Acura NSX prototype runs ceremonial lap before Honda Indy 200

The Acura NSX Prototype Makes Its Public Running Debut

The Acura NSX Prototype Makes Its Public Running Debut

BY GERRY MILES

To whet the appetite of its fans, Acura had its now famous NSX prototype lap the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Sunday Aug. 4 prior to the Honda Indy 200 to keep the media hype and fan base engines pegged at the redline.

The 2015 car launch is awaited for the next-gen return of the popular mid-engine super sports car.

The Acura NSX prototype lapped the 2.4-mile winding road course, driven by a member of the Ohio-based engineering development team. The NSX prototype sported custom graphics that speak to Acura’s intention to go racing with the new NSX.

“With leadership from our R&D and manufacturing teams here in Ohio, we are developing a next generation sports car that will be equally at home on the street and on the race track, so it is natural for us to showcase the prototype vehicle here at Mid-Ohio,” said Ted Klaus, chief engineer of Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “It is exciting for us to see the prototype running on the track, reflecting the great progress we’re making toward the 2015 global launch of the NSX, as we engineer a new sports-car experience for customers around the world.”

Acura announced in 2012 that the Acura NSX will be powered by a mid-mounted, direct-injected V-6 engine mated to Acura’s Sport Hybrid SH-AWD® (Super Handling All-Wheel Drive) system.

Advertisements

Edmunds.com finds price ranges on indentical cars across USA

BY GERRY MILES

OK, it might seem to be that big of a shock that a car with a certain option package and setup sells for more in a certain region of the country than another – think pickups in Texas and cars with air conditioning in the South and parts of the Southwest – but the folks at Edmunds.com have come up with sizeable differences that would greatly alter your payment plan.

“A new or used car in New York won’t necessarily sell for the same price as a similar car in California,” says Edmunds.com Pricing Analyst Richard Arca. “Car buyers should be aware that, along with regional incentives, factors like increased local demand and even local weather conditions can affect car prices within a market. It’s not too different from what we see every day in the fluctuation of gas prices.”

For example, Edmunds.com found that the TMV® for a Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew in Chicago is $31,942, while in Atlanta, it’s $36,080. The price discrepancy is mostly attributed to a $5,000 cash incentive available in Chicago versus a $500 cash incentive offered in Atlanta.
True Market Value® (TMV®) Pricing of Top-Selling Vehicles 

(as of May 7, 2013)

Segment

Vehicle^

Most Expensive Market*

TMV® Price

Least Expensive Market*

TMV® Price

Truck

2013 F-150 XLT SuperCrew 6.6 ft. Bed 4×4 5.0 V8

Atlanta

$36,080

Chicago

$31,942

Midsize

2013 Toyota Camry LE Sedan Automatic 4-cyl.

New York City

$22,355

Dallas

$20,061

SUV

2013 Ford Escape SE 2WD 1.6 L Turbo 4-cyl.

Chicago

$22,859

San Francisco

$22,419

Compact

2013 Toyota Corolla LE Sedan Automatic 4-cyl.

San Francisco

$17,854

Dallas

$16,287

Luxury

2013 Mercedes C250 Sport Sedan 1.8 L Turbo 4-cyl.

Chicago, Houston (tie)

$33,624

Philadelphia

$32,036

^Best-selling vehicle within the given segment, 2013 YTD
* Only the top 10 U.S. markets were considered for this analysis

But even without taking into account regional incentives there can still be geographic price differences. The TMV® for a 2013 Mercedes-Benz C250 Sport Sedan – for which Mercedes currently offers no cash incentives anywhere in the country – is almost $1600 more expensive in Houston and Chicago ($33,624) than it is in Philadelphia ($32,036).

Edmunds.com’s notes that its True Market Value® (TMV®) pricing is a powerful – and free — tool that informs car shoppers what other people in their area are paying for the same vehicles.

This piece of key information will ensure that with all of the web research car buyers do before they even set foot on a dealer’s lot to help them negotiate the price as well as how much their trade-in will be valued for.

Conversely, sellers can access Edmunds TMV® calculator to help determine the price of a used car they plan to sell privately. Edmunds.com displays the TMV® of a new car along with its invoice price (roughly what the dealer paid for it) and its manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP, also known as the “sticker price”).

Car shoppers can learn more car pricing tips and strategies at http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/how-to-use-tmv.html.

If you believe in “caveat emptor” that translates into “let the buyer beware” then arming yourself with more financial knowledge can never, ever hurt.

Happy Shopping.

Find the best used cars for all budgets: Consumer Reports

BY GERRY MILES

The people’s public opinion provider, Consumer Reports, has found a way for the public to help locate the best used cars – sedans, SUVs, and small cars from $10,000 or less and up to $25,000 on a budget in its Annual Auto Issue that’s available now.

Consumer Reports compiled a Best & Worst Used Cars list for model years 2003 – 2012.

Each vehicle had above average CR reliability scores and all came with electronic stability control as standard equipment.

“With so many choices, shopping for a used car can be overwhelming. Our report provides a much-needed cheat sheet that Americans can refer to for help getting the best and most reliable used car that fits their budget,” said Rik Paul, auto editor, Consumer Reports.

Consumer Reports worst used cars list includes 2003 to 2012 models that have had multiple years of much-worse-than-average overall reliability, according to CR’s Annual Auto Survey. Among the twenty models that made the list are the BMW 7 Series, the Ford Explorer (V6, 4WD), the Kia Sorento (V-6), and the Mini Cooper S.

Most gas/electric hybrid cars have shown superior reliability in the past decade. However, the Honda Civic Hybrid is an exception, according to Consumer Reports’ latest Annual Auto Survey. Almost one in five owners of the 2009 model year Civic Hybrid needed a replacement battery in CR’s 12-month survey period.

In the $15,000-$20,000 price range the following cars made Consumer Reports’ list of best used cars:

SMALL CARS: 2010-11 Toyota Prius and 2011-12 Hyundai Elantra (sedan)
At 44 mpg overall, the Prius delivers the best gas mileage of any non-plug-in, five-passenger vehicle. The 2010 redesign brought more room, better   brakes,  and sound but not agile handling.  For a more enjoyable driving experience, look for a Hyundai Elantra sedan.

SEDANS: 2011-12 Toyota Camry (4-cyl.) and 2006-07 Infiniti M
Expect impressive 26 to 27 mpg overall with the four-cylinder Camry in addition to a roomy cabin and superb reliability. If a powerful engine and luxurious interior are your passion, opt for the Infiniti M with the V-6.

SUVs: 2007-08 Honda Pilot and 2009 Mazda CX-9
The Pilot combines a roomy cabin, good driving dynamics, seating for eight, and respectable fuel    economy in a package that isn’t too big to fit in your garage. But road noise is a bit pronounced. The Mazda CX-9 is a more agile alternative with an even roomier third-row seat.