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Where is Honda taking Acura?

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  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    that '07 accord concept has a front and back end that i don't think are particularly pretty.

    Straight-on front view with shapes of fenders, hood and headlights look good. But, upper grille does not match lower grille, upper grille shape/texture not complementary to fender/hood/headlight lines. Also, cutouts for fog lights are fighting fender/hood/headlight lines. As experiment, print-out front view and wipe out upper and lower grilles and foglight cutouts and start over, just like you might have done in high school study room. Think that almost any body could have done a better job on that front end.

    I had a 98 Accord LX V6, and I think that straight ahead front view of it was very clean and lines were well integrated. Would be interesting to see that front end grafted onto the 07 concept. Think that it would flow very well with rest of car.

    Who the heck is doing front ends of Pilots, Odys, Ridgelines, 07 Accord concept to make them look so ungainly.

    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.

    Would agree. Have a 2000 Ody EX and prefer exterior styling and interior over latest gen. Current ODY front looks like bug eyes.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,064
    keep in mind that there are new pedestrian safety regulation coming into effect that require mor blunt noses and higher hood lines. The days of low "cowcatcher" front ends are over.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • xrunner2xrunner2 Posts: 3,062
    keep in mind that there are new pedestrian safety regulation coming into effect that require mor blunt noses and higher hood lines. The days of low "cowcatcher" front ends are over.

    Would seem that blunt noses and higher hood lines would be more likely to injure a pedestrian.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I don’t think the blunt nose has as much to do with pedestrian safety as it is with contemporary styling (we’re likely to see more of that nose in more vehicles shortly). If it were just about pedestrian safety, Civic would have it too. Honda’s approach to pedestrian safety involves a uniquely designed hood collapse system. Perhaps it is the upcoming regulation (not sure where and when) that is said to require more space between the engine and the hood. So, a straight up nose may not just be for contemporary styling.

    I had a 98 Accord LX V6, and I think that straight ahead front view of it was very clean and lines were well integrated.

    I have a 1998 Accord EX and if there was something I would change in the car from day 1, it was the grill which was merely an opening. It looks cheap while the rest of the styling is very nice and has aged exceptionally well.

    I liked the European/Japanese market Accord’s grill from the same generation (1998-2002) much more pleasing and unlike ours, it was "complete".
    image

    If you look closely, the new Accord’s front is similar to 1998-2002 Euro/Japanese Accord (with subtle changes, of course). And it appears to be an evolution of 1992-95 Legend's (stubby nose with top of the grill slightly leaning forward) and 1992-1993 Accord (also a straight up nose with squarish theme all over). The primary difference between the Honda/Acura of the early 90s and 2008 Accord is that now the nose is taller (thanks for crash tests needs etc, can’t have those low slung fronts anymore). The grill’s shape is reminiscent of 2003-2005 Pilot (a hexagon) but with sharp edging instead of soft nudges at the bottom sides.

    The hexagonal theme for the grill is something I have wanted to see Honda adopt for years (as opposed to not having a theme at all, a big issue with Honda) because they can’t (and shouldn’t) use pentagrill when Acura does. While hexagonal shape to the grill goes back to Honda’s first car (S500). Finally, it seems, the want has been fulfilled. But, Honda hasn’t stuck with a theme so won’t be surprised not to see it again, for a while.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The front end doesn’t seem to be as blunt as it is in Charger and Mustang, and some cars on the way out. It is definitely not as “high”, nor does is it as square as it appears from the frontal shot (at an angle the front is slightly rounded off). The overall appearance is closer to that of 1992-95 Legend (imagine it with slightly larger hexagonal grill). But then, I am judging from pictures. And in fact, most people will try to relate the style to cars they see around from now than go back and look at older styling even if it were to come from Honda’s own cars.

    But this wouldn’t be the first time Honda has adopted some design elements going back 8-12 years. In fact, they seem to do it more often than not (the shape of tail lamp in 1998 Accord sedan seems to have come from 1987 Prelude’s, while 1998 Accord Coupe’s was clearly inspired by NSX that preceded it by 8-9 years, 1999 TL clearly derived its styling from 1992 Legend, 2001 CL and 2004 Accord Coupe seem to have used 1996-1998 Acura TL rear end styling and so on).

