Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Where is Honda taking Acura?

18911131436

Comments

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Well said. With an ultra-high powered FR (worse, AWD) coupe, Acura seems to be targeting the same market as Lexus is with the LF-A and Nissan/Infiniti would be with the Skyline. To me this looks like Accord, Camry and Altima battle but at a different level.

    More than anything, the direction AASC points at appears to suggest sales being a primary motivation than showcasing technology. NSX was more of an engineering showcase, inspired by and directly tied to Honda’s re-entry into Formula 1 racing. It was devised as a car to move away from the Honda norm of FF entries. Clearly, it targeted a new class.

    The philosophy involved in the development of the NSX:
    “What we need is a midrange, midship car that provides superior performance yet requires equally superior driving skills in order to be controlled. We can then maximize the dynamic performance of this car to a degree that’s as close as possible to an F-1 machine.”

    I don’t see AASC taking an approach but to be a prelude (pun?) to demonstrate technologies being/to be offered in mainstream Acura vehicles. It isn’t a bad idea, but different. Something I don’t like about it is that Acura could have used a different car for the purpose, be it the RL or something else (CL) which can grab the attention of a typical buyer. While Acura/Honda stayed true to their racing efforts (Acura in ALMS, Honda in F1/IRL) with the next generation NSX as the flagship Acura.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    at some point all this expense and power is limited by speed limits, road design and conditions right? i mean, it may be really cool to show up to some event with one of these super cars, but if you can't stand how it bangs through the pot holes, you can't race it and if you can't let the valet park the thing...

    while a porche carerra 4 for example on northeast winding country roads with no traffic in the fall when foliage is at its peak with a lovely person in the passenger seat is ...blissful... but on the roads of NE suburbia or the city, and it's cold or there's lots of traffic (or cops) it makes you cry doesn't it? :cry:

    i remember being in india at a club and seeing a ferarri parked outside. if you know the roads and the traffic there, you know the absurdity of that sight. :shades:
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    NSX was the stepping stone for Honda/Acura to be seen in the same light as Porsche and Ferrari, even if that meant being spotted in the crowded streets of India. It makes an impression, and almost always a good one. More so, if you can take advantage of a heritage.

    With AASC, no matter how hard Acura tries calling it a successor to the NSX, they would be starting from scratch. Consistency is necessary to establish a heritage. People associate Honda with F1 due to its years of involvement and success.

    Honda's inconsistencies also show up in a lot of other places (including a post I remember Varmint making, either here or on another board), in terms of styling. There is no consistent theme to the grill. Or styling. And as a result, no heritage.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I would have bought an NSX over a Viper, too. I do plan on buying an S2000 and have no plans on purchasing a 350Z.

    But I have no illusions about the rest of the world seeing things my way. This is not about what I like. Nor is it about what you like. This is about what the market does.

    The NSX is a plaque on the wall. Yay, we have a plaque! Did that plaque do any good? Umm... no.

    The Viper is a sales and image-boosting machine of unparalleled success. Only the Corvette and Mustang have achieved similar sales and marketing success.

    We can talk all day about the superiority of Formula One vs NASCAR, but at the end of the day there are 1,000 NASCAR fans for every single fan of F1. Acura might as well use a floral pattern for the interior cloth in the ASC. The loyalty of The Petunia Club of America is worth more than the fan base for F1 in the US.

    (No, I am not suggesting that Acura NASCAR. I'm just making a point.)

    Every time Honda/Acura produces a superior car, somebody else produces something inferior and steals the limelight. Purists are finite. Poseurs are in endless supply. Which would you target if you had a business to run?

    Let me put it in another light. Which market is more ripe for a take-over? Which is the easier car to take down? Should Acura attack the Carrera GT, the Enzo, and Gallardo? Or is the DB9 the soft spot?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "More than anything, the direction AASC points at appears to suggest sales being a primary motivation than showcasing technology."

    See, that's not true at all. The ASC showcases SH-AWD. A car with a MR platform and a big engine has nothing in common with other Acura products.

    Besides, what's wrong with sales? That is the name of the game, after all. A car needs to be seen to be appreciated. If nobody buys them, nobody sees it. And if nobody sees it, nobody appreciates it.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "With AASC, no matter how hard Acura tries calling it a successor to the NSX, they would be starting from scratch. Consistency is necessary to establish a heritage."

