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Old 01-11-2013, 02:36 PM   #26
gpshumway
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Sigh. Honda just doesn't seem to get it these days.

Most people buy cars as much for the hood ornament as the engineering. Even if the baby NSX has ~275 HP, who would pay $60k for it instead of buying a Cayman?

Memo to Honda: Quit with the AWD stupidity, it's totally unnecessary in a mid-engine sports car, I don't care what Audi says. Build a mid engine S2000. Take the K20Z3+ 6sp from the 8th gen Civic Si, add direct injection and a good header (like the F20) and you'll have a 250hp, 8,000 RPM engine with a slick shifting transmission. Put it amid ships in a two seater weighing <2,700 lb and you'll have a real winner. A simple, light, direct sports car. The car will share drivetrain with the Civic Si, and should be easy to build in the same plant. Sell it for ~$27-30k, a modest premium over the Si. Trying to beat Porsche at their own game is folly, you don't have the brand.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Memo to Honda: Quit with the AWD stupidity, it's totally unnecessary in a mid-engine sports car, I don't care what Audi says. Build a mid engine S2000. Take the K20Z3+ 6sp from the 8th gen Civic Si, add direct injection and a good header (like the F20) and you'll have a 250hp, 8,000 RPM engine with a slick shifting transmission. Put it amid ships in a two seater weighing <2,700 lb and you'll have a real winner. A simple, light, direct sports car. The car will share drivetrain with the Civic Si, and should be easy to build in the same plant. Sell it for ~$27-30k, a modest premium over the Si. Trying to beat Porsche at their own game is folly, you don't have the brand.
Sorry, but a 250 hp version of their K20 in a brand new mid-engined, RWD platform is not going to sell for anything close to that price, unless they want to lose a ton of money on each unit sold. It would be nice, but it's completely unrealistic.

In 2000, Toyota (re-)released the MR-2 Spyder with an unentertaining 140 hp engine for just under $24,000, which today is more like $32,000, adjusting for inflation. And remember that they had prior experience with the mid-engine layout with the previous two generations of MR2s. So for Honda to come up with their first mass-produced mid-engined car for this kind of compact application (as the NSX was categorized more as a supercar and also cost multiples more) but give it a higher caliber variant of the K20 and sell for under $30k will definitely not happen.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:11 PM   #28
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Why does everyone try to adjust for inflation and always forget to adjust the value of how specs in the past would force the car to have to be the same value or LOWER now due to advances in technology and the current competitive numbers of the market segments...

I wouldn't pay more than $20k for a 140hp mid engined small car now, no matter how hot it LOOKED.

You ALWAYS have to include increases in technology when considering the price of a modern-day version of an old car if you're going to keep the specs the same as the old car.

Case and point: The new BASE civic is better equipped than the 1996 EX (the $16000 THEN one). It has better power, better mileage, and better amenities, more room, better materials and looks, etc. Yet the new base is only $1000 more? Adjust that for inflation and tell me what you get and how it makes sense.

Inflation for $16000 1996 to now: $22641. Equivalent value of $18000 now back then: $12707.

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Old 01-11-2013, 03:16 PM   #29
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So let's not adjust for inflation then. A 2000 MR-2 Spyder with 140 hp that sold for $24,000 new, let's go with that number then. You are not going to pay only a few thousand more for a much newer mid-engine Honda car but with far more firepower and all of the new technology and gadgets that come standard in 2013+ cars.