    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.

    No I don’t. Here are pictures to make my point:
    image
    image
    image
    image
    Note that in TSX, current Accord and in 2008 Accord, the fenders transitions smoothly and over to the headlamps and has a flat edging designed to enhance the perception of a larger wheel (also seen in 1998-2002 Accord). Mustang has that flat edge too, but the fender doesn’t transition smoothly, instead has a defined line over it. Mustang’s actually resembles the fender that you might notice in a Mercedes.

    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.

    Just like "hatchback" styling that we usually talk about, "fastback" is another styling widely used design element. Before it was used in 350Z, you would have seen it in Audi TT, Tiburon, and umpteen dozen other cars already on the streets. It is also part of styling in likes of Ferrari 456GT. This would be the first time Accord Coupe is getting that style.

    "Fastback" styling isn't limited to coupes. Cars like MB's CLS are representative of the similar concept applied to sedans. The shape helps improve coefficient of drag, but would almost certainly compromise rear seat headroom. For practicality reasons, I am almost sure that we won't see it in Accord sedan.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    yes. you have artculated what i could not about the front end of the concept vehicle. thank you. gosh i think a survey of honda accord owners would find a good number like me thinking ugly too.

    i like your idea about sending the designers to study hall. please skip the dose of comic book mags though.

    honda has been known to show something and actually produce something else. maybe they want to demonstrate a willingness to tweak / freshen things but not let on as to exactly what'd they will do.

    oh, i hope so.

    as far as i'm concerned, that accord concept is every car BUT an accord in appearence. take the "H" badge off the front and what have you got?

    i dunno. THAT's the problem.

    the Ridgeline? i'm ok with the front end there, but design wise, when i see one... i think what a blatent borrowing of the avalanche concept, even if it's a better avalance than an avalance. ;)

    we are in agreement on the pilot and the ody front end. they are even using lenses that look like bug eyes. reminds me of toyota - i think even mazda is using lamps like that - bow wow. who designs these things

    no no no honda. i like the front end on my '02 accord and my '03 ODY much much much better. you can tell the vehicles share common pedigree.

    but back to the acuras, oh that RDX and MDX look really bad. are they trying to copy the porche cheyennes or VW touregs? :sick:

    i think pulling elements being tried by other manufacturers is ok and all, but they are moving style-wise in the wrong direction as far as this consumer is concerned.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Would seem that blunt noses and higher hood lines would be more likely to injure a pedestrian."

    I'm not sure what's being done in the US, but the regulations in the UK are requiring things like: 2+ inches of space between the top of the engine and the hood. This is done so that the hood can compress and "cushion" the impact of a pedestrian's body and head.

    To create that cushion, designers often need to raise the hood and stylists have to work around it. Honda, and others, have worked no active hoods which actually push upward upon impact to increase the cushioning.

    Other concerns in frontal impacts include the direction where a body is thrown. Designers want the pedestrain tossed forward, not off to the side. If a person is hit by a car and tossed off to the side, they may impact something on the side of the road (pole, tree, etc). Or they get run over a second time by the car in the next lane. If thrown forward, they land on the road ahead of the original car which should already be braking.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,064
    it is actually safer to be hit flush and pushed forward, than to have a low nose essentially scoop you up at the ankles and roll up up the hood onto the windshield, since you then get rolled back when the car stops!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • Jag has a active hood/bonnet system on the new XK. Pyrotechnic charges pop the hood up to absorb energy when a pedestrian is hit.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I actually like the way Honda started with description of 2005 Odyssey's styling...

    "While a casual observer may consider a vehicle's body as the exterior styling and the metal pieces that create the overall shape, the importance of the body goes much further."

    So true. On Pedestrian safety in the Odyssey...
    "Honda's commitment to safety extends to pedestrians as well as vehicle occupants. To help reduce pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision, the Odyssey's hood and fender areas were designed to deform if contacted by the head of an adult or child pedestrian. Energy-absorbing collapsible hood supports, wiper arms and fender mounts allow substantial deformation in an impact, allowing the engineering team to meet its target for pedestrian safety."

