• Jan 6, 2009
Honda's attempt to right-size its development schedule and cope with the economic downturn apparently extends beyond the cancellation of the next NSX. According to Autocar, HoMoCo is right-sizing its plans for the next two years, and that includes rethinking the development of a range of rear-wheel-drive Acuras, a new V8, a convertible based on the CR-Z and the S2000's successor.

Acura seems to be carrying the weight of the bad news, with its RWD 7-series rival, originally due out in 2015, cancelled indefinitely, along with development of a V8 engine that would allow the brand to compete with the best and brightest from Germany. The Euro-market Legend could also be on the block and there's a chance that Honda will stop developing two separate Accord models for sale in the U.S. and abroad, instead opting for one mid-size sedan to be sold worldwide.

Unfortunately, the development cease-fire also extends to Honda's smaller offerings. Honda planned to release a drop-top version of its CR-Z after the hybrid goes on sale next year, but that model has been nixed. Even more disturbingly, 2009 will be the last year of production for the S2000, with no heir apparent waiting in the wings.

We're hoping to get more details on the cut-backs as the week progresses, but needless to say, there's more than enough disappointment to go around.

[Source: Autocar]


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  • 67 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sometimes you guys are just way too dramatic. Honda isn't going to die because it is cancelling sports models & V8 engine. It is doing what is has to do to deal with the global economic crisis going on and 30+% losses. Cancelling it now doesn't mean it is cancelled forever. It is just business sense.

      It is hard to make money on sports cars. It is even harder when no one is buying them. Just relax and hold out through the economic downturn and when things are rosey again, I'm sure we will have more than enough toys to play with.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly

        Sports cars don't sell in economic downturns.
        Stick to your bread and butter (Accords, Civics), trim the fat where possible, and you'll survive long enough to outlive your rivals.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You're right.

        Actually, you are the only one here with a smart comment with enough thought into it.

        If you are a car company in this current economy, do you a.) cater to a small market of people that has little profit (sports cars, etc.) or b.) cater to the majority market that makes more profit?

        If I was in Honda's shoes, I would go with "b." Even if I was in Toyota's shoes I would do the same.

        Boring? Yes and no, depending on who you ask.

        However, everyone, and I mean everyone's criticism regarding Toyota and Honda as a "boring" and an "appliance" car company are nothing more than ethnocentric, American egotistic bias!

        If it wasn't for these car companies, the Big Detroit Three would not be struggling to compete to make smaller, efficient vehicles. The Japanese make better vehicles than the majority of vehicles made by American companies. They have higher resale value and higher quality and reliability. The only American car company that has shown any improvement in the last 5 or 10 years is Ford. They'll probably be the only American car company I see that has made great strides in improving their image, reliability and quality. We have the new Fusion and upcoming Taurus, the new '09 Ford F-150, and new 2010 Mustang which doesn't look that bad to me.

        Of all the six American and two Japanese vehicles I've owned in the past ten to twelve years, only the two Japanese vehicles I've had did not exceed $2000 in any type of major repairs. The six American vehicles I've had exceeded $3000 to $4000 in major repairs, and have broke down on freeways or in the middle of the road. And, yes, those American vehicles were bought brand new. My next vehicle will probably be the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid or Toyota Viera.

        The people who comment here on Autoblog, as much as I like reading this website, are nothing more than childish, ethnocentric, bigoted people, which seems to be the general attitude that the world views us Americans as.

        No wonder we're hated in the majority of the world.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Is the s2000 really going to end with the 2009 model??? I want one bad and would buy one now if this information is true.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can forgive Honda for pulling the enthusiast projects at this time because I never really looked at Honda/Acura for a performance car. I do look at them for daily transport and they are funnish to drive with a manual box. I can see how the enthusiast would be disappointed though. Quick solution, buy a Civic and a CBR1000RR and you are still under what an S2000 costs.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So they just killed everything that will be cool about the company. Lame. Was so looking forward to everything that the canceled.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honda needs to fire the designers responsible for Acura's current design theme.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've always liked the S2000, but its always been a bit disappointing to me. My roomate had one, and he had to buy a 2nd car just for basic needs like airport runs or roadtrips. The ride was stiff, and loud and the car only shined when pushed on a set of twisty roads. Compared against a Boxster or even an MX5 it was fairly 2-dimensional. A Boxster makes a great daily driver as well as intimate canyon carver, while an MX5's low price and exploitable low limits forgive its comparative lack of go.

