Thursday, December 27, 2007

Acura Related Highlights Of Honda 2007 Year-End CEO Speech

Honda will further accelerate a focus on the following three pillars:

1. Strengthening the foundation for global growth

Europe - Automobile:
In the first half of 2008, the all-new Accord Sedan and Tourer will be introduced to the market. The mass production models will be introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2008. The all-new Accord will be equipped with an i-DTEC engine, which complies with the Euro 5 emission standard expected to become effective in 2009. - (This all-new Accord will most likely be introduced in the States as the next geneation Acura TSX.)

Honda Accord Tourer concept

2. Strengthening the foundation for global growth:


(It must be noted that Honda has no intentions of making an Acura hybrid, but it's still nice to know what Honda is getting.)

* In addition to Civic Hybrid, Honda will introduce a new dedicated hybrid vehicle in 2009. The new dedicated hybrid vehicle will be equipped with a newly developed lightweight and compact IMA (integrated motor assist) system and offered at a more affordable price level base on Honda's efforts to significantly reduce cost. The worldwide sales plan for this vehicle is approximately 200,000 units annually.

* A new sports hybrid, based on the CR-Z introduced at Tokyo Motor Show, will be sold globally.

CR-Z Concept

* The second-generation i-DTEC engine will first be installed to models for European markets in 2008, North America in 2009, and Japan will follow. (An Acura diesel may not be totally out of the question.)

i-DTEC European Honda Accords (a.k.a Acura TSXs).

3. Accelerating our efforts in Japan to strengthen the core characteristic that make Honda unique:

R&D Capabilities:
* In addition to test courses, Honda decided to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura with an aim to strengthen product development for the Acura brand.

* In April 2006, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure separating the product development functions for the Honda and Acura brands. With the addition of a dedicated development facility for the Acura brand, Honda R&D will further strengthen product development capabilities which clearly define the unique characteristics of each brand and accelerate product development that offers new value for the customer.

Automobile - Construction of a new engine plant in Ogawa and new auto plant in Yorii began in fall 2007 with a target to begin operations in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Automobile Business in Japan:
* To further strengthen the Honda brand, all-new versions of four different vehicles will be introduced in Japan during 2008. Honda's goal is to expand sales by offering attractive products which bring more joys to customers.

For the full article: Honda Worldwide News

Monday, December 24, 2007

New Dedicated Acura Development Facility In Sakura For 2009

Honda R&D Co., Ltd. is responsible for research and development activities, announced plans to build a product development facility dedicated to the Acura brand within the new R&D center being constructed in Sakura, Tochigi. The new R&D center will have multiple test courses, which replicate various driving conditions ranging from high-speed driving to urban driving. The construction of this new R&D center began in November 2007 and is scheduled to become operational in 2009. The existing Automobile R&D Center in Tochigi will continue to strengthening product development for the Honda brand and development of next-generation power plants including hybrid, diesel, and fuel cell power plants.

Due to the belief that strengthening advanced technology R&D capabilities in Japan will become increasingly important in order for Honda to continue to grow and advance globally. In April 2006, Honda R&D launched a new organizational structure separating the product development functions for the Honda and Acura brands. With the addition of a dedicated development facility for the Acura brand, Honda R&D will further strengthen product development capabilities which clearly define the unique characteristics of each brand and accelerate development of products that offer new value for the customer.

Including test courses and the dedicated Acura development facility, the overall size of the new R&D center in Sakura is expected to be approximately 2.3 million square meters (m2), with related investment expected to be approximately 48 billion yen. Honda aims to begin partial operation of this state-of-the-art and environmentally-responsible facility in 2009, with full operations in 2010.

This is great news to all Acura fans because there has been much criticism about Acura vehicles just being glorified Accords. Hopefully, Honda/Acura can change this image to further advance the Acura brand, which was the first Japanese luxury brand. Toyota and Nissan soon followed with the Lexus and Infiniti brands.

[Source] JCN Network: Japan's Corporate News

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Honda Promises NSX in 2010

Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, set the original time-frame of 2008-9 for the NSX's replacement, however the "NSX" was a no show at this year's Tokyo Motor Show. Well now Honda has confirmed a 2010 date for the debut of the much anticipated next-generation Acura NSX. “We are developing it without any delay, so most probably we will have it in the period we already promised,” says American Honda President and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura. Iwamura did not give any other specifics on the development. The new NSX's launch would most likely correspond with the global launch of the Acura brand. When asked whether the new NSX will carry an Acura badge in its home market for the first time, he says, “I can’t comment, but (the) NSX is a car for Acura, especially in the United States.”


