Saturday, December 30, 2006

Acura at the San Diego International Auto Show

I went to my first international auto show yesterday. I really wanted to check out Acura's ugly Advanced Sedan Concept. Sadly, I couldn't find it at the auto show... how disappointing. However, I did check out some other Acuras represented there.

This was Acura's main display at the show, there was a lady announcer on the platform with the Acura RL & MDX. Acura's display section was outdone by Lexus' two section down. The Acura section basically had two of each current vehicle on display, one with Navi and one without.

The TL however seemed to be the main attraction because it was on the rotating display in the center of the Acura section. I understand the TL is probably the best selling Acura right now, but I think the RL, their "flagship," should be the main attraction.

Another angle of the featured TL.

Inside the cabin of an Acura RL. In my opinion, the RL has one of the better interiors when comparing to other luxury brand cabins. BMW cabins are very outdated.

A white NSX on the top level of the San Diego International Auto Show. The top level mainly featured modded and tuned cars.

A black Acura NSX... shiny! Talking about bland and plain interiors, if you ever been in a NSX, the interiors are very outdated... kind of like the current BMW's.

A tuned TSX on stands with two Nissan Skylines on each side. Dang it, this little girl wouldn't get out of the way!

Up close of the TSX.

I know I didn't get a picture of all the current Acuras and that wasn't my goal. My goal was to see the Acura ASC and see how well Acura was represented this year at the San Diego International Auto Show. All I can say is, I wasn't disappointed with Acura's display, however I wasn't impressed. Although, I was disappointed that I wasn't able to see Acura's Advanced Sedan Concept up close and in person!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Acura's future direction is unsure...

The blind leading the blind. That is how I would describe Honda's future along with Acura's future after reading this article: Honda CEO won't let growth engine idle. I am usually a supporter of the underdog, and the first Japanese luxury brand (Acura) is now an underdog. They're making quite a bit of money off the TSX and TL, however Acura's "flagship," the RL, is not a success in many people's book. Acura has to work hard to separate itself from Honda, however they still sound unsure as of how they're going to do that. Below are excerpts relating directly to Acura taken from the article:
Honda has always prided itself on the performance of its engines. Now the Acura brand is supposed to distinguish itself by being more performance-oriented. How?

We need to emphasize the product differentiation between Acura and Honda. Our aim is to further enhance the Acura brand. We are trying to shift the image associated with the Acura brand to one that's more sporty, more luxurious compared to the conventional Honda image. So the Acura engines need to be sportier. One way would be what we did with the RDX. To differentiate it from the CR-V, we put in a turbo. Going forward, we're thinking of different ways to differentiate.

Will we see more Acuras with turbochargers?

As of now, we don't have that plan.

It's not going to be just turbos, but we'll be employing different approaches to enhance the sportiness of Acura. Of course there will be differences in timing of implementation. For example, we don't have any intention to keep turbos just dedicated to Acura. So in the future it's possible that they will be adopted in Honda products as well.

Will we see different suspensions on Acuras?

That's a possibility. We don't have any specific ideas right now. But suspensions might be one of the approaches we might take. Another would be powertrain or drivetrain systems.

Acura sales still seem to be struggling, even with the new RDX and MDX. Are you satisfied with the launches of those models?

I am satisfied with the RDX and MDX that we've launched. I don't really consider that the volume is struggling. That's something we can grow step by step. Still, we need to further enhance the premium-brand image of Acura, within our pursuit of a premium brand.

Last year we came up with the RL, with which we aimed to further enhance our image. But that was slightly under our expectations. It was not a big success.

In that case, it seemed that you offered only one version, and customers wanted more choice. Do you need to offer more choices and variations within each nameplate?

Our basic idea would be not to pursue that way. Rather, we want to pursue a more clear identity for different models.

Is it fair to assume that the planned V-6 diesel will go into Acura cars and perhaps Honda trucks?

I cannot say which models will get it. We'll make the appropriate decision when the time comes.

Will the V-6 use the same clean technology as the smaller diesel you plan?


Is the Ridgeline a candidate to get that diesel?

The Ridgeline, MDX, Pilot, Odyssey -- those would be the Honda products that would need this kind of technology.

Would those diesels, both the V-6 and the smaller one, have the kind of performance you're looking for in Acuras?

I think we can use them both ways to their respective purposes, because we can make them meet the requirements of more sporty performance required by Acura.
You would think by now they thought of exactly what Acura should be. What image an Acura vehicle portrays, other then being sporty and luxurious. They have to provide technology that can't be found in Hondas! However, from the answers provided, they seem to be unsure of what the consumer wants and what they want to provide. Read the rest of the article to learn more about Honda/Acura's future plans.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Insurance for Acuras

Click image to view larger, or click here to browse insurance ratings for other vehicles.

