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nocones
nocones SuperDork
10/24/13 5:14 p.m.

What modern convertible has ever had a starting price inflation adjusted under 20k? And seriously if the fully loaded cost was 19,995 you'd buy but if the cost was 21500 you'd walk? Honestly less the manual trans what doesn't the smart plus some aftermarket suspension not do that this would (baring aesthetics)

Kenny_McCormic
Kenny_McCormic SuperDork
10/24/13 5:45 p.m.
Driven5 wrote: In my opinion this is hands down one of the most enticing pieces of recent automotive news. All they have to do is: Swap out the 0.66L turbo mill for a 1.0L turbo mill, keep it over 40mpg highway minimum, give it direct/responsive/entertaining handling, put in a good old fashioned manual transmission, and keep it priced solidly under $20k fully loaded. If it can live up to that potential, I think it would be surprisingly easy to justify one as a daily work commuter.

That worked quite well for the Fiero, GM infighting berkeleyery aside.

Driven5
Driven5 Reader
10/24/13 5:54 p.m.

In reply to nocones:

You kind of answered your own question. The Smart Cabriolet currently starts well under $20k. And with bringing up Smart, that's exactly what this should be targeting...Think a Smart Roaster (i.e. sleeker/longer/lower bodied Fortwo Cabriolet) with a transmission that doesn't suck (manual) and fuel economy actually appropriate to engine size/output. Hell, I'd even take the CVT they're putting in the Japanese model, if it can be programmed with reasonably sporty feeling (firm/responsive) stepped 'gear ratios' and a manual mode with flappy paddles on the 'sport' trim level. Maybe under $20k 'fully-loaded' is a stretch in today's world of high-tech and luxury options on low end cars, but people are also latching on to this whole 'fully loaded' thing a little too tightly.

So I hereby officially revise my opinion from under $20k 'fully loaded', to under $20k 'well-equipped', if it will get people to go back to focusing on the more important possibilities here. This should still be more than attainable in a true econo-roadster, especially since the Smart Cabriolet is already there when purchased without the leather/nav packages.

But if the base stripped down model is just barely 'under $20k' and typical purchase pricing is well into the low-mid $20k's then I just don't think it will ever be able to compete on the open market with bigger/faster/more powerful cars available in that price range. They might sell a handfull, but it's all too easy for cars like this to sell extra poorly because they price themselves against cars they simply can't compete with. Just as the original Beat was not at all a direct competitor to the original Miata, nor should this be to the next gen Miata.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix HalfDork
10/24/13 6:08 p.m.

D5 is taking a lot of heat for the Twenty-Thousand Dollar Suggestion, but if the pictured car is supposed to slot in a future Honda sportscar line-up beneath a "BRZ/FR-S fighter" then it really has to MSRP close to $20k doesn't it?

The FR-S's no-dicker-sticker is just over $25k, so the BRZ/FR-S fighter has to be around there. Wouldn't make sense to have a $26k 200hp car and a $23k 100hp car, right? They'd be in each others market segments? I would think the price would have to be at least a 20% discount over the bigger car.

mblommel
mblommel Reader
10/24/13 7:08 p.m.

Meh. I'm in the "I'll believe it when I test drive it" camp.

I guess the styling is OK. It just seems designers these days are incapable of making truly beautiful cars. I guess a lot has to do with safety regs, but jeez at least make the concept look really awesome.

The only Honda I'm interested in these days is my lawn mower.

jstein77
jstein77 SuperDork
10/24/13 7:51 p.m.

Wow, hard to please. It would seem to me, as one who drives an X1/9, that this would be right up your alley.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
10/24/13 11:32 p.m.
Wouldn't make sense to have a $26k 200hp car and a $23k 100hp car, right?

Not exactly analogous but the Focus and Fiesta ST are surprisingly close in price for how different they are.

I can't stand a 3 cylinder car.

Uhh... ok? I drive one all the time and love it.

kanaric
kanaric Reader
10/25/13 1:13 a.m.

