Posts Tagged ‘nsx’

New Honda S2000 or CR-Z to Sit Between S660 & NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 1st, 2015

Pikes Peak Honda CR-Z

Honda has been perhaps the most exciting Japanese automaker to follow in 2015. First it was the news of the S1000, a ‘hot’ version of the turbocharged S660 roadster kei car that’s currently available in Japan. Then it was the new Civic Type-R. Then it was the Acura NSX Concept which previewed a new hybrid supercar that’s likely to make its production debut at the beginning of next year.

Now, according to Motoring, we’ve learned that Honda plans to introduce not one, but possibly TWO more sports cars in the near future. The first will be a successor to the S2000 that got axed back in ’09. The second will be a performance-tuned CR-Z. Both cars could sit between the S660 / S1000 and the NSX as mid-level sports cars. They’ll be bigger and faster than the kei car roadster, but much more attainable than the six-figure supercar.

Let’s start with the S2000. According to the report, the new S2000 would feature a mid-engine hybrid layout that’s similar to the one showcased in the NSX. Motoring’s Honda informant says that their engineers “are currently evaluating a detuned version of the Civic Type-R’s 2.0L turbo.” He went on to say that a more efficient 1.5L turbo is on the table, and that he believes that such a car could output a minimum of 300hp with a price tag somewhere in the mid $60k. This would put the car in prime position to take on the likes of the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z4 and even Nissan’s Fairlady Z.

As for the CR-Z, details are even sparser. Motoring’s insider offered barely two sentences about the possibility of the compact coupe’s return: “We still need to evaluate exactly where a new CR-Z would fit into our sports car hierarchy … We are looking at the potential of electric 4WD [like] the Pikes Peak CR-Z.” However, he went on to say that, “The powers that be in our R&D section are leaning strongly towards channeling development funds away from the CR-Z and into an S2000 successor.”

Either way, the good news is that another sports car is definitely on the table for Honda. We just don’t know exactly which one it’ll be. And, we should make it clear that neither car is anywhere close to production. Honda’s first priority is boosting sales of their high-volume models in two primary markets – the US and China. They believe that a focus on those markets is the key to higher profits, which would then allow them to devote research and development into lower-volume models like a new CR-Z coupe or S2000 roadster.


New Technical Details Released for 2016 Acura NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, April 24th, 2015

2016 Acura NSX

Without a doubt, the Acura NSX is one of the most exciting cars from the 2015 spring auto show season. Ever since the NSX Concept’s original debut at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year, we’ve been eagerly awaiting any extra details we can get about the upcoming new supercar. Today, we got those extra details from Ted Klaus’ presentation at the SAE 2015 World Congress & Exhibition.

Ted Klaus is the chief engineer and global development leader for the new Acura NSX. In his presentation, he and his team showcased new technical details, many of which we’d suspected, but hadn’t confirmed.

2016 Acura NSX turbo engine

For example, we already suspected that the Acura NSX’s all-new powertrain would feature a twin-turbo 3.5L V6 engine. What we didn’t know is that Acura engineered the 75° V-angle to simultaneously optimize engine rigidity and lower the powertrain components in the car’s chassis. This will allow the NSX to offer the lowest center of gravity in its class AND maintain peak performance even in extremely grueling turns (which Klaus’ engineers called “high lateral-G conditions”).

2016 Acura NSX hybrid layout

Similarly, the brand-new 9-speed dual-clutch transmission was also engineered to keep a low center of gravity with the majority of its mass centered around the driver, while a variable gear steering ratio allows confident drivers to push the NSX to its limits without fear.

Acura also confirmed details about the hybrid system. We now know for sure that the NSX will utilize a three-motor hybrid system. The rear motor will apply its torque directly to the crankshaft for instant rear-wheel power delivery, while the two front motors will be responsible for the NSX’s dynamic torque vectoring system. Since the hybrid system is designed to handle more combustion power and more torque than any other Acura powertrain to date, they’re ensuring the engine stays cool with a full 10 heat exchangers (pictured below) and an airflow management strategy that both maximizes aerodynamics and minimizes overheating.

