Wednesday, April 29, 2009

[POLL - Results] The 2010 Acura TSX V6 Sedan Should Have:

According to the people who visit this site, the majority of them believe that the 2010 V6 Acura TSX should offer a manual transmission. The manual transmission selection was almost tied with people who think that the V6 TSX sedan should have been a coupe instead. This makes sense as Acura currently does not offer any coupes in their lineup since they got rid of the Acura RSX and the Acura NSX was discontinued before that. These two selections made up more than half (52%) of the total votes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Acura Gets Own Financial Services

American Honda Finance Corp. (AHFC) this week launched Acura-branded financial services to better satisfy the needs of Acura dealers and customers. The creation of Acura Financial Services (AFS) marks a major milestone in Acura history. This is just the first step of a multifaceted effort to further enhance customer service and raise the brand image for Acura, the luxury nameplate that pioneered the launch of Japanese luxury automobiles in the U.S.

Visit for more Acura Financial Services information.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Grand Prix of Long Beach 2009

I was in Long Beach this past weekend for the Toyota Grand Prix. I wished I was there for the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) so that I could see the Acura LMP1 and LMP2 cars, but nonetheless I had a good time. It was my first time at an auto racing event this big.

I carpooled with my coworker in his supercharged Mazda Miata. We left San Diego around 8:20 AM and got to Long Beach a little before 10:00 AM. We walked the Expo floor and picked up random freebies. The 3 most "useful" freebies were: 1) Firestone cap signed by someone, 2) calendar, and 3) a small bottle of hot sauce.

During warm-ups

Check out the Honda Accord safety car

In the pit around for the Speed GT challenge cars

Audi R8

Audi R8 engine

Nissan GT-R model by Tamiya

Me with some other type of models ;)

Overview shoot off one of the bridges

Turn 1 with some cars

That's Danica Patrick

Under yellow flag

We were in Grandstand #6

Indy Car Race 2009

The video I shot of the first lap that day.

So after this experience I don't really believe it's worth watching one of these professional races in person. Unlike football, racing fans rather have seats higher up. You're basically baking under the hot sun for the whole race, and you get to see very little. On TV, you get to see and hear what's going on around the whole track. In person at the track it's really hard to hear, plus you should be wearing earplugs. However, in person you can feel the cars as they drive by and smell the burning rubber. I would love to go to ALMS and check out the Acura cars in the pits.

Monday, April 20, 2009

[ALMS Results] Acura 1-2-3

A 1-2-3 overall sweep for the auto manufacturer yielded the second complete podium in Acura's two-and-a -half-year history in ALMS, following the Detroit sweep last August. In addition, Acura recorded its second consecutive victory in the LMP1 and LMP2 categories following the St. Petersburg double class win two weeks ago.

The Acura team of Gil de Ferran and Simon Pagenaud scored its first ALMS career win by taking a onesecond victory over David Brabham and Scott Sharp under caution to earn the overall event victory and the LMP1 title. Meanwhile, the Mexican duo of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz notched their third straight LMP2 triumph of the 2009 campaign.

Tequila Patrón ALMS Grand Prix Overall Results
Drivers: Gil de Ferran, Simon Pagenaud (1st LMP1)
Drivers: David Brabham, Scott Sharp
Drivers: Adrian Fernandez, Luis Diaz (1st LMP2)

The American Le Mans Series returns to action May 15-17 at the beautiful Miller Motorsports Park outside Salt Lake City, Utah for the fourth stop on the ten-race ALMS tour. Acura will be seeking its first win at the Utah racing facility, after just missing the winner's circle last year.

Event: Larry H. Miller Utah Grand Prix
Track: Miller Motorsports Park
Tooele, Utah
(3.06 Miles , 15 turns)
Date: Sunday, May 17, 2009
1 p.m. (MDT)
Distance: 2 hours, 45 minutes
TV: SPEED TV, May 17
10 p.m. EDT (Delayed)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Acura ZDX Designers

Michelle Christensen - Exterior Designer

Michelle Christensen was only 25 years old and straight out of the Art Center College of Design when she first sketched the ZDX.

"From the very first sketch of the ZDX, I wanted to create an emotional vehicle that challenged conventional thinking of what a sports coupe should be," said Michelle Christensen, ZDX exterior designer. "My goal was to create a strikingly beautiful exterior, and use that attraction to help draw you into the rich interior."

Michael Wiedeman - Interior Designer

Damon Schell - Project Leader

If you want a family car, buy an MDX -- the ZDX is aimed at well-off couples who don't need to take kids with them when they travel, say the designers. "At one stage, we even thought of making it so the rear seats folded up only when you needed them," says Schell.

Video Of The ZDX Prototype

For interviews with the Acura ZDX designers, click here.

To view all ZDX related entries, click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tons Of Acura ZDX Pictures

The ZDX will deliver sports sedan performance on the road with its powerful V-6 engine mated to an all-new, smooth shifting 6-speed automatic transmission. The potent powertrain will be coupled with Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system, giving the ZDX outstanding handling and cornering capabilities in all-weather conditions.

In typical Acura fashion, the ZDX will be available with the latest in customer enhancing technologies and advanced safety features including an all-new blind spot information system, which will help drivers change lanes more confidently. A new multi-view rear camera makes parking even easier with the added enhancement of both a wide angle and top down view. Acura signature technologies like Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic and Weather™, Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system and Bluetooth® connectivity will also be available on the all-new model.

