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2003 NSX

10 July 2000
El Dorado Hills, CA
By Craig Campanaro

I sat next to an American Honda executive on a plane last week, and got a chance to talk with him about some of the details concerning the futures of the NSX, S2000 and Integra. Here are the major points he mentioned:

2003 NSX

The specs for the next generation NSX have been complete for approximately 8 - 12 months. There will be no subtle reskin / engine improvement to the current car as the Japanese car magazines s have been speculating. Instead, scheduled for a late 2002 arrival as a mid-year 2003 car, the all new NSX will be mass produced from Honda with near 100% steel based construction. The new car will offer a singular engine option of a massaged 4.0L V-8 that produces between 400 and 450HP. This engine is technologically similar but not identical to the powerplant in the 2001 RL sedan. Price of the next gen NSX is estimated at $50K, but will not exceed $55K. The exec was adamant about this point, even stating that if Honda can not deliver the car to North America for a retail price that equals less than $55K tops, it's likely that it won't be offered there at all.

The exec stated that the new NSX will remain as Honda's / Acura's flagship for technology and performance, but should now be considered a price / performance bargain compared to the Corvette, E46 M3 and 911 on North American shores. The exec doesn't know the weight of the new NSX and wouldn't speculate on its performance levels versus other exotics. Hopefully it will weigh far less than the recently shown BMW Fat Albert E46 M3, which has a ridiculous 3425 LB curb weight.
Originally posted by NSX4U2:
Hopefully it will weigh far less than the recently shown BMW Fat Albert E46 M3, which has a ridiculous 3425 LB curb weight.

Actually, that's 34xx pounds unladen weight. The curb weight once you add coolant, oil, gas, etc is 3500+ pounds! That's one of many reasons I sold my 2001 M3 waiting list spot (and bought an NSX instead)..

That info about the new NSX is kinda disturbing. If the new NSX is going to have a much better engine than the current car and presumably do everything on-par or better, but cost $55K new... That sounds like it would really hurt the value for 1st-generation NSX's.

Let's say that new NSX came out today. Why would I buy a several-years-used 1997 290hp NSX for $55K+ when I could buy a brand new 400hp NSX for the same price? (Or in 2 years from now, a 1999 NSX vs. 2003 NSX)

I'm not saying it's the wrong strategy for Honda, $55K is an important price point if Honda wants to significantly up the volume of NSX sales. But it could be a very wrong strategy for current NSX owners.

ill be pretty angry if they do something like that, theyre turning a refined automobile into something that is mass produced like a C5, if they were just to keep everything the same and just put a new engine in, id be happy
I've said this before and I'll state my opinion again. The value of the 1st gen. NSXs will not go down other than possibly in the first 6 mos. of the new gen. arrival.(solely due to curiosity in the new) After that, the value will hold true as it always has and even rise. The DEMAND for the limited production, all aluminum exotic will INCREASE as the car ceases to be produced. Think for a second here....let's try to make an analogy.... hmmm.... limited production to mass production....hmmm... ok, here you go. An expensive, limited release piece of artwork worth x dollars. The artist decides to stop only making a few of his sculptures and mass produces a new bunch of his sculptures that are slightly different than the hand-made originals(even nicer looking and even with higher quality)....for a lower price... what happens to the original, limited production piece in terms of value? IT GOES SKYROCKETING! It's the same with exotic cars. The limited production, hand-made 'version' will always be worth more. The talk in a few years will be of the guy that has one of the originals and not the one that everbody can have. Here's another point.....who says that someone will be able to buy the new one anywhere near the sticker price? So will it be less afterall? My original sticker was only 60k. The original bill-of-sale was $107,000!! In fact, the first few hundred to hit the country all sold upwards of $100,000. And let's see how well the mass produced car hold it's value.. Won't hold like ours have
Anyway, I guess we'll all have to keep waiting to find out. However, to me, it is really no mystery. Low volume + high demand = higher price. High volume + moderate demand = lower price. I don't know about most of you, but I really have no desire for a mass produced, common material car. If I had, I would have bought a Porsche or Corvette like everybody else. The reason I bought an NSX is due it's exclusivity, rare materials, hand-made qualities.....etc.... I like not passing myself coming the other way all the time. Ok, enough said. Thanks for letting me ramble.


Todd Arnold
I agree with NSXotic. The value of the original will rise over time. There are just too few of the original alumimum body cars around for the price to go anywhere but up.

