Thursday, January 31, 2008

Honda's Videos from NAIAS2008

I know it's a little late, but if you're interested:

1) Acura's booth at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS):

Below are screen captures incase you can't or don't want to watch the video.

Acura booth

Acura RL

Acura TL

Acura RDX

Acura MDX

Acura TSX

i-DTEC engine


Cafe Acura with charging station

Psss... What's the password?

Another angle of the Acura booth

2) Honda Press Conference at the 2008 NAIAS

"I was a young engineer participating in an important emissions certification test for the Civic at the EPA lab in Ann Arbor. We believed that clean air was important for the future of life on this earth. And we made it a central focus of our product development efforts.

It was November 1974 and Civic became the first vehicle to pass the new standards of the U.S. Clean Air Act based solely on engine performance. But what I remember most ...was, that the EPA inspector congratulated me for achieving the industry's top rating for fuel economy."
- Takeo Fukui, President and CEO Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

2009 Acura TSX, RL, and TL Rumors

- Onsale date has been "confirmed" to be as soon as April 24, 2008.
- Initially, only front wheel drive (possible SH-AWD in future?).

The 2009 Acura TSX will offer 8 exterior colors and 3 leather trims.

- The 2009 Acura RL will be the world's first production model with the XM weather function (fact).
- Will be getting cooled front seats (which were always offered in Canada).
- Engine still will be 3.5L, but now will output 306hp.
- New edgier look.

- Supposedly, getting a 3.5L for the front wheel drive version and a 3.7L engine for the SH-AWD version.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Refreshed 2009 Acura RL Coming to Chicago Auto Show

Acura redesigned the RL in 2005, a new refreshed version will be unveiled next week at the Chicago Auto Show. Sales will begin on April 24th, same time with the 2009 Acura TSX. The 2009 RL will be offered in three different packages: Standard Package, Technology Package and CMBS Package. The new Acura TL is supposed to make it's appearance on dealer floors in March.

[2009 Acura RL Rumors]
  • Engine: 3.7-liter V6 with 300+ hp
  • Drive-train: revamped SH-AWD system that will apply more torque to the rear wheels
  • Exterior: body of the RL will undergo a massive refresh, with only two body panels carried over from the outgoing model
  • Interior: more roomy

2005 Acura RL A-Spec Concept

[Sources] &

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Next Acura TSX?

Yesterday, Honda released the following:
23 January, 2008 - Honda has released first glimpses of the new Accord which debuts at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show.

The new Accord boasts quality features to challenge established premium contenders in the executive D-segment. Sporty styling and enticing driving dynamics are offered while strong environmental credentials impress in an all Euro 5 emissions-compliant engine line up.

The refined interior is designed with carefully selected materials to create an outstanding standard of fit and finish. To complement the exceptional level of traveling comfort the interior is characterized by a strong feeling of personal space for both the driver and passengers.

Technical details are still under wraps but the new Accord has a unique package of passive and active safety features to deliver even greater confidence.

The new Accord and Accord Tourer models will be unveiled on Honda's stand at 08:30 on 4 March, 2008, at the Geneva Motor Show.

Sales of the models will commence in early summer.

More information will follow on 11 February, 2008.

If these European Honda Accord Tourer pictures are glimpses of the next generation Acura TSX, then I'm a little disappointed. Although, it doesn't look bad, it looks too similar to the current TSX. I mean come on, look at what Honda was able to do with the style differences from the previous generation American (USDM) Honda Accord to the new 2008 Honda Accord, now that is a new model change! From these "new TSX" images, the car just looks like a refreshed current generation TSX, which already got an update for the 2006 model. I was really hoping Honda would slap an Acura symbol on the Honda Sports 4 and sell that as the next Acura TSX. Maybe that's what they're really going to do and they're just toying with us with these pictures. For Acura to advance as a tier 1 luxury brand, Honda needs to step it up with the next generation Acura vehicles, be more aggressive and stop re-badging Hondas.