A prototype of the provocative Acura ZDX luxury four-door sports coupemade its world debut at the New York International Auto Show today. The production version of the dramatically styled prototype goes on-sale in the fall of 2009.

With its sensuous curves, sharply raked roofline and bold fender flares, the ZDX blurs the distinction between coupe, sedan and sport utility vehicle.

The cabin is enclosed by a panoramic glass roof which runs the entire length of the vehicle, providing occupants with a breathtaking view of the world around them.

The hand-stitched leather dash and instrument panel sweep down to form a dual cockpit layout, creating a personal and intimate experience for the front seat occupants.

The thick leather wrapped steering wheel provides ample grip and is framed by racing-inspired paddle shifters for the ultimate in driver control.

A black monochromatic center stack leads to the textured metallic center console, which complements the black and pearl white leather trim.

The all-glass tailgate opens wide to reveal a highly functional cargo space with integrated under-floor storage.

In keeping with the coupe-inspired styling, the rear door handles are cleverly concealed in the C-pillar.

The prototype is finished off with stylish dual chrome exhaust outlets and 9-spoke machined wheels fitted with 20-inch Michelin tires.

ZDX Prototype Dimensions:
Length: 192.4 inches
Width: 78.5 inches
Height: 61.8 inches
Wheelbase: 108.2 inches
Wheel/tire: 9-spoke custom alloy wheels with Michelin Latitude HP 275/40ZR 20 tires
Powertrain: All-aluminum VTEC® V-6, all-new 6-speed automatic transmission with Sequential SportShift and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®)
Seating capacity: 5-passenger
[Source] Acura Press Release
Click here to do a 360 of the ZDX at

People are speculating that the teaser shots are of the production version of the vehicle. Notice how the ZDX "Prototype" does not match eariler teaser shots.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Acura Making ALMS History

David Brabham and Scott Sharp led an Acura 1-2 sweep Saturday in the Acura Sports Car Challenge through the streets of St Petersburg in the American Le Mans Series.

The veteran driving pair drove the No. 9 Patrón Highcroft Racing Acura ARX-02a prototype sports car to the lead on Lap 43 and recorded a 32-second victory over the Mexican duo of Adrian Fernandez and Luis Diaz in the No. 15 Lowe’s Fernandez Racing Acura ARX-01b in the 93-lap feature. The 1-2 Acura finish marked Acura's first ALMS sweep since last August in the streets of Detroit, when the automaker placed 1-2-3 overall.

Saturday's Acura sweep also made American Le Mans Series history with Acura taking wins in both the LMP1 and LMP2 class in the same event. No auto manufacturer had accomplished that feat in ALMS’ ten years.

Brabham and Sharp's win was the first for Acura in the LMP1 class.

My Damaged 2005 Acura TSX

Recently my 2005 Acura TSX was hit by another car. This is my first real accident ever. Anyway, skipping all the insurance mess I have to deal with, I had my car estimated at 3 different locations in San Diego, California:

1) Penske Collision Center - This place looked very professional. I believe they specialize in Mercedes, BMW, Lexus, Toyota, Honda, Acura, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Mazda, and Audi. Some interesting facts include: "Largest Collision Center in Southern California", "60 Body Shop Bays", "9 Paint Booths - 50% Faster Drying Time", "Computerized Laser Frame and Measuring System", and "Infrared Paint Drying System (50% faster)".

However, I couldn't help but notice that everytime I asked how much something was going to cost, the lady who looked at my car kept responding, "I'm going to have to put it in my computer and see..." In the end, the estimate ended up to be almost $5000! I think it's because the estimate had down replacing my rear rim and tire (estimated to be ~$850 of the total cost). Then the breakdown of "parts" was: Body Labor 42.5 hrs * $54/hr = $2295, Paint Labor = 14.3 hrs * $54/hr = $772, Mech. Labor = 2.2 hrs * $135/hr = $297, Paint Supplies 14.3 * $36/hr = $514. Estimated to take 2 weeks. Wow!

2) Bumper Doc - This place was smaller and more personal. The guy who looked at my car seemed very knowledgeable and friendly. When I asked him, "how much?" He responded, "Not cheap, somewhere between $16-1800". None of this, let me get back to my computer before giving you a number thing. The estimate came out to be about $1700. They were not going to replace my rim and tire, but instead just repair it. Their breakdown was: Body Labor = 15 hrs * $51/hr = $765, Refinish Labor = 9 * $51 = $459, Paint Materials = $210. Estimated to take 1 week.

3) Miramar Collision Center - This place was where I had to bring my car for my insurance to appraise it before any work is done. The appearance seemed ok, not super professional like Penske, and not friendly & personal like Bumper Doc. It just seemed like the place you would go to if you just need your car fix and didn't care who did it. Their estimate was the lowest of the 3... $1625. Their estimate did not involved replace my rim & tire, just repairing. Their breakdown looked like this: Body Labor = 18.2 hrs * $46/hr = $837, Refinish Labor = 7.1 hrs * $46/hr, Mech. Labor = $68. Estimated to take 4 days.

This is how I would rank the shops:
1) Penske - They just seem to really know what they're doing. Their cost is high, but since I pay a $500 deductible either way, the cost is the same to me. I just want the job done right and my car as "perfect" as it was before the accident.

2) Bumper Doc - They seem nice, friendly, and honest. I would take my car here if I had to pay out of my own pocket.

3) Miramar Collision Center - I read two bad reviews online and am not sure I want to risk taking my car to this place...

Here's the damage to my car:

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