Let's face the facts, unlike some presidential candidates. Honda/Acura is not going to gain the appreciation of the motorheads of America until it makes a vehicle that BLOWS away vipers, 'stangs and the beasts coming out of Europe.

Acura has virtually no presence in the media. Why? Is it because of a Japanese prejudice or is it because the NSX inherently lacks something that causes one to say, ach well, it's nice, but...

In some respects, the topics on this board demonstrate the basic problem with the NSX... power. I have NO difficulty with the NSX design, but the vehicle has not, and WILL NOT give Honda the reputation it needs to overcome in the mainstream public's mind that the finest sports cars are limited to, for example, Porsche, Ferrari, or BMW.

Mr. Honda had a dream, and we are all the luckier for it. However, if I was CEO of Honda, I would have killed the NSX years ago. IMO, its sales numbers did not justify keeping it in production because it DID NOT achieve for Honda a reputation that the marque was EQUAL TO OR BETTER THAN Porsches, Ferraris, etc.

Some will say, look at Honda's success in Formula One. I say to them, has a Honda engine won the Indy 500? When Honda places a winning car in the Indy winners circle for a couple of years in a row, viewpoints will start to change. When Honda starts to wipe the floor with Porsche and Bimmers the public will start to notice. Moreover, and my prejudice is obvious here, Csaba Csere, dunderhead David E. Davis (remember how he wanted a Ferrari all his life, bought one, then a few years later sold it for his ultimate vehicle... an SUV) and their compatriots who love European cars will be forced eat crow as well.

Until that time, we bask in the private knowledge that we own an exceptional automobile.

I say to Honda, let them built a 450 hp monster. If it achieves a marketing success, all the better for us "original" owners, for we saw the "gold in them thar hills" long before the masses and the "so-called" experts at the magazines.
I don't know guys, depreciation can be a very unpredicatable thing especially with desirable new models coming out like the NSX. (I just went through this with my 97 M3 dropping 1000/mo in anticipation of the new E46 which was 10K more). Honda is a magnificent car company, and I wouldn't put it past them to do the impossible when the put their mind to it. Plain jane steel bodied or not, it only has to be as beautiful and as refined as the current model to drop our prices..esp at 400HP. However, if they come out with a quasi-exotic looking car (400 or not) with the curves of a CL, then we may still be in business.
Judging from the pictures of the 2003 NSX, it looks like Honda made it look like a 3rd generation RX-7 from the side. But you basically can see they haven't changed the lines of the original NSX all that much. I really can't even guess whether the value of NSXs will take a hit or not. It's like predicting the stock market. All I can say is that a 400hp+ engine in a NSX that may cost $30K less makes it very tempting to wait until the new generation comes out. I'm currently waiting to purchase a 2001 coupe or targa(still haven't decided) but now I'm really indecisive as to waiting 2-3 years for the new model or getting one now. I sure hate to get a 2001, see it depreciate like crazy and then getting blown away in a race with the new generation NSX. When I had my '94 NSX, I too liked the exclusivity of not seeing one on every corner, but if this new generation is massed produced like a Corvette it would make it less attractive to me. I wouldn't mind the steel body as it would be easier and less costly to repair if I ever got in an accident and the large increase in horsepower will more than compensate for the extra weight. So I guess in the meantime I have some thinking to do!
Well I have a few things to add...

1. I agree completely with said statements about value of the Current car retaining value and/or rising.
2. Why does it matter anyway? Did you buy these great things to ENJOY or for investment purposes. If for investments...maybe I'm going to be out of line here...then why own one at all. What a lousy reason to own an NSX. Sorry to offend anyone, but the bottom line is that this car is an exceptional driving machine. Not a stock option...
3. Has Honda ever made a terrible follow up generation to one of their platforms? I don't think they have anyway. The new car, although might not fit everyone's ideal perception of the future NSX, will more than likely be another milestone in the automotive industry. Just like the current NSX. I'm am positive it will be setting the standard as the first one has for so many years now.
4. I for one am all for seeing more cars like the NSX on the road...certainly better than lumbering SUVs. And if a little less exclusivity and a cheaper price get me into one to ENJOY...I'm all for that too.

Got dat ol' vee six cilnder inder?

Why does it matter anyway? Did you buy these great things to ENJOY or for investment purposes?

Hear, here! I enjoy owning my NSX and driving it! I don't care if the resale value drops by $5K or $10K. I'm not selling it - I'm enjoying driving it!!! And if the value drops over the years that I'm enjoying it, well, I bought it to enjoy it. If I were worried about resale value, I would have bought a CRV instead.
at least someone agrees...

