Could the Advanced Sports Car Concept possibly be the next NSX? Is the wait almost over? The answers to these two questions are: "yes" and "no one knows." What we do know is that the dynamically styled sports car concept is the current design direction of the successor to the Acura NSX. It's what's on Honda's mind.
Designed by Acura's Los Angeles-based design team, the Advanced Sports Car Concept is low and wide and has a 108.8-inch wheelbase. There are 19-inch wheels on the front and 20's in the back. The cabin is constructed entirely of tinted glass and sits flush against the body. Few subtle cues-such as the slim LED headlights, which are meant to mimic the old NSX pop-ups, and the wraparound rear taillights-link it to the NSX. Outside of that, all bets are off.
"Our intention was to design an exotic sports car that gracefully combines advanced technology and strong emotion," explained Jon Ikeda, the principal designer at the Acura Design Center, which will open the doors to its new facility this summer. "The technical, machined surfaces and keen-edge design are balanced with sweeping curves and dramatic lines, all of which result in the ultimate exotic sports car."
The Advanced Sports Car Concept features a new high performance rear-wheel-drive version of Acura's Super Handling All Wheel Drive. Interestingly enough, the Advanced Sports Car Concept is powered by a V10 engine that has been mounted in the front. We'll see more at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.
Power CoupeIf the styling holds up, the next Honda Accord Coupe is going to be one mean ride.
Whoa, this is an Accord? Designed with a fastback roofline, a longish hood and a six-sided grille, the Accord Coupe Concept is the sexiest Accord to date. It's also the first Accord concept that Honda has revealed at a major auto show.
"The Accord Coupe Concept demonstrates the styling direction for the upcoming, eighth-generation Accord," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda.
Don't believe the hype-this concept looks production-ready. It features a more powerful and lower-emissions V6. The engine incorporates Honda's next-gen Variable Cylinder Management technology, which means it will provide higher fuel efficiency. Pretty cool stuff, but the real story is the car's hottie body.
Tokyo CoolHonda displays three concept rides at the Tokyo Auto Salon.Honda's slogan at the Tokyo Auto Salon was "Be Cool, Be Chic." And while much of the aftermarket extravaganza is about fast, modified racers and drift cars, Honda focused on stylish people transportation or "getting around with class." The three concept vehicles on display showed off Honda's experiments in AVN-Audio Visual Navigation-and the use of LED lights to create interior mood.
Person Of The YearStephan Papadakis wins award at SEMAStephan Papadakis has added another trophy onto the mantel, alongside his trove of drag racing awards. At the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Papadakis was named the 2006 Person of the Year by the SEMA Sport Compact Council.
The award recognizes creativity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments in the sport compact industry over the past year. Nominees come from all segments of the industry including manufacturing, motorsports, retailers, and media. Other nominees this year were Raceway Park's Javier Ortega, and Scion brand manager Sheila Swanson.
"It's such an honor to be recognized for your accomplishments, especially when you are chosen by your peers in the industry that you live, love and work," Papadakis, who is devoting 2007 to drifting in the Formula Drift series, said. "I get so caught up in our team and company goals sometimes that I forget people are paying attention to what we are doing, which is what makes this recognition so meaningful."
Splash And DashFor the tenth year in a row, Honda's worldwide production increased from the previous year. And Honda achieved an all-time calendar year record for worldwide production. Production in Japan experienced its third consecutive year-on-year increase, and Honda set a new all-time calendar year record for production in North America.
After a year of hype, a fully functional Honda FCX concept car made an appearance at the Detroit auto show. Built with Honda's latest high-efficiency FC Stack, the FCX concept shows the design direction of a totally new fuel cell vehicle. Limited marketing of this new vehicle will begin in 2008 in Japan and the U.S.
It may have looked like the same old robot, but it was a brand spanking new Asimo that made its debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The latest and greatest Asimo moves quicker and smoother. It has enhanced human interaction skills and runs at nearly 4 mph.
Full Of BullTwo friends from Oak-town and their '96 Civic take on super rich people in tight shirts driving European cars in the Bullrun.Honda tuners like to talk about how their cars can match up against Porsches and BMWs. But none have put their cars to the test the way that Sean Yarbrough and Paris Jackson did last summer. The friends from Oakland entered their '96 Civic in the Bullrun cross-country rally. The carrot at the end of the stick-an 18-day-long stick-was a grand prize of $200,000. Their competition: muscle cars and exotics.
But with grit comes the glory. The Bullrun will be broadcast as a reality show on the Spike channel. Hosted by former wrestler-turned-car guru Bill Goldberg, the show will follow Yarbrough, Jackson and their competitors-including celebrities and rich people in general-as they kick off from New York City and dash across the country.
Bullrun, the show, airs on Tuesdays at 10 p.m.