    Honda has developed its own pop-up hood system too (link)
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I've been reading quite a few opinions on the styling of the Acura ASC concept. That topic is completely subject to taste, but the car does propose some other interesting ideas about Acura's direction.

    Does this group think Acura needs (or would benefit from) an exotic or semi-exotic?

    If so, will a front-engined AWD car with more of a GT flavor do the trick? Or should they go with a more tried-n-true mid-engined RWD platform?
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    How about this for Acura,

    TSX: keep it about the same adding a small v6 $28,990

    TL: Morph it into a two door and call it the "new CL" $33,990 (SH-AWD would be nice)

    RL: Another morphing with slight changes decreasing it's size a few inches and call it the "new TL" $38,990

    Now the need for a larger RL with V8 power makes sense. $49,990

    Keeping these pricepoints will no doubt bring more buyers to the Acura line-up
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    a V-10 RL, and make up for the current RL?! :-P

    $49,990 sounds about right. Maybe knock a couple hundred pounds out of that sucker with lightweight materials, while you're at it.

    I am sure if Acura does a new CL, it will just be a TL with two doors, like last time. They can skip it as far as I'm concerned, but then I don't rule the market! ;-)

    I wish they would do a hardtop S2000, luxed up a bit but not a ton for the Acura clientele, and maybe throw in that turbo four from the RDX that everyone loves so much. That would give it less peaky power output, more appropriate for the "luxury" set.

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

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Even if Acura could somehow squeeze it under the hood, $28,990 for TSX with small V6 isn’t happening (unless Acura starts to make some of the currently standard features as a part of optional package). TSX already carries an MSRP of $28,090 (which would undoubtedly go up by 1-2% even without a redesign).

    Speaking of “small V6”, it can mean anything, from 2.5-liters to 3.2. In fact, there would be no packaging advantage to it since Honda is unlikely to create a V6 solely for TSX. In the past Honda’s 2.5/V6 (offered in Japan from 1998 to 2002) was simply a de-stroked version of the 3.0-liter V6 in Accord. While it was rated 200 HP/6200 rpm and 178 lb-ft/4600 rpm using old SAE standards, it is closely matched by the current 2.4/I-4 in Japanese market (200 HP/6500 rpm and 171 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm). On the downside, it won’t return the fuel economy that the 2.4 does.

    IMO, if Acura must take V6 route, it ought to be at least 3.0 in the TSX (given the curb weight). That said, I see no problem with 2.4/I-4 continuing to be the base engine. TSX is doing reasonably well with that engine and in that price range.

    What should happen is another engine option on top of base. While I would prefer V6 myself, if packaging is an issue, 2.3 turbo would work as well. And throw in SH-AWD for good measure. We’re talking about a substantial bump from the base price, but even at $33K-$35K, with sport tuned chassis, it will offer a great value.

    TL and RL need to move to a FR platform. A CL based off the same would be icing on the cake. Not only would this allow Acura to get noticed more and certainly with added performance, it will allow them to be free, as would be true for Honda under it. SH-AWD is great, but expensive and heavy option. It would work as an option, not as a standard feature to be sold in large volume cars.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    During my participation in a poll by Acura on the ASC, I made it a point to tell them that if there must be an NSX successor, it should qualify as one. While a “luxury GT” (I choose to call it that) based on the ASC might garner more sales and looks good, I just don’t like the sound of it being called “NSX successor”. Worse, if it must carry SH-AWD.

    Sure, it can act like a billboard for Acura to showcase the capabilities of SH-AWD at its best, but in the process I am wondering if it ties in anyway to any of Honda’s major racing efforts (F1, IRL and now, ALMS). That’s something I will miss if Honda strays away from its light weight, mid-engine, rear drive, no-non sense formula.

    NSX may not have broken sales record, but that wasn’t the point of the car. It had a mission and came out in flying colors.

    That said, I am not averse to a FR (or FA, if Acura considers that 250 lb doesn’t hurt in anyway rather helps) luxury GT coupe based on ASC. But it will be nice to have "NSX" too even it meant using a V8 engine as opposed to V10. Sure Honda could still advertise Odyssey on a race track as being race inspired, but it should also offer something Honda racing fans can relate to.