I mean really...what was the original intention? It's like alot of the F40s in the late 80's...bought for value and investment purposes and not really appreciated. I'm not saying anyone here doesn't appreciate their cars. But value is secondary right? In the end, I would hope that the experience was what held the most value.

I am confident that the new car will deliver that same value.

Got dat ol' vee six cilnder inder?

Some musings on the next gen NSX....

1. I don't want aluminum simply for the sake of aluminum. If Honda is able to design a steel-bodied car and meet performance and structural targets, fine. Just read the Honda manual on body repair and you'll understand what the implications of aluminum are. I am an engineer and I've always admired Honda engineering. They've always done things for valid engineering reasons and have for the most part avoided hype and trends. 12 years ago, aluminum was chosen to meet those requirements. If now those same requirements can be met with steel, then so be it. I bought my NSX to please myself and not to impress anyone about the various exotic elements and materials. Exclusive design is more than mere material choices.

2. Somewhere between 500 NSXes and 50,000 Vettes there has to be a happy medium. Perhaps 5000 cars? I'm sure the reason that Honda has kept the NSX alive for these past few years has been to have a flagship model that highlights their commitment to performance automobiles. It certainly hasn't been a moneymaker for them.

3. As has been pointed out, there's been so few NSXes produced, I suspect that our cars will not drop in value, with the possible exception of the very latest model years 1999-2002. Keep in mind, even though Honda might have an SRP of $55K, the dealers could get $65K and that dealer today often discount new NSXs by $10K - and that's with the measly production numbers we're seeing today!

4. I have guarded confidence in Honda to create an affordable flagship that continues the NSX tradition. I like the prospect of having an NSX that shares a few key components and elements with their other models (i.e. the V8 engine for example).

5. The NSX-C5 comparison is interesting because of the fact, that if nothing else, we've seen how it's possible for a mass-produced car to acheive similar curb weights and performance using steel and a big 5.7L V8.

Now, I'm not saying I want a Hondafied-Vette, but I am saying that a NextGen NSX that has velvety smooth, rip-roaring, high-revving aluminum VTEC V8 with 400-450 HP that has a curb weight of 3300 pounds or less AND has a beautifully styled body (similar lines as current design) AND comes in at $55K would be very, very attractive to this NSX owner. Very attractive.


1991 NSX Blk/Blk
1974 Vette 454 4 spd
One of the few things that I retained from my finance class in college was that "a car should never be bought for investment purposes." I clearly remember this because I decided to buy a Ferrari Daytona Spyder with some of my funny money that the professor gave us to start a fantasy portfolio. Needless to say, I got a poor grade. Ultimately, whatever happens to the value of the NSX doesn't really matter because it is just another fine automobile that was meant to be driven and enjoyed at the same time. Furthermore, I think that is what Honda anticipated all along, and they have surely achieved it with me. So when is the next generation NSX due to arrive?? I might need to go place a deposit!
Ok... I glanced through this thread and didn't notice anyone making a statement about *buying* a car for it to appreciate. I saw a couple people speculate that maybe the current NSX may raise in value (a hypothesis I disagree with), but no one has said anything about appreciation being a factor in any way for the person's decision about buying/owning an NSX.

There's been post after post here knocking the idea of buying an NSX for it to gain in value. (If someone actually said that's a factor for them in owning an NSX and I missed it, I'll keep my foot in my mouth for a couple minutes to taste "de-feet" before removing it to apologize)

I don't see anyone here arguing that they expect the NSX to appreciate, or bought it with that in mind.

For all those who are quick to say how you'll keep your NSX until the end of time and don't care about the value, good for you. But common sense is that all else equal, it would be better to have a car worth more money than less. You never know when you might need to sell it. Things change after years pass.

Or, to put it into terms that maybe some of the diehard NSX'ers may understand
, maybe the new NSX will be better in every single regard than the current NSX, and you MAY conceivably decide to sell your old NSX in favor of the new superior one at some point in your life. In which case, the resale value will matter.

Loyalty is great, but when something better comes along, if it makes sense to buy it you will buy it. And that means you'll want what you currently drive to retain as much of its value as possible to apply the $$ from selling it towards your new purchase. I sure hope none of you will argue with me on this one, because none of you bought your NSX as your very first car, which means you had something prior to it that wasn't as good which you put aside to buy the NSX.

