Alan Gilmour, retired vice chairman and CFO at Ford, who was mentored by the Whiz Kids early in his career, credits Miller as well as fellow Whiz Kid Ed Lundy for placing a priority on personnel management at the company.
But are these updates enough to keep what is, in effect, an eight-year-old car competitive in an increasingly competitive market?
The heart of the Accord line is powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter four backed by a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This is the powertrain that will be found in most of the Accords sold at retail, the ones dealers push out the door every day wearing $199 monthly leases or 72 months of $300-per-month financing. A million or more Accords equipped like this will make their way onto American roads over the next several years before Honda even thinks about revising this powertrain. If you don’t wind up driving a car like this yourself, it’s likely someone in your immediate family will. Maybe even someone with whom you’re on speaking terms.
Short answer: pretty much everything. The powertrains are all new, the car has been completely redesigned, the infotainment system is brand new, and there is a mountain of new standard active safety technology. Also, the Accord’s two-door variant has passed beyond the veil, marking the final transit of the mass-market mid-size coupe. Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines now make up the Accord’s nonhybrid powertrain lineup, replacing a naturally aspirated four-cylinder and a V-6. A hybrid variant will join the rest of the family on dealer lots in early 2018, rounding out the new Accord’s lineup.
What you’re looking at is the rumored baby NSX that has been talked about among Honda fanatics for quite some time. We have bad news and good news about it: It’s not a real car, but you can drive it—at least virtually. The Honda Sports Vision Gran Turismo is a digitally rendered concept car made specifically for the latest edition of the Gran Turismo game for Playstation 4, called Gran Turismo Sport. It has us salivating over the possibility of a real-life Honda sports car in this same vein. A mid-engined two-door coupe with futuristic but not outlandish styling cues, the Sports Vision certainly shares some visual DNA with the current Acura NSX. Its low, angular front end is similar, as are the large air intakes aft of the doors. Although it doesn’t actually exist, Honda says that the Sports Vision Gran Turismo only weighs 1982 pounds thanks to several carbon-fiber bits. That featherweight construction makes the car’s hypothetical powertrain—a 404-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with VTEC mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission—particularly enticing, as it would give the car an highly impressive power-to-weight ratio. A tight two-seat cabin features an unconventionally shaped spaceship-like steering wheel and a minimalist dashboard with two climate-control knobs, a few toggle switches, a push-button shifter, and not much else.
But as they say, you don’t get something for nothing, and so it is here. To get the 575 to handle like a car half its size, the adaptive suspension is set up to be a little on the firm side. The result is an awkwardly inconsistent ride, with the 575 jittering over cracked road surfaces and the occasional expansion joint. Both the Mercedes-AMG S63 and BMW M760Li work far better as continent-crushing luxo-barges.
The QX50 will be the first Infiniti to get the new engine, which could also pave the way for a front-wheel-biased all-wheel-drive system to replace the rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive options on the current model. As previewed in the concept, it should also feature new semi-autonomous driving technologies too.
Step inside, press the bright red starter button and the supercharged V8 bursts into life with an intensity that is often missing from modern-day turbocharged engines. It’s a real brute of an engine that is absolutely brimming with character; at low speeds, you’re treated to a lovely V8 warble that's soon joined by a delicious, high-pitched wail from the supercharger as the revs climb. It’s an intoxicating soundtrack that is backed up by prodigious levels of performance.