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Archive for the ‘hatchback’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The Future of the BMW i8 is Still in Limbo

The BMW i8 is still making a good case as a desirable model. The debut of the facelifted i8 in Detroit comes a month after the i8 Roadster showed up in Los Angeles. But just because the electric sports coupé remains relevant today, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be around in the not-so-distant future. There are ongoing discussions in Bavaria over the fate of the i8, and there’s growing sentiment that the coupé will end up becoming a one-generation wonder.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728595
“At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3.”

At this point, BMW has yet to make a concrete decision on the i8’s fate, as well as that of the i3. According to Autocar, BMW believes that both models have served their purpose in this world. In the case of the i3, it was to show that the company can develop an electric car. The i8 has also achieved its purpose, which was for BMW to showcase its abilities in marrying performance and electrification into one package. The i3 and i8 both succeeded in their respective objectives, leaving Bimmer execs to ponder what the future holds for both models.

“We’re still deciding [about] the i8,” BMW i boss Robert Irlinger told the publication. “We see a market for new kinds of sports cars. Whatever it’s called, or if it’s a new kind of sports car, is still in discussion.”

There is the possibility that the i8 becomes a long-standing model for BMW. On the other hand, it’s equally plausible that the electric coupé becomes a legacy model in the vein of the BMW M1.


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728636
“Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S.”

It’s the same story with the i3, though, one that will be determined more by how popular it remains in the coming years. Sales of the electric hatchback have tapered off in recent years, culminating in a less-than-stellar 2017 sales year when only 6,276 units of the i3 were sold in the U.S. That’s a significant drop from the 7,625 i3 units BMW sold the year before.

If that trend continues, the i3 could be living on borrowed time, where it could join the i8 in BMW’s retirement facility.

References

BMW i8


BMW Debuts “New” i8 Coupe and the First i8 Roadster - image 748136

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i9 Coupe.


2018 BMW i8 Roadster - image 748122

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW i8 Roadster.

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728625

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.


2015 BMW i8 - image 522680

Read our full review on the current 2017 BMW i8.

PostHeaderIcon You Can Already Drive The Cool Hyundai Veloster N in Forza Motorsport 7

Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Hyundai Veloster N is the first high-performance vehicle that the Korean brand will bring to the U.S. But it won’t become available in American showrooms until the fourth quarter of 2018. However, you can already drive the beefed-up hatchback, alongside the Veloster Turbo model, in Forza Motorsport 7 starting January 16.


“Both cars have joined the official roster of drivable vehicles in the game for Xbox and Windows 10 as part of a free downloadable content pack”

Both cars have joined the official roster of drivable vehicles in the game for Xbox and Windows 10 as part of a free downloadable content pack. As with all cars in Forza Motorsport 7, once the Veloster N is in your garage, you can customize it with new wheels, powertrain and suspension upgrades, bespoke tunes, and unique paint schemes and racing liveries. Additional Veloster-related in-game features, including Rivals events, will be unveiled in the future.

Unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N follows in the footsteps of the i30 N with aerodynamic and design upgrades on the outside and a new engine under the hood. The Hatchback packs a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 275 horsepower and 260 pound-feet and uses a six-speed manual transmission, a fully independent suspension, and a performance braking system. The non-N version gets a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle unit with 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet in base guise and the previous 2.0-liter turbo with 201 horses and 195 pound-feet in its Turbo version.

References

Hyundai Veloster


Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019! - image 758651

Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019!


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758625

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe

The Detroit Auto Show played host to a wide number of debuts and concept vehicles. One car, though, stood out, not only because of its appearance but because of its involvement in one of this year’s biggest blockbuster movies. The car is a 2019 Hyundai Veloster. It’s impossible to miss because it showed up in Detroit dressed in a shiny purple exterior with hot rod flame graphics all over it. More importantly, this particular Veloster will play a role in Marvel Studio’s Ant-Man and the Wasp, which hits theaters in July this year.


Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe
- image 758986
“This type of cross-promotional partnership has done wonders for Audi and Acura in the past”

It’s not that uncommon for automakers to find their cars in any of Marvel’s films. This type of cross-promotional partnership has done wonders for Audi and Acura in the past. Now it looks like Hyundai’s getting its turn in the spotlight, and I can’t think of a better car to get that shine than the new Hyundai Veloster.

There are probably better Hyundai models to have this role, but the Veloster is the right model to use because the car’s target consumer base — young people with an affinity for excitement — fits right into the same demographic that Marvel traditionally captures in any of its blockbuster movies. The Marvel Cinematic Universe and its growing catalog of movies and shows have become rich environments for automakers looking to attach their brands to large audiences and some of the worlds’ most popular pop-culture icons. It’s a perfect fit for the Hyundai Veloster.

As far as the Veloster’s involvement is concerned, neither Hyundai nor Marvel have given any indication beyond the former saying that the Veloster will prove its “capabilities in serving as the ultimate escape vehicle.” The description doesn’t say much in the way of specifics, but it does hint that the hot hatch will be used in the movie, perhaps by Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), in some kind of chase sequence.


Ant-Man and the Wasp Veloster Proves Hyundai Deserves a Place in the Marvel Universe
- image 758990
“The Veloster is the right model to use because the car’s target consumer base — young people with an affinity for excitement”

Whatever the case is, the Hyundai Veloster’s involvement in one of the biggest movies this year is a huge advertising coup for the Korean automaker. Audi, in particular, has reaped the benefits of having a lot of its models, most notably the R8, enjoy prominent screen time in the MCU. Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi America, told Automotive News in 2016 that the German automaker’s presence in the MCU contributed to “30 percent increase in the brand’s awareness and opinion metrics” since the R8 first turned up in 2008’s Iron Man.

Now it’s Hyundai’s turn to leverage that opportunity for the new Veloster.


References

Hyundai Veloster


Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019! - image 758651

Hyundai Veloster Brings N Performance to U.S. for 2019!


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758625

Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What’s with the Lancer Evo Face?

Launched back in 2011, the Veloster quickly turned from a rather exotic-looking hatchback into the unfortunate, forgotten child of the Hyundai family. The coupe-style three-door gained very few updates during its first generation and there were plenty of rumors that Hyundai was thinking about giving it the axe. But the Koreans eventually decided to keep the nameplate alive brought the redesigned, second-generation model at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show.

Although far from revolutionary, the Veloster is a fresh take on the design, having borrowed the company’s recent styling language with sportier cues. The front fascia boasts the biggest changes, with more angular headlamps, a larger grille with honeycomb mesh, and an aggressive lower bumper. But while it’s definitely appealing to look at, it reminds me a bit too much of the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. I know, they’re far from identical, but the narrow top grille, and angular headlamps that become slimmer toward the center and the way the hood meets with the nose makes me thing Mitsubishi when I look at it.

Continue reading for the full story.

New Tech, Same Turbo Engine


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758599
“The new infotainment system features standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay”

Fortunately, the rear still has that authentic Veloster vibe to it and the diffuser and center exhaust on the Turbo model gives it a menacing stance. The asymmetrical layout with two doors on the passenger side was carried over.

The interior is also brand-new and looks modern and fresh (although I must say I still like the first-gen V-shaped center stack and dashboard). The new infotainment system with the seven-inch display features standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the options list includes SiriusXM Radio and next-gen Blue Link LTE-powered connectivity. The optional eight-inch display includes all of the above plus HD radio, smartphone integration, and an Infinity premium audio system. A heads-up display system is also available.


Hyundai Veloster Gets Much-Needed Redesign, but What's with the Lancer Evo Face? - image 758622
“Two engines are offered, starting with a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-pot rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque”

Two engines are offered, starting with a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-pot rated at 147 horsepower and 132 pound-feet of torque. It might not sound like much, but it’s a 15-horsepower and 12-pound-foot increase over the outgoing 1.6-liter mill. More powerful comes from the turbocharge, 1.6-liter GDI unit with 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet. If it’s sounds familiar, it’s because I’m talking about the same engine in the outgoing model. A bit disappointing, don’t you think? However, Hyndai says that the new Veloster will have better handling. And the bigger news is that we’re getting a higher performance N model in the U.S.

References

Hyundai Veloster


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon 2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs

The Mazda3 has been around since 2003, but the current version debuted for the 2014 model year. Thankfully, Mazda hasn’t let it trudge through the last four years unchanged. Small updates each year have kept it fresh. The same is true for the 2018 model year, which is exactly why I wanted to test the latest version. Parked in my driveway is a 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring coated in Soul Red Metallic and equipped with the six-speed automatic and the well-equipped Premium Package.

Like before, the Grand Touring trim is the highest of the Mazda3 range, and when combined with the Premium Package, offers some pretty nice features, creature comforts, and a strikingly classy ambiance for well under $30,000. But before I dive into my subjective thoughts and impressions, I wanted to cover the objective stats and specs of this Japanese hatchback.

Continue reading for more information.

Exterior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757897

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door is a compact hatchback with a small footprint. With a total length of 180 inches, the 3 will fit just about anywhere. Yet, thanks to its wheelbase of 106.3 inches and track of 61 inches, it has a stable ride at highway speeds and around corners. Best of all, the car is pretty light at only 3,098 pounds. That means its 184-horsepower four-cylinder has less to move. It also helps with fuel economy, too.

Wheelbase (inches) 106.3
Length (inches)
w/License Plate Holder
180.3
Width (inches) w/o Body Side Protector 70.7
Height, unladen (inches) 57.3
Track front/rear (inches) 61.2/61.4
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,098

Interior Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757919

As compact as the Mazda3’s exterior is, its interior is impressively spacious. Front occupants have a good amount of room, with 42.2 inches of legroom and 38.6 inches of headroom. And despite the car’s track being only 61 inches wide, the front occupants enjoy 57.2 inches of shoulder room.

Rear passengers have a bit less room, though, measuring 35.8 inches in legroom, 37.6 inches of headroom, and 54.4 inches of shoulder room. Still, the back seat is just fine for kids and will easily accommodate two adults on anything shorter than a road trip.

The 5-Door’s advantage is cargo room. There are 20.2 cubic-feet of cargo room behind the second row and 47.1 cubic feet of room with the 60/40-split bench folded flat.