I'm just saying that the proposed price from that particular poster was not realistic at all.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:22 PM   #30
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I think they could do a mid engine car with similar specs to the BRZ for about the price of the BRZ or less (I always felt the brz was overpriced).
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:31 PM   #31
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I still disagree. The BRZ might seem overpriced for what it is if you base your opinion on the BRZ Limited. The BRZ Premium isn't that much more than the FR-S (and personally I feel that the ~$1,400 premium over it is justified), though remember that that car is something completely new that doesn't share too much with any other cars. It's been compared to the Civic Si, but remember that a lot of the car, inside and out, shares much of it with the entire Civic lineup, so there will obviously be a price difference between the two.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by DeeezNuuuts83 View Post
Sorry, but a 250 hp version of their K20 in a brand new mid-engined, RWD platform is not going to sell for anything close to that price, unless they want to lose a ton of money on each unit sold. It would be nice, but it's completely unrealistic.
1 - The FR-S starts at $25k and it has unique chassis and drivetrain.
2 - The CR-Z starts at $20k, despite its expensive hybrid drivetrain.
3 - The Civic Si starts at $22.5k.
4 - The drivetrain I mention would be identical to the next gen Si drivetrain, possibly minus the header, which is about optimizing powerband for a sports car and doesn't cost much.

Given the above facts, please explain to me why my suggestion is so unrealistic. It's $4.5k more expensive than an Si, and $2k more expensive than an FR-S, which shares fewer parts with other cars than my conceptual mid-engine S2000 would. Might it be more like $29-32k? Maybe, but a coupe which shares a transverse drivetrain with the Civic Si could certainly be brought out for less than the $35k S2000 with it's unique chassis and drivetrain plus power top.

Honda used to make the CRX and Prelude, both affordable, simple sports cars with a modest premium over other cars in the Honda lineup with which they shared much componentry. Why is it so unrealistic to think they could do it again?
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:46 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
1 - The FR-S starts at $25k and it has unique chassis and drivetrain.
2 - The CR-Z starts at $20k, despite its expensive hybrid drivetrain.
3 - The Civic Si starts at $22.5k.
4 - The drivetrain I mention would be identical to the next gen Si drivetrain, possibly minus the header, which is about optimizing powerband for a sports car and doesn't cost much.

Given the above facts, please explain to me why my suggestion is so unrealistic. It's $4.5k more expensive than an Si, and $2k more expensive than an FR-S, which shares fewer parts with other cars than my conceptual mid-engine S2000 would. Might it be more like $29-32k? Maybe, but a coupe which shares a transverse drivetrain with the Civic Si could certainly be brought out for less than the $35k S2000 with it's unique chassis and drivetrain plus power top.

Honda used to make the CRX and Prelude, both affordable, simple sports cars with a modest premium over other cars in the Honda lineup with which they shared much componentry. Why is it so unrealistic to think they could do it again?
A baby NSX that is essentially a backwards Civic Si shouldn't cost substantially more than a frontwards Civic Si. But if there will continue to be a Civic Si, and they will replace the S2000 with another S2000, I'd bet this baby NSX would fill the giant gap between the S2000 and NSX. 2800 lbs with 350hp V6 for $50k would make a lot of sense. Far too much sense...

Whatever they do will end up addled with heavy electric motors and batteries. It will be underwhelming, overcomplicated and overpriced. But hey, slightly more efficient.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:07 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
1 - The FR-S starts at $25k and it has unique chassis and drivetrain.
2 - The CR-Z starts at $20k, despite its expensive hybrid drivetrain.
3 - The Civic Si starts at $22.5k.
4 - The drivetrain I mention would be identical to the next gen Si drivetrain, possibly minus the header, which is about optimizing powerband for a sports car and doesn't cost much.
The CR-Z is still produced in far greater numbers than the FR-S/BRZ, and despite the "expensive hybrid system," they also sell hybrid powertrains in a number of other cars (Civic, Insight, etc.) that help them recoup the costs of such technology. Pricing a more mass-produced hybrid against a hypothetical mid-engine sports car isn't really a way to gauge its theoretical cost.

Part of the Civic Si's starting price is minimized by the fact that much of its interior and exterior is shared with the rest of the Civic platform and is produced in numbers well into the six-figure range. The development costs and price per unit aren't a big concern at that point since they're shared and don't require much extra. The bodystyle is already there, and the K24 as it is in today's Si is nearly identical to the K24A2 in the earlier TSX and the K24Z3 in the most recent TSX. If there were no other Civic models aside from the Civic Si, rest assured it would cost significantly more than what it does by at least a few thousand. (And if it were its own platform, it would also probably have more aggressive bodywork, which would probably be a tad more costly to produce than its relatively smooth body panels.)

