With Edmunds reporting a
new 400+hp V8 is destined for the Acura
RL, we spoke to Acura
spokesman Mike Spencer at the 2008
New York Auto Show about the impact an eight cylinder engine might
have elsewhere in the company.
was reluctant to talk in much detail about potential future products
that have yet to be publicly announced. When the subject of the V8
engine was broached, Spencer coyly asked when it was coming. He did acknowledge
that Acura would like to have a car above the RL to compete with other
luxury brands, like Lexus and BMW, and an eight cylinder engine would
be a good fit. When asked to speculate on whether such an engine might
migrate over to the Honda side of the family, for vehicles such as
the Ridgeline pickup, Spencer politely declined.
Honda spokesman Chuck Schifsky was equally non-committal
but he did speak at more length about some of the issues surrounding
such a prospective powerplant. Schifsky said Honda is evaluating
a number of options for future vehicles, including both Acura and Honda
has previously announced that its upcoming sports car would have
a V10 engine. With the RL having a V6 it would be easy to slide a V8
into the lineup.
However, the RL just underwent a major refresh that debuted at last month's Chicago
Auto Show. Another rework of the RL is at least three years
away and there are no currently announced plans for a larger Acura
model. With gas prices on the rise, by the time a new car or engine
was ready for market, a larger more powerful engine might not make
sense. Honda has already spoken previously
about a diesel V6 for models such as the Ridgeline, Pilot and Odyssey.
With the success of the Acura RDX with
a turbocharged four cylinder engine, a similar possibility exists for
other larger vehicles.
Schifsky emphasized that Honda is evaluating all its options and no decisions
have been made at this point. The direction of the market and fuel prices
will definitely influence what they ultimately do. However diesels and
smaller displacement turbocharged gas engines seem a more likely scenario
for the Ridgeline than a V8.