Cherished Nsx-t In Excellent Original Condition. Never A Dent Or Ding, Original Paint In Beautiful Condition. Always Garaged, Always Mobil1 Oil, Protected By 3m Clear Bra On Hood. Original Bose Sound System With Cd Changer In Trunk, Cassette Player In-dash (never Used). Onyx Leather Interior In Outstanding Condition. Six Speed Manual Transmission.
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Auto blogTue, 19 Nov 2013 11:00:00 EST
It wasn't so long ago that Honda was known for its sporty two-door models, with models ranging from the Civic del Sol to the Prelude and from the Acura Integra and RSX to the Honda S2000. But look at its range today and all you'll see are the Civic and Accord coupes. Honda has essentially let competitors like the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ and Nissan 370Z take the place it once claimed as its own. But if you were hoping Honda would fight back with a new coupe or convertible of its own, we're afraid you're going to have to downgrade those hopes to pipe dreams.
While in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Motor Show, Autoblog had a chance to sit down with American Honda CEO Tetsuo Iwamura (pictured at right). When we asked about the potential for a new sports coupe or convertible in the Honda or Acura lineup, he pointed to the current Civic and Accord coupes - not to mention the upcoming new NSX - but said that Honda has no replacement for any of the aforementioned models (or a rival for the FR-S or 370Z) in the pipeline, saying only that the company is monitoring potential demand.
What Iwamura-san did note was that he's a personal fan of the new S660 roadster (pictured above) set to be unveiled tomorrow, and he is pushing (or at least hoping) that it will come to North America. Given that he's head of both Honda's American office and its global automobile operations, one might think that the only person he would have to persuade is himself (well... himself, and potential buyers), but the sporty droptop looks to be about kei-sized, which sadly suggests that it may be too small for American tastes and perhaps not designed with US crash-test standards in mind anyway.
Nine years separated the arrival of the original Acura NSX and the Honda S2000. By that time, the NSX was closer to the end of its fifteen-year production cycle than it was to its beginning. The latest word has it that not only is Honda planning a successor to the S2000, but it's not about to wait that long after the new NSX arrives before it's rolled out.
While the S2000 was a front-mid-engined roadster, its successor will, according to the latest from Auto Express (which we are taking with a grain of salt), be a mid-engined coupe - closer, in other words, to the NSX than the S2000. Power would come from a more potent version of the 2.0-liter turbo four developed for the upcoming new Civic Type R, possibly as part of a hybrid system derived from Honda's upcoming Formula One powertain to develop over 400 horsepower.
Whether the new sports car would revive the S2000 nameplate, and whether it would wear the Honda or Acura badge in the United States, remain to be seen. As does its potential production site: while the previous S2000 was built at the same Takanezawa plant in Tochigi as the original NSX, the new NSX will be built at the new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio. The new S660 roadster, meanwhile, is set to be assembled at the same Yachiyo plant in Yokkaichi as the original Honda Beat.
Good. But Good Enough?
Spoiler alert: The 2014 Acura RLX is a good car. But that shouldn't come as a surprise. Despite the fact that Acura is subject to a lot of criticism for things like its odd positioning in the automotive landscape, questionable styling choices in recent years, and the fact that, more or less, its products feel like lux'd-up Hondas rather than something truly unique, the cars have always been inherently good - decent to drive, nice to sit in and reliable to own. That's what happens when you ride that sort of "affordable luxury" line.
Because Acura's sedans don't really fit into any one definable segment, the brand hopes it can draw customers from a broader range who aren't necessarily dedicated to a certain marque. And while there's certainly rhyme to that reason on the more entry-level end of the spectrum, that proposition makes less sense as you move toward higher price points. (Have a gander at the Hyundai Equus, if you will.) On the other hand, Acura pulled data from a 2012 Strategic Vision survey that showed the number one purchase decision for luxury buyers last year was value for the money, with manufacturer reputation coming in at a close second.