Acura NSX Total Airflow Management

But, Acura’s mechanical prowess doesn’t stop with powertrain… The chassis has been perfected as well. Klaus tells us that the NSX boasts the world’s first automotive application of new ablation casting technology and the first-ever use of three-dimensionally formed ultra-high-strength steel. Basically, all that equals out to class-leading chassis rigidity and crash performance without sacrificing agility or curb weight.

If there is one key takeaway from Acura’s presentation, it’s that the new NSX will represent the pinnacle of on-track precision. Everything about the NSX is designed to fuse car and driver into one being, and it’s clear that Acura has placed an enormous focus on accurately and immediately responding to all driver inputs.

At the end of the day, all these tech. specs really do is confirm what we already knew about the 2016 Acura NSX – it’s going to be really, really fun to drive. We’re still waiting to hear official performance details such as powertrain output and top speed, but hopefully we won’t be waiting long.



Why Honda Projects Record Sales in 2015

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

At this month’s Detroit motor show, Honda’s Executive VP, John Mendel, predicted that the automaker would break their US sales record by the end of 2015. But it’s not just the US – Honda is taking extreme measures everywhere to revitalize their brand and push their momentum from 2014.

It Starts With New US Models Like the Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX

One of the biggest ways Honda plans to beat their US sales record is simply by meeting demand for their new Acura TLX. Turns out they’re struggling to keep up with orders. Mendel is even quoted as saying demand for the car is “going gangbusters” in an interview with Columbus Business First in Detroit.

They also kick-started the year with the Acura NSX concept in Detroit, with even more new cars coming to Chicago like a redesigned RDX and the new Honda Pilot. While they’re adding new models to increase sales growth in the US, the Japanese automaker is doing exactly the opposite in Europe…

Honda Accord Withdrawing from Europe

2014 Honda Accord

Leon Brannan of Honda UK recently told Automotive News Europe, “we are running out the accord and we will not return to the segment.”

The jaws of several of our US readers are probably dropping right now, as the idea of Honda removing the Accord from their lineup in any market is near unthinkable. However, keep in mind that the European version of Honda’s midsize Accord is actually our discontinued Acura TSX. That’s the same car that Honda recently replaced with the TLX in the US, but they plan to totally withdraw from the segment in Europe.

Why?

It’s a smart move when you hear the full story.

First, they’ve been losing sales to natively manufactured European models like the Mercedes C class for some time. In fact, Honda UK’s Accord sales fell by nearly 20% in 2014. When you consider that Honda’s total European sales fell 5% last year, it’s easy to see that the Accord is one of the cars dragging down their numbers. Meanwhile, their always-excellence crossovers continue to outsell their European competition.

When you see like that, the change seems obvious – they’re cutting their losses and refocusing on the models that are selling well. The refreshed Honda CR-V is already doing well, and the new subcompact HR-V is also expected to play a part in Honda’s European sales rebounding to record highs by the end of this year.


This is the Epic New 2016 Acura NSX Supercar

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

2016 Acura NSX

It’s finally here – the car we’ve all been waiting for, and the undisputed king of the 2015 Detroit Motor Show. It’s the 2016 Acura NSX, back after 10 years of extinction, faster and better than ever before. This, folks, is the definition of a showstopper.

As you continue reading, you’ll get plenty of pictures, specs and even a video of the revived NSX supercar.

As you can see in the video, to say that the new NSX represents the future of Acura would be an understatement. This car simultaneously challenges the current status quo for performance cars everywhere and seeks to revive of the beloved Acura brand of old.

2016 Acura NSX supercar

It all starts under the hood with a powertrain that’s been in development since 2012.

The powertrain is a DOHC V6 engine, twin-turbocharged and paired with a 9-speed dual clutch transmission. But it’s more than just an engine; it’s a complete hybrid system with three independent electric motors – one for each front wheel, and one for the rear wheels, all working together to form a system that Acura dubs Sport Hybrid Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.

2016 Acura NSX chassis

In the SHSHAWD system (quite an acronym, eh?) the two front motors improve forward traction, vector torque and overall handling, while the rear motor is dedicated to acceleration, gear shifting and braking. The role of the transmission can’t be overstated, and Acura promises track-level shifting that’s been tried and tested on circuits all over the world, including the renowned Nürburgring.

