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 |   |  Shakedown - News May 2009
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Shakedown - News May 2009

Chassis Code Edjumacation: '91-'05 NSX

May 1, 2009
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Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge
It's true. Honda Tuning magazine announces its official entry into the Castrol Syntec Top Car Challenge. Honda Tuning along with six of its sister publications (Super Street, Import Tuner, Modified, eurotuner, Lowrider and 5.0 Mustang) are helping Castrol Syntec look for America's Top Car. We're inviting all of our readers to submit their cars for consideration to compete. Cars will be tested in the following categories:

Lap Times: Compete on a 20-minute road course session for the fastest lap time
-Mile E.T.: Compete for the quickest -mile time (best of three runs)
-Mile Trap Speed: Compete for the fastest trap speed (best of three runs)
Horsepower: Compete for highest peak horsepower (best of three dyno pulls)
Power-To-Weight: Compete for the best power-to-weight ratio
Emmisions: Compete for the cleanest-burning engine
Acceleration: Compete for the quickest 0-60 mph time
Braking: Compete for the quickest 80-0 mph time
Endurance: Compete on the roads of Los Angeles during rush hour
Cost: Compete for affordability. Scores will be based
on data

Does your car have what it takes?
Enter at and find out. Don't want to compete? Check out anyways for competition updates and for your chance to win $10,000.

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S2000: End Of An Era
After ten years of production, Honda is finally pulling the plug on the S2000 this summer, with the last ever of its infamous RWD, F-series-powered roadsters rolling off the line at Suzuka, Japan in June 2009. First released in 1999 for the 2000 model year, the S2000 was intended only as a limited edition tribute to mark Honda's 50th anniversary, but production was extended a full nine years due to high consumer demand and much critical acclaim. Since its debut, Honda has sold over 110,000 S2000s, 65,000 of those in the U.S. alone, and has been honored with multiple awards for the car.

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But Before We Say Goodbye
The S2k Ultimate Edition
Honda (UK) will mark the end of the S2000 with a limited edition version of the award-winning automobile. Only 100 Ultimate Edition S2000s will be produced, and will be sold exclusively in the UK. The special edition S2000 will be offered with the previous, highly acclaimed 2.0-liter, 9,000rpm, F20C VTEC engine, and will be offered only in a Grand Prix White body scheme with graphite effect alloy wheels. The redesign also includes a vibrant red-leather interior, a red-stitched shift boot, and an aluminum shift knob. Ultimate Edition models will be designated and marked by individual numbered plaques mounted to the kick-plates, denoting their position in the final series.

Htup_0905_07_z+shakedown+insight Photo 5/7   |   Shakedown - News May 2009

Mugen Does The Insight?
Mugen, famed producer of high-end, high-performance Honda upgrades, announced earlier this year that it will be creating a line of add-ons and upgrades for the upcoming Honda Insight. Yes, Mugen will indeed be featuring a line of performance parts for the latest hybrid model, which arguably isn't the most performance-oriented model in Honda's current lineup. Whether you're looking to add a few extra horses to the gasoline side of your hybrid powerplant or shed some body weight, Mugen's line provides all the necessary equipment to do so. Just a few of the upgrade options include lightweight aluminum mesh wheels, ABS vacuum-molded grilles, a sports silencer exhaust, visor vents, and a high-speed stability coilover suspension. Get your wallets out, Insight owners.

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Finally, A V-6 TSX
Scheduled to go on sale this summer, the 2010 TSX V-6 will be equipped with a 280 HP, 3.5-liter engine. That's 79 more horsepower than the already impressive 2.4-liter engine all U.S.-bound TSXs have. The TSX will share J-series engines with the non-AWD TL, and will feature exclusive, V-6-only suspension tuning, larger diameter wheels, and a few other enhancements. Though it was speculated earlier this year that Honda would introduce its first four-cylinder diesel in the U.S. in 2009, plans have been put on hold for the TSX's overhaul due to an inability to meet strict U.S. emissions standards. So for now, keep an eye out for the V-6.

5 Tips To A Quicker Sale
* Expect Low-Ballers: You'll encounter them on every forum. Gauge the market and set your price slightly higher with an "or best offer" option to appease the hagglers.

