The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

22 May 2006

From out of nowhere

This morning's commute was punctuated by an unexpected sight: a Pontiac Solstice roadster. Inexplicably, its top was up; even more inexplicably, it bore special manufacturer's plates.

GM rep showing off the new toys for the dealers? I didn't get a look at the driver, but if ever there was a time to sell convertibles, this is it.

Still, this encounter wasn't as weird as one I had Saturday in Midwest City, at the intersection of 15th and Midwest Blvd. The encountee: a beautiful red Honda NSX. Of all the recent Japanese supercars that actually got imported to the States, the NSX was arguably the super-est.

But what's this? It was my understanding that the NSX was badged in North America as an Acura, assigning it to Honda's luxo division. But this one bore no Acura insignia, only the classic Honda "H".

I would have loved to ask the driver about this, but alas, we were going in different directions.

Posted at 7:34 AM to Driver's Seat

How interesting. Do you know that the Acura nameplate doesn't exist in Japan? It's all Honda. Similarly, there is no Lexus. It's Toyota from the humbles K-car to the grandest saloon. (They have doilies on the headrests)

(I drove a Honda Integra when I lived in Japan)

Posted by: Dan at 11:26 PM on 22 May 2006

Acura was created, I understand, because Honda, then regarded Stateside as a purveyor of inexpensive vehicles, had grave doubts about whether they could sell higher-buck models here under their own name. (Once it clicked, Toyota followed with Lexus, and Nissan with Infiniti; Mazda planned, but never managed to pull off, something called Amati.)

I am told that Toyota is trying to establish the Lexus name in Europe now.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:10 AM on 23 May 2006