Acura Integra - most wanted by thieves

A few months ago, reported a list of most stolen cars. The Acura Integra lands 6 of the top 10 spots, 7 of 11 if you count number eleven. The CCC compiles its list with data on vehicles that are stolen but not recovered, or are stripped to the point of being a total lost. An analysis from CCC states that the Integra is popular due to its "powerful engine that easily can be swapped into a lighter Honda Civic, making it a quick street racer."

The list is based on a comparison of loss claims
to the total number of registered vehicles.

1. 2001 BMW M-Series Roadster
2. 1998 Acura Integra
3. 2004 Mercury Marauder
4. 1999 Acura Integra
5. 1995 Acura Integra
6. 2002 Audi S4
7. 1996 Acura Integra
8. 1997 Acura Integra
9. 2001 Acura Integra
10. 2000 Jaguar XJR
11. 1994 Acura Integra
12. 2005 Suzuki Aerio
13. 2004 Suzuki Aerio
14. 1998 Land Rover Range Rover
15. 1998 Jaguar XJR
16. 2003 Mercury Marauder
17. 2000 Acura Integra
18. 2002 Cadillac Escalade
19. 2000 Audi A8
20. 2000 Audi S4
21. 1993 Mercedes-Benz 600
22. 1995 Land Rover Range Rover
23. 2005 Cadillac Escalade
24. 2000 Honda Civic
25. 2001 Audi S4
Source: CCC Information Services

"The Integra was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list six times, in 1987, 1988, and 1994 through 1997. The GS-R model was called out specifically in 1994 and 1995." -

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Advanced Sedan Concept drawing...

We all have seen Acura's Advanced Sedan Concept (ASC), which debuted at the L.A. Auto Show this year. Most of us agree it's hideous! Well, I'm guessing the image I found on was what Acura had in mind of the ASC.

In my opinion, the car in the concept drawing looks like a futuristic monster killer, while the real life built version looks like a clown.

I want to go to the San Diego Auto Show and see the ASC myself, maybe it's not as bad looking in person... hopefully...

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Advanced Sports Car Concept

Acura will be making a debut of the "Advanced Sports Car Concept" (ASCC) in 2007 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit! The concept is a glimpse of Acura's future exotic sports car. More news on the "Advanced Sports Car Concept" will be announced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit at 1:20 pm on Jan. 7th.

Is this a hint of the next "NSX"?!?!

Most Affordable Luxury Cars... composed a list of "most affordable luxury cars," two of which were Acura vehicles. The RDX and MDX made it into the list of "luxury vehicles available in the U.S. that carry base prices between $35,000 and $45,000" generated by

RDX - Most Affordable Luxury Small SUV:

Model: Acura RDX
Price: $32,995
2006 Total Cost of Ownership: $55,680
Fuel Economy: 19/23 mpg
Engine: 2.3-liter turbo inline-4
Horsepower: 240
BusinessWeek Rating: 4/5 stars
Other Awards: Insurance Institute for Auto Safety Top Safety Pick

MDX - Most Affordable Luxury Midsize SUV

Model: Acura MDX
Price: $39,995
2006 Total Cost of Ownership: $55,620
Fuel Economy: 17/22 mpg
Engine: 3.7-liter V6
Horsepower: 300
BusinessWeek Rating: NA
Other Awards: Consumer Reports Good Bet

Something I noticed while flipping through the images, was there wasn't a single Mercedes on the list.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson in NSX

I love the British motoring show Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson is ridiculously funny! When I heard he drove an NSX, I was worried that he was going to trash talk the car like he does with most cars (you can find out if he does or doesn't below). Like most Top Gear car reviews, they turn it into a game, actually for this one they used a game. Clarkson drove an NSX in Gran Turismo on the PlayStation 2, then he went to the actual track and tried to match or beat his time in real life! Was he able to do it?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

RealTime Racing...

"Acura now holds the distinction of being the winningest manufacturer in the 17-year history of the SCCA Pro Racing World Challenge series, breaking the tie with Honda which owns five. Acura takes an insurmountable 11-point lead over Mazda into the season's final race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California on October 22nd."
Your eye's aren't mistaken, that's an Audi and a BMW behind those Acura's. RealTime Racing is currently 10 time World Challenge Champions. "RealTime Racing has been successfully fielding Hondas and Acuras in a variety of motorsports venues since 1987."

[RealTime Source]

SPEED World Challenge Point Standings:
1st - Acura - 75 points
2nd - Mazda - 61 points
3rd - Audi - 40 points
4th - BMW - 11 points

[Standing Source]

Acura V8?

