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Autoweek had a great article about all the manufacturers with dedicated performance divisions. Audi's Quattro, BMW's M Division, Chrysler's SRT, GM Performance Division, Ford SVT, Jaguar's R, Mazda's Mazdaspeed, Mercedes AMG, Mini's JCW, Nissan's Nismo, Subaru's Sti, Toyota's TRD and Volvo's R were all discussed.

What was signifcant for those of us who love our Hondas, HFP and Acura A-Spec were mentioned. While the other companies have dedicated departments to motor enhancement and power increases, essentially factory hot rods, Honda was the only one that does not offer any turnkey cars or engine upgrades beyond axle-back exhausts.

Honda has seen fit [pardon the pun] to limit its performance enhancement to suspensions, wheels, tires and aerodynamic body parts. Honda's Stony Furutani, who is in charge of both HFP and A-Spec, said that the performance business is steady. He said that demand really spikes up for cars that are 2 years old, especially if it is the second owner.

Here is the clincher: "By steering clear of the engine bay-leaving that part to the aftermarket-pretty much bypasses any question of a conflict between the company's performance and environmental messages."

Furutani emphasizes Honda's cooperative approach to the aftermarket.
"We have relations with many aftermarket suppliers. We have measuring sessions for aftermarket parts makers at SEMA for instance." The article noted that Honda gives many cars to tuners to be made into show cars at SEMA too.

What can we infer from all of this? Corporate dictates demand that Honda be seen as an environmentally friendly company, thus no motors display reckless or irresponsible horsepower. No Viper V10's here. By the same token, one can read between the lines that Honda has designed its products to be modified, both exterior and drivetrain. I infer from the article that Honda knows full and well that its cars will be modified, especially cars like the Si and S2000.

While all of this makes more work for those of who want to mod our cars, I believe Honda has made room for us to mod away. Now, if they could just translate the Corporate talk into the dealer's service areas, everything would be copacetic. We need to be more proactive in voicing our demand for dealers to be sympathetic and helpful when we do mod our cars, especially when we are about to buy one. If we can force the issue that other companies offer performance cars out of the box and that Honda will lose sales, maybe we can get a crumb thrown at us by the Corporate Office.
 

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NitrousG35 said:
Here is the clincher: "By steering clear of the engine bay-leaving that part to the aftermarket-pretty much bypasses any question of a conflict between the company's performance and environmental messages."

Furutani emphasizes Honda's cooperative approach to the aftermarket.
"We have relations with many aftermarket suppliers. We have measuring sessions for aftermarket parts makers at SEMA for instance." The article noted that Honda gives many cars to tuners to be made into show cars at SEMA too.
Man, thats one stupid set of excuses for not being competitive.

So in other words, they wont make a more powerful engine because they want to be environmentally correct..... and in almost the same breath, theyre happy to turn test cars over to tuners - who, by Hondas own stated position, are environmentally incorrect (more power & faster = more fuel use, more emissions).

Sorry Honda, but thats hypocritical, and double-faced in the extreme. Either way, you are directly supporting that which your stated corporate position is opposed.

Lame. Very lame.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Griff said:
Man, thats one stupid set of excuses for not being competitive.

So in other words, they wont make a more powerful engine because they want to be environmentally correct..... and in almost the same breath, theyre happy to turn test cars over to tuners - who, by Hondas own stated position, are environmentally incorrect (more power & faster = more fuel use, more emissions).

Sorry Honda, but thats hypocritical, and double-faced in the extreme. Either way, you are directly supporting that which your stated corporate position is opposed.

Lame. Very lame.
I know what you mean. Every company Autoweek featured had not only factory performance enhancements that you could buy in a showroom, but offered extra goodies if you wanted to go beyond what the factory did.

Honda wants to be seen as an environmentally friendly company. I would like to ask them why they are wasting their time in racing such as F1 and the IRL. The company was founded by a man who had a vision for performance. Honda from the get go has been a leader in performance. Look at their motorcycles: they are known for their reliability and incredible performance.