Unfortunately, we don’t have any specific performance specs yet, but Acura’s presentation in Detroit promises more than 550 horsepower, made all the more effective by the supercar’s lightweight, multi-material chassis. The NSX uses aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, several alloys and even ceramics (in the brake discs) to minimize weight and maximize on-track performance.

2016 Acura NSX rear view

The exterior design speaks for itself, so we won’t spend too much time discussing that to keep this post from turning into a book, but one thing you might not notice in the pictures is just how low the center of gravity is for this new NSX. Acura actually stretched the body by about 3 inches compared to previous concepts in order to accommodate a lower engine mount, aided by the highly compact valve train and dry-pump lubrication system.

The NSX only gets more advanced as you move inside the car, with four driving modes to choose from via Acura’s Integrated Dynamic System, which allows you to choose between Quiet, Sport, Sport+ and Track modes with the simple twist of a dial.

2016 Acura NSX human centered interior

Of course, the interior also boasts supercar-level aesthetics with immaculate visibility and what Acura promises to be relatively intuitive controls given the highly advanced nature of the car. This all fits in line with Acura’s stated goal of creating a “human-centered supercar”, even down to the seats which are ergonomically designed for both comfort and high-speed grip. You can see that the Acura NSX pictured here utilizes a vibrant red-and-black color-scheme with plenty of leather, which we assume varies to fit the exterior color.

To be honest, we could spend the rest of the week talking about the new Acura NSX and nothing else… That’s just how much time and development has gone into this car. Fortunately, we’ll have plenty more opportunities to talk about it between now and when the car goes on sale this summer, with deliveries starting later this fall. A starting price hasn’t been specified, but Acura tells us it’ll be in the ballpark of $155,000.

If you’d like to learn more, feel free to watch the entire live unveiling below:


Top Japanese Cars Coming to the 2015 Detroit Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 10th, 2015

The 2015 Detroit Motor Show opens doors next Monday. It’s the first major automotive event of the new year, so it’s a big one for enthusiasts everywhere. As you continue reading, we’ll quickly review every Japanese car you should look out for at the show next week.

2016 Acura NSX

2015 Honda Acura NSX

Perhaps the most highly anticipated car coming to the show, Japanese-made or otherwise, is the next-generation Acura NSX supercar. And this won’t just be a concept either, but a full-fledged production-spec model ready for dealership floors.

However, while you might assume that we know a lot about it because it’s a production model, the exact opposite is true. All we have are four darkened teaser images, similar to the one shown above, and a vague statement by the supercar’s chief engineer and project leader, Ted Klaus:

“After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar — the Acura NSX — to the world. We’ve developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage.”

The one thing we do know is what will lie beneath the hood. Acura promises a twin-turbocharged sport hybrid powertrain with three high-performance electric motors to help deliver power to the wheels. Other than that, we’ll just have to wait and find out next Monday.

2016 Lexus GS F

2016 Lexus GS F

Even though the Lexus GS F is also an extremely high performance model that will make its official debut in Detroit, for some reason there’s markedly less excitement for Lexus’ amped up saloon than the Acura NSX. Perhaps it’s because we’ve already seen a full suite of teaser images, thereby removing any mystery from the reveal…

Or, perhaps it’s because of the car’s naturally-aspirated 5.0L V8 engine with 467hp, which is borrowed directly from the Lexus RC F. Obviously, 467hp is a ton of output by any normal standards, but not when compared to the GS F’s competitors. The BMW M5, the new Cadillac CTS-V and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG all offer anywhere from 100 to 200 more horsepower, with the best of the bunch being Cadillac’s 640hp 6.2L V8 behemoth, which can zoom from 0 to 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds.

2016 Lexus GS F two-tone interior

Still, the new GS-F should not be counted out. Because of Toyota’s expertise with carbon fiber thanks to their previous LFA project, the car comes in at 200 to 500 pounds less than competitors, which means it can go faster with less power. Plus, it’s reported to continue the trend of truly top-notch driving dynamics from Lexus. On top of that, Lexus has once again proven their prowess for designing interiors, as you can see in the image above.

