Manufacturers use many means to start the so-called buzz (industry term) about their upcoming cars. For instance, Ford revealed pieces of the new Explorer on Facebook; a door handle here, a head light there. That was incredibly annoying, which is probably why no one has done it since. Others use so-called “leaked” images, shape teasers, headlight patters, and other artsy outlines, all to make you talk about the new upcoming model.
Honda, and their premium brand, Acura, with a few notable exceptions, does not to do that. They show off a concept car at an auto show and, a few months later, wham bam, a vehicle that looks very much like the concept, but stripped of its jewelry and big wheels, is available at your friendly dealer. The new NSX is different however, and with it Acura is taking a conservative, yet familiar, approach to buzz creation. That approach comes by the means of a simple color-selecting app on Facebook.
It maybe fair to say that to Honda, and Acura here in North America, the success of the NSX is significantly more important to them, than the success of the Viper is to Chrysler or the Corvette is to General Motors. The original NSX was an amazing vehicle; a beautify sculpted, light-weight, mid-engine sports car with innovations such as variable valve timing and an all-aluminum body, with the added benefit of Accord-like reliability. But it was more than that; flexibility of a yoga master was not required to get into and out of the NSX, the chassis known for its amazing handling did not punish you when the road got less then perfect. It was the first supercar which could actually be used everyday – imagine that. (I can hear Porsche lovers screaming right now)
It is not difficult to look at the previous generation of the Corvette and the Viper and suggest meaningful improvements. While they may have been amazing vehicles in theory, that theory did not always translate well into reality. The NSX was just the opposite of that. With only 270hp, skeptics theorized that it was under-powered the day it went on sale, but reality proved otherwise. Since the NSX, only one other vehicle received similar accolades, the Audi R8, which came out some fifteen years later, an eternity in the automotive world.
Things at Honda have not exactly been rosy lately. While profitable and having good sales figures, the company not longer offers an S2000, a Prelude, a CR-X, or an Integra. They no longer supply engines to Forumula1, and they do not have the access to the best driver in the world who would tell them to stiffen up the chassis. The NSX Concept looks amazing in real life, but beauty is only skin deep. I do believe however, that Honda has the technology and the passion to create something amazing… and as past and present Honda owner, as someone loves the old Integras, S2000s, and yes, the NSXes, I want to see this passion come out again.
…You commit yourself to such a level where there is no compromise. You give everything you have, everything, absolutely everything.
– Ayrton Senna da Silva
Merry Christmas, Muthalovin!