The Honda Mojo: It’s Not a Car

Civic Type R

Remember the 2012 Honda Civic? Of course not. It was the most disappointing Civic in modern history.

Consumer Reports famously dissed the car by revoking its “Recommended” status, while Car and Driver summarized the changes like this:

With the latest Civic, Honda has gambled that moving away from sportiness and towards quiet comfort will suit its buyers. Honda hasn’t hedged its bets into the boring realm of the Toyota Corolla, but it’s certainly an unadventurous effort. Aside from being quieter and more efficient, the new Civic doesn’t represent improvement as we define it. The Civic lacks the passion, soul, and entertaining driving dynamics of its predecessor. Mainstream buyers may not care, but enthusiasts surely will.

Honda, once known for sporty and fun-to-drive cars that provided reliability and fuel efficiency, had morphed into the latter while forgetting about the former.

Honda had lost its mojo.

The Detroit News recently posted an interview with Honda General Manager Jeff Conrad, which claims Honda’s mojo is finally back. There are three reasons for this:

1. Honda is back in F1 racing.

Honda dominated the F1 circuit in parts of the 1980s and 1990s, but gave up on its racing heritage in the years since. Is it just coincidence that those decades were some of Honda’s most exciting on the consumer side? The Honda/Acura NSX was born, the Honda CRX tore up the streets, and the Acura Legend was a favorite of street-racers everywhere. Without F1 Honda slowly slipped into a category best labeled as “boring and practical.”

Now that Honda’s back on the circuit, we should see some exciting performance injected back into the brand.

2. The 2016 NSX

Honda not only brought back the legendary NSX, it created something entirely new and has produced an honest-to-goodness midengine supercar. The new NSX could once again tip the supercar world on its nose with a twin-turbo V6 and three electric motors that combine for a total output of over 550 hp.

3. The Civic Type R

We could lament that this 306-horsepower mighty mite won’t come to the United States, or we can rejoice that Honda has built it. It’s the ultimate Civic, and officially makes up for that 2012 debacle that we’ve all but forgotten.

Now all we have to do is hope Honda brings back the S2000. I’m even okay if it has a new name. Honda Mojo, anyone?

Does Honda have its mojo back?


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