    Unfortunately, we are about as unlikely to see NSX AND a luxury GT like ASC in the near future as we are to expect the GT to sell for $35K... an impossible dream.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    Maybe the ASC could be Acura's top of the line luxury GT to compete with Lexus' LF-A, BMW's Z8 (heard it's coming back) and MB's SL AMG and make the next NSX carrying Honda's badge. This way the NSX wouldn't have the burden to carry the "luxury" image of Acura and could be a true no nonsense super car. S-2000 could really use a big brother in Honda's lineup anyway...

    The only downside I see from this is: Nobody is going to consider a Honda as a supercar, much like what the original NSX faced when it debuted almost 20 years ago.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    I would think if we are doing SH-AWD the TSX would need the extra torque of a six cylinder. Keeping it FWD would allow a four banger to suffice. the issue is to keep up with the competition and keep with the value. TSX at 33-35 grand would price it high enough for consumers to look elsewhere. That is what happened to the RL which had marginal sales due to it's hefty price.

    SH-AWD is heavy and expensive. Maybe it should be reserved for the upper Acuras
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Given that TSX already weighs about 3300 lb, adding SH-AWD with a normally aspirated I-4 or even a small V6 wouldn't be a good idea. However, I suggest turbo I-4 similar to RDX's. Now consider TSX with sport tuned chassis and 240-280 HP/260-280 lb-ft, with NAV and every feature that TSX already has, for $35K.

    If a consumer chooses to look elsewhere after all that, its their choice. I won't (in fact, I would be driving it today instead of my TL). Thats a lot of car for that money.

    As for RL, three mistakes from Acura...
    - Staid styling
    - Lack of aggressive gearing where 6AT would have helped
    - Lack of lease deals (how many people "buy" cars in this price class?)

    Even two of those three would have helped Acura immensely with RL.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Again, for $35 grand, the mass will look elsewhere. I admire your loyalty and while the TSX would be a little screamer, at $35 grand it simply will not sell as well. At that price, you are flirting with BMW 3 series. New 328Xi loaded at just under $40grand. So, V6, yes and SH-AWD, no, Price at $30 grand.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    As for the RL, I think the reason it struggled was due to it's great price difference from the TL when it came out. Most consumers could not justify the price difference. TL at 35 grand vs RL at 53 grand sticker prices. $18 grand is a huge jump for any consumer to justify. Might be why the TL is doing so well.....
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    My loyalty aside (btw, picking up TSX over TL isn't exactly a representative of that), but look at the fact that people aren't overlooking TL today even though it costs $34-36K. Which car do you think would be comparable to the performance of that SH-AWD/TSX of mine? I'm talking 240-280 HP/260-280 lb-ft, AWD, and luxuries (including NAV) at $35K.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    The TSX needs to flirt with the 3 series. Put that RDX turbo engine and match it with SH-AWD and people will IMHO pay 35k for a "loaded" alternate to the 3 series which will be about 5 grand higher.

    Where else will the masses look? Folks are already paying that much for a "loaded" IS250.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    robert- good point. I think it will sell w/ those kind of credentials.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    If the TSX is going to compete with the 3 series then the turbo-4 won't cut it. In order to upmarket the TSX Acura needs a V6 with HP around 300 and torque around 280 lb-ft/s plus the SH-AWD and loaded with navi at around $35K. If Acura wants to go bolder then drop a turbo into that 3.5L V-6 to make it 350 HP and charge $37K with navi and $35K without it.

    I've always see TSX as Acura's 3er fighter and they should upmarket TL and RL to compete with the likes of 5er/E/GS and 7er/S/LS, respectively. This case Acura would have a complete sedan lineup without introducing another model.

    As for IS250, I've always puzzled why would anyone pay close to $40K for one, AWD or RWD. However, those IS250s are flying out of Lexus dealers' lot left and right, it outsells IS350 close to 3:1.
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    IMHO, the TSX w/ the turbo 4 and AWD can compete competitevely w/ the IS 250 and the 328i.