Related topics:
All NSX Articles
Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept (ASCC)
Honda Sports Concept (HSC)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Can I Use Regular Unleaded In My Acura?

This is straight from the Winter 2008 Acura Style magazine:
"Acura's Client Services (ACS) has thoughts on ill-advised owner attempts to beat stratospheric premium fuel prices by using regular unleaded instead. In a word: don't. Your Acura is designed to operate on 91 octane premium unleaded gasoline. If you're stranded and can't access premium, then 87 octane regular unleaded will see you home, but don't make a habit of using regular gasoline. You want the best possible performance from your Acura-and peak performance demands the correct fuel."
Here is a article on using Regular Vs. Premium gas. Highlights include:

"I personally use regular even though my owner's manual says you'll get better performance with premium," says Lewis Gibbs, consulting engineer and 45-year veteran at Chevron oil company. He's chairman of Technical Committee 7 on Fuels, part of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuels & Lubricants Council. Gibbs knows gas.
The main advantage of premium-grade gas is that it allows automakers to advertise a few more horsepower by designing and tuning engines to take advantage of premium's anti-knock properties. But auto engineers generally agree that if you use regular in a premium engine, the power loss is so slight, most drivers can't tell.

"I go back and forth, and I'm hard-pressed to notice" whether there's regular or premium in the tank, says Jeff Jetter, principal chemist at Honda Research and Development Americas.
He drives an Acura designed for premium.Import brands, especially, use premium fuel to distinguish their upmarket models. Most Toyotas, for instance, are designed to run on regular or midgrade, while the automaker's Lexus luxury brand prefers premium. Same with Honda and its Acura luxury line.

Today's engines use highly evolved versions of a device called a knock sensor to adjust settings automatically for low-octane gas. And more engine control computers have adequate memory to allow separate sets of instructions for various octanes. The engine control computers keep pushing to maximize performance on whatever grade of fuel is used.

The only modern engines that should really need premium are those with superchargers, which force-feed fuel into the cylinders. "You're driving along and just tramp the gas and the knock sensor cannot sense the knock fast enough in some cases," because the supercharger boosts pressure so fast, says Bob Furey, chemist and fuels specialist at General Motors.

Burning regular when the owner's manual specifies premium won't void the warranty, nor damage the engine, even the most finicky automakers say.
"You're giving up perhaps just a little bit of performance that a customer wouldn't really even notice, it's so slight," says Furey.

Automakers say they don't test premium engines on regular to check the difference, but some auto engineers estimate that power declines roughly 5%.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

[TSB] Acura TL Moans When Engine Is Cold

Acura TL Power Steering Moans or Whines

TSB: 07-060

Applies To: 2004-07 Acura TL (ALL)

A moan or whine is heard when turning the steering wheel when the engine is cold. There may be air bubbles or foam in the power steering reservoir. The noise usually goes away when the engine warms up.

Air enters the power steering pump through the inlet joint O-ring.

Replace the O-ring on the power steering pump inlet joint.

O-ring: P/N 91345-RDA-A01

Acura Power Steering Fluid: P/N 08206-9002 (One container repairs about 12 vehicles.)

In warranty: The normal warranty applies.
Operation Number: 5121B5
Flat Rate Time: 0.3 hour
Failed Part: P/N 91345-PAA-A01
Defect Code: 07408
Symptom Code: 04201
Template ID: 07-060A
Skill Level: Repair Technician

Out of warranty: Any repair performed after warranty expiration may be eligible for goodwill consideration by the District Parts and Service Manager or your Zone Office. You must request consideration, and get a decision, before starting work.

1. Remove the right side engine compartment cover (7 clips and 1 bolt).

2. Remove the bolt holding the inlet joint to the power steering pump housing.

3. Place a shop towel under the pump inlet.

4. Twist the inlet joint back and forth until it is loose, then carefully disconnect the joint and point the hose upward to minimize fluid loss.

