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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Talk about disillusioned
By Headfoot on 10/22/2009 9:32:31 PM , Rating: -1
I knew Honda was "going green" but this is too much. Their sporty vehicles have always been nice. Sure they aren't the most outlandish things but they are in the cost range of real people not just millionares.

Im sad to see a good company hedge their bets this hard on a fad that hasn't even been scientifically proven. I guess it's hard to prove it scientifically though when your evidence comes from heat sensors next to fast food joints or huge expanses of blacktop.

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By randomposter on 10/22/2009 10:07:48 PM , Rating: 4
I guess it's hard to prove it scientifically though when your evidence comes from heat sensors next to fast food joints or huge expanses of blacktop.

Do you seriously believe that the thousands of smart, dedicated scientists working in the field of climate study aren't able to design a set of experimental controls that would account for heat island effects?

Seriously, do you believe that's even possible in today's world of heavily peer-reviewed science?

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Manch on 10/22/09, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Brandon Hill on 10/22/2009 11:03:28 PM , Rating: 2
They've left F1 as well.

FAIL all around :(

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Broadwing on 10/22/2009 11:48:31 PM , Rating: 2
...though once free of Honda, that team's done rather nicely for themselves indeed. :)

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Amiga500 on 10/23/2009 6:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Well... to be honest, they wrote off 2008, and devoted all their time to 2009's car. They had 3 separate development programs in parallel through most of 2008, picked the best and carried it forward and reaped the benefits at the start of this season.

It was an idiotic decision from the Honda board to up sticks and leave at that point in time, but the Brawn wins are mostly due to the cash spent in 2008 when the team were still Honda.

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By johnsonx on 10/25/2009 7:20:48 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, I seriously do. It's because it's about politics, power and money, not science.

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Reclaimer77 on 10/22/2009 11:06:57 PM , Rating: 1
Yeah this is really sad. Didn't like all of their vehicles meet new Ultra Low Emissions standards anyway ? Like that wasn't "green" enough..

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By KGBird on 10/23/2009 6:36:36 PM , Rating: 3
I've been slowly losing my appreciation of Hondas. They used to make great cars, but followed them up with troubling decisions to kill them. Some examples:

#1 The CRX - Great fun to drive, good mileage too. Killed for no good reason.
#2 The Prelude - Another good sporty car. Sales were poor, so I understand why it died.
#3 The NSX - Fabulous sports car. Everyone waited breathlessly for its successor. Honda teased us with concepts, but never made it.
#4 The S2000 - I WANTED ONE!! Nuff said. - Forget it now.
#5 Formula 1 - They designed a winner AND QUIT! Brawn GP wins the driver and constructors championship with it (Mercedes engine, though).

Now we're stuck with the Accord. It just gets bigger, fatter, and softer with each generation

Honda has gone the way of the Toyota, and they've lost me as a fan.

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By Brandon Hill on 10/23/2009 6:51:27 PM , Rating: 2
Honda has gone the way of the Toyota, and they've lost me as a fan.

I wouldn't say they've gone the way of Toyota. Toyota at least:

1) Has RWD platforms (Lexus)
2) Has the LFA (V-10 supercar pictured in this article)
3) Has the FT-86 coming next year (sub-$25,000 RWD sports car for the masses)
4) Lexus IS-F (400+ HP M3 fighter)

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By KGBird on 10/23/2009 8:28:51 PM , Rating: 2
You're right. I guess I never got over the death of the Supra and the incredibly disappointing Celica.

RE: Talk about disillusioned
By EasyC on 10/26/2009 12:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
The celica was far from a disappointment. The RSX was comparable in terms of speed, but wasn't in handling/braking (stock wise). The one thing it had over the celica was aftermarket (which subsequently produced the image of celicas sucking).

That said, I own both a Toyota and an Acura. My daily driver is the Acura, and my sports/summer car is the Toyota.

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