More info on the Honda Sports 4

Click here to check out more European Honda Accord Tourer Concept pictures.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Acura Changes Direction for RL

A lot of car sites have been talking about how the Acura TSX will be the first in the brand to see the new 4 cylinder diesel engine, and how there will be a V6 version most likely for the TL and MDX. Well... isn't news like this just obvious after Honda stated that i-DTEC was coming to Acura? The European has had a diesel Honda Accord, which is the Acura TSX to us Americans, for awhile now. And we pretty much know the TSX will not be getting a V6 option, so I won't waste anymore time on this right now.

European Honda Accords with i-DETC.

The news I found interesting was Acura's goal of becoming a tier 1 automaker in 4-6 years, truly competing with the likes of BMW and Mercedes. One of Acura's weaknesses right now is the current generation RL. The RL is Acura's "flagship" sedan, however it has trouble matching up against other luxury brands, most likely due to the lack of V8 and rear-wheel drive options.

Acura RL

Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda Motor, acknowledged that the Acura RL was the "wrong car" for the segment. A new RL is slated for 2010, and that the car's overall direction will change. Hopefully, this will address the weak sales of Acura's range-topping RL sedan.


Hmmm... I wonder what they're going to do to the RL. Whatever it is, the next RL should look less like a bloated Honda Accord and have more aggressive styling.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Diesel for Acura in 2009

Honda's premium Acura brand will be the first to get the new 4 cylinder i-DTEC engine in 2009. Models fueled by V6 diesel engines will follow after 2010. Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, said Honda's clean diesel cars will not require a urea tank as most European systems do. Honda's new diesel drive train generates and stores ammonia within a two-layer catalytic converter to turn nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen.

The use of aluminum in the cylinder block instead of steel would also allow it to manufacture the engines using its existing gasoline engine facilities, keeping initial investments down. Mr. Fukui expects Honda's sale of four-cylinder diesel cars to reach about 150,000 vehicles globally by around 2010 with the planned roll-out in the United States and Japan.

i-DTEC: A combination of optimized combustion chamber design and reduced injection time results in a clean, quiet engine that delivers excellent performance for an enjoyable driving experience. In addition, the i-DTEC engine meets the ultra-stringent U.S. EPA Tier II Bin 5 emission standards without the on-board storage of urea.

[Sources] & Honda Press Release

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Rear-Wheel Drive for Acura?

Honda's CEO, Takeo Fukui, states next Acura NSX will have a V10 engine with rear-biased SH-AWD. He also commented on how they're trying to keep the weight of the car down to "be faithful to the original NSX's 'everyday supercar' formula." Mr. Fukui did not give any details on the time line of the next NSX. When asked if Acura was working on any FR (front engine with rear-wheel drive), Honda's CEO "referred to the FR SH-AWD NSX successor and suggested that Honda could take what they learned from that development program and apply it to other vehicles."

[Source] Temple of VTEC

A little disappointing because this kills the rumors that the next NSX is a mid-engine V8 with "true" rear-wheel drive supercar. It also seems like Acura is not getting a "true" rear-wheel drive platform for a long time (if ever), and the closest we're going to get is a rear-biased SH-AWD.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Gas Data for my 2005 Acura TSX 5AT

I'm a pretty scientific person. I like collecting data and analyzing it. For about a year and a half, I have been collecting my gas data. How much I pay, how many miles per gallon (mpg) I get, simple cost per mile, and etc. Well, today I'm going to present you with my results.

The following data was collected from July 26, 2006 to Dec. 22, 2007. My favorite gas station is Chevron. I filled up 30 times at a Chevron. Shell is in second place, but I don't like going there because of the one time I got "ripped" off by them. I used Shell 6 times in the last year and a half. 76 is third place, but I didn't fill up with 76 once for the past year and a half. All the other stations I don't care for too much: Exxon (3 times), Mobile (0 times), and etc.
Side Note: TOP TIER Detergent Gasoline is the premier standard for gasoline performance. Six of the world's top automakers, BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi recognize that the current EPA minimum detergent requirements do not go far enough to ensure optimal engine performance.
Of the 39 times I filled up, all were premium (91) grade except for 9 times when I used just plus (89) grade. I would only put in plus when gas prices are outrageous, otherwise I would put in the recommended premium. Therefore, I used premium grade gas 77% of the time and plus grade 23% of the time. I wouldn't use premium at all if I had a choice, but my Acura TSX "requires" premium, even says so on the gas cap cover. =P