5. Remove the inlet joint O-ring.

6. Apply power steering fluid to a new O-ring, and install it on the inlet joint.

7. Install the inlet joint, and torque its bolt to 11 N.m (8 lb-ft).

8. Top off the power steering fluid, if needed. Start the engine, and let it idle. Confirm that the noise is gone and that the system is operating properly.

9. Install the right side engine compartment cover.

If this site helped you save some money, please donate via PayPal. Any amount accepted! Thank you. :)

Monday, December 3, 2007

Safety Recall: 2005-08 Acura RL Power Steering Feed Hose Leak

2005 - 2008 Acura RL

Unexpectedly high heat deterioration and bending stress can cause the power steering feed hose to crack, resulting in a leak. A leak from the feed hose can drip P/S fluid onto drivetrain components and the catalytic converter below, causing a burning odor and possibly smoke. The low fluid level resulting from the leak may also cause the power steering pump to whine.

All owners of affected vehicles will be sent a notification of this campaign the week of December 17, 2007.

Some vehicles affected by this campaign may be in your new vehicle inventory. According to federal law, these vehicles cannot be sold or leased until they are repaired. To see if a vehicle is affected by this campaign, do a VIN status inquiry before selling it. In addition, check for a punch mark above the fifth character of the engine compartment VIN. A punch mark in that location means the power steering feed hose kit was already installed at the port, and the vehicle is ready to be sold or leased.

Install a power steering feed hose kit.

Power Steering Feed Hose Kit (Contains P/S feed hose, hose bracket, pressure switch O-ring, and extra trim clips):
P/N 06535-SJA-A01

Acura Precision Crafted Power Steering Fluid (Each vehicle may require up to three 12 oz. bottles):
P/N 08206-9002A

Operation Number: 5121D3
Flat Rate Time: 1.3 hours
Failed Part: 06535-SJA-A01
Defect Code: 5LR00
Symptom Code: Q6500
Template ID: 07-061A
Skill Level: Repair Technician


Click here for a complete PDF on the issue.

Although, it's not a full on recall, there has been some reported problems with the 2004 Acura TL having a power steering problem. The symptom is the vehicle makes a horrible noise during cold starts. My cousin had to take his almost out of warranty 2004 Acura TL automatic in to the dealer so they can replace the power steering pump (under warranty). Someone on the forum noted to make sure that the power steering hose also gets replaced when having this service done.

[UPDATE] This Acura TL issue is now officially a technical service bulletin (TSB).

Thursday, November 15, 2007

[A Look into the Past] 2003 Acura CL Video

This old informational video explores the Acura CL's performance and styling. It also evaluates how the Acura CL measures up to the BMW 330ci, Volvo C70, and Mercedes CLK320 coupe. This was my first time uploading a video to Google Video (because YouTube rejected it due to length), so please enjoy.

Click here other Acura CL related entries.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

[Rumor] Hard To Believe New NSX Rumors

New rumors has it that the NSX's successor will be mid-ship, instead of a front engine layout!

Here are some more rumored info:

Why was the Honda Sports Concept (HSC) scrapped?

Supposedly, the mid-mounted aluminum 3.5L V6 i-VTEC HSC engine, with a 6 speed transmission controlled by either an F1 style paddle shifter on the steering wheel, or a unique dial shifter on the center console was not up to today's standards. So an F1 inspired V10 was promised in the next NSX.

Development issues with the V10 engine?
Honda basically tried to build the car around the V10 engine. They started out with packaging difficulties, and struggled to achieve an agile car with good weight distribution and balance. The V10 required the use of a trans-axle transmission configuration to try make the nose as short as possible.

What's up with the Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept (ASCC)?
The ASCC's long-nose and SH-AWD was the result of building a car around the V10 engine.

Why did Honda finally go back to the drawing board?
Honda was afraid there wouldn't be a market for the ASCC.

So what's the problem now?
If Honda plans to make a more balanced car using a V8 engine, what are they going to do with the already developed 5.0L V10 engine? It's too big for anything in their line up.

[Source] Temple Of VTEC

Click here to see the V10, SH-AWD NSX/S2000 test mule.

[Rumor] Another Acura SUV?

According to, a source with close industry ties reported that Honda is working on 2 new crossover SUVs. One will wear the Acura badge, the other will wear a Honda badge, however both are expected to launch fall 2009.

The Acura SUV is described as a "MDX/NSX" crossover. I'm not sure what that exactly means, but takes it as an "Infiniti FX-fighter." Supposedly, this crossover will be priced in the $50-60k range.

