Exclusive Automotive - Automotive/ Super Car Pictures and Videos: January 2007

30 January 2007

Team Top End NSX from Japan

this is the team top crew from japan they boast over 25 tuned and modified NSX's, very very nice bunch of cars here great video.

29 January 2007

Honda Acura Advanced Sedan Concept

The Acura “Advanced Sedan Concept” made its world debut today at the 2006 Los Angeles Auto Show. Created by Acura’s Los Angeles-based advanced design team, the concept features a modern, powerful exterior while retaining an ultra luxurious feel.

“The Advanced Sedan Concept illustrates Acura’s commitment to modern design and cutting-edge style,” said John Mendel, senior vice president, auto operations. “With our advanced design team taking a significant role in shaping future vehicle design, we can expect upcoming products to reflect this progressive, forward-thinking styling.”

The Advanced Sedan Concept is the purest expression of advanced design, performance and luxury, highlighted by its powerful, wide stance and deeply sculpted surfaces. The primary goal of this design study was to create a sophisticated, refined sedan with a mysterious presence.

The concept’s generous exterior proportions suggest that a large, powerful engine lurks beneath the surface. The exterior lines reveal a sheer, sculpted lower body contrasted with a taut, architectural cabin. Although ultra-modern in its design, the concept retains the classic silhouette associated with a flagship sedan.

Low to the ground, the concept is anchored by large 22 inch front and 23 inch rear tires which are mounted to custom billet-machined, polished aluminum wheels. Powerful brake discs and calipers accent the wheels and large ducts direct cooling air to the components. Bold wheel arches and flares add to the concept’s muscular appearance.

The sleek, compact cockpit nestles atop the sculpted body and flows from hood to trunk. For a unique panoramic view, the roof is constructed entirely of tinted glass that shades the occupants while still connecting them to the outside world.

“We wanted to capture the essence of an ultra luxurious sedan but give it a striking, mysterious presence to create a vehicle with a dual personality,” said Dave Marek, chief designer Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “The concept echoes this quality with its clean exterior lines, a wide, stance, high performance cues and key luxury accents.”

The hood is accented with pronounced character lines that culminate in the aggressive five-sided grille, which contributes to the sedan’s bold presence.

The commanding grille is constructed of polished aluminum and features a cut crystal Acura emblem. The narrow headlights also double as air intakes and are positioned low on the bumper, further enhancing the sedan’s already commanding 79.5 inch width.

“The front of the sedan communicates power and luxury,” explains Marek. “The pronounced hood and large grille communicate performance, while the jewel-like Acura emblem captures the essence of pure luxury.”

In the rear, the Advanced Sedan Concept has a flush mounted rear bumper with the high-mounted stop lamp integrated into the center break of the trunk. The jeweled taillights are pushed to the outer edge of the bumper to further enhance the vehicle’s wide and low appearance, while integrated dual exhaust outlets complement the sedan’s performance-oriented style.

During the past decade, several Acura vehicles have been designed and developed in the U.S. including the award winning MDX luxury SUV, the innovative TL performance luxury sedan and the all-new RDX turbocharged crossover SUV. Acura will continue the expansion of its U.S. design capabilities with the addition of a dedicated Acura Design Center that will open next year in Torrance, Ca.

2008 Honda Accord concept

The Honda Accord will get a drastic new look when the all-new eighth-generation model debuts this fall, judging by the coupe concept unveiled at the auto show.

The coupe's long hood, fastback profile and deeply scalloped sides are all a radical departure from the styling theme that has defined the Accord for years.

The sporty look extends from the long hood to four exhaust pipes integrated into the rear diffuser.

"The Accord Coupe Concept demonstrates the styling direction for the upcoming, eighth-generation Accord," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda.

That promises to make the 2008 Accord a dramatic and exciting upgrade for a car that had lost some of its edge as it climbed the sales charts.

The five-seat concept features a new version of Honda's V6 engine that boosts power and fuel efficiency.