      Where Honda should spend some time is making their small platforms flexible enough to spin off a couple more sporting variants. A Fit coupe that weighs under 2000lbs (is that even possible?) would be a ton of light-weight fun (sorry about the pun). My favorite Honda's (aside from the NSX) were always the sporty light models such as the CRX and original Civic Sis.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Honda surprises us with a revisit of sporting basic cars, perhaps starting with a properly setup Fit with a bit of snarl under the hood, some serious suspension components and a bit more visual pop.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hmmm, could a Civic drivetrain fit in Fit??? Too much to hope for the Si drive train...maybe? That would be madness...
      • 6 Years Ago
      o well...if the G8 ST has to go...then this lil waspy thing should go too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @shirtman

        wth does an american V8 have to do with a porsche cayman?!?!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, another underpowered overpriced piece of scrap bites the dust. Can't wait for the Cayman. Nothing like good old American V8. GRRRRRRRR!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I've been reading that the S2000 will be discontinued for the last 5 years!
        • 6 Years Ago
        the s2000 has been finished.. the last model s2000 was made in 2008, and they made the s2000 cr edition for only that year. They are done with it. Its not really news that the s2000 line has ended. There was rumour of a new one, but I never saw a concept, and the one they show in the picture is the s2000 cr.

        they should just use the k24 turbo from the acura RDX and put it in the current civic si platform complete with awd. they could fairly easily make a serious performance car with just those parts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      As long as the CRZ is sporty enough to deserve it's name's allusions to the CRX then this is all okay.

      And c'mon Honda, the front end of the OSM concept looks way better than anything else you have in the design pipeline. Run with it.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Maybe they are planning to phase out the Acura brand itself.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Japanese companies especially Honda seem to panicking a lot in the current climate. Pulling out of F1, WRC (Subaru and Suzuki), AMA Superbike and canceling everything except a washing machine with wheels. While the Germans are racing everything, building more and more powerful cars and taking over companies that are much larger than themselves. It is yet to be seen which policy is going to work in the long term but the German route seems more exciting.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The thing is, it's not as simple as "people don't buy luxo-cars/sports cars when economy is bad."

      For performance, Subaru had better performance this year than Honda. BMW and Audi did better than Acura as for as year-to-year performance. Obviously volume is different, but the fact is the sales show that Honda could do better.

      This will step on a lot of toes, but the S2000 isn't as marketable as some other sports cars. Reason being its high-revving N/A engine that trades off a small engine for lower torque and a higher redline. It's cool, but for most they want a torquey engine. I think that's why BMW is shifting focus from its light-weight magnesium N/A engines (N52) to boosted applications for North America.

      Acura has produced duds with the new-generation. The last TSX and TL were great (although they could've used SH-AWD), the current-gen look like exaggerated Camrys. The RL has been a dud for the longest time.

      Plus, by 2015 we'll probably be out of the recession. Although I agree with the decision to nix the next NSX (which looked very meh), possibly the S2000, I don't think Honda should retreat and just focus on its money-makers (Civic, Accord, Fit)
        • 6 Years Ago
        S2000 isn't as marketable because its more compromised. An M3 has a backseat, etc. Miata, Solstice/Sky don't light up the sales charts either.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I don't mind the lack of torque. I don't mind revving the engine up when I need some scoot.

        But what I do mind is the 6th gear in the damn car. I can't take a car that sounds like the engine is going to jump out of the hood at highway speeds. Reminds me of a 77 Chevette (4 speed, no overdrive).

        I swear, just change a single cog in the car and you couldn't stop me from buying it. It'd really help the pitiful highway mpg too.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @why not the LS2LS7?

        "But what I do mind is the 6th gear in the damn car. I can't take a car that sounds like the engine is going to jump out of the hood at highway speeds. Reminds me of a 77 Chevette (4 speed, no overdrive)."

        "It'd really help the pitiful highway mpg too."

        I own a 2002 S2000 (AP1) and strongly disagree with this. You are correct that it sounds insane when you are cruising in fourth gear on the highway at 7000 rpm. Even more so when you are pushing the 9k redline.

        I don't really get what you are trying to say about 6th gear. It's there mainly so that the issue you describe won't be so much of an issue. 5th gear redlines at 135-138mph and in sixth, highway speeds of 70-75 are about 4000rpm.

        VTEC engagement is around 6500rpm so it's hardly "on boil" at 4k. Now, downshift into 4th and you should be about 1k below VTEC.

        I'm not exactly sure how different the AP2 (2004+) is, but I believe it's around 3500rpm highway speeds.

        FWIW, I've logged my fuel for the last 27,000 miles and I've averaged 24mpg with a 60/40 HWY/CITY mix. Highway only, I get around 29-30mpg and city only about 22. I try to hit VTEC as often as possible, so I don't exactly baby it either.
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