Sharing the powertrain with a future Civic Si would help, but it's not going to just bolt up to a mid-engine layout with ease just because the engine and driving axle are on the same side of the passenger compartment in both applications. Additionally, pushing a 2.0-liter NA four-cylinder to around 250 hp (which is what you suggested) is likely going to require parts and labor that aren't always cheap. For example, the K20s in the JDM CTRs are still a bit off of 250 hp and have upgrades:

Civic Type R: 225 hp from higher compression, larger diameter throttle body, larger and straighter intake manifolds (with resin coating on inner surface, a technique used previously in the NSX) and exhaust

Civic Mugen RR: 240 hp from upgrades above and Mugen cams and exhaust (only 300 cars produced)

Is it doable? Yes. But to hit those numbers with a 2.0-liter is going to need some intensive work, kind of like how different the Integra GS-R and Type-R were in terms of their materials and the assembly process, as the ITR managed another 25 hp over the GS-R from being handbuilt and having cams, valves, forged/polished pistons, etc. Getting a K20 to go from ~200 hp to 250 while still complying with emissions regulations is going to take some work. The S2000's motor is close, but again it has hollow cams, forged pistons and rods that certainly accounted for some of what brought the price to around $30,000... in 1999. So a mid-engined car with more power is likely going to cost more than a front-engined S2000, even before considering inflation. Mid-engine cars aren't the cheapest to produce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Given the above facts, please explain to me why my suggestion is so unrealistic. It's $4.5k more expensive than an Si, and $2k more expensive than an FR-S, which shares fewer parts with other cars than my conceptual mid-engine S2000 would. Might it be more like $29-32k? Maybe, but a coupe which shares a transverse drivetrain with the Civic Si could certainly be brought out for less than the $35k S2000 with it's unique chassis and drivetrain plus power top.

Honda used to make the CRX and Prelude, both affordable, simple sports cars with a modest premium over other cars in the Honda lineup with which they shared much componentry. Why is it so unrealistic to think they could do it again?
The CRX and Prelude were both produced in far larger numbers, and their engines were good but nothing too intensive. The H22A was a solid motor (I even was trying to hunt one down to put into my Honda Accord back in 1999 or 2000) but it didn't have much exotic material in it. Also, the CRX and Prelude had FF layouts -- not too difficult to develop and make compared to an MR, let alone an FR.

Again, don't get me wrong... I would love to see the car you are describing at that price point. But I guarantee we will never see a new Honda MR car with a 250 hp NA 2.0-liter I-4 with an MSRP below $30,000.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:14 PM   #35
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I am failing to understand something here and I may be wrong so please correct me if I am. Is Honda not decommissioning the K24 and the K series engines in general because it is too old and not clean enough for Japanese regulations? If that is the case, why would the use an old motor decommissioned motor for a car that is slotted for release in 2017 or so? That does not make any sense.

I think the author just got some information regarding a turbo 4 in a smaller sports car slotted for the 50 to 60 K range and ran with it. I would wager that it is his pure assumption about he 200 HP and I feel that it is absolutely wrong unless the car is about 2000 lbs like offerings from Lotus.

Honestly I think the HP figure is absolutely wrong and it will be closer to the 300+ range at which point I don't see anything wrong here if they can pull of a well handling and balanced car. It would pretty much be in direct competition with the Cayman/Boxster and the Alfa C4 that they that is rumored to come to the US. Rumors are that the Cayman/Boxster are going to go to a FI Flat 4 and the C4 was already stated to have a FI inline 4. BMW, MBZ, and Audi's offerings in this class like the SLK, Z4, and TT which are also in the 40 to 60 K range depending on trims and options. It will, just like the original NSX, become the "more reliable" option out of that group. Well, unless Lexus decides to release something using the 86/BRZ chassis. After all, they did make the IS bigger and don't really have anything sporty in their lineup.