Unfortunately, cars, not motorcycles, lawnmowers, outboard motors and leaf blowers get all the attention from environmentalists and luddites in the government. Thus, we get cars that give us a taste of performance while denying us real performance pleasure.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Snake-eyes said:
this policy has been known since the debute of the 7thgen civic....
What really bites is that American Honda is doing this as a concession to environmentalists and government types in order to politically look good to them.

If Honda is so high minded, why do they have Type R's in Europe and Japan? I thought that the tree huggers wanted to save the planet, not just the United States. I smell hypocrisy here with a capital H.

Honda=Hypocrisy
 

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I think it's American Honda who shows this wierd concept, Honda of Japan nor Europe certainly dont' show this. The only thing that Europe even really touches "environmentally" in HoE is trying to get even MORE torque out of the Euro-R. :D

I personally don't think Honda on the whole is to blame, but HoA certainly can be cited as hypocritical...
 

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NitrousG35 said:
What really bites is that American Honda is doing this as a concession to environmentalists and government types in order to politically look good to them.

If Honda is so high minded, why do they have Type R's in Europe and Japan? I thought that the tree huggers wanted to save the planet, not just the United States. I smell hypocrisy here with a capital H.

Honda=Hypocrisy
Its the american standards not the japanese. They been out sports car for awhile.. i personally believe once the s2k is dead no replacement will follow
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Snake-eyes said:
Its the american standards not the japanese. They been out sports car for awhile.. i personally believe once the s2k is dead no replacement will follow
I agree. We are seeing the de-evolution of American Honda. They must think that they will be sitting pretty when gas prices continue to skyrocket and Congress gets tougher on emission standards. With all this talk about a Carbon emissions fingerprint, American Honda seems to be getting too conservative.
 

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Most car companies are guilty of NOT bringing the great cars or options from overseas to the States.

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Honda might should follow what Toyota has done with Scion. Split off a different brand of unique cars. So as to allow Honda to keep the clean image but still offer a different brand name for performance or unique marketed cars.
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NitrousG35 said:
What really bites is that American Honda is doing this as a concession to environmentalists and government types in order to politically look good to them.

If Honda is so high minded, why do they have Type R's in Europe and Japan? I thought that the tree huggers wanted to save the planet, not just the United States. I smell hypocrisy here with a capital H.

Honda=Hypocrisy
Well Europe and Japan both do better on average than the US in terms of car emissions and mileage.

It think its more overall buisness wise. There is likely more profit in selling base cars without overly powerful engines so they can claim to be the most enviromentaly company.

If Honda can increase the bottom line by selling accords and other cars based on reliability and efficiency then I doubt they would really care to appease the performance car types.

I'm sure Honda could push out some V8 or V10 exotic car monsters but then Toyota might lead in emissions. But I doubt the sales of those cars would offset the losses in the average folk choosing the Camry over Accord because toyota has the better reputation. Not saying thats exactly the case of course, but the perfomance issue is the same as the hybrid issues:

Honda could offer more gas friendly cars but it wouldn't be good for the bottom line, on the same page it wouldn't be good either to offer supercars or Evo contenders.

I'm sure the performance car group is important but to be honest your likely not on the top of Honda's list of buyer groups to please.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
GoHuskies said:
Well Europe and Japan both do better on average than the US in terms of car emissions and mileage.

It think its more overall buisness wise. There is likely more profit in selling base cars without overly powerful engines so they can claim to be the most enviromentaly company.

If Honda can increase the bottom line by selling accords and other cars based on reliability and efficiency then I doubt they would really care to appease the performance car types.

I'm sure Honda could push out some V8 or V10 exotic car monsters but then Toyota might lead in emissions. But I doubt the sales of those cars would offset the losses in the average folk choosing the Camry over Accord because toyota has the better reputation. Not saying thats exactly the case of course, but the perfomance issue is the same as the hybrid issues:

Honda could offer more gas friendly cars but it wouldn't be good for the bottom line, on the same page it wouldn't be good either to offer supercars or Evo contenders.

