Honda has always been at the forefront of automotive technology. They have continuously produced cars that raise the bar when it comes to an automobile that looks good, has low emissions, and is fun to drive while still being fuel efficient. This was because they refused to compromise on the company's beliefs. Lately, it seems as if Toyota has had more influence on Honda's cars than Honda themselves. Honda, in my opinion, is letting the "fun to drive" aspect take a back seat to building cars that they think the public wants.
What Honda was good at was creating demand, creating a niche. They did not cater to the public. Instead, they built the cars they wanted to build.
Maybe they're still doing that, but I only see the faintest glimmers of that in the current model lineup. I love the NSX for what it is, and there is no way I would rather have a ZO6 over one. Also, neither the Boxster nor the Z3 (I don't know much about the Z4) can provide the thrill that the S2000 can, especially not for the price. And, two years ago, no front wheel drive car being sold in America could hold a candle to what the Integra Type R offered. Even the 6th Gen Si was pretty cool. It was the first "high performance" Civic in years, and wearing the damn sexy Electron Blue Pearl I thought it was the best economy car in 1999.
I liked Hondas because they were lightweight, good on gas, and fun to drive. They're still good on gas, but they're becoming overweight, and I'm sorry to say that an '86 CRX Si would be more pulse-quickening than the new Si.
About the RSX-S. Personally, being the Civic and Sol driver that I am, I think it's an excellent replacement for the GSR. I can understand a lot of Integra owners being upset that their small, slightly-more-luxurious-than-a-Civic, sporty Honda wearing an "
" turned into a large, way-more-luxurious-than-a-Civic, decently quick Acura.
Honda still makes great cars. They're just great for slightly different reasons than they used to be. I would have no qualms against owning a new Honda for a daily driver, but for my next enthusiast-oriented ride, it will most likely not have a
on the front. Unless of course, Honda decides to take the lead in a race that they started.
Finally, camera obscura, I'm glad that you found Honda-Tech. It's, IMHO, the best Honda performance site out there. Still, I'm wondering slightly about your motive for entering this world of compact tuning. If you are into Hondas because you've heard that they're easy to work on, fun to drive, and fairly cheap to buy and maintain, then fine. That's why they're popular. But if you're into Hondas because they have the potential
to outrun a 5.0, then you're in it for the wrong reason. That's all my opinion of course. I think it's great that people are building 12-second street cars. However, I know of too many people that bought a Civic EX thinking they could outrun their friend's Camaro while stock.