Since the release of the 2005 RL, Acura has been criticized for not having a V8 option for their "flagship." Until recently, Acura has also been enforcing their front wheel drive layout on their vehicles. Due to lack of distinction between it's sister brand (Honda), Acura has been labeled as a "premium" brand instead of a "luxury" brand by many.

However, Acura has started to equip more of their cars with SH-AWD. Currently, the new MDX, RDX, and RL have SH-AWD. Now there are talks about Acura introducing a V8 engine. Hirohide Ikeno, the president of American Honda R&D, hinted at a debut at the Detroit auto show in January. There are also some indications that the V8 engine may be Acura exclusive, meaning that although Honda will be developing the engine, don't expect to see the powerplant in an Accord or Civic.

Now only if Acura will work on their marketing. I'm not sure if Acura's RL is doing poorly in sells due to just the lack of a V8. I believe it's because Acura's marketing is almost nonexistent. When was the last time you saw an Acura RL commercial?

Friday, December 8, 2006

The new NSX!?!? (maybe)

While researching for my "RIP NSX" entry, I ran across some new rumors of the upcoming 2008 NSX! This is based on rumors and speculations, so don't come back here and whine about it, please do that on your own blog and label it as "rant." Onto the rumors:

The "new NSX" will be introduced in 2008 along with the Acura brand in Japan. The engine will be a 4.5 liter V10, with a V angle of 95 degrees, similar to F1 engines. The rumored maximum horsepower is 550HP. The all aluminium body will ride on a newly developed form of SH-AWD... FR+SH-AWD. The style will be more British than Italian and will have a price tag close to that of the previous NSX.

Here are the rumored pictures:

There is no official word from Honda/Acura. I think it looks very sexy, a little Aston Martin-ish. Hmmm... If I could choose the look of the "next NSX," I don't know if I would choose the HSC look or this one, which one would you choose?


Thursday, December 7, 2006


The Acura New Sportscar eXperiment (NSX) was launched in 1991 and shocked the world because no one was expecting a car like this from Honda/Acura. The NSX consisted of an all-aluminium body, chassis, and suspension. Equipped with a naturally inspired 3.0L V6 that can generate 216 kW (290 bhp) and 304 N·m (224 ft·lbf) of torque. This mid-engine, rear-wheel driver car also introduced Honda's famous VTEC technology. After 15 years, Honda ended production of the NSX in 2005.

5 Things You Didn't Know About the NSX
1. First production car with all-aluminum body, chassis, and suspension
2. First production car with titanium connecting rods
3. Final chassis tune signed off by Ayrton Senna
4. Most expensive Japanese car in history at launch
5. Nearly half all NSXs built sold in the U.S. (8854 to June 2005)

There were rumors that Honda's High-Performance Sports Concept (HSC) was to replace the NSX, however those rumors have died down. I like the look of the HSC, it looks like something that would come from an Italian car company, not Honda. All I can say is, the HSC look beats out the ASC look any day of the week!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Super Handling All Wheel Drive Explained...

Described as:
"A world’s first, the SH-AWD system combines front-rear torque distribution control with independently regulated torque distribution to the left and right rear wheels to freely distribute the optimum amount of torque to all four wheels in accordance with driving conditions."
The following link has to be the best explanation of Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) found in the 2005 RL, 2007 RDX, and 2007 MDX.

Click the link below to watch the video directly from Honda.

[Video link]

It was first introduced in the 2005 RL and was named "Best of What's New in the Automotive Technology category of Popular Science Magazine's 2004 Best of What's New list."
"The Acura SH-AWD system is the first and only all-wheel-drive platform to distribute the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels but also between the left and right rear wheels. The result is uncanny cornering performance that provides extremely neutral steering and outstanding vehicle stability."

Friday, December 1, 2006

2007 RDX earns TOP SAFETY PICK Award

Acura's RDX is only one of three luxury SUV's from a total of 13 to win a TOP SAFETY PICK Award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This award "recognizes vehicles that perform best in protecting passengers in front, rear and side crashes based on their ratings in the Institute's tests."

"Like the entire Acura lineup, it features the application of front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), side curtain airbags for front and rear outboard seats and Vehicle Stability Assist(TM) (VSA(R)) as standard equipment. In addition, RDX utilizes Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE(TM)) body structure which helps to disperse collision forces over a larger frontal area."
More here...

The RDX is unique to the other Acura's because it is the first vehicle to be equipped with Acura's first turbocharger and intercooled engine. The RDX is also the first SUV to use Acura's Super-Handling All Wheel Drive system (SH-AWD), which made a market debut on the 2005 Acura RL.

Acura's Le Mans fuel cell racing car.

Introducing the The Acura Nano Hydrogen Racer 1 (NHR-1). Acura plans to utilize molecular nanotechnology.

Woah! Now this could be the next batmobile!

More info here.

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