    This is true. If Acura produces the ASC, they should not name it NSX or try to compare it with the NSX. Doing that would be inconsistent. The ASC should stand on its own merit as a completely new product.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    I was over at the Acura dealer last evening, and I walked the lot to kill five minutes, just looking at all the vehicles. There wasn't anything there that looked hot, or even very desirable, except the '06 NSX my local dealer still has in the showroom.

    I suppose Acura had to go SUV-heavy - it's a sign of the times - but Acura really needs some exceptional vehicles, and what they have is some decent vehicles. I eyeballed the new TL-S closely, but I can't say it thrilled me all that much. $38K for a FWD stick shift? That won't be me.

    They say BMW is close to committing to bringing over the 1-series for '08. Volvo will have the C30 T5 this year. The A3 has sold better than expected. The only reason the C230 hatch failed was that it was totally unworthy of the MB name. Instead of pushing for the stars with the same ol', same ol', Acura should be putting out some models to compete in the mid-$20s that actually are sporty (NOT two tons, NOT SUVS with the driver's butt four feet off the road, NOT sedans that totally remove the driver from the road, NOT...)

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

  • louisweilouiswei Posts: 3,717
    There wasn't anything there that looked hot

    If that's the case for Acura the I could say the same thing about Lexus, Infiniti and Audi. The reasons I left BMW and MB out are due to: M5, M6, SL and CLS. Taken those niche cars away then they are all the same.

    I guess that's why Lexus is introducing the LF-A and F-series, Acura the ASC, and Audi the R8. Don't know what Infiniti has working in the mill but humor has it that the GT-R is going to carry the Nissan badge.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The ASC showcases SH-AWD. A car with a MR platform and a big engine has nothing in common with other Acura products.

    Then why does Honda spend millions in F1/IRL racing efforts? Why is Acura stepping into ALMS? They have nothing in common with the product they sell after all! Although, we might see a TSX following an Acura LMP2 on a track in a commercial someday. IMO, it might be better if it were NSX doing that instead.

    If it were about showcasing SH-AWD, Acura could have used RL to do so. And if there is something Acura needs something today to boost sales, focus need to be placed on drivetrain, platform, features and styling. Having ASC on top is not going to help.

    The Viper is a sales and image-boosting machine of unparalleled success. Only the Corvette and Mustang have achieved similar sales and marketing success.

    Only in America, where the market is clearly biased towards muscle more than anything else. Remember, it is also a market, as you suggested, that favors NASCAR over F1.

    Besides, I'm not sure Viper image helped Dodge at all. None of the models that have been contemporary to Viper exist today with the exception of Caravan.

    Purists are finite. Poseurs are in endless supply. Which would you target if you had a business to run?

    Former. It is hard to appeal to the latter unless the badge helps and at this point, Acura is not in that position. For some reason, I have a feeling Lexus will have an easier time selling LF-A even if it carried a higher price than Acura might with ASC even if it obliterated the former in performance.

    Which market is more ripe for a take-over? Which is the easier car to take down? Should Acura attack the Carrera GT, the Enzo, and Gallardo? Or is the DB9 the soft spot?

    None of the above. NSX helped build a foundation. The next step should have been to grow on top of it. This is how a company builds "heritage", something to rest laurels upon and benefit in the future. Taking steps in different directions will only create chaos and the issue of lost identity (kinda like RL, which also suffers from the same).
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    ALMS and F1 are about getting the brand name out in the airwaves. That's brand-level advertising, not product-level. A halo car is about advertising product-level technology.

    If you can't see that the Viper helped the corporate image for Dodge, call your optometrist. She may be able to help.

    Acura had its chance to build heritage with the NSX. That was more than a decade ago. They failed to seize the moment. That moment is long gone. Time to create a new moment.

    Adding a car like the ASC to the line-up would mean that 5 out of 7 Acuras would share SH-AWD. They've already shown the Sports4 concept with SH-AWD and popular opinion is that it will become the next TSX. It's possible the TL will follow with SH-AWD. Even if those AWD models are only the Type S variants, that makes 7 out of 7 cars with AWD as either standard hardware or a performance upgrade.

    If not being consistent with their line-up is chaos, then why add a halo car with a completely different drivetrain? Your RWD mid-engined car is the abberration in the line-up even if Acura doesn't go with SH-AWD for all their cars.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "The Viper is a sales and image-boosting machine of unparalleled success. Only the Corvette and Mustang have achieved similar sales and marketing success."