    I do agree with you that if Acura wants to compete w/ the 335i it really does need to drop a V6 w/ 300hp in the TSX and price it at 35k loaded.
  • danilodanilo Posts: 69
    Let's be realistic here people. The TSX is Acura's "entry" model for lack of a better term. Simply adding more power and SH-AWD will not make it compete with BMW. If you drive the TSX along side your TL there is a substantial difference in handling. The BMW is designed to be driven and driven hard with the primary focus being the handling capabilities. Acura is designed to be a value oriented luxury vehicle. Don't mistake value for cheap which Acura is not. The TSX needs to be less expensive than BMW. This is what makes them more appealing. While adding more power is definitely needed, I would think a six with the same hp/tq as a four would be more appealing. SH-AWD is simply not needed to make it a success. Now the TL needs AWD. And a few more ponies :shades:
  • ggesqggesq Posts: 701
    huh? What makes you say that adding more hp and AWD will not make it capable of competing w/ the 3er? No doubt that the 3er is the benchmark in handling and driving dynamics but other companies like Acura and Lexus need to learn by example. There is obviously a market for a luxury oriented sport sedan and IMHO Acura, Lexus, and any other company should emulate BMW in any way possible insofar as driving dynamics is concerned. Consumers already cross shop these vehicles. Acura needs to take the performance aspect to the next level and take a bigger chunk of the 3er's market share.
    IMHO Acura needs to go beyond being referred to as a value oriented luxury vehicle. Honda has the technology already in the S2000. If they only used that technology in its offerings Acura would be a serious player in the enthusiast market.
    I bought my TL because it is an excellent mix of performance, luxury, technology and value. The purpose of this forum is not to compare a BMW and Acura. There's a separate forum for that.
  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    The TSX is Acura's "entry" model for lack of a better term. Simply adding more power and SH-AWD will not make it compete with BMW

    Why not? 3-series is BMW's entry model as well. Those 2 should be very comparable if TSX gains in size, power and handling (SH-AWD).

    If you drive the TSX along side your TL there is a substantial difference in handling

    TSX actually handles better than TL, smaller in size, more nimble and precise. The downside of it is the lack of power.

    The TSX needs to be less expensive than BMW

    335i is MSRP at $38.5K for the strip-down base model. I don't see a 35K MSRP TSX loaded with navi, 300 HP V6 and SH-AWD anymore expensive than that.

    I would think a six with the same hp/tq as a four would be more appealing

    If you want the same HP and torque as the four why even bother for a V6? A V6 with same HP/tq will only hurt the FE and not help the performance a bit. Also, a V6 putting out around 200 HP is pretty pathetic now a day and that's why I still don't understand why IS250 sells as good as it is.

    SH-AWD is simply not needed to make it a success.

    If Acura is going to market the TSX as their entry level sports sedan then SH-AWD is definitely needed. A sports sedan with FWD will always be looked down at and not winning those enthusiasts' votes.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Interesting that you bring up "value" so much. One of the prime reasons that BMWs do well (especially the "entry level" like 3-series in the USA) is the value oriented lease deals.

    Acura may be perceived as a value oriented brand, and it was definitely true ten years ago when Integra accounted for every 2 of 3 Acura sold. It is not true anymore. Not unlike Lexus, and BMW, Acura's core models (TL and MDX now) sit squarely in $35K to $45K price class.

    All that said, I see no reason to oppose the idea that TSX could use a higher trim at about $6K premium to offer something that base model doesn't. Thats power. And to put it down appropriately, SH-AWD. Let BMW do its thing. Acura should do its thing.
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Posts: 152
    I think Acura should add the RDX engine and SH-AWD as options to the TSX. I'm not sure they can engineer this into existance with the current SH-AWD platforms being AWD only. Perhaps the "TSX-S", as I'll call it, can have a different platform from the regular TSX that it can share with an AWD TL. This will definitely add some design and manufacturing costs to the line-up but it may be worth it. The entry level BMW and Audi are all over the board with what you can have. The Audi offers FWD as a base on the A4. Acura doesn't have to abandon its current TSX base to move up market.

    I drove the RDX last week and it is a relatively quick vehicle. I imagine this engine could do wonders for the TSX with 600 pounds less weight. Granted the options will take away some of that weight difference.
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