New 2008 Honda NSX

* It will arrive in ’08, together with the introduction of the Acura brand in Japan.
* Honda will give a clear design clue in Detroit in the Acura PR event (that apparently that man has seen).
* V10 powerplant will be a 4.5L, smaller than current BMW’s M5 and the upcoming Lexus V10. They also say that it would have a V angle of 95º, similar to F1 engines, and that for that reason the body will have to be wider. It should reach around 120PS/L with max output of 550Hp. Power is said to come to the wheels through a Semi-AT transmission
* Platform is said to be a newly developed FR+SH-AWD setup, together with a new suspension design, and inheriting an all aluminium body construction from past-gen NSX.
* Style is said to be more in the line of British GT’s than Italian Ferraris. According to the source, he can’t really find similarities with other cars on the road, although he says that you could say it’s a Honda (Acura), but that you couldn’t think of it as a NSX successor.
* Price would be in line with past-gen NSX (priced around 10 – 12 Million yen), which would be considerably cheaper than Lexus targeted price of 15-20 MYen for their GT-car

Congratulations Honda Accord Euro Drive.com.au Best Medium Car of 2006

It’s not the newest kid on the grid, but Honda’s Accord Euro continues to impress with its high-quality interior, punchy yet economical four-cylinder engine and composed dynamics.

dCOTY 2006: Best Medium Car

The Testing

During the judging, the Jetta's enormous boot was a talking point. The Jetta was previously called the Bora, a model famous as the "Golf with a boot". The Jetta is still effectively just that, but all the judges were impressed at just how big the boot really was, especially after one of the larger judges climbed inside and had room to spare.

The amount of standard equipment impressed, although some were disappointed that the interior of the Jetta felt like the smaller (and cheaper) Golf.

The judges liked the Jetta's "cracker'' engine and most were impressed with the car's abilities on the tight section of the road loop. However, most agreed the suspension was too firm, the road noise was loud, and the desire to drink premium unleaded petrol an issue.

Toyota has put a lot of effort into the Camry's new clothes, and it show. The exterior is a significant step up on previous bland attempts, and the interior also endows the car with a level of excitement, not to mention loads of space.

It's still not perfect, as the dull mass of black plastic on the rear doors attests. The only highlight to breaks it up is a small chrome highlight on the door handle.

Inside, the aqua-coloured centre dashboard, however, did not impress as much, particularly at night. The fiddly display, flimsy air-conditioning knobs, and lack of interior ambience were lowlights.

On the skidpan the Camry was the least nimble of the four; its higher-profile tyres dulled the Camry's reactions and didn't grip as well as the others. This dynamic deficiency turned into a plus on the road; the Camry offered the most supple ride.

Ultimately, though, the Camry was essentially let down by its engine - too small and underpowered for the weight it was expected to shift.

The Subaru Liberty, the only all-wheel-drive sedan in this group, impressed on the skidpan and road loop with its sharp steering and high levels of grip, although the judges were quick to criticise the overly firm ride.

Previous Liberty models were let down by, among other things, their ageing interiors, so the new light/dark/light theme was a hit and impressed for its luxury look and feel. It was also the only one to have seatbelt reminders for all seats.

It must be said, however, that the Liberty makes consumers pay for the privilege because the flagship 3.0R we tested is at least $15,000 more than the other nominees.

The Subaru also had its shortcomings. There were only cheap-looking net pockets behind the seats, there were no pockets in the rear doors, no split-fold seats, a smallish boot, and minimal shoulder and leg room for rear passengers.

It was, however, the new SI-Drive technology that became the Subaru's main talking point.

Resembling BMW's controversial iDrive button in looks, Subaru's SI-Drive reduces the power of the engine to save fuel. Some labelled it "a gimmicky marketing ploy'' and the "most ridiculous way of saving fuel''. Only one judge argued for it.

Like the Liberty, the Accord Euro oozed quality and luxury. The feel of the materials and soft-touch seats impressed, as did the split-folding function, good headroom and plethora of covered cubbyholes.

On the skidpan, the judges rated the Accord Euro one of the sharpest of our quartet. The Honda's 2.4-litre engine and five-speed automatic transmission also won praise, especially since it is the most powerful and enthusiastic four-cylinder in the bunch.

