Honda has done very well for itself with its Acura luxury brand. While Honda vehicles are sometimes held back by their need to be affordable and accessible, Acuras are free to show off the Japanese company’s technological prowess. One of the ways Acura has done this is by refusing to offer a V8 engine in its cars, deeming the current V6 sufficient. But change is inevitable.
Honda president Takeo Fukui has already divulged that to be able to compete head-on with the big boys, the company is going to need a V8. Fukui says that the company’s current top-of-the-line 3.7-liter V6 is no longer "sufficient" to compete with the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. While a technological marvel, the 3.7-liter V6 in the company’s flagship RL makes only 300-hp. With cars like the 7-Series and A8 making way north of 360-hp, it’s easy to see why Fukui feels they need a boost.
We know Honda knows how to build a V8. Just look at any Formula-1 or Indy Car grid and you’ll hear the sound of Honda V8’s in full mechanical and aural glory. Still, it’s never really been Honda’s thing to be last to the table with anything. No, Honda is a company that leads, that innovates where others copy. So I say, why not a super-efficient V6 with forced induction? A twin-turbo or supercharged V6 could easily get the efficiency numbers Honda wants with the perfomance numbers their flagship RL desperately needs.
Whether or not a V8 does come, insiders say don’t expect it until 2015, which would mean it’s not going to happen on the next redesign, planned for a late 2009 launch as a 2010 model. Insiders say that this upcoming model will continue to use the 3.7-liter V6 with a small boost of maybe 15-20-hp. But 320-hp is still not enough to really compete in a market where too much is just enough. Hopefully Honda can find a solution that satisfies both its customers and its traditions.
Source: Inside Line