The AW11 has already been remade. The final MR2 weighed less and has more power and better handling than that car.

Conquest351 wrote: Turbocharged 1000cc engine with a real damn manual transmission please. I'd be all over that.

I don't believe they would sell that car here.

Honda is notorious for E36 M3 like that, that would definitely be one of those cars they wouldn't sell in the US lol

As far as the link saying it's being sold here i'll take that with a grain of salt. Just like how we've had a Supra since 2006 among other BS these sites always perpetuate. At least this exists as a concept though. I just keep thinking how we just get the E36 M3tier version of all of their cars, i don't consider us getting this a possibility.

The Article said: Honda plans to sell the roadster in export markets with a 1000cc engine

When I read this I read "europe and some asian countries".... oh and Mexico too so when you go to Cabo you see big middle fingers driving down the road.

To the best of my knowledge, the MSRP typically advertised does not include tax, title, lisence, documentation fees, or destination charges.

Usually you buy the car below MSRP anyways and those fees bring it back up to the MSRP price. At least that's my experience. A mustang is like $3500 less than MSRP around here.

mdshaw
mdshaw New Reader
10/25/13 5:06 a.m.

They will have a car which will compliment their return to F1 in 2015. They just released a sound clip of the engine. I wish the car would come with a similar motor - 1.6l, V6, 50psi boost, 15,000 rpm redline (required drop from 18,000), estimated 760hp.

mblommel
mblommel Reader
10/25/13 12:01 p.m.

In reply to jstein77:

In theory yes, but I'm betting the final product (if there is one) will be a lot less awesome once it reaches the showroom. Especially for the inflated prices stealerships choose to slap on this type of vehicle.

I wanted to buy a new MR2 Spyder back in 2001. Stealership wanted $35K for it. I said no.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix HalfDork
10/25/13 10:01 p.m.
mblommel wrote: I wanted to buy a new MR2 Spyder back in 2001. Stealership wanted $35K for it. I said no.

I don't get it, the ZZW30 MR2 was a huge sales flop. Couldn't you just wait like a month and buy it at MSRP? I fail to see how this informs your to belief that a future sporty Honda won't be worth the trouble.

oldsaw
oldsaw PowerDork
10/25/13 10:56 p.m.

In reply to ShadowSix:

Markets didn't/don't work that way...

It also took a lot longer than a month to establish that the MRS was to be relegated to a niche market smaller than the Miata's. The Toyota venture crashed and burned because it never matched the value that Mazda offered to a sustainable customer base.

Honda put itself into a deep rut by abandoning its' roots in affordable, fun-to-drive, reliable and economic cars. To paraphrase a wise man, "A rut is just a grave with both ends dug out."

Aside from some interesting concepts, what has Honda recently done to deserve enthusiasts' trouble?

ShadowSix
ShadowSix HalfDork
10/25/13 11:13 p.m.
oldsaw wrote: In reply to ShadowSix: Markets didn't/don't work that way...

What do you mean?

Maroon92
Maroon92 MegaDork
10/26/13 12:17 a.m.
Driven5 wrote: and keep it priced solidly under $20k fully loaded.

That will NEVER happen. Miata are more than 20K. Toyobaru are 25K. Fiat Abarth are 25K.

I think you see where I'm going with this...

That Honda will be lucky to be under 20K without any options.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
10/26/13 9:09 a.m.
LuxInterior wrote: That looks pretty damn cool. I'm in.

To me it looks like the rear vision would be atrocious.

If Honda is serious about a Twins fighter they will need to step up their game. Honda's engineering prowess is superb, they can do it if someone up near the top of the building decides they want to. It's probably gonna have to be something similar to Henry Ford turning Carroll Shelby loose after old man Ferrari dissed him.

But 1000cc of turbo fury in a Kei car ain't gonna be the one to do it, the Keis are just too small for the average US consumer. It will need to be a scaled down version of the NSX with a ~2 liter powerplant, IMHO.

mblommel
mblommel Reader
10/26/13 9:11 a.m.

