Category Archives: Honda

Honda Showcases Clarity Electric and Plug-in Hybrid

The Clarity fuel cell was a big achievement for Honda when the Japanese auto giant first unveiled it several years ago. However, the fuel Cell represented only a small portion of the Clarity’s full potential, and Honda has unveiled the final two members of the Clarity family under the bright lights of the New York International Auto Show, the Clarity Electric and the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid.

The Clarity PHEV is equipped with an ultra efficient 1.5 liter Atkinson cycle engine to generate electricity and directly power the front wheels in certain driving conditions. The engine is capable of delivering 181 horsepower and is paired with a lithium ion battery pack. Honda claims that the PHEV can be driven on all electric power up to 42 miles and achieve up to 42 mpg when the gasoline engine is running.

Meanwhile the Clarity Electric is solely powered by an electric motor that delivers 161 horsepower, and its battery can be fully charged in three hours or up to 80 percent in less than 30 minutes. Honda claims that the Clarity Electric is capable of achieving up to 111 MPGe but curiously its 25.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack is not that much bigger than the plug-in hybrid. This particular figure contributes to the Clarity Electric’s rather modest 80 mile driving range which is one of the lowest in the market and falls short of the Chevrolet Bolt and the Volkswagen e-Golf.

Honda claims that the Clarity Electric compensates for that initial disadvantage by being more spacious and luxurious than any other non-Tesla offering out on the market. It will be interesting to see if this will be enough to win over electric car buyers, but both models feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability as well as sustainable bio-fabric and plastic trim.

Honda revealed that both models are expected to start in the mid-$30,000 range before tax incentives but wheras the PHEV will roll out in all 50 states right out the gate, the Clarity Electric will initially only be available in California and Oregon before eventually rolling out in the remaining 48 states.

2017 Honda Civic Si Embraces Turbocharged Performance, Debuts In Slick Video

Building on the path laid out by its track honed sibling the 2017 Honda Civic Type R, Honda has revealed the missing link between the base Civic and the R, the 2017 Honda Civic Si via a video release earlier today.

A key item here is that the 2017 version is not as powerful as the one that preceded it, with the all new 1.5 liter four cylinder still producing the 205 horsepower that defined the previous generation Si. However, the addition of an all new turbocharger helps push overall torque to 192 lb-ft (a gain of 18 lb-ft) with the torque being available much lower in the rev band starting at 2100 rpm before reaching the 5000 rpm limit.

While these figures are a bit paltry when compared to many of its rivals, the Si has never been about raw power in the first place, and it is in other areas where the 2017 updates truly leave their mark. for instance, the suspension has been completely revamped and now features firmer springs as well as adaptive shocks and front lower control arms borrowed from the Type R. Wider tires also help the Si grip better, while an all new Sport button adjusts the suspension, steering, and throttle mapping to have a sportier feel.

 

 

With all these changes its good to know that the Civic Si still embraces the traditional manual transmission layout, with a six speed stick helping drivers have full control over each shift up and down the gears. Lastly a genuine mechanical limited slip differential helps bring power down to the front wheels without sacrificing agility and handling.

The exterior styling of the 2017 Honda Civic Si builds on the already aggressive lines seen on the Civic hatchback, and includes the familiar center mounted exhaust system and vent work . However, the rear bumper treatment depends on which body style is chosen, as will the spoiler type, with the coupe featuring a pedestal mounted wing, while the sedan gets a more discreet unit mounted directly to the trunk lid.

 

 

The interior of the Si is highlighted by heavily bolstered sports seats that feature embroidered Si logos as well as varied fabric material. The pedals are covered in aluminium, and red lighting accents the gauges, infotainment system, and buttons. In addition to its sporty backdrop, the cabin will also come well equipped with buyers being able to equip the Si with heated seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain sensing wipers, as well as a 7-inch touchscreen which will allow buyers to have full control of the 450 watt 10-speaker sound system. These goodies should help enhance its ability to be a legit daily driver choice, while also allowing it to be on par with other sport compact offerings.