Headroom, front/rear without Moonroof (inches) 38.6/37.6
Headroom, front/rear with Moonroof (inches) 37.6/37.5
Leg Room, front/rear (inches) 42.2/35.8
Shoulder Room, front/rear (inches) 57.2/54.4
Hip Room, front/rear (inches) 55.5/53.5
EPA Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 96.4
EPA Cargo Volume (cubic feet) 20.2
EPA Cargo Volume with rear seats down, (cubic feet) 47.1
EPA Total Volume (cubic feet) 116.6

Drivetrain Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757901

While the Mazda3 comes standard with a 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, the Touring and Grand Touring trims come with the more powerful 2.5-liter SkyActive four. The engine makes 184 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and 185 pound-feet of torque at only 3,250 rpm. A silky smooth six-speed manual comes standard, but the optional six-speed automatic transmission is available.

The sprint to 60 mph takes only 6.8 seconds, and its top speed is listed at 130 mph. Fuel economy is slightly more impressive, though not class-leading. The EPA estimates the Mazda3 5-Door with the automatic at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. Staying with the manual transmission reduces each figure my one mpg.

Engine Type-SKYACTIV-G 2.5L DOHC
Horsepower 184 HP @ 5,700 RPM
Torque 185 @ 3,250 RPM
Transmission SKYACTIV-MT 6-speed manual
Optional Trans SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic
Fuel economy 25 / 34 / 29 (Manual trans)
Fuel economy 26 / 35 / 30 (Automatic trans)
Top Speed 130 mph

Pricing Specs


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757894

The 2018 Mazda3 5-Door starts at $19,345. Comparatively speaking, that’s a reasonable price. The Volkswagen Golf starts at $20,715, the Honda Civic Hatchback starts at $19,730, the Hyundai Elantra GT starts at $20,235, and the Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback starts at $22,195.

My Grand Touring tester with the automatic transmission carries a base price of $24,945. Several á la carte options add cost, but also add convenience and style. These items include the $75 cargo mat, the $300 Soul Red Paint, the $100 rear bumper guard, the $125 scuff plates and door sill trim plates, and the big one – the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package.

The Premium Equipment Package adds navigation, paddle shifters, adaptive front lighting, smart brake support, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, auto-dim rearview mirror with HomeLink, a heated steering wheel, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, and lane keep assist. Needless to say, that $1,600 is well spent.

Sport MT SKYACTIV-G 2.0L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $19,345
Sport AT Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $20,395
Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $20,840
Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $21,890
Grand Touring MT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed manual transmission $23,895
Grand Touring AT SKYACTIV-G 2.5L Engine with SkyActiv-MT 6-Speed automatic transmission $24,945

References

Mazda3


2018 Mazda3 Grand Touring Quick Specs - image 757890

The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Hyundai Keeps Teasing The New Veloster

First hitting North American shores back in 2011, the Veloster is Hyundai’s sporty little three-door hatchback, offering a nice combination of fun and practicality in a modestly affordable package. Now, there’s an updated model just over the horizon and Hyundai is teasing it big time, with the latest refresh shown in a brief 15-second clip composed of quick shots of the front and rear panned against a shadowy background.

Although brief, the video does seem to reveal that the 2019 model year won’t be a huge break from what we’ve seen before, with the updates mostly centered on bringing the Veloster’s aesthetics up to par with the rest of the automaker’s current lineup. There’s still a three-door body style, with one door for the driver and two for the passenger side, plus a low stance and bubbly profile. However, Hyundai does mention that the A-pillars were moved rearwards to give the car a longer look.

Draped over the body panels, we find a blazing orange paint job, although black was also added to the top portions of the car, suggesting a two-tone paint scheme above the window line. In front, the fascia gains a sharper headlight design, with lower daytime running light accents set in LEDs. The central intake uses a hexagonal shape, and there’s a lower splitter element acting as underspoiler for the chin. Smaller side intakes were added to the bumper corners, and while they don’t look functional, they still lend the thing a cool design element thanks to their upward-swinging wing pieces.

In the corners, the wheels use an aggressive turbine design, while higher up, there are decently flared fenders. There’s also a few character lines stretching up into the profile, while black offsets are used for the side skirts and side-view mirrors.

The rear end gets a chunky bumper design with a center-mounted dual-tip exhaust, while the hatch gets a roof spoiler. The rear bumper also comes with a diffuser element for added aero points. Finally, a new taillight design wraps up into the flanks.

In terms of the oily details, expect a front-mounted 1.6-liter engine, turbocharged to produce 201 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Once again, muscle is routed exclusively to the front axle.

Look for a full reveal of the 2019 model year Hyundai Veloster next week at the 2018 Detroit Motor Show.

References

Hyundai Veloster


2016 Hyundai Veloster - image 755389

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai Veloster.


All-New 2019 Hyundai Veloster Spotted in the Wild - image 753506

2019 Hyundai Veloster caught testing


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


maker logos - image 744957

Read more Hyundai news.

PostHeaderIcon The Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Gives New Meaning to Affordable Luxury

Mazda has made a name for itself by offering affordable cars and crossovers with high-class styling and impressively put-together interiors. I’m reminded of that thanks to the 2018 Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring parked in my driveway this week. It’s fitted with just about every bell a whistle Mazda offers, which is just about everything you’d want in a sub-$30,000 hatchback.

As for the interior quality, the Grand Touring trim includes some rather soft leather seats with three-way heating and a heated steering wheel. The door panels and center console enjoy the same soft leather, making elbows happy. What isn’t leather is made from high-quality plastics. Piano black plastic surrounds the gearshift and door panel switches, while the dash, steering wheel, and infotainment controls are made from a low-sheen, soft touch material. A few metal accents are scattered through the cabin for a nice touch.

The Grand Touring trim, especially when combined with the $1,600 Premium Equipment Package, brings a ton if active and passive safety items, too. My tester has Adaptive Front lighting that follows the steering angle, radar cruise control, traffic sign recognition, automatic high-beams, lane departure warning, blind spot warning, and lane keep assist. The Mazda3 will even stop itself in low-speed traffic situations thanks to the Smart Brake Support.

But the Mazda3 is more than just a nice interior, safety systems, and a sculpted body. The driving experience feels more high end than its price would suggest. The steering is nicely weighted and the 2.5-liter SkyActiv’s 184 horsepower feels more like 200, especially in sport mode. The six-speed automatic transmission is well sorted and makes the most of the engine’s 185 pound-feet of torque. Holistically, the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring offers tons of amenities with a price that’s well placed in its class.

As for cost, The Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring starts at $24,945. My tester stickers at $28,020, which includes several options and the $875 destination fee.

We will be covering the Mazda3 5-Door Grand Touring this week, so post your questions and we’ll answer them.

References

Mazda3


2016 - 2018 Mazda3 - image 639252

Read our full review on the 2018 Mazda3.


maker logos - image 741756

Read more Mazda news.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Insight

Introduced in late 1999, the Honda Insight was the first production to feature the company’s then-new Integrated Motor Assist system. It was also the first hybrid launched in North America, arriving in showrooms seven months before the Toyota Prius. Production ended in 2006, after only 17,020 units built, with plans to roll out a replacement in 2009. The second-gen model arrived on time, but this time as a five-door hatchback. The Insight was discontinued for the second time in 2014, mostly due to slow sales. Come 2018 and Honda wants to revive the nameplate with a modern design and drivetrain, and a pre-production prototype is set to break cover at the Detroit Auto Show.

“The Honda Insight is anticipated to receive fuel economy ratings competitive with the best hybrids in the segment, with styling that will have universal appeal inside and out and best-in-class passenger volume,” said Henio Arcangeli Jr., senior vice resident of American Honda. The redesigned Insight will join four other electrified Hondas, including the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, Electric, and Fuel Cell, and the Fit EV. Most specs are still being kept under wraps, but Honda did unveil a few details about the car’s design and technology. Let’s find out more about it in the review below. And remember to stay tuned for an update from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Insight.

Exterior

  • Employs Honda’s new styling language
  • New, sleek fastback design
  • Muscular fenders
  • LED lights
  • Production-ready body

2019 Honda Insight - image 757611
“The side view is a bit more generic than the exotic-looking Clarity”

The new Insight was designed around the company’s recent styling language, so it looks pretty familiar, especially when compared to the new Clarity and the Accord. The angular headlamps, the large grille that’s narrower at the bottom, and the aggressive bumper vents are features we can find on several other Honda models. On the other hand, the grille has a unique design with the “flying wing” insert placed at the top and running into the headlamps.

The side view is a bit more generic than the exotic-looking Clarity, in the sense that it doesn’t have the sharp beltline running through the door handles. However, the Insight benefits from significantly more muscular fenders front and rear and a swoopy beltline that makes it stand out.


2019 Honda Insight - image 753494
“Honda went with a fastback sedan design for the new Insight”

The rear is a significant departure from the previous generations. While both its predecessors had hatchback configurations, Honda went with a fastback sedan design for the new Insight. The roof become sleek as it descends toward the rear fascia, while the decklid is rather short. But unlike most modern fastbacks, there’s no tailgate.

The rear fascia itself looks modern and fresh. The taillights are large and have sizable LED strips, but become narrower on the trunk lid. The small spoiler integrated above adds a bit of character. The rear bumper is as simple as they get, but the black insert with chrome trim in the lower area gives the Insight a sportier feel. Overall, it’s an exciting design that integrates the Insight into current Honda lineup.

Interior

  • Clean dashboard design
  • 8-inch infotainment screen
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Premium features
  • Optional leather seats
  • Optional Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • New driver-assist features

2019 Honda Insight - image 753491
“The interior looks familiar and shares some features with existing Honda models”

High-resolution photos of the cabin aren’t yet available, but Honda did release a couple of renderings. Much like the exterior, the interior looks familiar and shares some features with existing Honda models, but it does have a few unique styling cues. The dashboard is particularly interesting, with the A/C vents in the center stack and on the passenger side connected by a slim black and chrome strip. Not only it gives the cabin a premium look, but it also gives it a more organic, two-tier layout. The eight-inch infotainment screen is position just below the center A/C vents, with more controls underneath. The configuration is clean and uncluttered and follows current trends.

The steering wheel has a somewhat flat bottom and a few controls for both hands. The digital, seven-inch instrument cluster looks modern too and includes features specific to hybrid models.


2019 Honda Insight - image 753492
“The longer wheelbase will make the new sedan the roomiest Insight yet”

Honda says that the new Insight will have many premium features. However, things perforated leather seating, Apple CarPlay, and Andoid Auto will be optional. It also promises smartphone-like features and functionality plus customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts for the new infotainment system. The Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates should make updating the unit a breeze.

Tech-wise, it will also include Honda LaneWatch on EX and above trims and Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistance technologies as standard equipment. The latter will add Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and new Traffic Sign Recognition.

