2008 Should be a Happy New Year for Honda and Acura
Date: January 02, 2008 18:23
First off, we at the TOV would like to wish everybody a Happy New Year.
Apart from the introduction of the all-new 2008 Honda Accord, 2007 was a relatively quiet year for Honda and (especially) Acura. With 4 FMCs (2 Hondas and 2 Acuras) and a few MMCs on the docket in 2008, things will be really busy for the next 12 months for the TOV as well as your friendly neighborhood Honda and Acura dealerships.
2009 Honda Pilot
At 1:45 PM on Sunday, January 13th, Honda will be revealing their prototype of the 2009 Pilot at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. The '09 Pilot is expected to be in showrooms by early June, and we hear it's going to be slightly larger and brawnier than the current version, offering a greater towing capacity. Keep your eyes peeled on the streets (and your cameras ready) because we hear that there are some out there "in the wild". A diesel powertrain is expected to be offered in the '09 Pilot, but it's our understanding that it won't be ready until sometime after the launch, with late '08 being the earliest we could possibly see it. Official details will be released in the spring.
Unless Acura's planning something in more secrecy than usual, they do not have plans to show anything new at Detroit.
2009 Acura RL MMC
Unless their plans have changed dramatically, Acura should be revealing their revised Acura RL at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show. We don't know a lot about this car but from what we've heard this is going to be a rather significant MMC (mid-cycle model change). Considering 2009 is the 5th year of the current model cycle, we're not quite sure what to expect, especially considering the RL's really poor showroom performance.
2009 Acura TSX
We've seen some heavily disguised prototypes of the '09 TSX in a number of spy shots, but we don't know a whole lot more about this car than whatever's already been published here. Yet. That will change fairly soon, and the world will know the full details before the end of the 1st quarter (and ahead of the New York Auto Show). We've heard that the 2nd generation TSX will not disappoint current TSX fans, and it sounds like at least the base version will follow a very similar basic formula (FF, 4-cyl), but the rumored up-spec variant has yet to be confirmed.
2009 Acura TL
SH-AWD and a 300+ hp V6 are pretty much givens for the TL, but there have also been rumors of a 6-speed "automatic" transmission also mentioned - what's unclear is whether this is a dual-clutch automated manual or a more traditional automatic transmission. The '09 TL is expected in showrooms in the Fall time frame, so it will likely be late summer at the earliest before all the details are made public. Considering Acura's absence at Detroit, it would surprise us if they also skip the New York show, and we think New York would be a pretty good time to show off a TL Concept and maybe leak a few teaser details.
2009 Honda Fit FMC
The current Fit has been quite a success in the USA, but the all-new Fit was recently introduced in Japan and we'll be getting the Americanized version of it this coming September. The top motor in the new Japanese-market Fit delivers 118hp from a 1.5L, and at a minimum that's the motor we're expecting to see. Now if Honda could shoehorn an R18 (or better yet, an R20) in there, we could have really fun hot (4-door) hatch. Let's hope the supply situation improves for this generation of the Fit in the USA, because there should be quite a bit of demand for this new version.
2009 Honda Civic MMC
At this point we don't have a clue what could be in store for the 2009 Civic, but if Honda follows their typical schedule, an MMC is expected for the 2009 model year. Could this be the year we see a 2.0L K20 or R20-powered EX model?
2009 Honda Ridgeline MMC
I wish we could tell you more about the '09 Ridgeline but we really haven't heard much except that '09 should be the year for its mid-cycle model change and Honda's diesel V-6 powertrain should also find a home in the '09 Ridgeline. What's a little bit unclear at this point is the timing of this MMC - it might not occur until sometime in calendar year 2009, though we would expect it to be in the earlier part of the year.