Honda has not released official pricing for the 2017 Honda Civic Si, but look for the car to still be priced in the mid – $20,000 range with well equipped examples approaching $30,000. In the meantime, you can check out the 2017 Civic Si in its natural habitat in a brief video Honda added with its release below.

Honda Civic Si Torque Figure Revealed

With all the attention focused on the range topping Civic Type R, its easy to forget that the Japanese car maker is also preparing to unleash an updated Civic Si to appeal to budget minded enthusiasts. Honda has kept the bulk of the details under wraps so far, but it appears that this tight cloak of secrecy is beginning to unravel.

While it is currently unknown how much horsepower the next generation Civic Si will produce, an email that was sent to a prospective buyer has revealed the amount of torque that the upcoming model will produce. The message was posted on the CivicX forum last Thursday, and proclaims “The all new Civic Si features a turbocharged engine and 192 lb-ft of torque, making your everyday errands more exciting than ever.

If this figure is true, then the 1.5 liter turbocharged engine that will be powering the Si will be significantly less potent than the 2.0 liter turbocharged four cylinder that will be powering the Type R. For reference, the Type R’s engine will produce 295 lb-ft of torque. As a matter of fact, this figure is actually not that much higher than the 177 lb-ft of torque wielded by the Civic Hatchback Sport.

However, look for the Si to stand out from that model by offering more horsepower with early projections suggesting that it will have at least 200 horsepower versus the 180 horsepower that the Sport possesses.  This would also support Honda’s plans to formally revive its performance intentions, and create ample separation in performance numbers for each of its models.

Despite this relatively modest figure, 192 lb-ft is still an impressive number from a 1.5 liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, and it would also finally resolve the lack of torque that defined older iterations of the Si, which embraced higher rev limits and a pure naturally aspirated layout in terms of power delivery.

Honda Teases 2018 Odyssey With New Sketch

With Chevrolet’s recent announcement regarding the arrival of the 2018 Chevrolet Traverse, Honda has followed suit, and announced plans to debut the 2018 Odyssey minivan ahead of NAIAS.

In addition to its official announcement, Honda also released a teaser sketch that provides a glimpse at the new minivan. While some of the wilder elements such as the oversized rims will not make production, it does show that an evolutionary update is in store with the previous generation’s trademark “lightning bolt” window line and D-pillar making the transistion.

It also appears that the 2018 Odyssey will have a more sculpted body than before and benefit from a renewed focus on lines and curves. This would allow it to stand out against the blander Toyota Sienna, while also being on par with the strong selling Chrysler Pacifica minivan.

Honda elected to not release any photos of the interior, but expect the evolutionary theme to continue with a revised center stack. tweaked gauge cluster, as well as a new suite of convinence and safety features for all occupants.

Stay tuned to Autoinfoquest for our live coverage of the 2017 North American International Auto Show as well as the official debut of the 2018 Honda Odyssey on January 9th.

2017 Honda Civic Si Brings Turbocharged Performance To Vaunted Nameplate

2017 is shaping to be a big year for Honda’s performance aspirations. With the imminent arrival of the Type R, the company has unveiled the next chapter in its performance revival with the all new 2017 Civic Si.

 

 

Debuting in prototype form at a private event in Los Angeles, the 10th generation Civic Si features exterior styling that is bolder than prior generations, and also makes the Si a more serious contender at the same time. The width of the body is largely unchanged, but Honda designers added the front fascia and black grille from the Civic hatchback, and tweaked the rear bumper. A big spoiler also adorns the tail, and is paired nicely with the single hexagonal shaped exhaust tip.

A front splitter also makes its apperance and all Civic Si models feature trick 19-inch wheels which help complete the overall profile. A notable omission is the “i-VTEC” stickers which have become a staple of the model since the late 90’s. The healthy amounts of Si badges are in full attendance however, and are scattered through out the car.

 

 

Performance hardware has also been reinvented for the newest Si, and represents a seismic shift in Honda strategy. Once known for being one of the highest revving naturally aspirated powerplants money can buy, the 1.5 liter turbocharged engine focuses on providing more low end torque, and also balancing power delivery.