I would assume due to the price this would come out as an Acura. The only thing that I see as a potential problem I can see is that Acura is greatly lacking in their interior fit and finish. Comparing the interior of the MDX to a RX you can really see why the RX shines for its segment.

Last edited by aren040; 01-11-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:17 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpshumway View Post
Memo to Honda: Quit with the AWD stupidity, it's totally unnecessary in a mid-engine sports car, I don't care what Audi says. Build a mid engine S2000. Take the K20Z3+ 6sp from the 8th gen Civic Si, add direct injection and a good header (like the F20) and you'll have a 250hp, 8,000 RPM engine with a slick shifting transmission. Put it amid ships in a two seater weighing <2,700 lb and you'll have a real winner. A simple, light, direct sports car. The car will share drivetrain with the Civic Si, and should be easy to build in the same plant. Sell it for ~$27-30k, a modest premium over the Si. Trying to beat Porsche at their own game is folly, you don't have the brand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeezNuuuts83 View Post
In 2000, Toyota (re-)released the MR-2 Spyder with an unentertaining 140 hp engine for just under $24,000, which today is more like $32,000, adjusting for inflation. And remember that they had prior experience with the mid-engine layout with the previous two generations of MR2s. So for Honda to come up with their first mass-produced mid-engined car for this kind of compact application (as the NSX was categorized more as a supercar and also cost multiples more) but give it a higher caliber variant of the K20 and sell for under $30k will definitely not happen.
Mid-engine "budget" car is not new for Honda:
Meet the Honda Beat:

Shared some components with this car(not much, but some):


Had a curb weight of around 1700lbs and people were swapping B16s into them. Never sold in USA but IIRC some people in Canada got a hold of them and a couple were brought down here too(from CAN).
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:27 PM   #37
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Mid-engine "budget" car is not new for Honda:
Meet the Honda Beat:

Had a curb weight of around 1700lbs and people were swapping B16s into them. Never sold in USA but IIRC some people in Canada got a hold of them and a couple were brought down here too(from CAN).
As you mentioned, it wasn't sold in the US, though it likely wouldn't have met our crash standards. Additionally the engine it had was nothing to write home about (63 hp from a three-cylinder), contrasting to this proposed high-powered four-cylinder which would certainly cost more.

Again, I didn't say it couldn't be done. I'm just saying that layout, that output and that price aren't likely to be seen together at a Honda dealership.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:31 PM   #38
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It was supposed to be a Kei car; they intentionally made it that small for tax reasons.

As far as what they're up to, who knows. They were supposed to go back to their roots, so to say(which if they were, would be something similar to what everybody on here is asking for).
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:33 PM   #39
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^ But it did also help minimize the price.

Still, I'm skeptical about Honda going "back to their roots," though I'm up for being surprised. If Toyota did it (albeit with Subaru's help) to some extent, maybe Honda will throw us a curveball for once.
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Old 01-12-2013, 02:04 PM   #40
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Shouldn't there be an NSX in production (or at least real releases of the car) before a "smaller version" is made?
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Old 01-12-2013, 06:59 PM   #41
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Shouldn't there be an NSX in production (or at least real releases of the car) before a "smaller version" is made?
This is also rumored for release in 2017. If I am not mistaking the NSX concept that has been shown is rumored for a 2014 or 2015 release. Also, I highly doubt that Honda themselves call it a "Baby NSX" or "Smaller NSX" but the magazine. After all, saying Honda might develop a small sports car doesn't stir the waters and get the clicks as saying a "baby NSX" is coming.
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Old 01-12-2013, 08:29 PM   #42
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I am failing to understand something here and I may be wrong so please correct me if I am. Is Honda not decommissioning the K24 and the K series engines in general because it is too old and not clean enough for Japanese regulations?
I don't know about the K24, but the K20 was discontinued in Europe in 2010 because it's too dirty.
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