This year was a big one for Honda, and not just because it was the automaker’s 50th anniversary selling cars in America. Not only is it moving the needle forward on sales, but it’s released a number of vehicles that’ll make it even more formidable in the coming years. We saw the introduction of the redesigned Pilot (which we loved), an aggressive new Civic, and the hydrogen-powered Clarity. Over at Acura, a new RDX and the ever-unfolding drama that is the second-generation NSX have kept us busy too. The company has even gone so far as to claim 2015 as “The Year of Honda,” which is a pretty bold claim.
It’s one thing for an entire year to be dubbed “The Year of” something, but it’s another thing to name an entire year after yourself. Sure, Honda had a big one, but was it big enough to claim all of 2015? I mean, we also saw the unveiling of the Tesla Model X, Ford GT, Volvo XC90, and Ford Focus RS. Do Honda’s new offerings really outshadow them, or is it more wishful thinking, like “The Summer of George?”
Well, to close out the year, Honda is ready to make one last grab at owning 2015, and it’s a pretty impressive one. Last week, it announced that we’ll get our first look at the next-generation Ridgeline pickup at next month’s Detroit Auto Show, followed by a big TV debut during Super Bowl 50. The Ridgeline will be joined at Detroit by an aggressive new Acura concept called the Precision, set to forecast the premium brand’s styling direction in upcoming years. But most importantly, it released details on its long-awaited NSX supercar, and thankfully, it’s coming much, much sooner than we hoped.
We have a strong love-hate relationship with the NSX here — that is, we’re practically foaming at the mouth to get our hands on one, but we’re fed up with waiting through endless production delays. After all, we were first promised a next-generation NSX in 2007, and told that it would be in showrooms by 2010. Then Acura ran a big-budget ad Starring Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno during the 2012 Super Bowl. Still nothing. But hey, what’s 10 years when the results are this impressive?
The first production 2017 NSX will be auctioned off for charity at January’s Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. On February 25, Acura will begin taking orders for the car and launch its online configurator, which should provide you with hours of fun for when you’re supposed to be working on that report for the boss.
The NSX will start at $156,000 in the U.S., and will top out at $205,700. The car may not be as earth-shattering as it would’ve been had it launched in 2010, but it’s still a mid-engined hybrid near-supercar with a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel drive standard, so there won’t be much for us to complain about once it gets here. Its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and three electric motors are good for 573 horsepower, and if early press reviews are any indication, it’ll quickly join the “world’s best sports car” conversation alongside the Porsche 911 Turbo and Nissan GT-R Nismo. So it won’t be the technical showcase it could’ve been in a pre-Porsche 918/LaFerrari/McLaren P1 world, but that doesn’t matter anymore because the 2017 NSX looks like it’ll truly be a sports car for our time. Well played, Honda. You’ve earned 2015.
Like classics? It’s always Throwback Thursday somewhere.
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