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NSX Delayed Until 2010

Four One One

Nov 1, 2007
Impp_0711_03_z+newsletter+acura_conceptcar_sideview Photo 1/5   |   NSX Delayed Until 2010

Lexus LF-A
The title says it all. But let us give you a little perspective as to why we may not even see a concept car until at least 2011. The last Acura NSX was a great, but aging, sports car that became far too expensive for the company in the lineup. The costs of retooling the engine alone (to meet emissions regulations) could not be justified, considering the sales numbers were so low. Take it from the experts at Primedia to tell you that the cost of redesigning and engineering a brand new platform and powerplant is extremely expensive and time consuming. On top of the looming deadlines they face, a recent spy video has leaked of the competing Lexus LF-A, which supposedly uses a V10 engine that puts out approximately 500 hp. Thus far, Acura executives have only confirmed that the NSX will be rear-wheel drive and use a V10 engine. The other issue is cost. Acura as a brand has never had the luxury cache enjoyed by competitors such as Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz. It has always maintained a reputation for delivering the best bang for your buck and prices its vehicles below other luxury imports. With a new Nissan Skyline GT-R expected to price in the $70,000 range, and LF-A in the low $100,000s, Acura faces a major dilemma in trying to keep their sports car semi-affordable or ultra-exclusive.

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Can The Right Cell Phone Get You Laid?
Since the dawn of time (or at least the turn of the 20th century in America), any time you asked a teenager what one possession would upgrade their "cool" status (read: make the opposite sex like them), they would more than likely say a car or car-related accessories like 24-inch chrome rims, a bumping sound system or an unnervingly loud exhaust. Then technology came and look where we are now. In a recent CNW Marketing Research survey, only 20 percent of the respondents said a car would impress their peers, down from 35 percent in 2000. In 2007, cell phones/PDAs were the number one most desired possession among 16-29 year olds, with 32 percent answering so. The only other thing that leaves the Sidekick 3 in the dust? An iPhone, according to 70 percent of the respondents. Other items that made the cut above cars included game systems, iPods, shoes and computers.

Formula OneLeprosyAvoids Indianapolis Like
Surprise, surprise: The U.S. Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will not be on the '08 Formula One schedule. Over the years, F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has taken his band of merry misfits from city to city in the United States, but they have not yet settled on one destination. Motorsports of the non-stock car variety are of little interest to most Americans, the cities they have touched down in charge exorbitant fees for the races, and time zone differences are disastrous for F1's core audience who would prefer not to watch their beloved races in the middle of the night.

993horsepowerSuzuki WinsPikes Peak
Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima, age 57 and currently serving as President of Suzuki Sport, drove his insanely powerful Suzuki XL7 Hill Climb Special at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and completed the 156-turn course in 10 minutes, 1.408 seconds, eclipsing Rod Millen's '94 mark of 10 minutes, 4.06 seconds. His Suzuki, which is loosely based on the Vitara, uses a twin turbocharged V6 that produces 993 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque. Tajima has already been quoted as saying that he would like to complete the course next year in under 10 minutes.

Rumors
Diddy Racing
If US Weekly could tackle the motorsports world, there's a good chance that Diddy would overtake Brad and Angelina for the most number of covers. The latest scandal, besides him splitting from his longtime girlfriend Kim Porter after she just had twins, was his announcement at a recent dinner party that he is in talks to buy his own Formula One team. According to very reliable sources in London, where the party was held, Diddy spent the majority of the evening chatting with F1 rookie phenom (and savior of the sport) Lewis Hamilton.

Impp_0711_05_z+newsletter+honda_crx_sideview Photo 3/5   |   NSX Delayed Until 2010

Pocket Rocket Returns
It seems like every time we're bored of waiting for a (real) cool new car to come our way from Honda, we decide to revive the rumor about a new CRX for the umpteenth time. This time, it appears the rumor might have some legs. Sources say that the company is developing a new vehicle based on the Fit platform, with a current wheelbase length of 96.5 inches. Even better, the car will most likely emulate the styling of the original CRX rather than its atrocious offspring, the del Sol. In the last couple of years, Honda has displayed a few offbeat small car concepts at various auto shows and coyly refuses to cough up any info about them other than calling them "design exercises." Oddly enough, none of the designs were well-received and the old Pocket Rocket exterior was chosen instead.