Click here to visit to read about the crossover wearing the Honda badge.

When I read "MDX/NSX" crossover, for some reason I pictured an NSX station wagon doing laps in the Nürburgring. I don't know why Honda/Acura is focusing on more crossover SUVs. I think they should really focus on exciting sports coupes, especially creating the perfect NSX's replacement.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Acura in Russia in 2008

Honda Motors Co Ltd. plans to sell Acura luxurious sedans in Russia as of 2008. The company will open ten offices in Russia’s biggest cities, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to the Nikkei weekly, Honda will market its executive and sports brands – Acura RL, Acura RDX, Acura MDX and Acura TL. The Acura brand is currently being sold in the United States, Canada, China and Mexico.

At present, Honda has 30 shops in Russia. In 2006 the sales level snowballed by 77 percent to 15,723 cars as against 2005. In January-June, sales more than doubled to 13,616 cars. Honda Motors Co Ltd forecasts that in 2010 it may increase sales by six-fold as against 2006 to 100,000 cars a year. The Japanese business newspaper cites statistics proving that in 2006 Russians bought 1.8 million of new cars, while this year this figure may go up by 10-20 percent.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Honda (Acura) Helps Southern California Wildfire Relief Efforts

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced today a pledge of $250,000 to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to assist the Red Cross in providing shelter, relief and recovery support to those affected by the Southern California wildfires. In addition, American Honda is working with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to assess and identify its need for emergency assistance materials and resources such as Honda-made vehicles, generators, and other products, and will donate these materials as requested. Honda will provide a 100 percent match of any funds donated to the American Red Cross or other applicable organizations by the approximately 7,000 associates (employees) of American Honda and its subsidiaries.

American Honda has supported the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund through several disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, September 11 and the California wildfires of 2003. Honda's support efforts have included funds as well as materials such as the donation of generators and all-terrain vehicles.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Acura Teaming Up With Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal Digital Network announced the launch of an interactive program developed for Acura's Innovation for Life campaign. "Acura customers are, by nature, early adopters of technology and innovation," said Jenny Howell, manager of interactive marketing for American Honda Motor Co. "The Innovations for Life campaign highlights transformative technologies that enhance the lifestyles of consumers every day, much like the technologies in Acura vehicles."

The first week's Innovations for Life topic will focus on new technologies for weather and hurricane forecasting; subsequent topics will include emerging trends in travel, entertainment, telecommunications, consumer products, sports and health. Users will be able to add their comments to the topic pages and interact with other like-minded readers; a selection of this user-generated content will later run as part of the Acura display ad units across the WSJ Digital Network of sites.

For the "special" Acura section of the WSJ:

[Source] The Wall Street Journal Digital Network

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

[Rumor] Another Mystery Car: 2009 Acura TSX?

Smoking hot news today! This new mystery car was caught not far from Honda’s U.S. facilities. Everyone is already assuming this will be the 2009 Acura TSX. The new TSX will take on a more aggressive look, taking design cues from the SPORTS 4 concept car shown at the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show. The front end has been redesigned to comply with new pedestrian impact standards. The heavily camouflaged car also looks to be sporting a completely redesigned grille, with the badge and chrome strip now running across the top instead of down the middle.

Rumored Specs for Base Model:
Engine- ~225hp 2.4L i-VTEC 4 cylinder (20-30 horsepower bump compared to current generation)
Transmission- 6 speed manual or 5 speed auto
Platform- Front wheel drive

Rumored Specs for Type-S Model:
Engine- 260 hp 2.3L 4 cylinder turbocharged (similar to the one seen in the current Acura RDX)
Transmission- 6 speed auto/manual DSG gearbox
Platform- Super Handling All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD)

Like the current generation Acura TSX, the same car with a few minor styling adjustments will sell in the European markets as the new Honda Accord. The next generation TSX could also see a diesel engine as well.

A pre-production concept of the European Accord's wagon variant, which probably won't make it over here in the U. S.,was unveiled at last month's Frankfurt Motor Show. The European Accord sedan is scheduled to be unveiled in March at the Geneva Motor Show, with production expected to start production towards the end of 2008. Look for the next-gen TSXs to begin arriving in Acura's U.S. showrooms in the spring or early summer of 2009.