The longer wheelbase will also make the new sedan the roomiest Insight yet. Honda claims it will provide class-leading passenger space and a full-size trunk thanks to the batteries being located under the rear seats. 60/40 split rear seats are available on the options list.

Drivetrain

  • 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine
  • Lithium-ion battery pack
  • New electric motor
  • Combined mileage of 50 mpg
  • Class-leading output

2019 Honda Insight - image 753496
“Honda claims that the Insight will deliver class-leading power”

There aren’t many drivetrain details to run by as of this writing, but Honda claims that the Insight will deliver class-leading power. This isn’t hard to achieve though, as the competition isn’t overly powerful. While the Toyota Prius has a total system output of 121 horsepower, the Chevy Volt provides 149 horses and the Hyundai Ioniq cranks out 139 horsepower.

As for fuel economy, Honda anticipates a combined mileage of 50 mpg. This figure puts it below the Prius’ 56 mpg and the Ioniq’s 58 mpg, but above the Volt’s 46 mpg.

Motivation is provided by Honda’s third-gen two-motor hybrid system, which includes a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and lithium-ion battery pack. Specs aren’t yet available, but I’ll be back with an update from the 2018 Detroit Auto Show.

Prices


2019 Honda Insight - image 753497

Pricing is still a mystery right now and it’s been too long since Honda had an Insight model in showroom to attempt an estimate. But it’s safe to assume that it won’t be significantly more expensive than the Toyota Prius and the Hyundai Ioniq. With the two priced from $23,475 and $22,200, respectively, the Honda Insight should fetch less than $25,000 before incentives and options.

Competition

Toyota Prius


2016 Toyota Prius - image 738361

Introduced for the 2016 model year, the latest-generation Toyota Prius is already almost three years old. And unlike the Insight, it still sports a unique design that sets it apart from any other Toyota out there. And it’s still a hatchback by design. The interior looks pretty high-tech too, and the centered instrument cluster enhances this feeling. The Prius uses the same 1.8-liter, Atkinson-cycle as its predecessor, but the unit is now more efficient thanks to numerous upgrades. It also features a new exhaust gas recirculation system, an active grille shutter, and reduced friction. The four-cylinder is paired with a new electric motor and a battery pack. The gas mill cranks out 95 horsepower and 105 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor generates 71 horses and 120 pound-feet. Total system output is rated at 121 horsepower. Fuel efficiency has increased by 10 percent in the new model, which returns up to 58 mpg city, 53 mpg highway, and 56 mpg combined. Pricing starts at $23,475.

Read our full story on the 2017 Toyota Prius.

Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid


2017 Hyundai Ioniq - image 737980

The Ioniq was born out of Hyundai’s desire to give the Prius a run for its money. And, on paper, it seems that the Korean brand did a good job. Design-wise, the Ioniq isn’t as “weird” as the Prius, but it has a similar notchback layout and plenty of sporty cues. It looks surprisingly exciting for a hybrid, especially when compared to the old Prius and Insight. Inside, you’ll find a modern layout with soft touch surfaces, a decently large infotainment display, and loads of tech. Under the hood, the Ioniq brings together a 1.6-liter Kappa GDi gasoline engine with an electric motor and a six-speed, dual-clutch transmission (unlike the Prius, which uses a CVT). The gas engine is rated at 104 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque, while the electric motor adds an extra 43 horses. Total output is rated at 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet, more than you get from the Toyota Prius. As far as efficiency goes, the Ioniq can return up to 54 mpg in the city. Pricing starts at $22,000, making it the most affordable proposition on this list.

Read our full review of the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq.

Chevrolet Volt


2016 Chevrolet Volt - image 610080

Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the second-generation Volt gaining a much more attractive exterior design and a surprisingly premium interior with standard rear-vision camera and a heap of safety features, including lane keep assist with lane departure warning, side blind zone alert with lane change alert, rear cross traffic alert, front automatic braking, and advanced park assist with front and rear park assist. However, the Volt is a bit different in how its drivetrain operates because it uses a small gasoline engine as a range-extending generator. The electric motors generate 149 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque and return an all-electric range of 50 miles. When the battery is depleted, the 101-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine kicks in to extend the range. Overall mileage, including fully charged batteries and a full tank of fuel, is estimated at an impressive 420 miles. But there is a downside to the Volt: it’s significantly more expensive than the competition, retailing from $33,220 before Government rebates. However, if you’re eligible for the full incentive, the sticker for a base model can drop to as low as $26,000.

Read our full story on the 2017 Chevrolet Volt.

Conclusion


2019 Honda Insight - image 757609

Needless to say, Honda’s strategy for the Insight has been rather awkward up until now. While Toyota built the Prius continuously since its introduction in 1997, Honda discontinued the Insight twice. But the Japanese hybrid returned with massive improvements the first time and it seems that the second revival is again a significant departure from its predecessor. It’s too early to draw a conclusion with the production model still a few months (if not a year) away, but the Detroit Auto Show should provide more information on this Toyota Prius competitor. Stay tuned!

  • Leave it
    • * Still a prototype
    • * Tough competition from Toyota and Hyundai

References

Honda Insight


2000 - 2006 Honda Insight - image 88100

Read our full review on the 2000-2006 Honda Insight.


2010 Honda Insight - image 280299

Read our full review on the 2010 Honda Insight.


maker logos - image 753286

Read more Detroit Auto Show news.


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Read more Honda news.

PostHeaderIcon BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer

BMW is giving its MPV duo, the 2 Series Tourer and Gran Tourer, the traditional mid-life refresh, adding in a few select tweaks to the exterior styling and features, as well as new tech in the cabin and small improvements to the powertrain. The people movers won’t see sales here in the U.S., but will continue in the U.K., Germany, and China as soon as March of this year.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


For those of you who may be unaware, the BMW 2 Series isn’t relegated to the coupe and convertible we get here in the states. Across the pond, Bimmer also sells the nameplate in Active Tourer guise with a five-seater MPV, or alternatively, as the longer-wheelbase 2 Series Gran Tourer packing a seven-seater interior. The duo are framed as a combination of expanded interior space and practicality, plus a good deal of comfort and engaging driving qualities to boot. BMW made the move to the MPV segment in 2014 as a means to combat the Mercedes-Benz B-Class, and so far, it’s been doing pretty well, selling some 380,000 units as of the end of 2017.

Now, the Bavarians are divulging details on refreshed models that offer updates on par with Bimmer’s traditional mid-cycle refresh.


BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer - image 756805
“Outside, we find headlight housings that are chunky and solid looking, and come equipped with optional adaptive LED lighting elements.”

Outside, we find headlight housings that are chunky and solid looking, and come equipped with optional adaptive LED lighting elements, plus an adaptive “dazzle free” feature. There’s also LED elements in the horizontal fog lights, as well. The nose of the two models uses a tweaked front air dam and rear apron, while the sporty M models are more aggressive thanks to pronounced creases that lend the whole thing a much meaner expression. Higher up, the usual kidney grille intakes are now larger, while in the rear, the twin tailpipes get a larger diameter, once again adding a little extra spice to the whole package (yes, we know these MPVs aren’t exactly tire-shredding track monsters, but they aren’t total snore-fests when it comes to the styling deparment, either).

The body panels are now offered in two new paint options, including Jucaro Beige and Sunset Orange. In the corners, buyers can choose between six new and different styles for the wheels, with sizing between 17 and 19 inches in diameter. These are mostly composed of complicated multi-spoke designs, with the simplest of the bunch being a split five-spoke look applied to the 766 M option.

Moving inside the cabin, there’s a new instrument display located behind the steering wheel, offering a simplified two-gauge layout that shows road speed on the left and engine rpm on the right. Complementing the gauges is a new shifter in the center console. The sitters get new covers focused on enhancing comfort, plus there’s Sensatec and cloth upholstery in two different color schemes. If you’re feeling saucy, you can also get yours in attractive mocha leather.

BMW ConnectedDrive is once again included, and arrives with updated features. Adaptive cruise control and traffic jam assist lead the list of optional driver tech, while further options include a navigation system with a central screen measured between 6.5-inches and 8.8-inches. Voice control is tossed in as well.


BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer - image 756818
“Meanwhile, under the hood, the powerplant options get minor updates focused primarily on enhancing efficiency. However, in addition to a 5-percent fuel mileage increase, there's a few extra ponies and pound-feet for motivation as well.”

Meanwhile, under the hood, the powerplant options get minor updates focused primarily on enhancing efficiency. However, in addition to a 5-percent fuel mileage increase, there’s a few extra ponies and pound-feet for motivation as well. The drive type will once again continue to be FWD. Both diesel and gas options head the list, while updates include tweaks to the crankshaft, heat management systems, valve train, and turbocharger, all in the name of increasing efficiency. Power levels range between 109 horsepower and 231 horsepower for the Active Tourer, while the Gran Tourer ranges between 109 horsepower to 192 horsepower. There’s also a plug-in hybrid offering 28 miles of all-electric range and 224 horsepower.

Finally, there are two automatic transmission options, including either a seven-speed or an eight-speed. There’s also a six-speed manual on the table, depending on your trim of choice.


BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer - image 756803

All told, the MPVs sell quite well in Germany, the U.K., and China, but won’t see dealers in the U.S. However, interested buyers overseas will have a shot at one as soon as March of this year. Pricing is expected to slot in at around 26,000 pounds in the U.K., or $35,114 at current exchange rates (1/10/2018).

References

BMW 2 Series


BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer - image 756837

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 2 Series Active Tourer.


BMW Shows Off Its Updated 2 Series Tourer And Gran Tourer - image 756827

Read our full review on the 2019 BMW 2 Series Gran Tourer.


maker logos - image 741745

Read more BMW news.

PostHeaderIcon Mercedes-Benz Previews New A-Class With Winter Testing: Video

As those of us in the Mid West and on the East Coast gear up for yet another major winter storm, it’s important to know that your ride can take the freezing temperatures and won’t leave you out in the cold. As such, all of the major automakers out there undergo extensive testing when it comes to cold weather proofing their models, and Mercedes-Benz is no different, bringing their products to Sweden before they hit the dealership floor. The above-featured 35-second clip is a quick glimpse at what goes into prep for oodles of the white stuff, including a little sideways drift action on a giant snowy skid pad, grip on an iced-over road, and extreme temperature tests that pelt the car with winds as frigid as -30 degrees Celsius (-22 degrees Fahrenheit). It’s a quick little video, but in addition to the winter testing stuff, it also affords us an opportunity to check out the new A-Class. The car in question is decked out in swirly camo, which means it’s a little tricky to pick out all the details, but more eagle-eyed readers can use it as an opportunity to preview the latest model year. It’s also worth noting that the car in the vid is the five-door hatchback body style, which won’t arrive on these shores (we’ll get the four-door sedan instead).

