Print 63 comment(s) - last by otispunkmeyer.. on Oct 27 at 8:41 AM

Honda has already axed the S2000.

The tiny CR-Z will carry the "sports" torch for Honda and will be priced from $19k to $25k.

Crosstown rival Toyota goes the conventional route with a RWD sports car which was co-developed with Subaru -- it will be in the same price range as the CR-Z. The production version of the FT-86 is expected to be shown next year.

While Honda has killed plans for its V-10 powered NSX replacement, Toyota just pulled the wraps off its ultra-exclusive Lexus LFA.
Honda is really taking "going green" seriously

The company that brought us small, nimble, sporty, FWD vehicles like the CRX, Prelude, Integra, and RSX is slowly giving in to the green movement. While Honda was content in stepping things up to the next level with the expensive, mid-engined, RWD NSX during the early 90s and the lightweight S2000 roadster later in the decade, those days are coming to an end (the NSX is long gone and the S2000 was recently given the axe).

Honda is now turning almost completely away from performance vehicles and instead intends to “green” its lineup. Going forward, the “sport” end of the spectrum for Honda will be relegated to the Civic Si and the upcoming CR-Z hybrid. The CR-Z uses the hybrid powertrain from the Civic Hybrid/Insight and pairs it with a 6-speed manual transmission. The 161-inch vehicle is expected to be priced from $19,000 to $25,000.

While Toyota plans to wow gear heads with money to spend with the $375,000 V-10 powered limited production (500 units worldwide total) Lexus LFA super car and the much cheaper, RWD FT-86 sports car; Honda has cancelled the V-10-powered replacement for the NSX. According to Temple of VTEC, Honda has no plans to introduce another sports car to the market unless it can incorporate hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen technology.

Honda CEO Takanobu Ito told Temple of VTEC, “Once we come up with these new, innovative technologies that we are researching - once we have (an) abundance of cash on hand - I would definitely love to see Honda develop a sports car which would symbolize these technologies. And, once that day comes, the sportscar will NOT be something like Toyota announced yesterday, but instead it will be environmentally friendly (while) at the same time enjoying outstanding performance. I'd love to do that."

In other news, Honda has also cancelled plans to bring a diesel engine to the U.S for its Accord sedan due to cost issues. The Accord was to have an optional 2.2-liter i-CTDi 4-cylinder Tier 2 Bin 5 diesel engine which produces 150 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. The diesel engine would have also given the Accord an overall fuel economy rating of about 40 mpg. Also cancelled are plans for a larger 3.5-liter V6 diesel engine which was destined to go into Honda's large vehicles which include the Odyssey, Pilot, and Ridgeline. The diesel engine was supposed to give these vehicles a 30 increase in fuel economy.

While Honda has made an effort to embrace all-electric vehicles with the recently showcased EV-N concept, Honda's CEO continues to state that hydrogen is the future for consumer vehicles.

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Nice designs
By Evan B on 10/22/2009 9:04:06 PM , Rating: 3
Seems like some nice looking cars are in the works. That FT-86 looks kinda like a 370Z to me.

RE: Nice designs
By randomposter on 10/22/2009 10:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
... or a Genesis coupe

RE: Nice designs
By chrnochime on 10/22/2009 10:40:13 PM , Rating: 1
...and the Genesis coupe itself is a mishmash of a bunch of other cars. Your point?

RE: Nice designs
By randomposter on 10/23/2009 11:51:39 AM , Rating: 2
... and those other cars were themselves a mishmash of a bunch of previous other cars. Your point?

RE: Nice designs
By redman2025 on 10/23/2009 1:56:21 PM , Rating: 2
We have just witnessed a car paradox!

RE: Nice designs
By Spuke on 10/23/2009 7:09:34 PM , Rating: 1
I am REALLY eager to see how the FT-86 turns out!!! They only say that it has a 2L Subie motor. I REALLY hope it's turbocharged AND has direct injection. If it isn't turbo'd then it better be lightweight. None of this 3000 lb, 170hp BS. Although the fact that it's RWD is really exciting. Here's to hoping the other automakers respond to this. I would love to see "cheap" RWD cars hit the market again.

RE: Nice designs
By Brandon Hill on 10/22/2009 10:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care what it looks like -- the fact that Toyota has made a good-looking RWD sports car that is going to be sub-$25,000 is music to my ears. Who would have thought that the company that has bored us to death with the Camry, Prius, and Corolla would bring such goodness to us?

I thought that they had forgotten all about the MR2, Celica, and Supra. I guess all they needed was a kick start from Subaru.

That being said, all rumors point to this thing have a naturally aspirated, direct-injection version of Subaru's flat-four producing around 200 hp. Given that it's based on Subaru's engine, it's likely there'll be a turbo version in the future :-)

Also, weight is pegged to be around 2,800 - 2,900 lbs.

Let's just hope that this thinly disguised concept makes it through relatively unscathed to production trim.

RE: Nice designs
By dubldwn on 10/23/2009 1:41:38 PM , Rating: 2
I don't care what it looks like -- the fact that Toyota has made a good-looking RWD sports car that is going to be sub-$25,000 is music to my ears.

Totally. And the photos in the link show a REAL manual transmission. This is a must drive.

RE: Nice designs
By Spuke on 10/23/2009 7:18:01 PM , Rating: 2
I'm really excited about this car. I might buy it even with the power deficit (compared to my car). I'll have to see what kind of aftermarket pops up around it. There's not too many DI NA engines on the market and the one's that are have 12:1 compression. Yummy!!!! Sounds like some high rpm goodness to me.

Please God, let it be a closed deck block with some lightweight, high revving, 12:1 compression goodness under the hood. And please God let the ECU be from Bosch so we can crack that puppy a week after it's released. Oh, and God, can I get a set of these for it too?

RE: Nice designs
By Alexvrb on 10/23/2009 8:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
200HP seems a bit underpowered unless its main target is the Civic Si. Oh well, I'm sure they'll have body kits, spoilers, and coffee can mufflers available in the aftermarket to keep owners of this car happy.

Or they could just drop a freakin turbo'd H4 in it and maybe see some actual performance.

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