Savage CivicSean Yarbrough and Paris Jackson modified their '96 Honda Civic with a 2.0-liter B18B engine and some serious engine work, including custom rods and pistons, a ported and polished head, Racing Labs custom 4-to-1 header, an Afterburner Turbo exhaust system, and fuel system mods. The Civic rides an NEX coilover system and 17-inch TSX wheels and Falken Tires.
Three Tracks In SpainHonda F1 Team Journeys To Spain To Prepare For The 2007 SeasonJerez: Marco Drives The Ra106Drivers: Christian Klein, James Rossiter and Marco Andretti
The Program: Klein and Rossiter focus on setting up the chassis. Long runs are meant to evaluate the new Bridgestone Potenza tires. Meanwhile, IndyCar's 2006 Rookie of the Year Marco Andretti joins the team for his first drive in an F1 car.
James Rossiter: "We have had a very productive three days for our final test of the year. We are continuing to develop our understanding about the tires all the time, and the car has been very reliable so we were able to cover a lot of laps every day."
Mark Ellis, chief engineer vehicle performance: "This week we have continued our program of understanding the Bridgestone tires, primarily focusing on long runs. Over the last three weeks, the impressive reliability of the RA106 has allowed us to complete 8,000kms on the new specification tires."
Barcelona: First Test For Honda Ra107Drivers: Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello
The Program: The world gets to see the RA107. The new race car makes its first run out on the track. All systems are go, and further engine-cooling evaluations are undertaken to prepare for the warmer events and first flyaway races.
Jenson Button: "It's been a very productive day which was really about running through all the simple things with the car such as basic setup changes and getting the balance to my liking. We achieved that pretty early on which is positive, and it enabled us to cover a good number of laps."
Jacky Eeckelaert, engineering director: "The RA107 program this week focused on the standard control runs that you have to undertake with any new car. We also checked the cooling and oil systems for both the engine and the gearbox to ensure that everything is working correctly... The aero data collected from the RA107 this week shows a very good correlation with the model data from the wind tunnel so we are pleased with that. Now that the car has gone through all of its reliability checks, we will start work on set-up evaluation in Valencia next week."
Valencia: Developing The Ra107Drivers: Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, James Rossiter.
The Program: New controls software is implemented and new chassis setup options are explored. More importantly, the drivers get more seat time in the RA107, which is still being tested for reliability. Wet weather also allows the team to test the Potenza wet tires for the first time.
Jacky Eeckelaert, engineering director: "After the first running of the new RA107 in Barcelona where we confirmed that all of the car systems were working as expected, our program in Valencia this week focused on evaluating different setup parameters, along with the running of our new controls software. Due to the variable weather conditions on the first days of the test, our planned program was a little disrupted so we took the opportunity of an additional day on Friday to maximize our track time.
New team,SamedreamDanica Patrick heads into her third season looking for her first win.Over the winter, Danica Patrick's new teammate, 19-year-old Marco Andretti, tested Honda's F1 car in Jerez, Spain, and wowed everyone in attendance. For the first time in three years, all eyes won't be on the only woman in IndyCars, but the youngest driver in IndyCars. No doubt this is a pivotal year for Patrick. She's on a new team with a winning formula. And she's facing a crossroads in her career. Here's what she had to say about what's on everyone else's mind:
On the importance of winning her first race: I want to win soon, and I want to get it over with, so I don't have to answer any more questions. And so it doesn't have to be sitting on my shoulders, you know, being that burden. But I can't imagine that I feel any different than anyone else who hasn't won their first race, too. It's one of those things when you finally do it, it's such a relief, for me.
On Formula 1: Yeah, it's an option long-term, but at this point in my life it's not something that I want to do, really. I respect Formula 1, I respect it's world class racing. When I moved to England years and years ago, I wanted to race Formula 1, and that's all I wanted to do. But as time went on I started to realize what's also important in my life, and that's having fun-and that Formula 1 isn't the be-all end-all. There's amazing racing here in the States, especially in the IndyCar series. And it's good to be home and by friends and family. I find when I'm happy and when I'm comfortable and, you know, have creature comforts, I feel like I have better success on the track. So there's a lot of pivoting things there. In the future it might be, may be.
On the possibility of losing the spotlight to the high profile Marco Andretti: Well, I don't think that I've noticed necessarily a decline, to be honest. I think it ramped up over the winter-and the excitement with all the new sponsors, and Motorola being on board. And I think the media hinges on performance. So I don't think there will be a difference provided there are good things going on the track. It's fun to be able to go to appearances now with someone that you get along with and that you can have fun with. I tended to go alone or not have much fun, so it's a lot easier to do the things that we, as drivers and public figures, need to do for [ourselves] and our sponsors. So, yeah, it's more fun.