Interior space was adequate, though not outstanding. Rear leg room is best described as adequate, there was only one rear map pocket, and no air vents for rear passengers.

The Winner

The Euro may be the oldest in the group, but there was no denying its all-round value for money package.

The Honda ticked all the right boxes across our five criteria. The only irk was having to pay $7000 to get curtain airbags as they are only available on the better-equipped Luxury model.

The drivetrain was the pick of the bunch with one judge saying the five-speed automatic was almost "intuitive'', adjusting to your driving behaviour even when in full automatic mode. Although, the pseudo-manual mode gearchanges are the wrong way around. You had to move the gear lever away from you to go up the gears and towards you to go down.

After all was said and done there was no surprise the Accord Euro was able to hold its own, even in this highly regarded bunch. The judges felt the Accord was "sharp'' in the quality, equipment and value stakes. It also got a tick for a full-sized alloy spare wheel.

All the judges wanted was the exterior styling to be as funky as the interior. Perhaps something Honda can work on for next year?

So what was Drive's Car of the Year for 2006?


28 January 2007

2008 Honda S2000

The Feb 26th issue of Best Car has an article about "the final
version of S2000" and its successor. I thought it's something
everyone would like to know about, so I bought it, took it home, and
my scanner decides to give up its ghost. Oh well, I'll summarize what
I read though.

The Last S2000
"Loyal readers may remember that about 4 years ago, in 2003, Best Car
reported on the release of the S2000 Type R. Unfortunately it never
materialized. At that time, it was not just wild guesses and
Photoshop'ed art work. There was an actually S2000 Type R proposal
that leaked out from Honda sources describing the S2000 Type R. The
proposal was dropped at the last minute in favor of the 2.2L AP2 to
satisfy the need for more torque in the American market, while Japan
complained of the decision being very 'un-Honda.'"

Apparently Best Car has reason to believe that Honda is revisiting
this Type R proposal for the final model change for the S2000. They
call it the "lightweight package" and it will follow the Type R
proposal's target of 100kg weight reduction, bringing the car from
1250kg to 1150kg, changing the power to weight ratio from 5.16kg/ps
to 4.75kg/ps. This should provide performance at turbo levels but
with the direct feel of natural aspiration.

The S2000 Type R model year 2004 proposal (official document from
Honda) consisted of:
-target of 100kg weight reduction
-balanced engine internals (Type R treatment)
-Type R exclusive interior
-air conditioning becomes a factory option
-SRS air bag becomes a factory option
-sound deadening material deleted
-front tire: 205/55R16 to 205/45R17 (implemented on AP2)
-rear tire: 225/50R16 to 245/40R17 (implemented on AP2)
-Type R exclusive suspension tuning
-Type R exclusive uprated brakes
-Type R exclusive body color(s)
-spare tire deleted
-mechanical LSD
-power soft top deleted
-lightweight carbon hard top
-audio becomes factory option

The S2000 is expected to be discontinued before March 2008, so the
lightweight package should be sold sometime between now and then.

The next S
Honda has been tossing around many ideas on the next S. From 4 door
sports car to FF compact sports. But it seems they have decided to
stay with the FR roadster format, and are preparing a concept car in
time for the discontinuation of the S2000. But instead of targeting
the likes of SLK and Z4, they are going to go with a 2.0L engine and
battle it out with the long-time popular Mazda Roadster (Miata in
US). Engine will be the new Advanced VTEC K20A with an output of
about 200-220ps. It will be a milder engine than the S2000, and the
suspension tuning will also follow this route. Styling is said to be
heavily based on the S500/S600/S800, Honda's first 4 wheel
automotive. Dimensions will be slightly smaller than the S2000 with
an overall length of 4000mm, overall width of 1730mm, height of
1250mm, and wheelbase of 2400mm. That's about the same size as the
Mazda Roadster. The roof will be electric powered metal hardtop, and
the car should weight in at 1250kg, which is slightly heavier than
the Mazda, but the extra power in the S will more than make up for
it. It is also probable that the car will be available only with a
clutchless 6spd manual shift transmission. Release date is expected
to be near the end of 2008, with a price of 30,000,000yen