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Honda kills S2000 replacement, V8 program, RWD Acuras

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Honda reportedly kills S2000 replacement, V8 program, RWD Acuras
Jan 6th 2009 at 12:58PM
Link to Autoblog


Honda's attempt to right-size its development schedule and cope with the economic downturn apparently extends beyond the cancellation of the next NSX. According to Autocar, HoMoCo is right-sizing its plans for the next two years, and that includes rethinking the development of a range of rear-wheel-drive Acuras, a new V8, a convertible based on the CR-Z and the S2000's successor.

Acura seems to be carrying the weight of the bad news, with its RWD 7-series rival, originally due out in 2015, cancelled indefinitely, along with development of a V8 engine that would allow the brand to compete with the best and brightest from Germany. The Euro-market Legend (Acura RL) could also be on the block and there's a chance that Honda will stop developing two separate Accord models (Acura TSX) for sale in the U.S. and abroad, instead opting for one mid-size sedan to be sold worldwide.

Unfortunately, the development cease-fire also extends to Honda's smaller offerings. Honda planned to release a drop-top version of its CR-Z after the hybrid goes on sale next year, but that model has been nixed. Even more disturbingly, 2009 will be the last year of production for the S2000, with no heir apparent waiting in the wings.

We're hoping to get more details on the cut-backs as the week progresses, but needless to say, there's more than enough disappointment to go around.

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Is Acura in trouble? The premium brand only sold 144,504 vehicles in 2008 with a fairly fresh 5-vehicle lineup:

MDX & RDX new for MY2007

TSX new for MY2009

TL new for MY2009

RL refreshed for MY2009

------------------------

Current & Future?

RSX gone.

NSX RIP.

The future Acura RWD flagship, RWD platform, & V8 are gone.

The RL (Honda Legend) may not be replaced.

The TSX (Euro Accord) may be a goner too.

That leaves Acura with the new (homely) TL, successful MDX... oh and the sales dud RDX (the more expensive MDX outsells the RDX 3 to 1.)

Axing the NA-only Acura brand could be in the cards with no new platforms in the works and cost cutting all around.

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They could probably live without Acura. They had the Integra/RSX and a little success with the TL and TSX to some extent, but haven't found a good sales groove in years.

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I didn't realize the s2000 was still in production, they are nowhere around here. Last one I noticed was on the side of the highway with both rear wheels toed-out at a 30-some degree angle, waiting for the flatbed.

-- -- -- -- --

Sounds reasonable- so many of those future vehicles are too high-cost, too low volume in this economy.

Still; how is it honda was going to take 6-some years to bring a RWD sedan to market ??

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Welcome to the death of anything interesting in the automotive world.

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Welcome to the death of anything interesting in the automotive world.

That is the irony. During great depression people were being more aggressive, more inventive to get everybody out of the downturn. Now it seems like people are being mediocre, spineless and less inventive about tackling the problems. They are more chicken hearted than lion hearted.

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Welcome to the death of anything interesting in the automotive world.

So true...I thought the S2000 was pretty cool....

They are fun to drive around....

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That is the irony. During great depression people were being more aggressive, more inventive to get everybody out of the downturn. Now it seems like people are being mediocre, spineless and less inventive about tackling the problems. They are more chicken hearted than lion hearted.

:yes:

Damn Sheep.....

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Is Acura in trouble? The premium brand only sold 144,504 vehicles in 2008 with a fairly fresh 5-vehicle lineup:

MDX & RDX new for MY2007

TSX new for MY2009

TL new for MY2009

RL refreshed for MY2009

------------------------

Current & Future?

RSX gone.

NSX RIP.

The future Acura RWD flagship, RWD platform, & V8 are gone.

The RL (Honda Legend) may not be replaced.

The TSX (Euro Accord) may be a goner too.

That leaves Acura with the new (homely) TL, successful MDX... oh and the sales dud RDX (the more expensive MDX outsells the RDX 3 to 1.)

Axing the NA-only Acura brand could be in the cards with no new platforms in the works and cost cutting all around.

Have you seen the front end of those things? Not a face to have in a slow market. Looks like a metal pumpkin.

Guys this is called getting back to the basics to survive. There will be time for those who survive to play later.

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If Acura goes the way of Isuzu, it won't be much of a loss. Sure, the TL was once the second best-selling luxury car in America - only behind the 3-series, in fact - but the brand never had an identity distinct from Honda's, and their sales stemmed from the improvements made over normal Hondas, not the cachet of a chromed clothespin. Some owners have even been compelled to rebadge their Integras and NSXs as Hondas.