Since this is supposed to be the 2009 Acura TSX, then the other mystery Acura is most likely the 2009 Acura TL.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

[Rumor] 2009 Acura TL at Nürburgring

Caught on the Nürburgring in Germany was the heavily camouflaged Acura mystery car. This prototype has previous been caught testing in the U.S. over the summer. There is much speculation that this is the 2009 Acura TL, although there is a possibility that this could be the 2009 Acura TSX. However, many believe the Honda Accord Tourer concept revealed at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show is the 2009 Acura TSX in wagon form.

With this mysterious prototype, enthusiasts can take a peek at Acura's latest design cues. Downward-sloping headlights plunge toward a grille similar to the latest Acura MDX's front, while squared-off quad exhaust tips protrude from the car's rear. The prototype's rear taillights also reveal a small LED strip within the taillight cluster.

Specifications have not yet been released, but a slightly larger V6, a DSG-type transmission and all-wheel drive are among the rumored possibilities.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Acura - Filling Niches?

Acura's sales are down, and rather than try to be all cars to all buyers, filling niches is more the game plan. Product planning manager John Watts intimated that Acura's looking at segments with a narrower appeal, such as the now-defunct CL, and the possibility of a retractable hardtop vehicle, too. There's talk of a new 8 or 10 cylinder powerplant in the offing. The NSX is supposedly getting a V10, which could then propagate through to other Acura cars. Analysts have noted that there's a need for a flagship sedan above the RL to offer RWD and larger engines.


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Redefining Acura in 2008

"Our goal is to move Acura into a Tier 1 luxury brand," John Mendel, who was promoted to executive vice president of automobile operations of American Honda Motor Co. this year. "Next year at this time, you will have a pretty good idea of the direction we're heading," Mendel assures. "You will not see a big bang — as if suddenly it was this and now it isn't. Rather, you'll start to see vehicles roll out in the 2008 calendar year with not so much styling differences but technology and philosophy differences." Mendel notes the new RDX and redesigned MDX hint at the future direction of Acura. Mendel would only say that as with all future Acura and Honda models, more distinction will exist between the Honda Accord, upon which the TL has been based, and the new TL. "If you like what we did with the Accord, wait till you see what we do with the TL," he said. Acura recently opened its first U.S. design studio and now has separate R&D operations in Japan.


Friday, September 14, 2007

New Features for 2008 Acuras

So what changes did Acura make to their 2008 lineup?
New technology for the 2008 RL is:
  • AcuraLink™ real-time traffic expands to 76 metropolitan areas - an increase of 32 markets

The TL receives the following changes for 2008:
  • Two new exterior colors: Polished Metal Metallic paint and Bold Beige Metallic
  • Parchment added to all TL interior trim of when paired with exterior color of White Diamond Pearl or Carbon Bronze Pearl
  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ now available in Hawaii
  • AcuraLink™ real-time traffic expands to 76 metropolitan areas - an increase of 32 markets
  • Updated vehicle security immobilizer system

For 2008 the TSX receives the following technology upgrades:
  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ now available in Hawaii

The RDX receives the following upgrades for 2008:
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® wireless telephone interface with steering wheel mounted controls (formerly only available with Tech Package)
  • Personalized settings via 8-inch Multi -Information Display (MID)
  • Dual-position memory for driver's seat and mirrors
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • AcuraLink™ real-time traffic expands to 76 metropolitan areas - an increase of 32 markets
  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ now works in Hawaii
  • New exterior color: Polished Metal Metallic

MDX includes the following new features for 2008:
  • Automatic dimming rear view mirror
  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™ now available in Hawaii
  • AcuraLink™ real-time traffic expands to 76 metropolitan areas - an increase of 32 markets
  • New exterior paint color: Sterling Gray Metallic
  • Taupe added to all MDX interior trim of when paired with exterior color of Aspen White Pearl

Glimpse Of Next Gen (2009) Acura TSX?

Honda revealed the next Honda Accord Tourer concept at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show. The automaker plans to build this European station wagon by middle of next year. It will feature the 2.0 and 2.4-liter gas engines, as well as Honda's 2.2-liter diesel, as options when it goes into production. Honda says we'll see the final version at the Geneva auto show.

What does this Honda station wagon have to do with Acura you may be thinking. The current Acura TSX is just a rebadged European Honda Accord. The styling of this concept car resembles the Honda Sports 4, which is rumored to be the next Acura TSX. Plus, look at that grill! It screams, "ACURA!"