Infiniti Q60 Concept

2016 Infiniti Q60 Concept Preview

The next car to keep an eye out for, which we covered just earlier this week, is the new Infiniti Q60 Concept. You can read more about the upcoming concept here, but the short version is that this low-riding coupe is expected to compete with the BMW 4 Series with a plush interior, class-leading aerodynamics and probably the same 3.0L V6 engine that we’ve seen in the Infiniti Q80.

2016 Nissan Titan

2016 Nissan Titan spy shot

Finally, a non-sports car! Both Japanese pickups have remained relatively under wraps compared to the sports cars above, but the one thing we know about Nissan’s new Titan is that it’ll be powered by a custom-developed 5.0L V8 Cummins diesel engine. In order to appeal to the patriotic pickup niche, Nissan has put a heavy emphasis on the fact that their pickup is 100% American-made… Conceptualized in California, developed in Michigan, road-tested in the deserts of Arizona and built in the Midwest of Mississippi.

2016 Toyota Tacoma

2016 Toyota Tacoma

Alongside the Nissan Titan will be another new Japanese pickup truck, albeit a smaller mid-sized model, to compete with the likes of Chevy’s new Colorado and the new GMC Canyon. Again, Toyota has remained completely tight-lipped about the new model, but we do know what it looks like thanks to the numerous photos leaked ahead of the reveal.

We’ll find out exact powertrain specs when doors open next week, but we’re setting the bar pretty high after Toyota boldly claimed that the new Tacoma will be “better in every way” than the previous generation, which they point out was the best-selling midsize pickup for the past 10 years.

Other Possible Japanese Cars Coming to Detroit

Now, there are a couple other Japanese cars that aren’t totally confirmed for debut at the 2015 Detroit Motor Show, but that we highly suspect will make an appearance. Those cars include:

2016 Nissan Maxima – We know that the new Maxima will come sometime in “early 2015”, and all initial reports lead us to believe that Detroit will be that time. The car should showcase Nissan’s new design language, along with a more spacious interior and a possible new hybrid powertrain borrowed from the new Pathfinder.

2016 Lexus RX Facelift – The other Japanese car that we expect to see – but can’t absolutely guarantee that we will – is the facelift for Lexus’ 2016 RX crossover. Again, we really know nothing about this other than the fact that Lexus promised two new cars at Detroit, and this is the only other likely candidate.

Either way, you can clearly see that the 2015 Detroit Motor Show is going to be a big one for Japanese automakers. The three major Japanese brands each have multiple new cars making debuts, so you’ll definitely want to stay tuned next week to get the full reveal for each of the cars above.

Until then, thanks for reading!


New 2016 Acura NSX Previewed Ahead of Detroit

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Acura is going to kick off the new year with the debut of their most highly anticipated car of the past decade – the revived, second-generation Acura NSX sports car. The Japanese automaker’s new supercar will be shown at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show in full, production-ready form. In the meantime, we’ve been given a few teaser images (like the one above) and a video preview, complete with an audio sample of the engine. Hear it for yourself below:

Ominous, isn’t it? And it should be, this is shaping up to be a truly epic car. That high-speed rev you hear in the video comes from a twin-turbocharged hybrid powertrain. We won’t have official specs until Detroit, but most rumors tell us to expect a 3.5L V6 engine paired up with no less than three sport-tuned electric motors, all working in conjunction through Acura’s acclaimed Sport Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.

2016 Acura NSX Teaser rear

Now, to give you an idea of just how much demand has been drummed up for the 2016 Acura NSX, Honda actually started taking pre-orders – and lots of them – all the way back in 2013, just one year after the original NSX Concept’s debut at the beginning of 2012. Before that, Honda had developed a custom sports car based on the NSX Concept to be driven by Robert Downy Jr. (playing Iron Man) in The Avengers.

If you dig deep enough, you’ll find that the second-gen’s roots can be traced all the way back to 2007 – just two years after the original car ceased production – when Honda’s NA CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura, confirmed that they would eventually manufacture a hybrid supercar based on the then-new ASCC car (Advanced Sports Car Concept).

2016 Acura NSX Teaser

All that to say, it’s been a long wait for Honda’s motorsport enthusiasts. By the time the new NSX hits dealership floors at the end of 2015 as a 2016 model, NSX fans will have been waiting through almost a full decade of concepts and prototypes, all teasing this new model. But, we think it’ll be worth the wait, and Honda does do.