Are you excited for the new A-Class? Are you prepared for the impending storms? Let us know in the comments, and check out our recent “Getting Ready For Winter With FWD” article.


References

Mercedes-Benz A-Class


2018 Mercedes-Benz A-Class - image 719286

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class.


maker logos - image 743625

Read more Mercedes-Benz news.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Type R – Driven (Again)

The Honda Civic Type R has quite a legacy to its name, though none of it happened on American soil. Thankfully, that’s changed for 2017 as Honda has finally brought the Type R Stateside. In fact, its turbocharged engine is made in Ohio before being shipped to Wiltshire, England for assembly in the car. That’s right, this Japanese hot hatch has an American heart and is born in Britain. How’s that for multi-cultural? But more than that, the Type R’s appearance on U.S. soil means we finally have the chance to compare it to its fiercest rivals – the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R.

As it turns out, I’ve driven each of the competitors. Each are immensely fun and worthy of loads of respect over their engineering and outright impressive performance. The Type R joins those ranks with the same impressive level of technical wizardry and high-tech manufacturing techniques. I’ll dive into some of that, along with comparing it to the RS, Subi, and Golf R. It will be a fun ride, so read along.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


Exterior

  • Unique bodywork creates downforce
  • 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels
  • Sticky 245/30R Continental SportContact 6 tires

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754482
“The Type R spent many hours in wind tunnel testing during its development and everything (mostly) serves a purpose.”

The Civic Type R is definitely a hot hatch by appearance. Honda has attached things like a chin splitter, hood scoop, rocker extensions, wider fenders, and that massive rear wing. Oh, and that’s in addition to the regular spoiler and large faux air intakes that carries over from the regular Civic Hatchback. Needless to say, the Type R is aggressive. Thankfully, the car’s bite matches its bark and the styling isn’t just for looks.

The Type R spent many hours in wind tunnel testing during its development. Everything (mostly) serves a purpose. The grille is separated into three sections; the large lower portion directs air to the turbochargers’ intercooler, the slot below the Honda logo directs air to the radiator, and the slot above the logo feeds the engine a cool blast of fresh air. There’s also the hood scoop. No, it doesn’t have some cool ram-air effect, but rather sends air behind the transversely mounted engine to both keep temperatures in check and to relieve air pressure under the hood.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754488
“The Type R is not a top-speed machine gunning for 150+ mph records, but every little bit of traction is welcomed when blasting down a racetrack.”

Other aero bits like the chin splitter and fins below the fog lights help generate downforce, while small vortex generators on the roof help direct air over the tall wing. The Type R is not a top-speed machine gunning for 150+ mph records, but every little bit of traction is welcomed when blasting down a racetrack.

Part of the Type R’s prodigious handling prowess comes from its wheel and tire combination. It rolls on lightweight 20-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/30R Continental SportContact 6 summer performance tires. For those not experts in tire sizes, 30-series sidewalls are about as tall as a pancake. It offers very little deflection and give – a necessity for that riding-on-rails feeling the Type R exhibits. The downside is, well, very little deflection and give. That makes the ride rather harsh on rough, broken pavement. It also makes those thin-spoked wheels a prime target for potholes. Still, the tradeoff is worth it; the Type R is a handling monster. But more on that later. As for looks, the wheel and tire combination is fantastic. I really appreciate the red ring the rim’s outer edge and how it matches the red accent running along the faux carbon fiber body kit.

Interior

  • Honda-developed front bucket seats
  • Red accents throughout
  • Suede stitching for contrast
  • 7.0-inch Infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
  • Seating for four life-sized adults
  • 25.7/46.2 cubic feet of cargo room

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754508
“Compared to its rivals, the Type R takes second only to the Volkswagen Golf R.”

Honda engineers, designers, and bean counters had to devise an interior that added that something special while maintaining as many parts from the standard Civic as possible. In my view, they accomplished this compromise rather well. The Type R gets unique, Honda-built racing buckets up front, some faux carbon fiber accenting, a unique steering wheel, yards of suede and contrast stitching, and of course, splashes of red everywhere.

Not only are the seats red, but the steering wheel is accented in red, the dash has red hues, the seatbelts are red – heck, even the shift pattern engraved into the stainless steel knob is red. It goes a long way in adding that sporty feel to a cabin that is otherwise found in your sister’s Civic Touring. Don’t get me wrong; the Civic-y parts of the Type R are still relatively high quality and in no way detract from the Type R experience. In fact, I rather like the Type R’s interior. Compared to its rivals, the Type R takes second only to the Volkswagen Golf R – a car that’s known for its impressive Audi-like fineness and tasteful design. On the other hand, the Subaru’s interior feels dated while the Ford’s feels made from oily yet scratchy plastic found on public transportation.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754535
“There is 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded”

The other handy carry0ver from the standard Civic Hatchback is its cargo volume. There is 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded. That outdoes the Focus RS and Golf R with the seats in place, though the Golf R offers 52.7 cubic feet with its seats folded. The Civic also has a sliding shade hides cargo from prying eyes and glaring sunbeams. Since the Type R spent Christmas at my house, it spent time hauling presents back and forth to the in-law’s house. Aside from the massive rolling toolbox Santa brought my way, the Type R transported everything just fine.

Honda’s infotainment system offers plenty of functionality, too. It comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with satellite radio and GPS navigation. These come standard, of course, being that the Type R is a mon0-spec car based on the nicely equipped Civic Touring trim. Sadly, Honda left out the Civic Touring’s standard Honda Sensing safety suite and power-adjustable front seats in order to save on weight. While I’m ecstatic about the 3,100-pound curb weight, the absence of blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic detection, and other features is a bit disappointing. Then again, the large side mirrors and surprisingly open rear visibility meant never really needing the driving aids.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754517
“Unfortunately, the Civic’s 7.0-inch infotainment system hasn’t received that update”

Other features I miss is lumbar adjustment on the front seats and a knob for the radio volume. The Honda-developed racing buckets are great, but added adjustability would be welcomed. The missing knob has already been addressed in other Honda products since most everybody complained about the touch-sensitive slider. Unfortunately, the Civic’s 7.0-inch infotainment system hasn’t received that update. Redundant steering wheel controls help alleviate the issue.

It’s also worth pointing out I never had connection issue with the satellite radio during my week-long evaluation. That wasn’t the case during the Type R launch event in western Washington State. Apparently the mountainous terrain played havoc with the radio and GPS. Here in Central Florida where the tallest objects are pine trees, music flowed freely from the 540-watt sound system’s 12 speakers.

And speaking of speakers, the system includes all the standard connectivity methods. There is Bluetooth, along with a USB port hidden in a lower level below the center stack near the footwell. A pass-through with cord snaps allows for excellent management of cables, too. A second USB port is hidden deep below the cup holders in the center console.

Drivetrain

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  • 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm
  • 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Limited-slip differentials
  • 5.4 seconds to 60 mph
  • 22 mpg city / 28 mpg hwy / 25 mpg comb

2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754504
“A high-tech, all-aluminum 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharger capable of producing 23.2 pounds of boost”

Behind that aggressive front bodywork is high-tech, all-aluminum 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a turbocharger capable of producing 23.2 pounds of boost. That’s impressive, especially for an automaker relatively new to the turbocharger game. What isn’t new is Honda’s legendary VTEC system. This valvetrain design modulates the phasing on its dual overhead camshafts to change the amount of valve lift and duration seamlessly through the rev range. The result is a torque-rich lower register and a powerful upper range. The numbers don’t lie: it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.

The engine also features direct fuel injection for precise management of fuel flow into each cylinder. A lightweight crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons, along with sodium-filled exhaust valve stems, contribute to the engine’s quick-revving nature. Blip the throttle and the tach shoots from idle to its 7,000-rpm redline in a blink.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754503
“The numbers don’t lie: it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm.”

The engine dumps its exhaust into a single pipe that runs though the transmission tunnel past the rear subframe. Once there, the pipe splits into three sections. The outer pipes feed mufflers while the center pipe feeds a resonator. That’s why there are three exhaust tips on the Type R. At higher revs, the outer mufflers handle the exhaust, while the center resonator is designed for low to mid-level revs. The resonator helps reduce the booming noises typically heard from inside the cabin of a four-cylinder car.

The Type R comes standard with one transmission: a six-speed manual. To the delight and enjoyment of enthusiasts and owners everywhere, the gearbox is super sweet to operate with short throws and snickety engagements into each notch. The clutch is a joy, too, with a light action and a predictable engagement point. It makes driving the Type R around town completely trouble-free. Combine that with the automatic rev matching, and the Type R’s gearbox ranks very high in the halls of legendary manual transmissions.

Unlike its competition, power to sent only to the Type R’s front wheels. While that might seem like a cheap cop-out on Honda’s part, the Type R’s light curb weight and nimble handling prove Honda engineers made a conscious decision to keep the Type R’s legacy of front-wheel drive. Honda does stack its deck by using a limited-slip differential.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754499
“Also a key player in putting power to the ground is the Type R’s dual-axis front suspension”

Also a key player in putting power to the ground is the Type R’s dual-axis front suspension. Basically, the steering knuckle is mounted further away from the MacPherson strut with its upper and lower ball joints creating a parallel line with the strut. By either physics or black magic, this reduces torque steer, making the car easier to handle without white-knuckling the steering wheel.

Performance wise, the Type R does lag slightly behind the Focus RS and WRX STI in straight-line runs. The Focus RS hits 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and the Subi does it quicker at 4.6 seconds. The Type R needs roughly 5.4 seconds. There are reports of some folks pulling off a 4.9-second run, however.

When not being driven like it’s stolen, the Type R returns relatively decent fuel economy. The EPA estimates it will achieve 22 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined. During my week of evaluation, I averaged right at 23.1 mpg combined over roughly 300 miles of very mixed driving without trying for good economy. I have no doubt the Civic Type R is capable of hitting 25 mpg combined when driven respectably.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine 2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
Horsepower 306 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 295 pound-feet @ 2,500 – 4,500 rpm
Max RPM 7,000
Valvetrain DOHC; i-VTEC
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Max Boost 23.2 PSI
Fuel System Direct injection; Premium Unleaded
Fuel Economy 22 city / 28 hwy / 25 comb

Behind the Wheel


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754506
“The Type R has three drive modes that drastically alter its behavior.”