Honda did not formally reveal how much power it makes, but its safe to assume that it has not climbed much beyond the 205 horsepower figure produced by the current generation Si. A six speed manual is the sole transmission avalible, and sends the engine’s grunt to the front wheels with the help of a limited slip differential.

 

 

The interior of the Civic Si also recieves sporty touches and also includes a healthy dose of red accents (at least on this prototype.) The blood red hue also extends to the instrument panel, floor mats, contrast stitching, as well as the background for the touchscreen infotainment system. The Si exclusive seats promise to deliver better support, and feature a seat back stitched “Si” logo.

Meanwhile, drivers will be pleased with the aluminium shifter ball as well as the aluminium sport pedals. A sport mode next to the shifter presumably alters steering feel as well as suspension travel. Honda claims that the interior of this prototype “closely previews” the final production version, so expect minimal changes when the Si fully transistions into mass production.

It is unknown if the 2017 Civic Si will come in hatchback form, but look for a more practical sedan variant to join the fold later. Pricing has not been released either, but look for the model to arrive sometime next year.

 

Honda Shows Off Civic Hatchback

Following the unintended release of several leaked images as well as equally ill timed spy photos, Honda has released several new images of its upcoming 5 door offering.

The exterior styling is unsurprisingly identical to the hatchback concept car that made its debut earlier this year in Geneva. The wild styling of the concept has been toned down a 2017 Civic Hatchback bit, but the basic silhouette and profile of the car carries over largely unchanged.

Honda has not revealed any technical details about the Civic hatchback, but expect it to mirror its sedan cousin with base models using an all new 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that is good for 158 horsepower with higher trims being equipped with an all new 1.5 liter turbocharged four that brings direct injection and 174 horsepower to the festivities.

Performance junkies will be pleased to hear that a performance oriented R-Type is rumored to possibly join the lineup a little later after the launch of the standard model. This particular variant is rumored to be good for 340 horsepower, and would allow Honda to go toe to toe with the Ford Focus RS.

The 2017 Civic Hatchback will be landing in dealer showrooms next month with pricing information being released closer to its official launch. Curiously, European markets 2017 Civic Hatchback (traditionally a stronghold for hatchbacks) will have to wait until next year before buyers there can get their hands on one. This time frame suggests that the company expects the new model to have higher demand on our shores versus European countries, which is a bold bet especially considering how strong CUV sales are in the U.S.

Honda Considers S660 For U.S. Market

With Honda’s performance lineup currently in neutral (minus the Civic Si) it appears that Honda is considering the introduction of the S660 convertible to the U.S. market in a bid to jump start the brand’s performance image in this country.

Currently it is only for sale in Japan and is a part of the popular kei car segment in that country. The tiny roadster is powered by a 660cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine that is good for 63 horsepower and 77 lb-ft of torque. While these figures don’t necessarily make the S660 the fastest car in the world, it is very impressive for a vehicle that is much more compact than the majority of its droptop competition.

“We’re looking at it intently for North America” revealed Honda’s U.S. Executive VP John Mendel. “We want some spice in the lineup.”

Mendle did not elaborate further on his remarks, but look for the possible U.S. variant to feature a larger 1.0 liter four cylinder engine that would be capable of up to 127 horsepower. The model could also receive a name change, and be known tentatively as the the S1000 to allow it to channel its slot below the more capable S2000. The larger engine would also force the car to grow bigger slightly with the car being six inches longer and eight inches wider than its Japanese counterpart. The 1,800 curb weight would also increase slightly due to equipment and revisions needed to comply with stricter U.S. safety regulations, but the bigger engine and the additional length would allow the car to still boast a better power to weight ratio than the current S660.

Look for more information to gradually emerge on the future of this proposed model over the next few years, but any Honda that would be a serious contender for the iconic Mazda Miata has us intrigued and we look forward to possibly seeing it in the flesh at a future auto show.