Hopefully I didn't just throw a match on some spilt gasoline

Heh M5150 dont I wish the NSX was my first car. Although I AM glad I didnt own an NSX as my first car. Owning that POWERHOUSE 1989 Ford Probe that I saved up for almost 3 years for definitely taught me to appreciate some of the finer points of an automobile like the NSX. Especially after the brakes went out on the way home from buying that car. Sheesh, what a terrible experience. That 500 dollar brake job almost killed me (I was 16 ok? sheesh). Anyways, I guess what wanted to say was, I wish I had my NSX back in HS. Good lord I could have picked up ALL the chicks!!
Don't forget how less likely Aluminum is to rust when exposed to the elements, actually I think it will just corrode. If they start making the car out of steel, can you imagine a rusted out NSX? I cringe everytime the image comes in my mind! At least the Corvettes are Fiberglass, although I have seen a few of these held together by duct tape! Just another down side of using steel, the new Z06 corvette is actually using a titanium exhaust. It is crazy when the NSX is going to standard materials and the corvette is going to the exotic stuff.

I think all they need to do to the current car is add some more horsepower and give the car a more aggresive exhaust note. Put the engine that they are discussing in the current car with a real exhaust and I think you would have the perfect car.
Hey Edo:

Try picking up chicks in HS with no car, and...
riding the commuter train then the wall street subway to get to school.

How I survived... I dreamed of an XKE... my first car, a Datsun 240Z. When I finally sold it, it had 170K miles and the ORIGINAL clutch. Ah, the good ol' days!
Hey Nsxman if you picked up chicks with NO car, you deserve an "atta boy" pat on the back. The Commuter train isnt exactly an impressive way to get to your Senior Prom or whatnot. hehe. Gooo NSXman
1. I agree completely with said statements about value of the Current car retaining value and/or rising.
2. Why does it matter anyway? Did you buy these great things to ENJOY or for investment purposes. If for investments...maybe I'm going to be out of line here...then why own one at all. What a lousy reason to own an NSX. Sorry to offend anyone, but the bottom line is that this car is an exceptional driving machine. Not a stock option...

Here is the whole point of the depreciation thing. We all know that a car is the farthest thing you can have from an investment. An that certainly goes for tire-eating NSX's. But take this approach: suppose you own a beautiful 1994 mint condition and its worth say $45K. If you sold it now, you would either have $45K or you could put it towards a brand new NSX. BUT, once the new NSX's are on the verge of production, current owners will be selling adding additional cars to the market. On top of that once they are out and are just as great as we suspect, you might just decide that you really want one. But nobody is going to give you $45K for your 94 anymore when a new one is $55K. Your car drops to $33K (over the 1st yr) and now you would have to cough up an additional $22K for the new car instead of only $10K. This is only a problem if you have to sell for some unknown circumstance even though you think now that you never sell or if you like the new one more! And that is the problem b/c you are now stuck with a loss you would normally not care about (b/c remember you were going to keep it forever?).
I agree with you completely, Lee. A faster NSX for cheaper is bad news for the resale value of our cars. This happened in the early 90's when Porsche dropped the prices on the 911 in the year they completely redesigned and improved it.

Red (w/ red top) '91. Comptech Supercharger. RM headers. Comptech exhaust. Short ratio gears. Ring and Pinion swap. RM racing suspension. 18/17 wheels/tires.

[This message has been edited by multisync23 (edited 10 November 2000).]
Future values. Over here everything rusts,porsche,ferrari,bmws etc.I waited 10 yrs to buy mine and look on my decision as a thinking mans acquisition, it wont rust and it probably wont go wrong and because of limited supply and a strong demand for used cars my investment as such will mean i wont lose too much money,(i bought my 95 2 years ago). Now the new car is supposedly steel with a bigger engine and therefore a totally different type of car which bears the NSX name. Would i buy one given the same circumstances? probably not for the above reasons plus one other petrol (gas) is £4 per gallon in the UK ($6.80!!!) and my NSX delivers 32miles to the gallon.I wish i were in the USA. Best wishes to all
I just want to say how cool is meeting a top executive from Honda! Who designed the NSX, maybe I could get a good deal when im ready to drive, because god knows i wont be able to afford one. I dont think it matters if the value of the NSX goes down. It will always be a eye catcher. I want to get a better picture of the new NSX so i could hang it on my wall. Its been my favorite car since i was 9 and playing gran turismo got me even more intrested in it. I dont see why anybody would sell that car, but if any of you would...