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Honda Performance Development (HPD) Rundown

Honda figures prominently in both the ALMS and the IRL. The Acura LMP2 cars debutted this year and are currently running second in the manufacturer standings to the Porsche RS Spyders. In line with Acura's place as a sport luxury brand, they decided it was worthwhile to compete in the more technological and competitive ALMS against the likes of Audi, Porsche and all the brands in the GT classes. The new ALMS V-8 was designed completely in-house at HPD with no outsiders involved. The Acura engine is also the first Honda race engine completely designed outside of Japan, with all the work having been done in California.

The Highcroft team has focused on chassis development while the Fernandez team with the proven Lola chassis has been the primary engine development team. Andretti-Green gets all the benefits of the other two. The result of all this work was that the Acura won the LMP2 class at the Sebring opener and has run competitively all year long.

For 2008, Acura is planning a major revision of the Acura chassis targeted at further performance improvements and more importantly the serviceability of the car. The current car is difficult to repair during a race and that needs to be improved, especially for longer races.

Over on the IRL side, Honda is currently the sole supplier of engines since Toyota and GM dropped out at the end of the 2005 season. One aspect of the lack of competition is that Honda doesn't have to stress their engines to the limit. In spite of the cars being as fast as ever, they haven't had a single in-race engine failure in 2007. The current engine is a 3.5L V-8 that runs on 100 percent ethanol.


Friday, August 24, 2007

HONDATA Breaks Four Landspeed Records

Co-founder of Los Angeles-based Hondata, Doug Macmillan, set 4 new records at the Bonneville Nationals Speed Week in his Acura RSX. The modded RSX had 2-liter front wheel drive 2003 Acura RSX in the G class altered coupe and competition coupe classes, competing in both gas and fuel categories. One of the records set was a highest one-way speed of 190.1 mph (305.9 km/h) in the G/FCC class (with nitrous oxide) and 172.mph in the G/GCC class (naturally aspirated). The K20 engine, built by Prototype Racing makes 270 HP naturally aspirated and 390 when running on nitrous oxide.

[For more details -]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Caught in the light - 2009 TL?

Usually Acura tests their cars at night, but some lucky photographers were able to snap some photos of the "mysterious" TL (TSX?) during the day. The heavy camouflaged vehicle looks too large to be a TSX. Can't wait to see more of what seems to be the next generation TL.

[Source] (a.k.a. Temple of VTEC)

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Acura TSX - "the least expensive luxury car to own"

ForbesAutos compiled a list of Top 10 Least Expensive Luxury Vehicles to Own. "Cars at the lower end of the luxury class are the least costly to own because their lower starting prices minimize the effects of depreciation." At the top of the list is the Acura TSX. Also included is the Acura RDX, the "only SUV that runs with the 10 luxury vehicles that are least expensive to own."

1. Acura TSX
Starting MSRP: $28,090
Five-year cost of ownership: $47,084

Half the models on this least expensive to own list wear lower sticker prices than the Acura TSX. But after five years, this sporting sedan ends up the most economical. Acura's reputation for vehicle reliability helps hold up resale value, so that the TSX depreciates just 49 percent over five years — the lowest depreciation among the 10 luxury cars that consume cash most lightly. It also boasts the lowest maintenance and repair expenses among these 10 lowest cost luxury models.

*After 5 years*
Cost of ownership: $47,084
Depreciation: $13,808
Interest and opportunity cost: $9,730
Fuel: $10,279
Maintenance and repairs: $3,002
Insurance: $8,285
Taxes and fees: $1,980

8. Acura RDX
Starting MSRP: $32,995
Five-year cost of ownership: $54,502

The Acura RDX is the only SUV that runs with the 10 luxury vehicles that are least expensive to own. With the gas-guzzling rap against SUVs, it seems appropriate that the RDX has the highest estimated fuel cost in the group. At $12,542 over five years, the Acura squanders 20 to 25 percent more fuel than some passenger cars in the ranking. Still, for a sport utility, its EPA fuel economy rating of 19 mpg city/23 mpg highway is good — especially for an all-wheel-drive hauler with pep and pizzazz.

*After 5 years*
Cost of ownership: $54,502
Depreciation: $17,826
Interest and opportunity cost: $11,323
Fuel: $12,542
Maintenance and repairs: $3,538
Insurance: $6,950
Taxes and fees: $2,323

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2009 Acura TSX or TL?