Most expensive = $3.60 (Premium) on May 17, 2007 @ Chevron
Least expensive = $2.56 (Premium) on Oct 30, 2006 @ Exxon
Average = $3.14

Most: 23.91 miles/gallon
Least: 20.32 miles/gallon
Average: 22.15 miles/gallon

Simple Cost per Mile (price/gallon divided by miles/gallon):
Most expensive: $0.17
Least expensive: $0.11
Average: $0.14

Most miles on a tank before refilling: 310 miles (with about 4.052 gallons before complete empty). So ideally, I could get 20.32 * 4.052 = 82.34 miles + 310 miles for a grand total of 392.34 miles. Average miles on a tank before I refill = 268.60.

Comments: I have not doubt in my mind that my car can get 30+ mpg cruising on an empty highway, problem is I'm rarely doing that (gotta take a road trip in my car one of these days ;) ). The automatic Acura TSX is rated for at least 30+ mpg on the freeway, but every time I'm on the freeway, I'm stuck in morning rush hour traffic... or evening rush hour traffic. As you can probably understand by now, sitting still on the freeway won't get me more mileage than sitting still in the city. Sitting still anywhere results in ZERO mpg! These are my real life gas results.

There were a couple instances throughout the past year and a half where I got some Speed Racer spirit inside of me and pushed my car hard, may it be using the tiptronic shift or not. Usually when using the tiptronic, I'm pushing the car extra hard, revving towards redline and into the VTEC range. Enjoying driving like this results in very poor gas mileage.

After reading this USA Today article, I don't feel as bad putting in 89 instead of 91... maybe I'll start doing that more often this year. But if I really think about it, that will only save me at most about $200 a year, which isn't all that much. Skimming on gas to save $200 a year on something that I use everyday and hope to still use 10 years from now isn't so logical.

2005 Acura TSX Performance Specs:

Engine: 2.4 liters in-line 4 cylinder VTEC engine with double overhead cam, four valves per cylinder, and multi-point injection fuel system.

Power: 200 HP SAE @ 6,800 rpm
Torque: 166 ft lb @ 4,500 rpm

Recommended Fuel: Premium unleaded fuel 91

EPA Fuel Economy:
highway (mpg) - 31 / city (mpg) - 22

Fuel Tank Size: 17.2 gallons

For the full specs on the 2005 Acura TSX

Here is a thread at discussing driver's real world mileage for the Acura TSX.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

[UPDATE] Honda is the Official Tournament of Roses Vehicle Provider

On New Year's Day, parade-watchers will witness a Honda Ridgeline-inspired truck rising from the bed of the float in a cloud of mist, become an airborne craft and 'blast off' with a replica of ASIMO, Honda's advanced humanoid robot, at the controls. Using Honda generators to transform, the hood of the truck will fold forward to become an aircraft cockpit, the doors and sides of the truck will unfold outward to become wings, the wheels will tuck under the body, and the bed of the truck will open and take on the form of an aircraft tail section, complete with rocket engines - and even real fire.

"When it comes to creativity and innovation, you can always count on Honda to make the Rose Parade spectacular," said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer, Tournament of Roses.

"American Honda is committed to creating products that give people mobility - on both two and four wheels, and soon, in the skies. This year's float takes a fun and imaginative look at what the future of mobility might hold," said Steve Morikawa, assistant vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Honda Rose Parade entries have captured major awards in 12 out of the last 13 years. Honda is the official Tournament of Roses vehicle. This year, the company will provide 115 vehicles, 166 Metropolitan scooters and 12 generators for use by Tournament of Roses personnel.

The 119th Rose Parade, themed "Passport to the World's Celebrations," will take place Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008 at 8 a.m. (PST).

[Source] Honda Press Release

[UPDATE] Honda's 2008 Tournament of Roses Float

Fire blasting out of the rocket engines of the Honda float in the Tournament of Roses Parade Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2008 in Pasadena, Calif. The float which transformed from a truck to take the form of an spacecraft complete with rocket engines and real fire, won the Crown City Innovation Trophy, given for "Best Use of Imagination and Innovation to Advance the Art of Floral Design." Honda has won 13 awards in the past 14 years. Photo/Honda, Susan Goldman, handout.

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