While we're fairly confident that the current Civic Si's K20 motor that cranks out 197 hp would go nicely with the new car, the standard powerplant is still being pored over and is rumored to be a hybrid. Sources say that Honda engineers are trying to merge the now-defunct Insight hybrid motor with a sporty vehicle to achieve outstanding gas mileage (hello, CRX HF?) and great performance. Alas, with stringent safety regulations in place, we are sorry to say that there is no chance in hell the new CRX would still weigh anywhere close to the old one, which weighed 2,200 pounds soaking wet.

Honda V6 Diesel
Engine Coming In 2010Earlier this year, Honda announced plans for a diesel engine now that the hybrid hype has died down a bit. Executives have shed a few details about the forthcoming engine, which should be arriving around 2010. It should achieve 30 percent better fuel economy (or more) than a comparably-sized gas engine, and will be seen in some of the lineup's larger vehicles like the Ridgeline pickup truck and Pilot SUV. But wait, there's more! No automaker develops an entirely new engine without planning for future applications, so look for a new diesel under the hood of a new racing prototype very soon.

Blamewhitey
Telling someone you drive a white car isn't nearly as exciting as telling someone you drive a car that is Le Mans Sunset, but a recent study conducted in Australia showed that light-colored cars were up to 12 percent less likely to get into a serious accident than darker colored vehicles. Statistics also showed that the types of accidents that the light colored cars did get into were also less severe. The study was taken with every car in Australia that was involved in an accident resulting in death or injury, and every car that was cited and towed between 1987 and 2004. While the lighter colored cars were deemed safer, they also had a lower resale value. Over the 18 years covered in the study, white cars were worth up to $700 less than darker colors. Our advice is to stick with silver, which was the most popular car color choice in America in 2006. White was second.

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All-New HondaFit Coming For 2008
It's about time. When the '07 Honda Fit came stateside, it was already a best seller in Japan and Europe (where it is sold as the Jazz). And while the vehicle has been endlessly praised for its interior versatility, comfort and sporty potential (numerous K-series motor swaps have already been noted), it still had one major problem: it was old. The vehicle came straight from Japan with virtually no technical upgrades. It still used an ancient 1.5L SOHC inline four with VTEC, and the gas mileage was actually worse than the new Civic with its 1.8L motor and substantial weight gains. That's about to change, as Honda CEO Takeo Fukui announced in a recent speech that we can expect to see something new from the Fit family at the Tokyo Motor Show this fall. Achieving excellent gas mileage is still top of mind for Honda engineers, and the company has announced future plans for a diesel engine and the next generation of VTEC and hybrid technology. Earlier in the year, rumors swirled of a hybrid Fit. With the Accord Hybrid heading to the graveyard, don't be surprised if Honda decides to go battery-powered on the next generation Fit.

Being Number One Means Nothing If The Kids Don'tThink You'reCool
They're the number one automaker in America, and they're inches from claiming the global crown. You can't hold that distinction and let Honda steal your thunder at the SEMA Show. In 2006, Honda was the "Manufacturer of the Show" and the Civic Si was the official "Vehicle of the Show," the first time a non-domestic car company held that title. It seemed inevitable that Toyota would follow them shortly after. This year, Toyota has announced that they will unveil three vehicles, including the all-new '09 Corolla. While the current generation model speaks more to broke teenagers than driving enthusiasts, the new car will include the familiar sedan body type and also a coupe/hatchback. In case you tried calling Toyota Racing Development (TRD), they probably won't get back to you for a while because they're busying prototyping new factory parts for us all to buy and bolt on to our new Corollas. Try back later.

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Would Have,Could Have,Should Have
When specs for the Mazdaspeed6 first came out, the product brains at Mitsubishi nearly soiled themselves at the thought of being displaced as the kings of turbocharged, four-cylinder greatness. On paper, there was nothing to indicate why the new sports sedan couldn't go head to head with the Mitsubishi Evo. It offered an all aluminum 2.3-liter turbocharged inline four, direct fuel injection, all-wheel drive and 270 hp-comparable or better than say, an Evo 8 with its ancient cast iron 4G63 engine and 276 hp. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. The Mazda6 Sport Wagon will also be discontinued, as demand for the standard sedan and 5-door continue to grow.

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