Honda has an excellent reputation in the US, and their newer products are quite "premium", if not luxurious. Honda dealers have no trouble selling $35-40K Odysseys, Pilots, and S2000s. (The GT-R from Nissan isn't exactly hurting for an Infiniti badge.) And I don't think Acura owners look down on Hondas the way some Lexus buyers do with Toyota.

It wouldn't hurt to combine some of their vehicles. Who needs a Civic Si if there can be a Honda Integra/RSX (in the form of a European Civic Type R, perhaps?) How about a Honda Legend to compete against large sedans like the Avalon, 300, and Taurus?

Or Acura can continue being Acura - a small player in the luxury field, available only in North America, with no aspirations for the Big Leagues. Instead of big, extravagant full-sized RWD sedans, they could stick to the cars that made them successful: fun-to-drive hatchbacks and value-packed entry-luxury midsized sedans and SUVs.

Instead, Acura is trying to make a name for itself - a legitimate luxury brand different from Honda - and in the process of doing so, they've made all their vehicles ugly. Acura is going in the wrong direction.

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That is the irony. During great depression people were being more aggressive, more inventive to get everybody out of the downturn. Now it seems like people are being mediocre, spineless and less inventive about tackling the problems. They are more chicken hearted than lion hearted.

It could be a good thing. With the horsepower arms race coming to an end, Honda could focus on the other side of fun-to-drive: simplicity, efficiency, and less mass. The elemental CR-Z hybrid sports coupe looks very promising.

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I hate on Honda all the time but I'm saddened by this. :(

Another case of more BLAH and less of anything interesting.

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This topic has garnered a lot of reactions at Honda sites as you guys can imagine. But what it comes down to is this, these "cancellations" that are reported by Autoblog are cancellations of vehicles that were never announced or talked about officially by Honda. They were speculation to begin with, and now their cancellation is speculation upon speculation.

And all I have to say to that is roflcakes.

Assuming they did exist and Honda is now ditching or delaying a V8, RWD platform, and convertible CR-Z, that is fine by me. Honda has always been about making fun to drive economical cars. These tough times are forcing Honda to ditch some of their more fringe projects and get back to their core business. Since when have supercars, convertibles and V8/10's been a part of what makes a Honda a Honda? If there is one vehicle that defines Honda, in my opinion it is the Civic.

Not having an S2000 replacement is a bit of a downer, but there has only ever been complete speculation on that part. Honda has never spoken a word about an S2000 replacement, nor has any mule or credible information ever surfaced. Rumors tend to start at one autorag and start picking up speed as each autorag reports on the others. Somehow the more autorags that report on it the more credible it is. Then an artist releases a sketch and its like adding a 60mph wind to a forest fire. Suddenly Honda is building it and everyone starts speculating on the release date and before you know it you have full specifications on the vehicle and a release date, and the vehicle may not even exist at all! lol

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The idea of large V8 RWD Acuras never made much sense anyway...it's not in their DNA. Well-crafted small to midsize FWD models w/ 4 cyls and V6s are what Honda/Acura are all about at the core of the brands.

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Seeing that Honda sold like 71 S2000 automobiles in the entire US last month, I can see why they are not replacing it.

I'd be plenty happy with a lighter, more nimble and better looking Civic Si myself.

Chris

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Seeing that Honda sold like 71 S2000 automobiles in the entire US last month, I can see why they are not replacing it.

I'd be plenty happy with a lighter, more nimble and better looking Civic Si myself.

Chris

I'd like to see Prelude and CRX revivals... the last Prelude was a pretty sweet car, IMHO.

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:cheers: Now the Honda worshipers :bowdown: will have no bragging points.

Supposedly the RWD RL, if it was even coming, was going to 'save Acura'.

Edited by Chicagoland
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I'd like to see Prelude and CRX revivals... the last Prelude was a pretty sweet car, IMHO.

Prelude never sold well...but they just love to turn, esp. for an FWD car...

Chris

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Kind of a shame to not see a V8, or possible S2000 replacement not come to fruition. However, I'm still hoping for a Prelude, or something similar in the future.

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This HAS to be speculation, one look at sales tallies for Acura would show you that the TSX was carrying the brand for the last couple of months. I'd go even further to say that it was the only fuel efficient entry lux car on the market. Acura is going through what Lexus went through when they introduced the IS. It will take awhile but one thing is for sure about the Japanese, they get it right eventually. AWD and more efficient and diversified drive trains will be the future of Acura.

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