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future design/marketing thoughts

13 July 2000
We've been hearing for quite some time this consistent rumor of a facelifted NSX next year and then a total redesign 2-3 years later. Sounds like an odd strategy to me that can only lower potential sales and wreck resale values.

Lots of rumors but no spy shots from the Tochigi test track yet. Are there no spy photographers in Japan? Somebody buy J. Dunne a ticket to Tokyo :)

IMHO, I guess the new car will have the face of an S2000, the rear of an Accord coupe (NSX copying Accord copying NSX), and -gulp- the side of the new Eclipse or MR2.

I'm sure most would prefer a lower, wider look with an overall understated theme. Of course, even though it was never about horsepower alone, I hope that the quest for horsepower doesn't upset the fine balance that the current car has.

Also, we hope they don't pull a "Toyata Supra" on us, lowering the price and killing the resale market overnight.

I don't think Honda should alienate loyal current owners by oddball future marketing strategies. Unless of course they are planning to say "screw you" and repackage the whole thing for an entirely new market -- in that case, please just shut 'er down and call the new car something else.

Thoughts, everyone?
ok here are my thoughts on the next gen:

please dont change the outside styling too much..modernize it but keep the wide spoiler..dont make the front look like the s2000 make it different(360 modena??) re the interior..keep the as comfortable as the first generation..dont cheap out(which i dont they would) keep it a mid engine, perhaps showing the engine compartment like the modena...re performance: upgrade the brakes, add some serious torq..ie 325 to the engine at least..add more hp again at least 350 to the engine....and xeon lights....and please please...give us a convertable..price....slightly lower but not a little higher that the c5 range would be ok...god when is it gonna be here!!!!..how about some spy shots...not the computer generated stuff on the net.....
First...I think Honda has to be very careful with the styling. While many in the press have often disaproved - I love the styling and design. Honda should strive to keep the same basic look.

I hope the new design is understated and elegant with no doodads and frills. I've seen a Honda sketch somewhere of a blue future NSX. Perhaps it was an early concept sketch. I can't remember who posted it on what web site, but it looked great!

I also agree with aljava that I don't want horsepower at the expense of balance. I honestly don't think Honda would do this either. It makes a lot of sense for them to leverage the new V8 that is going into the new RL.

It's lightweight and has the potential to be an excellent engine. With a few tweaks and tuning, it easily (from what I've heard) could be in the 400 HP league. After all, Honda routinely extracts way more than 100 HP per liter nowadays.

As far as pricing goes...well this is a tough one. I can certainly understand the issue of resale value and existing customers...but there's a real problem. Honda can't afford (IMHO) to build only 100 or 200 units a year. They would have to charge $200,000 to justify that small volume.

If Honda stopped making NSX's altogether the resale price would no doubt rise. But I don't think anyone here would want that.

It's my opinion that Honda needs to bring the price down from the current $88K level. I'm not saying Honda needs to, or should compete with the Corvette, but a price of $55K to $65K would enable Honda to sell, I believe, 2000 to 3000 units per year. I think this is where they have to be for profitability and success.

In those numbers, the NSX would still be somewhat exclusive, not like the C5, and would still a wonderful car.


1991 NSX Blk/Blk
1974 Vette 454 4 spd
Lots of rumors but no spy shots from the Tochigi test track yet. Are there no spy photographers in Japan

Honda is the best in the business at keeping its secrets secret. You'll see photos when Honda is willing to allow them to be seen.
The artist's sketch by Steve Eastwood of the next-gen NSX (completely ficticous of course) in the August 2000 Road & Track is gorgeous. More curved in the front, but overall a slightly more aggressive look & posture, and much better than the 360 Modena design, I think.

In addition to a new V-8 engine, my #1 wish for a next-gen NSX is an F1-style transmission (w/paddle-shifters) like the 360 Modena. At least offer it as a ~$10,000 option.

My other wishes/nit-picks include: better brakes, HID Xenon headlights, a *much* better stereo system, interior improvements/accents like in the Zanardi, practical cup holders, an extra 1 or 2 inches of headroom (at least 1 more, please!), more legroom on the passenger's side, and a more powerful LED time & temperature display! (If I turn the lights on during the day, the LED time/temp display dims so much I can't read the damn thing.) And I hope the price doesn't drop too much: first, to preserve the resale value of current models, and 2nd, to keep it exotic and out-of-reach of most consumers. $55K sounds too low; $70K would be reasonable. As for a convertible: *shrug*, I don't think the NSX needs it. The targa top is fine.
The next NSX should offer some substantial technical or cutting edge hardware. Just like in 1989, getting 270 horsepower out of a non-turbo, fuel efficient 3.0 engine was ground breaking and launched an entire decade of Honda engine excellence, we need something along those lines.

If it makes the price high, so be it. It is not about sales volume -- this should be a Honda technical showpiece as are the 911 turbo and 360 Modena for Porsche and Ferrari. Let Integra and S2000 benefit from the technology and be sales leaders.

Give us some or all of the following (my wishlist). Throw us a bone, here. I believe we have the technology :) :

-continued use of aluminum, a "space frame" would be nice. at least a 2-300 pound weight reduction.

-higher specific output engine with 8-9000+ RPM, and infinitely variable valve timing, and new control software.

-electromechanical brakes (brake-by-wire with active suspension, upgraded digital throttle all linked to a new traction, suspension, ABS, throttle and yaw damping control). This might could negate SOME of the advantage but weight cost of all wheel drive.

- OPTIONAL F-1 tranny.

- continued, what I consider, excellent trunk space and interior ergonomics. The material selection and quality (leather, vinyl, plastics, etc.) currently in NSX is MUCH better than other Acura and Honda products and should not be compromised to save a few bucks. The current seats are excellent and shouldn't be fooled with.

- keep that wonderful engine SOUND. :)

Well, I hope Santa Claus is listening...

[This message has been edited by aljava (edited 14 July 2000).]