “lines” in Marysville but perhaps some of them could be reserved for FR cars and the rest used as they already are. Well, thinking about it further, even RDX could use the same FR platform, and we might be talking a large volume of cars here, as many as 150K units and that might be about 40% of the capacity at Marysville.

    A dedicated or low volume FR platform will continue to hurt RL, in terms of cost.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    to respond to your question- the front of the recently shown accord accord coup concept, being sort of blunt seems more like a dodge charger or chrysler 300 to me than a honda. maybe there are other cars it's more like, but those i see on the roads and i don't care for them in the least but that's what flashed before my eye. :cry:

    IMHO, honda accords should have pointier front ends like the sporty acura brethern, not stubby blunt ones.

    who designs this stuff, comic book hero fans? :shades:

    the point about the mustang - do you not see the cues i see in the door and fender from the side? that deep cut and the three line... that is like trademark ford mustang.

    the roof line looks like i don't know - i don't have a good vehicle geometry vocabulary so i'll pick something, a nissan 350z perhaps, only not as nice.

    the small side glass? that's not functional. that's appearence - again more like the nissan 350z than accord. accords are FUNCTIONAL.

    onto acura...
    oh, let's see, i just took a look at the accura RDX and MDX. oh yuck (how do i think you are ugly, let me count the ways).

    now the csx/tsx... i like their look very very much. i may have to "buy up" if the accord line gets all messed up. :lemon: wait, maybe that's intentional - honda makes the civic more like the accord, phases the accord out, and pushes loyal buyers to the csx/tsx.

    look, i'll never be able to afford a lamborghini (sp?), lotus, ford gt.

    i hope they don't mess the accord up like this. one vote no.
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