Few cars I’ve driven exhibit the same kind of tossability and power as the Type R. It’s like driving a Mazda MX-5 Miata with an extra 151 horsepower and 245-series summer performance tires. The Type R has three drive modes that drastically alter its behavior. Comfort mode softens the adaptive dampers, dulls the throttle response, and eases the steering effort for a somewhat relaxed driving experience. Sport mode, the default mode upon start-up, heightens all three parameters. This makes the Civic Type R feel poised and capable of taking on twisty roads without being too high-strung for its own good.

For the racetrack, there’s +R mode. It dials the dampers, throttle, and steering to 11, making the Type R feel invincible. No, it doesn’t somehow make its 306 horsepower feel like the Focus RS’ 350, but +R mode makes the Honda’s horses run like a scalded dog.

Honda’s heavily bolstered front buckets seats do a magnificent job at holding bottoms in place. Their suede and mesh coverings grip rather well. The steering wheel is also fun to hold, though it’s surprisingly free of extra-thick grips, which is fine by me.


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“All told, the Type R is a well-balanced machine that is a terror at the track and a babe on the boulevard”

Also surprising is the view through the back glass. That tall wing does not impede the driver’s sight lines of traffic. Thin pillars and a tall roof also contribute to excellent views of the outside world. And as mentioned, those large side mirrors do a fine job.

All told, the Type R is a well-balanced machine that is a terror at the track and a babe on the boulevard. It is surprisingly capable of doing both, though it’s not without compromise. Those thin sidewalls on the Continental tires and lack of thick sound deadening material inside the cabin contribute to loads of road noise, especially on rough pavement. And despite the center resonator’s best efforts, the exhaust does drone somewhat when the engine is under load at lower revs. Last but not least, Honda decided to bury the HVAC controls within the infotainment screen. You’ve got to press the climate button below the 7.0-inch screen to load the HVAC menu screen. Only here is the vent fan speed and most of the auxiliary functions like defrost and vent location controllable. Thankfully, the dual-zone temperature knobs are within easy reach of the front occupants. The two passengers in the back seat made do with no vents at all.

Pricing


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The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a mono-spec car, meaning it only comes one way and every one has the same features. The customer’s only choice is the exterior color and what add-on accessories the dealership will install. That means pricing is pretty simple – at least for the most part. Honda is charging $33,900 for the Type R, plus an $875 destination fee, bringing the total price to $34,775.

Unfortunately, Honda dealerships have reportedly been charging exorbitant amounts of mark-up. I’ve heard some dealers adding as much as $20,000 to the price! Thankfully, those instances seem to be isolated and most Type Rs are going for at or slightly above the MSRP.

The Competition

2017 Ford Focus RS


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The Ford Focus RS is the current horsepower and whiz-bang tech champ of this hot-hatch group. Its aesthetics are, in my view, a bit more restrained yet still appropriate for a 350-horsepower car. It offers optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, which are the current go-to choice for supercars the world over. They are wrapped around lightweight alloy wheels which cover big Brembo brakes. Inside, Ford didn’t really do much to update the interior. The front seats are from Recaro, the steering wheel has a flat bottom and thick grips, and there is an extra gauge pod perched on the dashboard. Beyond that, the RS’s cabin looks like any rental-grade Focus – and that’s too bad.

What the Focus RS lacks in interior swag, it more than makes up for with power. A 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder generates 350 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 350 pound-feet of torque at only 3,200 rpm. The turbocharged engine mates to a six-speed manual transmission that is then connected to a sophisticated AWD system. The AWD offers a rear-bias that makes the car more fun to toss around. Ford was even crazy enough to install a “drift mode,” which allows the car to fling sidewise like Ken Block himself is at the wheel.

Pricing is a bit steep for the RS. For 2017, Ford is charging $36,120. However, that doesn’t include the sticky Michelin tires, eight-way power driver’s seat, navigation, or several other comfort and convenience features. Check all the option boxes and the price will shoot to $41,550, just like the Focus RS reviewed here.

2018 Subaru WRX STI


2018 Subaru WRX STI – Driven - image 722048

Okay, so the Subaru WRX STi isn’t a hatchback, but it used to be. That legacy still keep this sedan barking up the same tree as the Focus RS, VW Golf R, and the new Civic Type R. And like those others, the WRS STI is based on an everyday car found basically everywhere. In the Subaru’s case, it’s the Impreza. However, there’s a catch. The 2018 Impreza is completely new, having undergone a generational update for the 2017 model year. The WRX STI and its middle-ground brother, the WRX, are sadly based on the previous generation Impreza. Nevertheless, both WRX version received a slight update for 2018, getting a more angular front end, larger wheels fitted over larger brakes, and a few updates to the interior.

Most of the greasy bits are still the same, however. Power comes from a 2.5-liter turbocharged Boxer four-cylinder making 305 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 290 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. A six-speed manual is the only gearbox. Subaru swapped in a new electrical center differential over the older mechanical one found in previous models. It’s sais to improve smoothness and responsiveness in the AWD drivetrain. It still allows for manual adjustment of the differential’s lock-up.

Pricing for the 2018 Subaru WRX STI starts at $36,095. Subaru does offer different trim levels with the WRX STI. The one seen here is a Limited trim and commands $40,895.

2016 Volkswagen Golf R


2016 Volswagen Golf R - Driven - image 692469

The VW Golf R is definitely the sleeper of the bunch. Its exterior isn’t cladded with big aero bits or low-hanging chin splitters. Rather, the Golf R looks rather mature. That’s certainly welcomed after spending a week with each of the other contenders. Less people point and stare, which for me, is a good thing. Those who like their ego stroked might not feel the same way. Inside, the maturity level continues. Aside from the somewhat extra-bolstered front seats and flat-bottom steering wheel, the Golf R doesn’t screen hot-hatch. Rather, it lets its engine do all the talking.

And talk it will! The Golf R comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 292 horsepower at 5,400 rpm and 280 pound-feet of torque at only 1,800 rpm and hold a flat torque curve to 5,500 rpm. While the numbers suggest the Golf R is underpowered, it certainly doesn’t feel that way from behind the wheel. The VW is also the only contender here to offer a dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s a quick-shifting bugger, but the standard six-speed manual gearbox is the enthusiasts choice.

Pricing for the 2016 Golf R I last reviewed started at $35,650, but carried an as-tested price of $39,375 thanks to options like the $820 DSG gearbox.

Conclusion


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754483

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R was clearly designed to compete against some fantastic hardware without copying their recipe. Honda ditched the idea of AWD or having exorbitant levels of horsepower from an overworked engine. Rather, the Type R is a focused, lightweight car with an engine that should hold up well past 150,000 miles. That’s no knock on the Ford, Subaru, or Volkswagen’s reliability, but there is something to be said for Honda’s reputation for trouble-free service.

From behind the wheel, the Type R feels extremely sorted and well built while offering an exhilarating drive that’s more than capable of landing drivers in jail. Its three drive modes allow for a range of attitudes, while its large trunk makes it usable for everyday tasks and grocery store runs.

The Type R could still use some more sound insulation to reduce tire noise, a volume knob for the radio, and physical HVAC controls that aren’t buried in the infotainment system. Still, the Type R is a fantastic daily driver and even better backroad burner. Honda definitely did its homework when developing the car and pricing it below its competitors. As for which one to buy, it boils down to personal preference. All four hot hatches offer outstanding performance and everyday livability, but go about that mission in different ways with different personalities. Take your pick and you won’t be wrong, but the Honda definitely makes a very strong case for itself.

  • Leave it
    • * Styling too aggressvie for some
    • * Needs a more fun exhuast note
    • * Loses all-weather capability had by classmates

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754506

2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754485

Here’s How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754504

The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754489

Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R’s Suspension


2017 Honda Civic Type R - Driven (Again) - image 754481

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Chinese Court Seizes Assets Of Faraday Future Financier

Jia Yueting, the ambitious founder of LeEco and a primary financial partner of Los Angeles-based electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future, just had his remaining assets seized in China. The move comes as yet another blow to Jia’s wide-ranging collection of business interests around the world.

Continue reading for the full story.

The Full Story


Chinese Court Seizes Assets Of Faraday Future Financier - image 700025
“Jia's assets were seized following a claim from Huafu Securities to enforce a previous court order, and it is said Jia still owes roughly 202 million yuan to Huafu Securities”

Jia Yueting’s legal difficulties just seem to be multiplying, After receiving an order to return to his homeland of China to settle the huge debts accrued by his various companies, Bloomberg reports that Beijing First Intermediate People’s Courts seized all of Jia’s remaining assets, including some $200,000 in bank deposits. The court is also looking into two properties Jia owns in Beijing, as well as his shares in the publicly traded Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corporation, part of the LeEco corporate umbrella.

LeEco is also the primary financial partner of Faraday Future, the EV startup that put out concepts like the FF 91.


Chinese Court Seizes Assets Of Faraday Future Financier - image 700040
“Faraday Future managed to cobble together some $1 billion from unnamed investors.”

Jia’s assets were seized following a claim from Huafu Securities to enforce a previous court order, and it is said Jia still owes roughly 202 million yuan (nearly $31 million at current exchange rates 12/28/2017) to Huafu Securities.

Jia’s current whereabouts are
unknown, although he was said to be part of a recent announcement which stated that the beleaguered Faraday Future managed to cobble together some $1 billion from unnamed investors.

Jia’s business interests started with streaming Internet media, but very quickly expanded to include mobile phones, TVs, and of course, electric cars.

References


Chinese Court Seizes Assets Of Faraday Future Financier - image 700035

Read our full review on the 2018 Faraday Future FF 91.

PostHeaderIcon Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket

At this point, just about everyone knows about the big coolant-burning problem with the Ford Focus RS. As it turns out, it’s not a problem with the engine at all, but really a problem with the head gasket used to seal the mating surface between the cylinder head and the engine block. One Focus RS owner had been digging into the problem for quite some time, reporting this problem to a very long thread on FocusRS.org forums. Upon getting his engine apart found that his head gasket was, indeed, blown. But, it’s not the fault of the gasket itself, as the gasket wasn’t designed for the Focus RS – it was designed for the Eco Boost Mustang, as evidenced by the part number cast into the metal portion of the gasket itself.

