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Honda's high-performance massacre

2008-12-18 07:18
Honda’s second generation, V10 powered NSX has bee

Honda’s second generation, V10 powered NSX has been canned. Honda gave Ayrton Senna three F1 titles, he gave them an immaculately fettled first generation NSX chassis in return, now they’re out of F1 and a supercar…

As though its exit from F1 was not enough, Honda on Wednesday announced the axing of its second generation NSX supercar too.

With the exit from F1 racing set to ease the company’s fiscal strain by about $500 million next 2009, profits are still conjectured to be severely affected – hence the dramatic announced of the redoubtable NSX name being consigned to museum status.

The first ‘decent’ supercar

Honda performance car acolytes, and brand neutral performance car enthusiasts, will greet the news with a sense of shock, especially considering a prototype NSX was running trails around the Nurburgring as recently as June.

The second generation NSX was to rekindle the sophistication and refinement of its forebear; a car which was essentially a blend of performance, reliability and driveability to advanced, the uncouth performance car market in the early 90s castigated it as being soulless...

The original NSX was keenly honed by legendary F1 driver Ayrton Senna during development, a significant symbol of the Brazilian’s nearly kin-like relationship with Honda.

In terms of configuration the second generation car was set to be front-engined, all-wheel drive and powered by a naturally aspirated V10; whereas the original NSX was mid-engined, rear-wheel drive and featured only a V6 engine.

Honda prospects

Honda boss Takeo Fukui said they hoped to earn $2.1 billion this fiscal year, 62% less than forecast just six weeks ago. Fukui confirmed the Insight should go on sale in early 2009 as planned and that it would be priced around $22,000 in Japan, and below $20 000 in the U.S. The CR-Z sports hybrid will follow by the end of 2010.

With oil prices stabilising, Honda is breaking away from a plan to expand medium capacity diesel engines for larger models. The company now says it’s considering applying hybrids to power larger model ranges with a blend of performance, efficiency and environmental awareness.


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