    You better clarify "unparalleled success". I don't know what the Viper sales numbers are, but I see more Ferrari's costing 2-4 times as much in the DC area. And, last time I checked, "little" Porsche was more profitable than Dodge, Chevy and Ford combined.

    "We can talk all day about the superiority of Formula One vs NASCAR, but at the end of the day there are 1,000 NASCAR fans for every single fan of F1."

    And, as with the above response, the size of the market does not necessarily equate to the quality of the market. Sure, if I'm selling Miller Genuine Draft, I want as many beer gut fans as I can possibly reach. But if I'm selling Brietling watches, I'll go for the F1 crowd. I'm sure the NASCAR loyal Big Three buyers still purchase more cars (pick-up trucks included) than the Formula One demographic, but that quantity over quality doesn't mean do-do on Wall Street. I have a business school classmate with a higher net worth than Ford. And guess what, he doesn't drive one.

    "Let me put it in another light. Which market is more ripe for a take-over?"

    I think I've answered that ad naseum before. The RL should target the 5 series, including the 550i 6-speed. There are a lot of competitors producing very attractive "luxury" laden sedans (Lexus, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, etc.), but they all seem to fall a little short of BMW when it comes to the "sport" side. That market niche is, IMO, ripe for Acura. As for what to do with an NSX type sports car, I'd target the 911/430 market demographic and leave the Viper/Corvette crowd to their own devices. Obviously, there will be some crossover. But I have childhood friends that fall into the NASCAR crowd that don't yet know how to pronounce Acura. A waste of time and money to go after that group.

    P.S. None of my comments are meant to offend fans of Rusty Wallace. I'm just responding to what I think is the right business strategy for Acura if I were on their Board.
  • Acura has been near luxury for so long that when it turned luxury no one noticed. Also they have no V8's. Many people want acceleration performance with luxury in the US and if you have a large heavy car it needs a V8 for the torque (turbo engines aside). If they are smart they will find a way to put the AWD system in everything except the TSX. As for me I dont like a I6 5 series any more then a V6 RL. The other thing is the styling seems to age faster then BMW and Mercedes. Finally some people have a problem with the Honda association in japan. Honda is not agressive enough. Thats why Toyota is winning.
  • As the owner of a 2003 BMW M5 and a 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo, I somewhat agree with habitat1's suggested target market for Acura.

    I serve on several company boards and am active in my regional business community. A lot of my peers would be prospective candidates for a high end Japanese alternative to BMW or Porsche, but none exist. And, for whatever reason, Acura seems to be the logical candidate. Perhaps I am influenced by my neighbor that owns a Ferrari 430, but also has a Honda S2000 in the family. He speaks fondly of that car as displaying some impressive engineering. Having someone with a 9 figure net worth praise a car is, IMO, more valuable to brand image than buying a NASCAR banner, at least amoung those that can actually afford high end sports cars and sport sedans.

    Even my nephew, who just bought a BMW 335i through European Delivery, offered that he wished Acura had a better alternative for him to consider.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "The other thing is the styling seems to age faster then BMW and Mercedes."

    While BMW does have designs that age nicely I don;t think the current 5 Series may not look that good 10 years from now. Well as for Acura styling the 1st generation TL(96-98) has aged well in the styling but it was too bland I think for people. The 99-01 TL has aged well too but again but than again everybody lambasted Acura for bland styling so thats what led to the 04 TL styling too. The release of the Infiniti G35 in 2002-2003 also pressured Acura to go with a more sporty look for the TL for the 3rd generation of TL(04+.) I'm in agreement on Mercedes their designs are timeless.

    "Finally some people have a problem with the Honda association in japan. Honda is not agressive enough. Thats why Toyota is winning."

    What do you mean Honda's not agressive enough so thats why Toyota is winning?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If not being consistent with their line-up is chaos, then why add a halo car with a completely different drivetrain? Your RWD mid-engined car is the abberration in the line-up even if Acura doesn't go with SH-AWD for all their cars.

    Most of us probably never saw, or had heard about the original Honda S-cars. It would be 35 years since the launch of the original (S500) that S2000 was added. We could see a heritage there. The car itself has nothing in common with the existing Hondas which are all FF drive cars. So S2000 doesn’t share the orientation/platform or the engine. Should Honda have used an FF car instead to have more in common with the rest of the lineup?