Keep reading to learn more about this breaking development

Your Focus RS has a bad Head Gasket? Nope.. It’s the Wrong Gasket


The images you see in the tweet above were originally posted on FocusRS.org and later investigated by Bozi Tatarevic. Upon noticing that the part number was likely that of the gasket for the 2.3-liter found in the EcoBoost Mustang. After reaching out to a parts supplier, who has requested to remain anonymous, it was actually confirmed that that part number was marked as originally being built for the EcoBoost:

And, this is where things get interesting because it’s commonly believed that the EcoBoost Mustang and the Focus RS have the same engine crammed under the hood. That, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of differences, including different materials used in the composition of the block and cylinder heads. Despite the fact that the engines are the same displacement, and even look somewhat similar at some angles, they are actually unique to one another, which means the coolant passages between the block and cylinder head of the RS are different than those in the engine of the EcoBoost. As such, the incorrect gasket in the Focus RS causes a coolant blockage. This ends up resulting in a hotspot within that part of the engine or cylinder head. The coolant eventually boils and is forcefully pushed out between the mating surface – blowing the head gasket.


Focus RS Coolant Problem Finally Solved: Ford Used the Wrong Head Gasket - image 664711
“The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things”

As for how this happened remains unclear. It could have been a simple mistake in the rush to get production going. After all, there was a problem with Ford hitting its delivery targets and a ton of drama around it; mistakes happen when you rush. The problem is limited to early models and maybe 3 percent of the entire production run, so it only affects a handful of models in the grand scheme of things. The chances are that someone grabbed the wrong crate in a hurry and, since the engines are so similar, nobody noticed the problem.

Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair, but now you really have to ask: Have the hot spots created by the lack of coolant flow pose any risk to the engine down the road? Is there a higher chance of engine or component failure? An official word from Ford or an official fix has yet to be announced, but with all of this new information coming to light, you can bet the blue oval with start investigating. Ford will likely continue to replace the head gaskets, only under recall instead of warranty, but with any luck, customers will find themselves getting all new engines – it would be an easy way to ensure there won’t be any other problems as a result of this seemingly minor but catastrophic production mistake.


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664713
“Ford, so far, has been sending customers that have fallen victim to this problem back to the dealer for warranty repair”

What do you make of all of this? Are you one of Ford’s customers that are dealing with this problem? If so, leave us a comment below telling us what you expect the official fix to be.

References

Ford Focus RS


2016 Ford Focus RS - image 664705

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus RS.


maker logos - image 744958

Read more Ford news.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel

A
Rallye Red 2017 Honda Civic Type R has graced my driveway for the last week. Visible from my office window, the hot hatch just begs to be driven – and driven hard. It’s a Nürburgring-tuned monster with an appetite for the Ford Focus RS, Subaru WRX STI, and Volkswagen Golf R, yet is rather livable doing everyday, mundane trips around town. Honda somehow engineered the Type R to do both, though the phrase about being a jack of all trade and master of none definitely applies.

The Type R is based on the Civic Hatchback but receives extra structural adhesives for a more rigid chassis. It also gets a unique suspension system, complete with adaptive dampers, stiffer spring rates, and thicker anti-roll bars. And of course, the Type R has its own powertrain – a souped-up version of the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Here it makes 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 pound-feet of torque from 2,500 up to 4,500 rpm. Honda chose to forego a complex and heavy all-wheel-drive system like the Ford, Subaru, and Volkswagen; instead, going with a front-wheel drive setup that allows for an extremely respectable curb weight of only 3,100 pounds. It’s this combination of light weight and rigidity that make the Type R what it is. And now that you know Honda’s recipe, here’s how the final product tastes.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Behind the Wheel


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“The Civic’s dash is visually interesting and most controls are logically arranged.”

Before diving into driving impressions, let’s cover Honda’s work with the 10th-generation Civic’s interior and the Type R improvements. First, the Civic’s dash is visually interesting and most controls are logically arranged. The gauges are easy to read at a glance, the steering wheel controls are mostly intuitive, and the infotainment system’s menus are easy to breeze through.

There are a few complaints, though. The gauge cluster could offer more vehicle information like individual tire pressure, and the five-way controller on the steering wheel confusingly operates both the radio stations and the gauge cluster info. Second, the HVAC system’s controls are hidden in a menu within the infotainment. Yeah, there’s a big “climate” button right under the screen, but the system often takes a few seconds to bring up the controls. These include the fan speed and blower location – two things that are commonly used. Beyond that, thankfully there are few drawbacks.


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“It offers tons of cubby spots and clever spaces for things”

Scoring points for handiness, the Civic offers tons of cubby spots and clever spaces for things. The center armrest slides rearward for access to more cup holders, a third cupholder resides at the console’s bottom – perfect for those Trenta-sized drinks at Starbucks. Ahead of the shifter is a perfect spot for cell phones. The cubby includes a pass-through to a lower level where a USB port and 12-volt power plug are located. This makes managing cords a simple task.

Honda made a big deal about its sporty front seats at the Type R launch event I attended. They aren’t Recaro or Sparco branded, but are actually designed and built in-house. The seats are obviously heavily bolstered, which makes tossing the Type R into corners all the more fun. They do lack a lumbar adjustment, which I discovered after about three hours behind the wheel, does lead to a groaning. My pregnant wife also bemoaned them after about five minutes. Still, they are mostly very comfortable and certainly fit the Type R’s persona.


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754514
“There is a respectable amount of legroom and headroom for life-size adults”

Rear seat comfort is surprisingly good, too. There is a respectable amount of legroom and headroom for life-size adults. Unfortunately, the center seat and folding armrest were cut in the name of weight savings, making inboard elbows lonesome and the Type R a four-person car.

Of course, the Type R is still a hatchback, so it offers the same cargo volume as the standard Civic Hatch. That equates to 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded. A retractable cargo shade keeps prying eyes at bay.

Driving Impressions


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754482
“A light steering effort is needed in Comfort, while a heavy hand is needed in +R mode, which helps control the car’s dartiness at higher speeds”

The Civic Type R rides on adaptive dampers that correlate to three drive modes. Comfort, naturally, provides the smoothest ride, while Sport tightens things up a bit. Racetracks will find +R mode is best, with the suspension at its firmest. The drive modes also modulate the responsiveness of the steering and throttle. A light steering effort is needed in Comfort, while a heavy hand is needed in +R mode, which helps control the car’s dartiness at higher speeds. The low-effort setting makes for a more pleasurable drive around town. The opposite is true for the throttle; comfort mode has a heavy throttle that’s less sensitive, while +R mode only requires a light touch to send the 2.0-liter turbo-four skyrocketing to its 7,000-rpm redline. Sport mode splits the difference quite well.

Around town, Sport mode (which is the default mode) is all that’s needed. The engine willingly sings through its wide torque range between 2,500 and 4,500 rpm and up to its peak horsepower of 306 located at 6,500 rpm. The steering is incredibly direct and will send the Type R carving through a corner as if it were on rails. That’s no hyperbole, either. The Type R only exhibits understeer at the very limit, which is nearly unobtainable on the street. I was only able to find front-end plow when barreling into a corner at The Ridge Motorsports Park at Honda’s drive event back in August. Even then, the effect is minimal.


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754498
“The brakes offer just the right amount of initial grip to avoid sudden jerks, yet will rip your face off if pressed hard”

The big Brembo brakes are just as good. Around town, the brakes offer just the right amount of initial grip to avoid sudden jerks, yet will rip your face off if pressed hard. Honda gave the Type R 13.8-inch, drilled front rotors over the standard Civic’s 11.1-inch discs. Out back are Honda-branded calipers, but they are mounted on 12.0-inch rotors compared to the standard 10.2-inch units. The front bumper includes hidden inlets that dump cool air right onto the brakes. The result is immense levels of stopping power, full stop after full stop. During the track event, the brakes showed no signs of fade even after back-to-back laps over a four-hour timeframe. Obviously, hard braking around town will never touch the brakes full capabilities.

That VTEC, Yo!


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754503
“The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder’s head and block are made from aluminum and its crankshaft is forged from ultra-lightweight steel”

While it an entire car to speed around a track, the engine is undeniably the focus point. Honda certainly focused on the Type R’s powerplant. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder’s head and block are made from aluminum and its crankshaft is forged from ultra-lightweight steel. The connecting rods and pistons are extremely light, too, along with the single-mass flywheel. Honda reinforced the main bearing caps for added strength. The result is an engine with super quick revs up to its 7,000-rpm redline and with its first major tune-up scheduled at 100,000 miles.

The VTEC system works to keep the engine making peak power and torque, regardless of the rev. The dual overhead camshafts phase to open the exhaust valves early during lower engine speeds, feeding the turbo more quickly. This eliminates turbo lag and helps generate that amazing 23.2 pounds of boost. Direct fuel injection also contributes to precise control of the engine’s operations.

2.0-liter Turbocharged Four-Cylinder
Horsepower 306 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque 295 pound-feet @ 2,500 – 4,500 rpm
Max RPM 7,000
Valvetrain DOHC; i-VTEC
Compression Ratio 9.8:1
Max Boost 23.2 PSI
Fuel System Direct injection; Premium Unleaded
Fuel Economy 22 city / 28 hwy / 25 comb

2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754518
“The only transmission available with the Civic Type R is a silky smooth six-speed manual”

The only transmission available with the Civic Type R is a silky smooth six-speed manual. Its short throws and light clutch make for quick shifts that anyone can nail. The gearbox also features automatic rev matching, which blips the throttle head of a downshift. It can be turned off, but even when on, the system doesn’t detract from the enthusiast’s driving experience.

A limited-slip differential keeps the Type R from being a one-wheel-wonder. It keeps both front tires fighting for grip rather than just overpowering a single tire that’s lost traction. It might seem like overkill on a four-cylinder, front-wheel drive hatchback, but the limited-slip is honestly needed, even with the massive 245/30R20 Continental SportContact 6 summer performance tires. And thankfully the rear tires are the same size, allowing for a tire rotation. That’ll probably be needed pretty soon as the Contis only have a tread wear rating of 240.

Final Thoughts


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754483

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is a helluva machine. Sure, it’s fantastic fun on a racetrack, but it’s also extremely livable on the daily. Perhaps the Volkswagen Golf R is better suited for daily driving, but the Type R is miles more fun. The Civic’s downfalls of a noisy interior, awkward HVAC controls, and a somewhat stiff ride thanks to the thin tire sidewalls are a fair trade-off for the soulful way the thing drives. Even a trip to the store is exciting, not to mention all the attention that gravitates toward the expressive bodywork.

