If you have attended press days of any major international car show in recent years, you will have most likely have stumbled upon some executives (especially from Chinese firms) looking under, photographing, measuring and taking notes of other companies new vehicles.
We wouldn’t call it industrial espionage, but rather taking a good look at what the competition is planning to offer. A lesser-known fact is that carmakers also acquire and perform their own tests on their rivals’ vehicles, usually under secrecy, though, not all secrets remain unspoken for…
We recently learned from one of our sources that Acura was seen testing two renowned supercars at Honda Research Facility in Ohio, where the brand’s upcoming NSX hybrid sports car is currently being developed, and which is located right next to Honda’s Performance Manufacturing Center that will produce the model starting in 2015.
“They took the wraps off a white McLaren MP4-12C. This surprised me since when McLaren was developing the legendary F1 they were testing Honda NSXs,” our source told us. “They were also testing Audi R8s on a racetrack. It seems that the NSX is going to be a pretty cool car if they are using these.”
You don’t need to be an automotive expert to understand that the R8 and the MP4-12C were being evaluated as part of the development phase for the next generation NSX, but in regards to the McLaren model, we do wonder if its appearance has anything to do with Honda’s recent hook-up with the British company for the 2015 Formula One Championship.
The partnership calls for Honda being responsible for the development, manufacture and supply a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 with an energy recovery system, while McLaren will be in charge for the development and manufacture of the chassis, as well as the management of the new team named “McLaren Honda”.
We were also informed about Acura engineers looking at another car from our source, who told us, “a BMW 3 Series [was] completely taken apart” .