The following pictures of an unknown Acura sedan was caught by KGP Photography in the California desert. The internet is buzzing about which future Acura model was captured. The car features:
Acura front-end styling cues pioneered on the TL and TSX, but to an even more dramatic degree. Acura’s pointed grille now plunges well down into the front bumper, and the slitty headlights follow a similar angle, looking quite sinister in their execution. The way the camouflage is piled-on above the Acura’s mesh grille, we wonder if this new sedan will get a variation of the “shield” found on the latest MDX. The prototype’s lower air-intakes resemble those on the TL, but once again they look a bit more aggressive.

A lot of people are speculating that it's actually the Sports4, which most likely will be the next TSX. They're commenting on headroom, car length, grill, and front bumper. My first initial reaction was it looked very Maxima-ish.


[Update] Another Photo:

From Temple of VTEC

Monday, July 23, 2007

Acura Dealers Treat Customers Well

Acura dealerships ranked highest in the newly released 2007 Pied Piper Prospect Satisfaction Index(SM) Auto Industry Study, an industry-first study that measures how consumers are treated when shopping for a new car, SUV or truck. The survey covered the customer service regardless of whether or not the perspective buyer actually purchased a vehicle. The independent study evaluated and benchmarked shopping experiences at 1,592 mdealerships nationwide, representing all major brands. Following Acura were Land Rover, Saturn, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Nissan,and nineteen other brands at or above the industry average. Twelve brands finished below industry average.

Acura dealers were ranked consistently among the top brands for most of the 50+ sales process aspects evaluated by the study, and ranked first for giving prospects compelling reasons to buy from their specific dealership. Other brands led the industry in different areas. For example, Land Rover salespeople were most likely to provide a "walk-around" showcasing product features and benefits, and were also most likely to offer a brochure. Saturn salespeople were most likely to offer a test drive, and to provide compelling reasons to buy now. Jaguar salespeople were most likely to mention financing options. Lexus salespeople nearly always -- 98% of the time -- asked for contact information. BMW salespeople were most likely to appear responsible for setting the sales price themselves.

[To continue reading...]

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Acura NSX and Brand Delayed

Last week in a press release, CEO of Honda, Takeo Fukui announced that Honda was putting back the launch of its Acura brand in Japan by 2 years. Fukui cited concerns over the suitability of the Japanese market for the Acura brand as the reason for the postponement. This also leads to the delay of the Acura NSX replacement, which will be badged an Acura worldwide this time around (it was a Honda outside the U.S. previously).

Original Acura NSX

There is also the possibility that we don't get to see the NSX's replacement until 2011, since the Tokyo Auto Show is in run once every two years, and the 2009 show will be too early. The Acura Sports Car Concept (ASCC) revealed at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit was not well received. The ASCC was designed to have Acura's most powerful engine, a new high-performance front mounted V-10, and rear-wheel drive based version of Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

Acura Sports Car Concept (ASCC)

At one point, the Honda Sports Concept (HSC) was rumored to replace the NSX. Many people liked this idea, however for some reason Honda scrapped the development. The HSC featured a lightweight 3.5-liter V-6 engine located midship for optimum balance and superior handling. Shifting is accomplished through a unique dial shifter located on the center console or an F-1 style paddle shifter located on the steering wheel. The HSC features a 4-wheel double wishbone suspension with six-piston caliper Brembo disc brakes on each wheel.

Honda Sports Concept (HSC)

I don't know what Honda is up to, but I am somewhat disappointed about the development of the next NSX. Lexus' LF-A is starting to look really good right now. I can't believe how down hill it has gone for Honda's sport cars. Currently, there are no coupes in Acura's lineup!


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Acura Diesel

Honda plans to sell large vehicles using a low- emission V-6 diesel engine in North America starting in 2010. The company is developing a 3.5-liter diesel engine that will help vehicles be as much as 30 percent more fuel efficient than those powered by gasoline. Honda is also developing a four-cylinder diesel engine which will meet emission standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The new diesel engines will be cleaner than those offered by General Motors Corp, Ford Motor Co and Daimler Chrysler AG’s Chrysler unit. Diesel engines also emit about 20 percent less carbon dioxide, though they release harmful nitrogen oxides and particulates.