Honda Exec Blasts Long Term Auto Loans, Calls Them “Stupid”

With the recent advent of long term auto loans, they have played a key role in helping the industry return to levels that have been unseen since the dawn of the 2008 financial crisis.  However in a statement released earlier this week, a top Honda official warned that the practice (which places buyers in payment plans that can last up to 84 months) could ultimately come back to hurt the industry in the near future.

Back in 2010, these types of loans only accounted for 10 percent of new car sales and targeted mainly lower income buyers that wanted to get into a vehicle at a relatively safe payment price. In 2014 the share of these loans drastically rose and accounted for roughly 25 percent of overall new car sales as more people sought to reduce their monthly payments. While the longer loans have certainly played a role in strengthening new car sales, the long term future of this progress could be threatened as more buyers default on their vehicle loans.

John Mendel  Honda’s U.S. Sales Chief revealed in a statement to Bloomberg at the North American International Auto Show “You’re ringing the bell on a new-car sale, but that customer is saddled — they’re stretched so thin.” He elaborated further stating extended-term loans “are stupid not just for us, but the entire industry.” Buyers use the long term buying plans as a temporary solution to offset  increasing vehicle prices. However the length of the plans could conspire to keep these very customers out of the market much longer. In addition it takes just as long to break even on a 84 month payment plan when compared to a 60 month deal. As a result, most buyers will have leftover negative equity when they are ready to make the switch to a newer model which could deep six any future deal and spell bad news for a dealerships financial operations.

Melinda Zabritski senior director of finance for the insurance company Experian offered her thoughts on the subject stating “It can have some negative impact on the market in creating a vicious cycle of negative equity if the consumer doesn’t hold onto their vehicle long enough.” “Something has to be done to keep the market affordable, or consumer buying is going to have to change and we’ll have to return to less frequent purchases.”

Mendel appears to be sticking to his guns when it comes to its sales loan options revealing that despite the prevalence of 60 and 84 month payment plans, Honda will still only offer customers the option of either a traditional 6-month loan, or a slightly longer 48 month loan. ‘They’re in equity, don’t put anymore money down, they get another car –we call it keys-to-keys.” “That’s the kind of experience that really ingrains loyalty”.

Acura NSX To Debut In Detroit, The Wait Is Almost Over

With the 2015 North American International Auto Show only a few weeks away, the long and plot twist filled development of the second generation Acura NSX will finally near its conclusion when the production version of this reborn classic makes its debut under the bright lights of Detroit’s Cobo Center.

The exterior styling of the NSX has been teased multiple times, but based on prior spy photos of prototypes out on the Nurburgring in recent months, it looks like it has not radically changed which should please fans that first fell in love with the futuristic themed styling when it originally debuted in concept form several years ago. While the video does obscure some of the NSX’s finer details, the front fascia is still a tasteful blend of futurism and bold aggression which is aimed at putting rivals such as the Audi R8 and the Ferrari 458 on notice when it comes to visually appealing to customers. The rear fascia also looks similar to the concepts though it appears the tail lights have been revamped for production duty.  Look for the interior to continue this modernistic blend of styles while also coddling occupants with world class luxury as well.

The NSX’s debut will help kick off what Executive President of Honda John Mendell has called “The Year of Honda” which is expected to be a major product offensive that will be launched by the company during the next few years. Revealing this plan in a statement to members of the media assembled in Detroit on Tuesday, Mendel claims that in addition to the NSX, Honda will begin development of the next generation Pilot SUV as well as a redesigned Honda Ridgeline with that particular move striking a puzzling chord with us given the Ridgeline’s relatively sluggish sales record, and lack of overall utility when viewed against competitors. In addition to those models, Honda will also begin work on small turbocharged engines that will eventually find their way into production vehicles.

As for Acura, the Asian luxury brand will debut a new and improved ILX later this year with Mendel revealing that a pair of updates are in the works for the RDX and MDX crossovers which will help them remain fresh and relevant in their respective segments. Overall it sounds like the coming year will be a very active and very busy time for Honda and the NSX will serve as a compelling glimpse into Honda’s future. In the meantime, Acura has released a short teaser video for the NSX which can be seen below.