Stick around for more content on the Honda Civic Type R. More is on the way!.

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754485

Here’s How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754504

The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754489

Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R’s Suspension


2017 Honda Civic Type R: Life Behind the Wheel - image 754481

Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

PostHeaderIcon Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver

At its heart, the Honda Civic Type R is still a Civic hatchback. That’s the key. It still offers 25.7 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, an impressive 46.2 cubic feet with them folded, and will comfortably hold two adults when not. The Civic Type R’s only downfall compared to its more pedestrian brother is its missing second-row middle seat. Everything else (size wise) remains unchanged through the Type R-ification.

What’s that mean? The 306-horsepower hot hatch makes a good daily driver. There’s room for a trip to IKEA, car seats fit just fine, and all the niceties like dual-zone climate controls abound. But there is more to being a good daily driver than just having room for people and their stuff. Factors like ride quality, sound levels, seat comfort, and fuel economy are also at play. Keep reading for the details on how these factors, well… factor into the Civic Type R’s daily livability.

Continue reading for more on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

A Hot Hatch for Everyday Hooning


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754488
“The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good "car."”

The Civic Type R is a lightweight, sharply tuned, track monster, but its precision handling doesn’t impede its ability at being a good “car.” The Type R comes with adaptive dampers at all four corners. These change the ride characteristics in correlation with the three drive modes: Comfort, Sport, and +R. The names are obvious as to their intention, and the Type R defaults into the middle ground of Sport mode upon startup. This is a hot hatch, after all, and Honda figures its owners will expect a spirited drive setting each time they hop in.

Toggling down a switch near the gear shifter moves the car into Comfort mode. This not only slightly softens the suspension but also loosens up the steering effort and decreases the throttle’s twitchiness. It’s akin to waking up early without coffee; it’s there and willing, but without the edginess of that caffeine rush.


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754502
“The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined”

It’s here in Comfort model that the Type R feels most livable. The throttle takes more effort to spur high revs from the 2.0-liter turbo-four, which when combined with smooth shifts on the notchy yet buttery six-speed manual’s short-throw shifter and light clutch pedal, provide a calming atmosphere. The shifter and clutch combo are very forgiving and free of jerkiness or driveline lash. The rev matching system makes downshifting child’s play, especially thanks to the 2.0-liter’s willingness to rev, even in Comfort mode.

The Type R is surprisingly frugal with its premium fuel, too. The EPA estimates it will average 22 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highway, and 25 mpg combined. It might not be a Toyota Prius, but the Type R does pretty well at not hurting its owners at the pump.


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754506
“The front seats are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of”

Of course, the Type R is no limousine. Even in its softest settings, the ride can be punishing and the tire noise can be intrusive on rough pavement. Much of that is due to the ultra-skinny 245/30R20 tires. Thirty-series tires are basically rubber bands seen on Cadillac Escalades in late 2000s rap videos. There is so little sidewall that every pebble translates into vibrations and kicks into the cabin. For those used to a firmer ride, it’s a very forgivable attribute. For those (like my pregnant wife) who would rather ride in a Cadillac, the Type R can be draining. My wife also bemoaned the Type R’s heavily bolstered front seats. They are somewhat challenging to slide into, a bit tight once in, and somewhat hard to pull yourself out of. Younger buyers who fancy skinny jeans shouldn’t mind at all.

Final Thoughts


Turns Out The 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes a Good Daily Driver - image 754483

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R isn’t the quickest hot-hatch to 60 mph, the fastest on an open road, or the most advanced in terms of whiz-bang drivetrain components, but what it lacks in raw power or AWD grip, it more than makes up in lightness, refinement, interior space, and Honda’s reputation for reliability. Minus a few quirks, the Type R makes for a fantastic daily driver. A calm, somewhat mature Civic Hatchback lurks somewhere under that outlandish aero package and that makes for a great pairing with its weekend track star credentials. Best of all, the Type R costs a few thousand less than the competition, barring any dealership markups, of course. It starts at $34,775.

References

Honda Civic Type R – Driven


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Type R.

Honda Civic Type R


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719346

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Type R.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven - image 713620

Read our full driven review on the Honda Civic Hatchback.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback


2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - image 689347

Read our full review on the Honda Civic Hatchback.

PostHeaderIcon Volvo to Join the EV Hatchback Community with an Electric Volvo V40

Volvo introduced its new Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform with the new XC40, and it’s already taking steps to expand, with an all-new, next-gen V40 hatchback being the next model to make use of this adjustable, electrification-ready platform. And, that is the keyword: Electrification – and that’s exactly what you can expect from the next-gen V40. And, it will be offered with at least two battery sizes too, making it more affordable in base form and more able to compete with its German rivals in higher trim levels.
Want to know more? Keep reading to find out all about it.

The V40 Will Borrow DNA from the Volvo XC40 and the 40.2 Concept


2016 Volvo Concept 40 - image 676338
“The CMA platform was designed from the very start to be plug-in capable”

So, as I mentioned before, the V40 will use the CMA architecture, but it will also adopt the XC40’s wheelbase as well as several engine options, including the D3, D4, T3, T4, and T5. More importantly, however, is the plug-in hybrid and all-electric drivetrains that will also be available, both of which (the EV at some point) will also come directly from the XC40.
So what will make the V40 unique? Well, it will have that lower and more dominating roofline. And, even though the XC40 was the first model to be produced on the CMA platform, it is also set up nicely for low, dynamic vehicles, and that’s exactly what the V40 will be – a low and dynamic hatchback.

And, the CMA platform was designed from the very start to be plug-in capable:

“In purely physical terms, we have to fit the battery in the floor,” Green said, “but CMA gives us pretty good bandwidth. Everything from the full SUV height down to fairly low cars is possible. We’ve designed CMA from the beginning to have plug-in capability.”

With that in mind, the V40 will also be its own vehicle too. Well, in a way, that is. See, the overall design, as shown by the exclusive images published by AutoExpress, will be borrowed directly from the Volvo 40.2 Concept – all of the way down to that funky front end, unique taillights, and sporty stance. This shouldn’t be a surprise, though, considering the 40.1 concept became the XC40… You did know that, right?

Looking into the Future of Volvo and the V40


2016 Volvo Concept 40 - image 676361
“The V40 will be the first all-electric vehicle to make use of the new CMA architecture.”

Under Geely ownership, Volvo has taken a turn for the better, and it’s quite amazing to see. We’re finally seeing some nice products come out of Volvo. When you take into consideration the fact that the V40 taking its DNA from it and the 40.2 concept, will have a wide range of engines, and all of that electrification goodness, the V40 is an undeniable winner. And, with it being available as a pure-electric model too, it will be able to take on models like the Volkswagen eGolf, as well as the A3 and BMW 1 Series.

Don’t get it twisted though. The V40 (nor the XC40, for that matter) will be the first all-electric vehicle to make use of the new CMA architecture. Nope – that will be the Polestar 2, a high-performance saloon that will be offered by the now stand-alone high-performance arm of Volvo and likely nothing more than a Volvo with some extras and a different badge. As for the V40, however, you’ll see a full list of options carry over from other Volvo models, including a foldable rear floor, seat drawers, Sensus nin-inch infotainment system, and a fully digital instrument cluster. And, there may be smaller vehicles in the works someday:

“You can probably do a smaller car with the CMA platform,” Green said, “but we’re not actively looking at that right now. So, one day we may have an SUV that’s even smaller than XC40, but at the moment this is the exciting size for us.”

References

Volvo V40


2017 Volvo V40 - image 667177

Read our full review on the 2017 Volvo V40.


maker logos - image 745634

Read more Volvo news.

PostHeaderIcon Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R’s Suspension

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R is the newest hot hatch in the American market, but it’s not the most beastly contender. In fact, that title easily goes to the Ford Focus RS – the 350-horsepower AWD monster with drift mode. Rather than one-upping the Focus RS, the Honda development team aimed for lightweight precision and focused on drivability. The goal was creating a fully track-capable hatchback that was completely livable on public roads during daily driving. A substantial amount of math an engineering later, the Type R debuted with a unique suspension system that handles both.

Despite the Type R’s newness to the scene, we’ve had plenty of time behind the wheel. Honda had us at the launch event in August and we have one in the driveway as this is being written. (Believe us, it’s hard to remain behind the computer when seeing a red Type R through the window.) At the launch event in Washington State, Honda provided each journalist with their own Type R, allowing for uninterrupted driving and relief from awkward conversations with an unknown co-driver about their bad speeding habits. Track time at The Ridge Motorsports Park showed exactly how well the Type R could dance and provided a more intimate feeling of the car’s handling. Now we’re evaluating the Type R on familiar pavement. The consensus is that Honda did its homework. The Type R truly does offer a world-class driving experience with few trade-offs. We still think road noise is a bit too loud, but the low curb weight of only 3,117 pounds makes us understand the missing sound deadening material.

Continue reading for a full run-down of the Type R’s suspension.


Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R's Suspension - image 729286
“The Type R gets 42.7 feet of structural adhesive in high-stress areas that are simply not present in the standard Civic Hatchback”

Honda engineers started with the Civic’s body. First, the new 10th-generation Civic is stronger and lighter than the previous car, but second, the Type R gets 42.7 feet of structural adhesive in high-stress areas that are simply not present in the standard Civic Hatchback. This leads to a 12 percent increase in lateral rigidity.

Mounted to the unibody is the Type R’s four-wheel independent suspension. Out back, the suspension remains very similar to the standard Civic’s, though it has unique active dampers, thicker anti-roll bars, and is 1.2 inches wider. Up front is where the magic really happens.

Behind a front-wheel-drive car, Honda had to overcome the Type R’s prodigious 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque from inducing unwanted torque steer – the effect of the engine’s power turning the steering wheel via drive force applied to the front tires. Honda uses what’s called a dual-axis front strut in order to counter this. Basically, the mountings for the front hubs are much closer to the hub and further away from the MacPherson strut tower. Aluminum knuckles help reduce unsprung weight while a thicker, 29mm anti-roll bar adds more control in hard cornering.


Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R's Suspension - image 729272
“The front track is also 2.0 inches wider and the 245/30ZR20 summer-performance tires are an inch wider than the standard Civic’s equipment”

The front track is also 2.0 inches wider and the 245/30ZR20 summer-performance tires are an inch wider than the standard Civic’s equipment. That’s what necessitates the Type R’s widened bodywork.