In reply to ShadowSix:

But you couldn't wait a month and buy it at MSRP. I was in both the Orlando and Fort Lauderdale areas during this time. I visited 3 separate dealers, all of them with significant markup on MR2 spyders. (Orlando $28K, Fort Lauderdale $28K, $35K). The same 1 or 2 spyders sat on these lots forever because nobody except people with more money than brains would buy a $23K for $35K just so they can say they have one.

My point is whenever a niche sort of vehicle like this actually makes the transition from vaporware to dealership a few things always happen: 1. Dealership will jack the price WAY up with crap like $500 fake carbon fiber dash appliques (MR2 Spyder) 2. Dealership will add "Market Adjustments" to sticker ($5000 in the case of the MR2 spyder) 3. Said niche vehicle's base price is always X % more than early reports (internet or magazines) said it would be. 4. Said niche vehicle's curb weight is always X % more than early reports (internet or magazines) said it would be.

IMHO a huge contributing factor to the MR2 spyder's failure was the lack of availability and the stupid dealers who were convinced they were selling a boxster instead of a toyota.

I've gone through this same cycle with several vehicles of interest over the past 20 years. As a result I'm don't get overly excited about possible cool niche vehicles anymore. As other posters have said, Honda used to build affordable and fun to drive little cars. They have lost their way, and I'm pretty skeptical that they will ever return to the fold. However, I'm very happy with my new Honda push mower. It's the perfect grass cutting appliance, which makes sense because that is what Honda is now; an appliance manufacturer.

oldopelguy
oldopelguy Dork
10/26/13 9:38 a.m.
Curmudgeon wrote: But 1000cc of turbo fury in a Kei car ain't gonna be the one to do it, the Keis are just too small for the average US consumer.

I disagree. If I could buy a Kei car for what a base level Versa costs and get 40+ mpg out of it at a speed of 65+ I'd write the check tomorrow. Bonus for convertible or mid-engine, and I'd pay more. But with the Fiat 500 coming in at $16k base and the base MINI being still under $20k, along with the Smart and Spark being in the $12s, this thing would have to price low to mid teens to be worth it.

That's the real issue, I think, is that with all the things you have to give up to get a tiny car you don't seem to get a decent cost savings on buy in or mpg. As recently as the early 90's you could spend $25k for a nice Lincoln or $6k for a Ford Festiva, but with the Festy you got significant MPG savings to boot. The current crop of $12k cars doesn't improve over the current crop of $50k cars on MPG by anywhere near the same margin, so they don't represent nearly the same value. In order to get a decent mpg savings you have to step up to the $25k baby hybrids or diesels, and then you might as well get the better car.

I want 50 mpg and sub $15k, and I don't care what it looks like. Basically a modern Festiva/Metro/CRX HF. The rest of the world gets those, but for some reason we just can't here.

dculberson
dculberson UltraDork
10/26/13 9:51 a.m.
Curmudgeon wrote: If Honda is serious about a Twins fighter they will need to step up their game. Honda's engineering prowess is superb, they can do it if someone up near the top of the building decides they want to. It's probably gonna have to be something similar to Henry Ford turning Carroll Shelby loose after old man Ferrari dissed him. But 1000cc of turbo fury in a Kei car ain't gonna be the one to do it, the Keis are just too small for the average US consumer. It will need to be a scaled down version of the NSX with a ~2 liter powerplant, IMHO.

You are confusing two different cars. They discuss two cars in the linked article, and the Kei car is not the one touted as a twins fighter; it's not even clear it would be brought here.

Driven5
Driven5 Reader
10/26/13 12:01 p.m.
Maroon92 wrote: That will NEVER happen. Miata are more than 20K. Toyobaru are 25K. Fiat Abarth are 25K. I think you see where I'm going with this... That Honda will be lucky to be under 20K without any options.

A Smart Cabriolet for under $19k will NEVER happen because a Mini Roadster starts at over $25k...Oh wait...It does.

I think you see where I'm going with this...