    Cars like S2000 and NSX didn’t represent cars in the line up, they represented the brand and its core values. Coincidentally, Viper does the same for Dodge.

    Besides, cars like ASC are meant to represent the brand as do spending millions in racing, which should help sell lesser cars.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "You better clarify "unparalleled success"."

    I mean that the presence of the Viper helped Chrysler sell other vehicles. It was successful as a halo. The 90's was something of a comeback period for Chrysler and the Viper was part of that. Notice how many trucks got V10 engines and how many RT cars followed.

    Was it enough to single-handedly save the company from recent and current bugaboos? No. But it played it's role very well. It still does well today.

    "I think I've answered that ad naseum before."

    Sorry. When I asked about targeting a market, I was talking specifically about whether to go after the track-style exotics or the GT-style exotics. I wasn't asking about $50-60K sedans.

    "As for what to do with an NSX type sports car, I'd target the 911/430 market demographic and leave the Viper/Corvette crowd to their own devices."

    Yes, this is what I was talking about. Although I've used the Viper over an over as a big reason for the decline of the NSX, I do not mean that Acura should target it specifically.

    My point is simply that there is a significant market for hi-po GT cars. Many enthusiasts commenting on the ASC have acted like a FR platform is a waste of time and that only MR cars are worthy. The Viper proves that notion false.

    Rather than target the Viper an Vette, I think Acura should target the DB9, LF-A, and others. I think that kind of car allows Acura to better showcase their technology and corporate mission. I also think they have a better chance of success going up against those manufacturers than they do going head to head with Porsche, Ferrari, and Lamborghini.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    True, the S2000 does not share a layout with other Hondas.

    What it shares is the high-revving driving experience. That is something which has been a hallmark of Honda performance.

    Likewise, the NSX did share something with other Acuras. It was the standard-bearer for VTEC. It also shared the high-revving performance ideal, which was echoed in the Integra; Acura's most successful product for the following decade.

    Well, VTEC is no longer something which Acura can claim is unique to their brand. Nor have most Acura cars been screamers. The cars have changed. Thus the new halo must change.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Save the Civic Si, even the high revving driving experience in S2000 isn't replicated in the rest of the Honda lineup.

    Notice how many trucks got V10 engines and how many RT cars followed.
    RT to Dodge is what Type-R to Honda/Acura would be. It didn’t matter how the cars were oriented (as a matter of fact, most RT’s seem to be FWD). And Viper’s V10 was lifted off RAM (and aluminized for some weight savings).

    VTEC is no longer something which Acura can claim is unique to their brand. Nor have most Acura cars been screamers. The cars have changed. Thus the new halo must change.

    VTEC was not the end of everything that NSX represented. It showcased an emphasis on all-out performance, more so from the chassis than from the engine itself. And while most Acuras may not be screamers, the new halo is going to be.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Save the Civic Si, even the high revving driving experience in S2000 isn't replicated in the rest of the Honda lineup."

    Several generations of Civic Si, the CRX Si, and the Preludes. Obviously, the S2K took it farther than any of the others, but that's sorta the point of a halo car. Honestly, I can't think of a Honda performance car known for low-end grunt, can you?

    "VTEC was not the end of everything that NSX represented."

    No, VTEC was not the sum total of the NSX. But it was the technology which the NSX showcased.

    Look, if a Halo car is going to be successful, it must have something in common with the rest of the line. Something more than a badge. Whatever that is, it needs to be something owners can point at and say, "See that. That's Acura goodness right there between the widget and the gizmo." It cannot be an intangible standard of engineering or ethereal notion about "Japanesiness". The original NSX did this with VTEC. The best choice for Acura right now is SH-AWD.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Well, it may not be a performance car per se, but the J30 in the Accord is pretty gutsy IMO. MT (I believe back in 04') claimed the 6-speed coupe out-muscled the 350hp GTO to 60 and through the quarter. I find the J-series motors in general to be quite torquey, but yes, Honda in general is not known for effortless power.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Unless Honda (and Acura) adopts the old formula of adding displacement in its performance car, while getting as many horses as possible, we are not going to see low end grunt (relatively speaking) associated with them. The same will be true with ASC if Acura chooses to go with 4.0-liters instead of using 5.0-liters for the V10.