Acura’s senior VP, Mike Accavitti, believes that the new NSX will live up to the name of the original. “The next-generation NSX will deliver a ‘new sports experience’ true to its heritage and to the supercar concept that originally gave rise to the name NSX.”

Unfortunately, we don’t have much more than hype for you today. As we said of the beginning of this post, Acura has remained completely tight-lipped about technical specs. However, the teasers lead us to believe that the production car will closely resemble the 2013 NSX Concept in shape and form. Stay tuned at the beginning of January for the car’s full reveal in Detroit.


Nissan Previews Possible New GT-R in Gran Turismo 6

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

It wasn’t too long ago that Mitsubishi used the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 PlayStation 3 racing game as a platform to debut their newest racing concept. However, while Mitsubishi’s concept is unlikely to make it out of the digital world, Nissan’s newly unveiled contribution to the GT6 Vision garage could very well make it to production. Of course, it’s possible that even if it’s manufactured, it’ll remain a track-only vehicle, but early rumors indicate something more.

Let’s start by looking at the teaser below:

Nissan Vision GT Teaser

Even though this is a vague and artistic image, it actually tells us a lot about Nissan’s contribution to GT6. In fact, it might even tell us too much; this mystery car has been rumored to be everything from the brand’s next WRC racer to their new LMP1 prototype or even the next commercial GT-R.

Personally, we believe that the image above previews the next Nissan GT-R. It might not be the mass-production version we’ll eventually see on the streets; perhaps instead it’s a racing-only version, like the upcoming Nissan R36 GT-R we discussed a week or two ago as Nissan’s return to Le Mans racing.

Whatever it is, though, there is clearly some level of production intent. After all, why else would Andy Palmer, Nissan Vice President, tweet the question “Think it’s worth coming to Goodwood?” with the teaser image? Clearly Nissan are planning this to have some carry-over to the real world. We already knew that Honda was planning to bring their NSX to the Goodwood Festical of Speed, so why wouldn’t Nissan bring some competition in the form of their next GT-R?

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the darkened teaser image Nissan has provided us with is the peculiar front-end, unlike anything we’ve seen from them up to this point. The image shows a car with a shortened front-clip with colossal air vents and a very prominent front spoiler. The way that the vents on both the front and side seem to dip into the middle of the car could possibly suggest a mid-engine layout, which offers a highly favorable weight distribution for excellent rear-wheel traction. Let’s cross our fingers that this is the case.

In the end, all we know for sure is that this car – whatever it may be – is the next in a long line of Nissan contributions to Gran Turismo. In fact, did you know that the first GT-R was originally introduced to international drivers through the Gran Turismo video game, decades ago? This explains why it actually makes contextual sense for Nissan to use this platform to launch the next GT-R, if that’s what it turns out to be.

Either way, the one thing that Nissan has promised is that “all will be revealed” next Monday, June 16th. So, stay tuned until then for the full scoop.

In the meantime, thanks for reading!


Honda S2000 Rumored to Follow Upcoming S660

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

May has been an awesome month so far for our Honda fans. Last week we learned that they intend to revive the Honda Beat with a new car called the Honda S660. This week we’ve learned that the S660 isn’t the only ‘S’ car slated to make a comeback – the Japanese automaker has confirmed the return of the Honda S2000 roadster. It seems that Honda is determined to return to their motorsports-oriented youth, and these two cars together with the upcoming Acura NSX are their plan to do it.

Honda S2000

For those of you without an intimate knowledge of Honda’s past production line, the Honda S2000 was a slick lightweight roadster manufactured from 1999 to 2009. In fact, its roots reach back to the Honda Beat with a conceptual debut at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show. The S2000 enjoyed steady sales for the first seven years of its ten-year lifespan. Unfortunately, sports cars were one of the segments most dramatically impacted by the auto industry’s 2008 recession, so the S2000 was nixed from the lineup. Still, the car was well-loved by critics and continued to garner awards during its last three years of production.

