Saturday, July 25, 2009

HPD's Grassroots Motorsports Initiative

Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), the authorized Honda and Acura auto racing company in North America, today announced a new automotive initiative targeted at expanding its presence in the grassroots motorsports market.

The broad-based initiative will include the development of products and services that support competition in the amateur and entry-level professional ranks, and will also include integrated marketing activities designed to raise the profile of Honda Racing and HPD.

"For many years, Honda enthusiasts have campaigned our products in racing series throughout the U.S.," said Erik Berkman, President of Honda Performance Development. "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Honda brand in the United States, we are pleased to announce that we will now support those efforts directly, by introducing products and services geared toward helping our customers fulfill their racing dreams."

The new program will ultimately include an array of products and services for Honda and Acura customers who compete in amateur and professional racing. These products include both original equipment parts and racing-performance parts.

To launch its new grassroots initiative, HPD will operate the Honda Racing Line, a club targeted at licensed participants in amateur and entry-level professional racing. The Honda Racing Line will provide its members with a direct connection to Honda Performance Development and its unparalleled record of success at the pinnacle levels of motorsport.

This channel to factory support, which will offer Honda Racing Line members the opportunity to purchase racing-performance parts for expedited delivery, has not existed previously.

"Thousands of our customers are racing Hondas or Acuras today with a need for regular access to parts," Berkman noted. "A market has clearly been established for a service like the Honda Racing Line. We are pleased to provide that service, and look forward to expanding the roster of benefits and services available to Honda Racing Line members."

Competitors may register for the Honda Racing Line club and gain access to the parts catalogue through a website portal, . Additional Racing Line membership benefits will be announced as they are developed.

HPD's new grassroots motorsports initiative also supports the fans of grassroots racing through an integrated marketing plan, focusing on fan identification with the Honda Racing brand through merchandise sales and additional services.

Specific details regarding other components of the new grassroots motorsports initiative will be announced throughout the year.

Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD) is the factory-authorized Honda and Acura racing company within North America. Founded in 1993, and located in Santa Clarita, Calif., HPD is the technical operations center for Honda and Acura's high performance racing cars and engines. In addition to its grassroots motorsports participation, HPD is the single engine supplier to the IndyCar Series and competes in prototype sports-car racing under the Acura banner in the American Le Mans Series.

The 2010 Acura ZDX

The ZDX will boast outstanding performance from its 3.7-liter V-6 engine mated to an all-new 6-speed automatic transmission. The 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 all-aluminum engine will generate 300* horsepower and 270* lb-ft of torque for immediate acceleration response, outstanding low- and mid-range torque and superior high-rpm power. The 6-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters gives the ZDX excellent acceleration while also enhancing fuel economy. Standard on the ZDX is Acura's exclusive Super Handling All-Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®) system. The SH-AWD® system expands the ZDX's appeal by providing outstanding handling as well as superior all-season capability. Standard on the ZDX are 19-inch, 7-spoke alloy wheels; the largest standard wheel in the Acura lineup.

Inside, the ZDX exhibits the highest levels of refinement and sophistication. Every ZDX interior will feature a hand-stitched leather dash, panels and sculpted center console. The rich leather appointments give the ZDX a warm and inviting feeling while creating an intimate cockpit for the driver and passenger.

When the ZDX goes on sale this winter, customers will have the choice of three distinct trim levels: ZDX, ZDX with Technology Package and the ultra premium, ZDX with Advance Package. Like all Acura models, the ZDX will come generously equipped from the start. The panoramic glass roof with moveable sunshades, hand-stitched leather interior, HandsFreeLink™Bluetooth® connectivity, power tailgate, and a high powered audio system with CD player, AM/FM/XM radio and USB audio interface with iPod® integration are all standard features.

The ZDX with Technology Package adds several features including a Navigation System with Voice Recognition™, an Acura/ELS Surround® premium audio system and a new multi-view rear camera. The Advance Package boasts additional customer enhancing technologies like a blind spot information system, a Collision Mitigating Braking System™ (CMBS™), and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).

When the ZDX goes on-sale, it will bring a new level of prestige to the Acura lineup. The ZDX will be priced and positioned between the MDX luxury SUV and the RL luxury sedan. Pricing and additional details will be released at a later date.

[Source] Acura Press Release

Production model:

Prototype Model (for reference):

Acura Vehicles That Qualify for "Cash for Clunkers"

Following the announcement that President Obama signed the newly enacted Consumer Assistance to Recycle and Save (CARS) program, three Acura luxury vehicle models are expected to qualify for government credit vouchers under the stimulus program. The CARS program, also known as "Cash for Clunkers," is a government subsidy that encourages drivers to purchase a new, more fuel-efficient vehicle to replace an older, less fuel-efficient vehicle.

Under the CARS program, government vouchers will be issued to participating dealers for $3,500 or $4,500 (the amount depends on the difference in fuel economy between the older vehicle replaced versus the new model purchased) for new vehicles purchased by qualifying customers. Acura vehicles likely to qualify for government vouchers are the 2009-2010 TSX four-cylinder sports sedan, the turbocharged RDX crossover SUV, and certain models of the 2010 MDX luxury sport utility vehicle that will become available later this year.

Click here for more info.

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