Friday, February 04, 2005


Hit-And-Miss At Honda

Some good and, in my opinion, not-so-good coming out of Honda, via The Car Connection. Let's start on a positive note:

Honda turbos coming?

According to information posted to a popular Honda enthusiast Web site,, the automaker plans to bring its first-ever turbocharged engine
to the U.S. for model year 2006 or 2007. The 2.4-liter four would be fitted into
either the Acura TSX or a new high-performance Civic model that would slot above the Si. The engine would be of a new design - not that of the 2.4 currently used in several U.S. products including the best-selling Accord - and would probably make about 240 hp. The next-generation Honda Civic Si will have either a 2.0-liter or 2.4-liter four, with standard horsepower boosted to around 200 hp
in either form.

Wow. A healthy turbocharged 4-banger, matched with a good 6-speed manual transmission, would make a great powertrain for an Accord or TSX. And while I'd like to get the full 240 HP in a Civic (wouldn't that set a new standard for FWD sport compact performance!), I have to think that 200 HP will be sufficient, given the Civic's slight weight advantage over other vehicles in its class (such as the Neon and Cobalt). Hopefully these new engines live up to the reliability and NVH standards that Honda basically established for small engines.

And now for the bad news:

Ridgeline pricing set Honda has announced U.S. pricing and equipment for
its new Ridgeline truck model, due at dealerships starting March 1. The
Ridgeline will be available in three trim levels, RT, RTS, and RTL, with base
prices ranging from $27,700 for the RT to $31,490 for the RTL, not including a
$515 destination fee.
When equipped with the moonroof, XM satellite radio, and the navigation
system, the sticker jumps to $35,155 including destination.

Egad. That $35K number marches right up to the base price of the Chevy Avalanche, and I thought that the 'lanche was severely overpriced. That's also several thousand dollars more than a, uh, less-than-full-size truck (really can't call 'em "mini" anymore) from the competition. With pricing like that, I'd really expect an Acura badge. And, uh, a full-size truck under the badge. It'll be interesting to see how this thing sells.

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