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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Accord-ing to Me

At the end of the 2008 season, Honda turned its back on the sport of Formula 1.  The collapse of the world economy and, to a lesser degree, a lack of Japanese drivers proved to be too much for the company to bear.  However, Honda wants the American consumer to think that they turned these lemons into lemonade in the form of the Accord coupe.

The commercial states that the engine was "born from Honda's legendary racing heritage."  What exactly does this mean?  Unless the screaming 2.4 liter V8s of 2008 had illegitimate relations with a diesel truck, I haven't a clue.  Formula 1 is never specifically mentioned in the commercial but that's what springs to my mind.  However, let's give them the benefit of the doubt.

There would seem to be three viable options for where the "trickle down" technology came from.  In no particular order, they would be Japan's Super GT series, MotoGP, and the Indy Racing League.  These are the most prominent series where Honda currently participates.
The Honda HSV-010 is the stillborn successor to the NSX.  It was in the early development stages of a production supercar when the plug was pulled.  However, Honda exploited a loophole and was able to race in Super GT, a production based race series.  It competes in the GT500 class which limits cars to 500 horsepower.  This 500 horsepower is produced by a front mounted 3.4 liter V8 that powers the rear wheels.  Although the series is based on production car shapes, the commercial references the motor as being race derived and the 3.4 liter V8 in the HSV is series mandated not a production motor.  Although it did win the 2010 Super GT championship, Super GT is not run in America and most Americans don't even know about it.
This could very well be the most well know race machine in the world.  It is Honda's current MotoGP contender, the RC212V.  It's powered by an 800cc V4 motor and transmits over 205 horsepower through the rear wheel.  With a weight of just over 330lbs, these bikes have an amazing power to weight ratio.  Aside from having a motor and wheels that touch the ground, the similarities between this and the Accord are very hard to find.
This may be what that commercial is trying to refer to.  Four tires? check.  3.5 liter motor? Yup!  Honda vehicle meant for American consumption? Yes, sir!  Mid-engine V8, push to pass functionality, enough downforce to run upside down?  Errrr...

I'll take Honda up on their offer after they build street versions of these.

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