As already stated repeatedly in both in the article and in this thread, had everybody replying actually bothered to read either, the price and performance of this Honda econo-roadster would slot in below a completely different Honda sporty-roadster...The higher price/performance other roadster being the one in direct competition with the Miata.

Vigo
Vigo UberDork
10/26/13 1:23 p.m.

ZOMG reading comprehension! We have to encourage this brazen act of logical thinking by giving that post more likes. Personally i would like to see it hit at least +6.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix HalfDork
10/26/13 1:46 p.m.

In reply to mblommel:

I still don't understand. If demand exceeded supply when the W30 came out and dealers were asking way over sticker that sucks (although, that's how the free market works), but I don't see how this could have been a persistent scenario. The last year of the W30 they sold a whopping 700 of them. Didn't the supply eventually catch up with demand? Of course it was more than a month (hyperbole on my part), but it seems like anyone who could stand to delay their gratification could eventually get one for MSRP. Am I missing something?

I actually don't know much about the W30 because I just wasn't interested when it came out, but the NA Miata, GD Subaru Impreza WRX, PT Cruiser (seriously, look it up), and recently the Toyobaru all saw big dealer price-gouging when they came out, and eventually supply caught up (or demand subsided, I'm looking at you PT Cruiser) and they started selling at MSRP or below. Did this really not happen with the W30?

That said, I'm with you on the "I'll believe it when I drive it" thought. Either of the smaller cars will have a lot of hurdles to jump to get to the US market in a configuration and at a price point that would interest most of us.

Driven5
Driven5 Reader
10/26/13 1:54 p.m.
ShadowSix wrote: That said, I'm with you on the "I'll believe it when I drive it" thought. Either of the smaller cars will have a lot of hurdles to jump to get to the US market in a configuration and at a price point that would interest most of us.

This is true of any concept car slated for production.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Dork
10/26/13 2:26 p.m.

In reply to Driven5:

Agreed, maybe even truer for something like the Honda Beat descendent that really doesn't feel like it was meant for this market.

mblommel
mblommel Reader
10/26/13 3:21 p.m.
ShadowSix wrote: In reply to mblommel: I still don't understand. If demand exceeded supply when the W30 came out and dealers were asking way over sticker that sucks (although, that's how the free market works), but I don't see how this could have been a persistent scenario. The last year of the W30 they sold a whopping 700 of them. Didn't the supply eventually catch up with demand? Of course it was more than a month (hyperbole on my part), but it seems like anyone who could stand to delay their gratification could eventually get one for MSRP. Am I missing something? I actually don't know much about the W30 because I just wasn't interested when it came out, but the NA Miata, GD Subaru Impreza WRX, PT Cruiser (seriously, look it up), and recently the Toyobaru all saw big dealer price-gouging when they came out, and eventually supply caught up (or demand subsided, I'm looking at you PT Cruiser) and they started selling at MSRP or below. Did this really not happen with the W30? That said, I'm with you on the "I'll believe it when I drive it" thought. Either of the smaller cars will have a lot of hurdles to jump to get to the US market in a configuration and at a price point that would interest most of us.

After a year or so of the B.S. I said screw it and bought a new Sentra SE-R Spec V at below dealer invoice. I really don't know what happened after a certain point when I stopped caring.

Most dealerships seemed to have 1 or 2 cars each in the 2000-2001 time frame. After that I didn't really see them on display. Most of the time it was easy to spot them if they had one too because it was usually up on the elevated platform at the outside corner of the dealership.

I'm with you on the same scenario happening on all those cars. I went to look at most when they arrived at the dealership and saw the gouging with my own eyes. I think what was different with the MR2 Spyder was it meant to be a limited production niche vehicle to start. Toyota built a few to see how they would sell. I think they would have sold a lot better at their intended price point and that we might have had a true Miata alternative.

But, oh well. Its all in the past now and I can go buy one for $5000 if I want one now.

ShadowSix
ShadowSix Dork
10/26/13 4:07 p.m.

In reply to mblommel:

Wow, that's crazy. It sounds like Toyota never wanted it to succeed in the first place.

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