* Show The Goods: Pictures are worth a thousand words. Post clear and well-lit pics and you're bound to get more hits than the other guy.

* Be Honest: Fess up about any imperfections from the get go or you might end up as "that guy" in the classifieds who's got the reputation for selling flawed goods.

* Box It Up: Many sellers wait for the transaction to be completed to look for a box and packing materials. Box things up before you post the ad; you'll be one step ahead and earn the reputation of a quick shipper.

* Stay Active: Nothing's worse than finding something you'd love to buy but the seller can't be contacted. Check private messages and e-mails daily and keep an eye on your thread for offers and questions.

Honda Looks To The Stars For PromotionAmerican celebrities making cameos for overseas companies is nothing new. But did you know that Honda's hired some of the most popular American entertainers to promote its cars? It has.

George Clooney and the Odyssey: Dressed in an all-black suit and looking debonair, though it's just him parking the car, getting a parking permit, and smirking as much as usual.

Ray Charles and the Miracle Civic: The late, great Ray Charles rides in silver Ferio with famous Japanese actress/singer Yasuko Matsuyuki.

Leonardo Dicaprio and the Miracle Civic: Weird, even by Japanese commercial standards, Leo and Japanese girlfriend drive their hatchback through the desert while yelling, "It's a miracle!"

Brad Pitt and the Integra Nottegra: Brad rushes to meet his girlfriend and opts for his quirky "Integra Nottegra Honda" T-shirt (unfortunately there's no Angelina in sight).

Michael J. Fox and the Integra: From 1989, Fox jumps, does some flips, and then drives a four-door Integra with a "DOHC VTEC" logo on the screen. We just like the way he puts a Japanese accent on the word "Integra."

Jody Foster and the EG and Ferio Civics: A young Jody Foster snaps pictures of a passing EG and Ferio as the words "VTEC Engine Formation" pass by. She's starred in several other Civic commercials.

Don't believe these exist? YouTube them for proof.

Htup_0905_10_z+shakedown+assembly_line Photo 7/7   |   Shakedown - News May 2009

20 Million And CountingHonda produced its 20 millionth automobile in North America according to newly released production totals. It all started when the company began local automobile production in 1982 at the Marysville, Ohio plant. Consistent with its commitment to produce products close to the customer, more than 77 percent of all Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2008 were produced in North America--a total of 1,421,427 units. Eleven different models are produced exclusively in North America and include the Accord coupe, Civic coupe and Si, Civic GX natural gas vehicle, Odyssey, Pilot, Element and Ridgeline, as well as the Acura TL, MDX, RDX and CSX.

Honda CEO Swap
As the demand for autos continues to fall to an all-time global low, Honda continues to search for new, younger leaders as the entire industry prepares for a slump. The company follows Toyota and Mazda's moves in handing over management responsibilities to new top executives in further attempts to weather the difficult economic environment. In light of this, Honda has just announced its newest chief executive officer, choosing Takanobu Ito to replace current CEO Takeo Fukui. Ito, Honda's current senior managing director will take over in June, becoming the seventh President & CEO of Honda, while Fukui will take on an advisory role following the switch. From 2003 until now, Fukui has served as Honda's President & CEO, during which time Honda actively evolved its global manufacturing structure and established another North American automobile plant in Indiana, and two manufacturing facilities in Saitama, Japan.

Ito's career with Honda began as an engineer, focusing on chassis design in 1978. He was then put in charge of developing the aluminum body frame of the infamous NSX sports car and worked on several compact sedans during the 1990s. From 1998 to 2000, Ito served as executive vice president of Honda's R&D operations in the U.S., where he helped develop the Acura brand's first sport-utility vehicle, the MDX. Ito also took charge of research and development operations in Japan and in 2005 became general manager of his own factory. In 2007, he was named Honda's chief operating officer of automobile operations and later fulfilled duties as senior managing director. Ito then assumed the top position of president and director of Honda R&D, a position he will continue to hold after his appointment as President & CEO.

The management succession is planned following the final decision of the Honda Motor Co. board of directors after the annual shareholders' meeting, scheduled for late-June, 2009. In the tumultuous auto industry, as car makers across the board slash production, lay off workers, and make other cost cuts amidst crumbling sales, Ito says he is aware of the challenges before him, and that "It's going to be tough."



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