    As far as high performance engines go, Acura has had its fair share of high revving engines, although limited to Integra (GS-R and Type-R) and RSX Type-S. And speaking of Prelude’s high revver, the engine in TSX is simply an evolution of that engine with good mid range (for the displacement), peak power arriving at the same engine speed, and red line in low 7000’s. Interestingly enough, NSX’s C32 (and C30 before it) had similar characteristics except that, with help from short stroke, it redlined at 8000 rpm.

    Look, if a Halo car is going to be successful, it must have something in common with the rest of the line. Something more than a badge… The original NSX did this with VTEC. The best choice for Acura right now is SH-AWD.

    I do not agree. The top car in the lineup should represent the brand and its core values. The focus should not be localized to a single feature offered by the brand. It doesn’t have to be like the rest of the cars, to be successful or not, and we have seen that with S2000. We see that in case of Viper. How about Corvette? Lexus?

    In fact, Lexus serves as a great example. The brand has been associated (rightfully) with the philosophy of pampering and isolating everybody inside the cabin. What do you think Lexus LS represents that also translates to the success of ES and RX?

    It is also a reason I think RL disappoints many. When you get in virtually any Honda or Acura, you expect a well balanced car, one that handles well and doesn’t compromise ride quality for it. This is true for all cars. I won’t say that about RL. Sure it can out-handle virtually all cushy drivers while being one, but it is still a soft car.

    No matter how much people associate Infiniti M as being harsh/stiff compared to say Lexus GS (people don’t expect that) or Acura RL (what do we expect from this car? Is it Honda-ness or Lexus-ness?), Infiniti is being consistent with its approach, starting with the lowest model in the lineup and all the way to the top. Wait, Q45 also suffers a lot, perhaps because it has a confused personality.

    A lot of people admire Honda (includes me) for reasons well beyond a feature or two. I cheer for Honda while watching F1 or IRL (don't need that anymore in IRL with a guaranteed Honda engine win which actually sucks :P), but that has nothing to do with whether those cars use technologies directly found in my Honda/Acura vehicles. How much is common between a Ford Taurus on a NASCAR circuit and the one that was being manufactured?

    Mainstream cars’ success depends on their own merit. People weren’t buying Neon or Caravan because they had a feature also used in Viper.

    NSX didn’t represent VTEC. It represented:
    - Hondas success in F1 racing and Honda's heritage in general (racing)
    - Honda emphasis on making a super car that, unlike others, was reliable, and comfortable
    - An engineering billboard to demonstrate the capabilities of a company, expected from a company that we see as being run by engineers

    And as a result, Honda caught attention of the world including mine (I almost got an NSX myself). I did not buy Accord (a Prelude and a Civic after that) because it had VTEC like NSX did. It was mere coincidence that it did and at the same time, it was nothing like the VTEC in NSX.

    If focus on a feature helps, RL shouldn’t need a premature redesign to boost sales with launch of ASC. But I don’t think it will work.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Audi R8! While the rest of the Audi lineup which is FF based, R8 is a car people can directly relate to Audi’s participation at Le Mans. Emphasis on shared features (FSI, V8, or Quattro) is secondary. It should make people talk about Audi as a brand.

    Acura is at Le Mans too, and not in GT1 class. LMP2s are powered by mid-mounted V8 engines. I would have loved to see NSX revival with its own V8. Then it won’t be a stretch to call it street legal version of the LMP2, to add to it also representing street legal version of Formula 1 racing that has always been associated with it. Doing so would have helped expand an idea that was born over twenty years ago.

    And a V8 would have probably helped the rest of the lineup more than a V10 would, something that even has a potential of being shared with lesser Acura vehicles. Now, if ASC were to pave the way for a V10 powered, SH-AWD driven Acura RL at reasonable prices, I won’t complain. Until then.

    There is another thing about ASC presentation I didn't like. To illustrate my point, a few years ago, GM showcased its Hywire concept and Honda had its FCX. Hywire had technology that could be appreciated, but more focus seemed to be on styling etc. FCX, OTOH, was purely about technology and readiness to be commercially viable and it ended up as that. Styling upgrades are finally due in 2008.

    As an admirer of an engineering oriented company, I appreciated that approach. Based on the NSX (hi)story, emphasis on styling was limited to the inspiration (which is said to be the F16 jet). But emphasis on performance orientation and goals were well defined.

    It is 2007 now, and we see an incomplete concept focused on styling that “might” be able to take a V10 under the hood. Have things changed so drastically at Honda?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Yeah, I can see your point about the Accord Coupe. But even if we can pull one or two examples of moderately torquey engines, they aren't what the company is known for.

