2009 Acura TSX – Click above for high-res image gallery
Earlier this week, Autocar reported that future high-end Acura models had been canceled. As it turns out, those rumors were more than a bit premature, as Jeff Conrad, Vice President of Acura, has informed his dealers via email that the long-awaited "Tier 1" program is moving forward on schedule. It's believed that the program is based around the large Jeremy Korzeniewski
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.
"You've got to have the right tool for the job." "You can't bring a knife to a gun-fight." Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. We've heard it all before. Honda makes some excellent engines, there's no doubt about that, from small displacement four-pots that rev through the roof to gloriously smooth and reliable V6 units. Unfortunately, the fun stops there, as the Japanese automaker has steadfastly stuck to its guns, not building an eight-cylinder engine when it can do just as well with fewer pistons.
While other manufacturers, notably Ford and General Motors, have been canceling programs to develop new V8 engines, Honda may be yet again be hearing the beat of a different drummer. Automotive News is reporting that Honda's Takeo Fukui has confirmed that the next-generation Acura RL will be powered by the company's first production V8 engine. Even in with high fuel prices, Acura and its dealers apparently feel that that a V8 is necessary to compete with other German and Japanese luxury brands.
Honda's engines have always been a bit special. Not Mazda rotary, miller-cycle or tiny V6 special, but a bit off the beaten path and resistant to market trends. For decades the Japanese automaker insisted on making engines that rotate the opposite direction than the rest of the industry (in line with its motorcycle roots), and took what seemed like an eternity to go back on its founders aversions to any more than four cylinders. Well, as anyone who's stepped into an