Now, the auto industry is on track and Honda is ready to bring the S2000 back along with it. Except, according to Automotive Express, it won’t technically be the S2000, just the name will remain the same. For example, where the old S2000 featured a front-engine layout, the new model will follow in the S660’s and NSX’s footsteps with a mid-engine layout. Also, the old S2000 was a softtop convertible, but early sources indicate the new one will be a hardtop coupe.

All of these changes pale in comparison to the last one. The old Honda S2000 used an F22C1 four-cylinder 2.0L petrol engine with 239hp, which together with a ‘X-bone’ chassis helped it to achieve its lightweight design. The new S2000 eschews “lightweight” in favor of power. It’s rumored to use the same turbocharged 2.0L 350bhp engine as in the Honda Civic Type R. But, that blazing engine will be part of an NSX-like hybrid powertrain to keep the car fuel efficient and eco-friendly while still boasting a 0 to 60 time of around 5 seconds.

To put each of Honda’s upcoming performance models into a timeline, you can expect the Acura NSX to come in less than a year’s time near the beginning of 2015. Then, the new Honda S660 subcompact will likely arrive at the end of 2015 for the 2016MY. Finally, this new Honda S2000 likely won’t arrive until the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017, but unlike the S660 it’s almost guaranteed to make its way into European and American markets.


Honda S660 Kei Sports Car Confirmed for Production

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 9th, 2014

It’s been a big week for Japanese-made sports cars. First we had the unconfirmed rumor out of Australia that Toyota will produce a convertible GT86, even after previously indicating the opposite. Today we have confirmation that Honda is giving the green light to manufacture the Beat-based S660 Concept as early as 2015.

Honda S660 Concept

We first saw the Honda S660 Concept (above) at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show last November. As you can see, it has a splendid aesthetic with a modern design that goes above and beyond what you’d expect from an automaker like Honda. At first glance it’s reminiscent of a convertible Acura NSX, albeit much, much smaller, but in truth it’s based on the Honda EV-STER Concept from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show (below).

Honda EV-STER Concept

Honda’s newest sports car’s measurements are small enough to fit Japan’s Kei car regulations, which limit body length at 3.4m and width at 1.48m. Even the concept’s name hints at its size, S660 being a reference to the bite-sized engine displacement – 660cc. This engine is the same size as was in the original Honda Beat from 1991.

In fact, the closer you look at the S660 Concept’s powertrain, the more you see where this car has its roots. Just like the original Beat, the S660 will use a rear-drive, mid-engine layout for optimum balance. Honda claims that the car will have a perfect 50:50 weight distribution between the front and rear axles. If the S660 does indeed follow in the Beat’s footsteps, then you can expect to the production model to get a turbocharged three-cylinder engine that outputs 64 horsepower, the maximum power allowed by Kei car regulations.

With all the limitations put on the S660’s mechanics, you can see why Honda put such a heavy emphasis on its looks. What they presented us in Tokyo was simultaneously clean and aggressive with all the right features. LED headlights, a dominant grille and sharp-cut wheels all help make the S660 stand out from the crowd. Of course, by the time the S660 launches in 2015, it will need to stand out from the crowd… Toyota is planning to revive their Daihatsu Copen sometime around 2015, and Suzuki may do the same with their old Cappuccino by 2016.

There are probably at least a few reading this who’d be interested in owning one of these pearly white S660 roadsters when they finally launch sometime next year. Unfortunately, initial speculation indicates that the S660 will be limited exclusively to the Japanese market. Still, anything can happen, so we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we draw closer to the little sports car’s debut.


What Honda and Acura Brought to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show

Posted by Stephen On Friday, September 13th, 2013

We’ve covered Nissan and Infiniti, we’ve covered Toyota and Lexus, and today we’re going to keep moving right along into the third largest Japanese automaker, Honda and Acura.

Interestingly enough, Honda followed a similar pattern to Toyota in that they showcased two cars we already knew a lot about, but then gave us some juicy details about a car that’s coming-soon. The difference is that where Toyota deliberately did NOT confirm their new GT86 Hybrid, Honda deliberately DID confirm details about a new upcoming Civic, which we’ll talk more about below.

First, though, let’s start with the two primary Japanese cars being showcased by Honda/Acura.