I'm sure the performance car group is important but to be honest your likely not on the top of Honda's list of buyer groups to please.
I agree with everything you said except for the part about Japan and Europe being ahead of the US in emissions. Quite the contrary. For years we have been denied cars from Japan and Europe because they not only could not meet NHTSA safety standards, but their engines were not as cleans as those designed for the US. I know that Europe in particular, has had lower sulfur content diesel fuel and generally, their motors are smaller, but still, their overall air quality is far behind the US.

Your other points are well made. Honda doesn't want to get trumped by Toyota. Image is everything both here and in Japan. I guess we should all be glad that American Honda throws us a crumb from the table with the Si and S2000.
 

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Image is everything!

Taking their normal lack of marketing into account until the day people associate "speed and power" with honda we won't see such cars.

I kinda like the scion idea. Honda could very well offer a brand sold right off their dealerships that based on performance. Now I don't know cars well but I assume Scion is more pretty colored parts but at least they have the image of speed so its no suprise there are 800 hp tuned scions out there.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
GoHuskies said:
To add further I think the only way to class industry leading performance cars from honda would be for honda to really push the image.

Taking their normal lack of marketing into account until the day people associate "speed and power" with honda we won't see such cars.
What's kind of interesting, yet befuddling is why American Honda features an AEM modified Si in their catalog for the FG2. It is almost like they are saying, "We won't modify our cars, but you can." I do know that Honda features well at SEMA and with the plethora of things available for all Civics, Honda certainly knows that the demand is there.

I would think that Honda would cash in on some of the things that the aftermarket is raking in. How hard could it be for them to have cat-back exhausts, CAI's and a few things that would neither hurt emissions nor fuel economy. Afterall, we are still comparing a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder low emissions motor against big huffing and puffing turbos, V6's 8's and 10's.

There may be a glimmer of hope in all of this: I have read that the Acura 2.4 liter turbo motor in the RDX may be available in an upcoming Honda model. Now that would be the motor to have in the Si!
 

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NitrousG35 said:
I would think that Honda would cash in on some of the things that the aftermarket is raking in. How hard could it be for them to have cat-back exhausts, CAI's and a few things that would neither hurt emissions nor fuel economy. Afterall, we are still comparing a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder low emissions motor against big huffing and puffing turbos, V6's 8's and 10's.
I think we'd have to see the hard numbers. Cost to offer and market vs the profit they really make on each car sold.

I can't be sure but I'd say those huffing big cars offer more profit for each car sold. If Honda sold cars with mods already in place then they might become like hybrids, popular yet poor profits unless you can sell a million of them.

I'm sure Honda has looked into their options. Their decisions are what they feel will lead to the best financial outlook.

The big difference between Honda and other companies with performance divisions is the other guys, BMW, GM, etc... offer plenty of costly cars. Honda would not make enough from their cars without offering big expencive ones. And I think it would be very unhonda like to start offering high priced fast cars.

I think honda performance cars are like the prius, you can only improve it so much before it becomes just a net lose. The whole reason for the first prius was to improve toyota image and hopefully down the road lead to higher sales. I'm sure Toyota could have developed lithium ion battiers sooner and up'd the mileage to 150 mpg. But then the prius would have been a huge lose.

Its all about the end line profits for these players. Who cares if you pleased the racing community if your reported at a 1.8% decline in profits. Shareholders first.

I personally don't think Honda will ever offer more than crumbs. Moneymakers first and right now thats SUV's with a vision into alternative energy.
 

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Well.... I hear you about the dealerships. Thats what i did like about the scion when i owned it. The dealerships LOVED me. It was modded to the fullest with aftermarket stuff, and they couldnt care less. Honda will catch on though. theres plenty to be made with performance products.
 

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Dude just freaking look at an S2000... that car was MADE to be turbo'd... One pipe on one side, one pipe on the other, done. lol. (Ok not that easy but I mean god look at all the room in the engine bay)
 
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