According to reports, Honda’s restructuring plans extend to more than just the axing of the new NSX program and its Formula One team, Honda is also believed to be offloading some of it’s high end models and one that concerns us the most – the successor to the S2000.
Among the axed models are a range of rear-wheel-drive Acura models and the new V8 engine we reported on a while ago. A convertible based on the forthcoming Honda CR-Z coupé is also due to be let off.
Acura, Honda’s US-market luxury rival for Infiniti and Lexus, has according to reports, been hit hardest by the changes. Not only has it lost the NSX successor — due to be branded as an Acura but killed off last month — but the program to develop new rear-drive cars aimed specifically at the BMW 3, 5 and 7-series has also been canned.
Development of a new V8 engine for the rear-drive cars has also been stopped. The new Honda V8 was seen as the wrong engine at the wrong time, and it was opposed by some Honda engineers who viewed it as too big, heavy and unnecessary. Honda product planners have also had trouble figuring out how to make the engine cost-effective.
It’s not just big cars and big petrol engines that have been wiped out. The proposed drop-top version of the new Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe has been abandoned, along with any successor to the Honda S2000, which will die this year.
The current pair of Honda Accords (one for the US, one for the rest of the world) could also be replaced with a single model; that could save billions in development costs.
Honda is now concentrating on building more hybrids and a new small city car. It aims to build 500,000 hybrids by 2012, including the new Honda Insight and the world’s first hybrid supermini, a petrol-electric Honda Jazz due sometime next year.