    Honestly, a good part of "Honda's" reputation for high-strung performance has little to do with Honda products here in the US. Many of them are sold only overseas and one of the most visible examples in our market (Integra Type R) was badged as an Acura.

    In the case of the Acura, the enthusiast crowd knows that Honda and Acura are the same under the badge. So, even though the 'teg wore an Acura badge, it still helped Honda's image.

    Good for Honda, but not so good for Acura.

    That link to Honda created other problems. I don't think it's news to anyone that Acura has been trying to distance themselves from Honda products. Dumping the Integra name and finally removing the car from the lineup were both moves in that direction. The TSX is another revver, but even that one is rumored to be getting a Turbo and SH-AWD.

    So, when I see Acura considering a V10 AWD supercar, I see potential. Using AWD and lots of cylinders is not Honda's thing. So, this car is different than a typical performance Honda; achieving product separation. Furthermore, because the ASC showcases SH-AWD, it features DNA unique to Acura. I think those are good things.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Let us draw a mainstream comparison.
    Accord 3.0/V6: 211 lb-ft
    Camry 3.5/V6: 246 lb-ft
    Conclusion: Accord lacks the low end grunt.

    Let us extend it to a potential fast car comparison.
    ASC 4.5/V10: 350 lb-ft
    Corvette 7.0/V8: 470 lb-ft

    Conclusion: ASC lacks the low end grunt.

    The issue, no matter how trivial, isn’t going away. It is simply being taken to another level based on increased horsepower which is expected to be 500 HP or so.

    As far as SH-AWD and Acura DNA is concerned, to a common person, is it really that different from Quattro or X-Drive or anything that Subaru or Nissan offer? Unless that common person is a techie, and unless SH-AWD manages to keep its unique aspects just that, I just don’t see why the entire focus needs to boil down to that single aspect.

    Now let us look at options (if I were running Honda, I would):

    NSX
    Chassis: Mid mounted, RWD
    Engine: 4.0 or 4.5-liter V8, 450 HP/300-350 lb-ft

    ASC
    Chassis: Front mounted, AWD
    Engine: 4.5 or 5.0-liter V10, 500-550 HP/350-375 lb-ft

    With NSX, I could have set a sub-3400 lb curb weight goal. With ASC, IMO, it will be a miracle (or very expensive) to target sub-3600 lb.

    With NSX, a rear weight bias is virtually guaranteed and that can help in a lot of “driver oriented” performance areas. With ASC, I’m almost prepared to hear a slight front weight bias although Acura might try to work around it (and compromise a few things along the way).

    So, while ASC has something that lesser Acura vehicles might be able to brag about, NSX could have had something that could have been used in lesser vehicles too and that is the V8. An AWD system can be an option, an engine never is. My priority goes to the engine.

    Now, even if both cars were to be priced at $75K, which would you prefer?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Didn't see your post when I wrote that last one. But I see I anticipated a number of the points you made.

    Since I know you like to post formulas (I've appreciated a number of them), I'm going to condense this a bit.

    10 cylinder > # of liters

    Super car + Core values = Nice

    Super car + Core values + Common technologies = Better

    Your example about Lexus and the LS, RX, and ES proves my point. They all share tangible DNA, which the owners may experience first hand.

    Racing = brand image

    Halo cars = product image

    I do not dispute the fact that the NSX caught many people's attention. But the only car it helped to sell was the Integra, which was the lowest priced, least prestigious car on the lot. Why? Because it shared nothing with the other cars in the line.

    I'm sorta done with going in circles on this one.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I'm with you on the V8 vs V10 thing. Acura should be building one of those for their regular products before getting into exotics again.
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    Good for Honda, but not so good for Acura.

    varmint, can you state that another way so others (like me) can understand your point?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "Now, even if both cars were to be priced at $75K, which would you prefer?"

    I can't believe you think that's important! This is not about you and me. This is about building a product line for a company that sells cars to make money!

    And, by the way, the ASC looks to be mid-engined car. Just like the S2000. They ain't gonna cram a V10 ahead of the front axle.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Sorry. I've been going back and forth with Robert so often, I'm starting to paraphrase extensively.

    One of the things achieved by the NSX was the promotion of VTEC performance. The NSX proved that Honda's racing technology worked, even at the level of exotic cars.