Honda plans to introduce the V6 engine first in the Odyssey and maybe the Pilot, the Ridgeline, and the luxury Acura MDX. The engine will help Honda compete against diesel models from DaimlerChrysler AG, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG.

Takeo Fukui, president of Honda, said, "We don’t have any plans to put hybrid systems in light trucks, such as the Odyssey and MDX in the US." Diesel engines will use less fuel than hybrid systems for light trucks driven longer distances, Fukui said. If diesel engines in light trucks prove popular, the company may also use them in cars. If things go according to plan, the four-cylinder diesel engine can be installed in vehicles by 2009.


Click here to read more about Acura diesels.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stock 2007 Acura TL Type-S on Dyno

With a aluminum-alloy SOHC VTEC V-6 and a displacement of 3.5 liters, the TL Type-S is rated at 286 @ 6200 rpm and 256 @ 5000 rpm.

"With a crank rating of 286hp, the TL Type-S' 250+whp results are pretty impressive." - ToV

[Click Here] For the dyno plot of the 2007 TL Type-S vs. 2004 TL

Monday, June 18, 2007

European Accord Sport GT

Honda UK has added a new mode to its range with the introduction of the Accord Sport GT, a new trim/equipment package based on the existing Euro Accord. The European Honda Accord is basically the Acura TSX here in the States. The Sport GT version gets a sport suspension, Graphite-finish alloys (17" for the sedan, 16" for the wagon -- a.k.a. Tourer) and several appearance and convenience upgrades. Those include the Premium White Pear finish shown above, dark chrome grille and door handles, red gauges, carbon fiber-look inlays on the dash and center console, a decklid spoiler, premium audio, nav, Bluetooth, and a few other items.

The Accord Sport GT is powered by Honda's 2.2L i-CDTi turbodiesel, which delivers 140 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm. Combined cycle fuel economy is right around 42.8 mpg (US).


The car looks pretty good. I especially like the rims better than the current style on the refreshed (2006 & after) Acura TSX. I wonder if we're going to see a "Sport GT" version for the Acura TSX anytime soon, however It's more likely that we'll be seeing a "Type-S" version from Acura.

[Related] A TSX that gets more MPG than a Prius!

How Long to Make a Car?

According to the latest Harbour Report, Toyota needs only 29.93 hours to make a car. Nissan came next with 29.97 hours, and Honda third at 31.63 hours. Those numbers cover stamping, engine and transmission production, and car assembly. GM takes 32.36 hours to make a car, which was a 2.5% improvement over the year before.

To be expected, although the domestics put up solid productivity numbers, profit-per-vehicle still lagged. Toyota and Honda made, on average, $1,200 pre-tax profit on each car sold in the US. The Big Three lost anywhere from $1,072 to $5,234 last year on every vehicle sold. Health care and pension liabilities and incentives were to blame.

Friday, June 8, 2007

[A Look into the Past] Ayrton Senna in NSX at Suzuka

The legendary F1 driver tackles Suzuka in loafers! Senna is what made the original NSX the respected supercar it is today.

Here is video of Senna's "last lap."

ESPN's coverage of the fatal crash:

Here his crash is being analyzed:

On lap 7, from the onboard camera of Michael Schumacher's Benetton, Senna's car was seen to break traction twice at the rear, go off the track at Tamburello corner and strike an unprotected concrete barrier. Telemetry shows he left the track at 310 km/h (193 mph) and was able to slow the car down to 218 km/h (135 mph) in less than two seconds before hitting the wall.

A National Geographic documentary concluded that that if Senna's reactions had actually been slower, he might have survived the crash.

The irony of the on board video available from Senna's car is that the final seconds of footage are missing. The approximately 1.5 seconds of remaining video which would have provided a definite answer as to the cause of Senna's death were lost in an act of astounding coincidence when the TV race director decided to switch camera signals at the very instant the Williams started to leave the track. Perhaps unsurprisingly, numerous rumours abound that the remaining 1.5 seconds are not lost and reportedly show Senna's steering wheel clearly coming off in his hands as his car is leaving the track.-
Below you can see the changes made to circuit in response to the deaths of Senna and Ratzenberger.

Ayrton Senna's body was flown home, and on 5 May about half a million people watched the coffin pass by in a state funeral in Sao Paolo.

R.I.P. Ayrton Senna.

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