Honda Civic Tourer

It’s a bit surprising to string these words together in a sentence, but Honda’s new Civic Tourer is actually very appealing. Maybe it’s just the context that the Japanese-made wagon was shown in at this particular motor show, but everything about it seems so well-refined. Adrian Killham, the Civic Tourer’s project leader, really hit the nail on the head when he said, “Recently launched cars have tended to follow a similar style. The Civic Tourer has a different balance and appeal.”

In other words, look at the Lexus LF-NX Concept. Look at the Infiniti Q30 Concept. Look at the Suzuki iV-4 Concept (which we’ll cover tomorrow). These are what the Civic Tourer was shown next to, and compared to the above, the Tourer just seems so… polished. Granted, the other cars listed here are concepts and not production models, but still, the point stands.

The Civic Tourer features a design that is seamless and sleek, muscular and subtle, and natural but not uncomfortable. In short, it’s a nice break from the over-aggressive styling that we’ve seen from a lot of new cars as of late. But, there’s more to the Honda Civic Tourer than just looks.

For starters, the Tourer has a metric ton of cargo space with 59 cubic feet available when the rear seats are folded down. Depending on where you are, you’ll have access to a Civic Tourer with either a 1.8L four-cylinder i-VTEC gas engine or a 1.6L i-DTEC Earth Dreams diesel engine.

Unfortunately, we still have no idea whether the new Honda Civic Tourer will ever be sold on U.S. shores.  But, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out. It’ll be sold in Europe early next year, so if the wagon is going to be sold In the U.S., we should know by the end of 2013.

Acura NSX Q&A

We weren’t actually expecting to learn anything new about the upcoming Acura NSX hybrid, but Honda surprised us. While we’ve seen the same NSX that was shown at Frankfurt several times before, this time around Honda/Acura put together a brief Q&A with the new NSX’s Chief Engineer, Ted Klaus. You’re free to watch the video below for the full scoop, but here are a few of the most important questions answered:

“What was your favorite Type R model and why?”

This isn’t directly relevant, but it’s interesting because Klaus says his favorite Type R ever was the ’98 – ’01 version. Why? According to him, it “peeled” exceptionally well, as in “peeling the onion,” not, “peeling out”. In other words, it was a car with multiple layers and attributes that could only be fully appreciated through time spent behind the wheel. The more you drove it, the more you liked it. He says that’s one of the biggest things he’s looking to achieve with the new NSX.

“Why create a hybrid NSX?”

Klaus says the new NSX is intended to fully embody the original idea behind NSX, which apparently stands for New Sports Experimental. So, it’s going to be a hybrid because that’s the technology that Honda feels it would benefit most from experimenting with. Perhaps because their competitors are doing the same?
But, there are other factors besides sheer “newness” at play in the NSX hybrid. Ted says that a hybrid powertrain allows for a lower center of gravity, more intelligent design, and an overall higher response for the driver.

“How will you keep the character of the original NSX?”

Apparently, Klaus and his team actually sat down with the original development team to discuss what the first creators thought were the most important elements of the original car. Those elements were vivid response, a good power to weight ratio, and a human-focused driving experience.

These are just three of the five or six questions Klaus answered in the video, so you can learn more by watching the whole thing below:

Honda Civic Type R

Honda Civic Type R testing

Finally, we have the first piece of actual news from Honda’s presence at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. Honda has officially pledged that the 2015 Honda Civic Type R will become the fastest front-wheel drive car to lap the Nürburgring. The new Civic Type-R will beat the current record of 8 minutes and 7.97 seconds with a brand-new 276 bhp 2.0L direct injection engine with turbocharge. They’re also enlisting the help of championship-winning driver Gabriele Tarquini, a man who certainly knows what it takes to compete on Germany’s most infamous circuit.

Of course, Honda still has two more years until they’ve promised us the Civic Type R, so even though the lap record could change between now and then, Tarquini has plenty of time to help them push their new engine to its limits.

We weren’t expecting much from Honda and Acura at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show; they certainly didn’t generate much fanfare ahead of time. But, the Civic Touring was pleasantly impressive, the new information about the NSX was greatly appreciated, and we’re more excited than ever to see the Civic Type R whenever Honda feels ready to share it with us.

Thanks for reading, and come back tomorrow for our bits and pieces wrap up of any Japanese cars you might’ve missed at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.