    The fact that VTEC (and the whole high-revving driving experience) was shared between both Honda and Acura added to the marketing impact of those little VTEC badges. If VTEC had been made exclusive to Acura cars, then the Hondas would not have benefited very much from the NSX. With 2 brands putting VTEC cars on the road, it doubled the marketing impact.

    So, it was good for Honda that they got to share the halo effect from the NSX. That's the good news.

    The bad news is that Acura (a premium brand) was now linked directly with Honda (non-premium). You could get Acura's best technology at the Honda store. In the years following the NSX, Acura became known for the VTEC Integra. The Integra had the most in common with the NSX in terms of driving experience and technology. The RL and Vigor/TL were different kinds of cars. So the NSX didn't really benefit them. Acura's best-seller became the budget car on the lot which was most often compared with Toyota's and Nissan's instead of premium cars.

    Nowadays, many people look down on Acura and claim that Acura cars and just "gussied-up Hondas". That is, in part, a result of that link they established back when they began sharing Halo car technology across the Acura/Honda divide.

    Now, I don't mean to suggest that the NSX is completely to blame for all of Acura's woes. Obviously, Acura had plenty of other troubles. But I think that if Acura introduces a new super car, it should include important, salient technology that is not shared with Honda products.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If common features are necessary, than V8 + SH-AWD make more sense than just SH-AWD, unless V10 from ASC is also shared by others in the lineup. SH-AWD could definitely be demonstrated in NSX too! But it won’t be something I would like to see, for weight and efficiency reasons as they apply to sports cars.

    As far as Lexus is concerned, I am not seeing how it proves your point. The commonality between all Lexus vehicles is that they are staid, isolating and comfortable movers. It’s something we have come to expect from Toyota. Mark Levinson in ES350 isn’t a nice system because it is also in LS.

    But the only car it helped to sell was the Integra, which was the lowest priced, least prestigious car on the lot. Why? Because it shared nothing with the other cars in the line.

    I don’t know how you arrived at that conclusion. Realistically speaking, I expect the cheapest cars in any lineup with broadest appeal to sell better than others. Interestingly enough, let us look at sales numbers from Acura lineup:
    1989:
    NSX – N/A
    Legend – 64.6K
    Integra – 77.4K

    1990:
    NSX – 1,119
    Legend – 53.6K
    Integra – 83.6K

    1991:
    NSX – 1,940
    Vigor – 11.3K
    Legend – 65.7K
    Integra – 64.8K

    1992:
    NSX – 1,154
    Vigor – 13.8K
    Legend – 49.9K
    Integra – 55.2K

    I didn’t know Legend actually outsold the Integra in 1991 and the sales were fairly close in 1992. How do you think NSX impacted sales of Legend and Integra? Integra was selling just as well before NSX arrived.

    If Acura were to launch ASC now, I just don’t see RL getting an automatic boost in sales. Shared features between a halo car and lesser versions can go only as far as seeing that Odyssey chasing a Honda Formula 1 car on a race track. The vehicles eventually sell on their own merits. It is establishing a brand image that Acura needs to worry about right now.

    I'm with you on the V8 vs V10 thing. Acura should be building one of those for their regular products before getting into exotics again.

    No. Perception is key, especially important for Acura. How many times do you see someone say that Accord is based on RL platform? It is always the other way around and usually to put the Acura down. It doesn't matter if Honda actually designed the platform to be used on RL/Legend first and detuned for lesser cars. What matters (clearly) is when the respective vehicles were produced.

    To avoid that, top-to-bottom approach is needed. V8 or V10 need to be showcased at their best with detuned version showing up later in lesser models.

    And, by the way, the ASC looks to be mid-engined car. Just like the S2000. They ain't gonna cram a V10 ahead of the front axle

    Front-mid would be more like it, but my concern comes from the fact that unlike S2000, ASC is using an AWD system which will add some weight up front. Front-mid doesn’t guarantee a 50-50 weight distribution (or slightly rear biased 48-52 as in S2000). We see that in Infiniti G35, and even Corvette.

    Speaking of AWD, I was actually very excited to read about the system in 2001 Honda Dual Note concept and perhaps the immediate predecessor to SH-AWD (the original predecessor dates back to 1991 Honda FS-X concept). And it was a mid-engined sport sedan! I wouldn't have complained about it weighing 4000 lb. But for a sports car, I would have skipped the AWD system.
Sign In or Register to comment.