As for the springs, the Type R uses coil springs with a spring rate 1.6 times greater than the stock car, while the anti-roll bar is 2.4 times more rigid. Even the bushings that hold everything together are nearly two times as firm. The Type R’s silver bullet is its Adaptive Damper System. The ADS has three firmness settings that correspond to the Type R’s three drive modes. The modes are Comfort, Sport, and +R. Each has their place and is dramatically different than the other.

Comfort mode is best suited for the street. It softens the dampers making imperfections in the road more bearable. The throttle is less twitchy and slightly more pedal travel is needed to spur the engine on. Sport mode is the driver’s choice for twisty roads. The throttle instantly becomes more responsive, the suspension is more ridges for better body control, and the entire car just feels more aggressive. When in +R mode, those Sport-mode attributes are multiplied 10 fold. It’s the mode best reserved for the track, especially since the adaptive dampers feel like they’ve been replaced with unbendable steel beams. The Type R in +R mode feels ridiculously nimble. Much of that can be attributed to the car’s 3,110-pound curb weight and super sticky tires.


Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R's Suspension - image 729293
“The Type R in +R mode feels ridiculously nimble.”

On the track, we found the Type R to only exhibit very mild and predictable understeer only at the limit. Otherwise, the car tracks straight and true, offering a fun-filled and safe driving experience. Adding to that is the lightweight clutch and silky smooth six-speed shifter.

Hitting the Brakes


Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R's Suspension - image 729278
“Big Brembo calipers with four pistons grab 13.8-inch drilled rotors”

The Type R is impressively good at stopping, too. The front brakes are vastly upgraded over the standard Civic’s binders. Big Brembo calipers with four pistons grab 13.8-inch drilled rotors. (The stock rotors only measure 11.1 inches in diameter.) Under-body cooling vents direct air to the front brakes for long-lasting performance. Out back, the Civic’s 10.2-inch solid rotors are upgraded to 12.0-inch discs, though a single-piston caliper is still used. Combined, the brakes haul the Civic Type R from 60 mph to a full stop in an utterly short 99 feet.
And for those wondering, the sprint back to 60 mph only takes 5.4 seconds thanks to the Type R’s wonderful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719399

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


Managing The Bump: A Look at the Civic Type R's Suspension - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.

PostHeaderIcon Project Redspace

The Earth is teeming with humanity. In 2011, the world population hit a head-spinning 7 billion people, and it’s only getting more crowded – at an accelerating rate, too. Most folks live in and around staggeringly dense urban centers called “megacities,” called as such thanks to population figures that eclipse the 10-million mark. With such incredible numbers of people to serve, transportation systems are at their limit. So what’s the solution? Something like Project Redspace might very well be it. Produced by a Chinese firm and aimed primarily at the Chinese market, the Project Redspace (Redspace as in “Revolutionary Electric Dream Space”) is an all-electric commuter with a unique twist. The driving philosophy behind its creation was to leverage space wherever possible, finding an ideal amalgamation between form and function through inherent adaptability and customization, all while leaving the door open for the integration of forthcoming autonomous systems. Introduced in concept form at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show, this very well could be the transportation solution for future U.S. city dwellers.

While the Project Redspace certainly doesn’t look like anything we’ve seen before, that’s kind of the point, or at least half of it. Spearheading the project is Chris Bangle, a noted American car designer with a resume that includes a stint at BMW and Fiat. Backed by Chinese partners from CHTC Motors (China Hi-Tech New Energy Automobile Co., Ltd), Bangle says that he managed to design “a space that decided to become a car,” and he’s deadest on meeting the needs of the traveling public of the future. While this might be a prototype model, a production iteration is reportedly just years away. Read on for the details.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2020 Project Redspace.

Exterior

– * Unique exterior features

– * Boxy, yet angular, yet organic

– * Forward-leaning windshield helps keep interior cool

– * Offers a roof around the perimeter

– * Sliding door design

– * Very small exterior dimensions

– * Flower pedal wheel cover design


2020 Project Redspace - image 750728
“The Project Redspace is utterly unique, blending a variety of elements to create something unlike anything we’ve seen before”

The Project Redspace is utterly unique, blending a variety of elements to create something unlike anything we’ve seen before. It’s boxy, no doubt about it, but at the same time its got tons of curves and angles, marked by pointed elements added just about everywhere, thus breaking up the lunchbox-style form underneath with additional organic bits. The details on this thing are plentiful, to say the least. Bangle says part of the design takes inspiration from what a little kid would trace when asked to draw car – a bold move, to say the least.

Taking responsibility for the form is a multinational design team that includes folks from Germany, Japan, America, France, and Italy, which might help to explain the Project Redspace’s rather hodge-podge look. Bangle calls it an “interactive” design language.


2020 Project Redspace - image 750736
“Taking responsibility for the form is a multinational design team, which might help to explain the Project Redspace’s rather hodge-podge look.”

In front, we find a short, blocky nose, with rounded curves and angular headlights drawn into the corners. An organic-looking front bumper block breaks up the form, while the windshield rises up and outwards into a perfectly flat roof, curving around like half of a martini glass. The headlights appear to offer LED lighting elements, with signature surrounds. The overhangs are very short, both front and back. A small geometric Redspace badge resides in the left-hand portion of the fascia.

Moving to the sides, the Redspace’s unique front-leaning wraparound windshield becomes more obvious, offset by a rear-leaning pillar structure to give a sort of vee-shape. While unique in terms of styling, the automaker says the design is also quite functional, as it opens up the interior space while simultaneously allowing for more efficient airflow outside. The top overhang also helps create a shadow, thus keeping temperatures inside down.


2020 Project Redspace - image 750730
“In the corners, we see an adequately funky wheel design, like the pedals of a some kind of mechanical flower. Aiding ingress and egress is a pair of sliding doors, similar to a van, and particular useful when squeezing through tight spots.”

In the corners, we see an adequately funky wheel design, like the pedals of some kind of mechanical flower. Aiding ingress and egress is a pair of horizontally sliding doors, with a function similar to what you might find on a van, which is particularly useful when squeezing through tight spots. The sliding design also means the car offers a bit of a roof as you climb into the vehicle, which, as the automaker points out, should keep you dry when entering or exiting the car in inclement weather.


2020 Project Redspace - image 750735
“As you might expect, all those crazy exterior details opens up a plethora of opportunities when it comes to customization.”

As you might expect, all those crazy exterior details open up a plethora of opportunities when it comes to customization, and the automaker is quick to boast about the huge range of styling options customers will have in making it their own.

Finally, the Project Redspace comes with very small exterior dimensions, a vital characteristic for city driving. We’ll let you know the final measurements when the production version arrives, but for now, we hear it’s roughly 20 inches shorter than a Fiat 500 and just a tad bigger than a Smart Fortwo.

Interior

– * Designed from the inside out

– * Seats four passengers

– * Offers enough space to “live” in

– * Large infotainment screen on the dash

– * Adaptable and modular seating arrangement

– * Wi-Fi should be standard

– * Seats rotate for socialization

– * Opens up opportunities for autonomous technology


2020 Project Redspace - image 750748
“Project Redspace actually began its life as an interior”

Interestingly, Project Redspace actually began its life as an interior. The designers started by modeling the cabin space, so as you can imagine, a lot of time and effort went into making it as effective as possible. The overarching goal was to comfortably seat four adult passengers, while also offering a huge amount of customizability to fulfill a broad range of needs, whether its playing video games, changing a diaper, or finishing a business report. Bangle says it’s supposed to be an area large enough to “live my life in,” like a mobile apartment.

To kick it off, the individual seats can swivel 180 degrees, facing forward while driving, or facing one another when the car isn’t in motion. Alternatively, the seats can be rearranged into a totally new configuration, placed in offset to make more room for arms and legs. The armrests slope upwards for easier driving.


2020 Project Redspace - image 750739
“The seats can be rearranged into a totally new configuration, placed in offset to make more room for arms and legs.”

On the dash, the most obvious feature is the enormous 17-inch infotainment screen on top of the dash. There’s also a lower touchscreen located near the driver to provide a means for user inputs. This lower screen gets a plastic cover with a tactile feel to it, which is intended to offer easier the driver operation without requiring them to take their eyes off the road. There’s also a fold-down desk, in case you need a spot to sign papers or rest your mobile device. Onboard Wi-Fi should be standard.


2020 Project Redspace - image 750750
“The car is obviously perfectly suited for high levels of autonomy.”

Further tech features include automatic braking and parking assistance. And considering the amount of time that went into making the Redspace interior a great spot to relax, the car is obviously perfectly suited for high levels of autonomy, a facet the company is sure to jump on as soon as the technology hits the right inflection point in terms of cost and efficacy.

Drivetrain

– * Rear-mounted electric motor

– * Aluminum construction

– * Solar panels on the roof

– * Inductive charging capabilities

– * Offers the same range as a “large four-seater car”


2020 Project Redspace - image 750734
“The Project Redspace gets all-electric motivation”

Per tradition for a forward-thinking city machine, the Project Redspace gets all-electric motivation. Details on the car’s powertrain are understandably still under wraps, but we do know the electric motor is mounted in the rear, which means its RWD. The batteries are also mounted underneath the floor, while aluminum was used for the construction to keep it as lightweight as possible. The automaker also says it’ll offer the range of a “large four-seater car,” so we’re hoping for at least 150 miles. 200 miles would be ideal.

Once again though, the details are what make Project Redspace interesting. For example, the roof is a solar panel, which is wired to the peripherals (HVAC, stereo, infotainment, etc.) to keep the battery pack topped off on sunny days. And it’s got a big roof too, which means a big solar panel. Apparently, it’ll have the option for inductive charging as well, a feature that will be offered at launch.

Prices


2020 Project Redspace - image 750740

While the Project Redspace is designed specifically for the Chinese market, there’s a possibility it could see an introduction in other markets as well, including in the U.S.

Impressively, Redspace says it could have this thing on the road in the next two years, which seems rather ambitious, if you ask us.

No pricing has been announced, but if we were to guess, all those premium features and customizability and advanced technologies won’t come cheap. As such, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it tagged at $45,000, similar to the BMW i3. And speaking of which…

Competition

BMW i3


BMW Unveils 2018 i3 and i3s - image 728706

Interestingly, our first competitor comes from Bangle’s former employer, BMW. Like the Project Redspace, the BMW i3 is a high-end all-electric box, made from aluminum and carbon fiber to keep weight as low as possible. Inside, the materials are quite nice, while seating for four provides a decent amount of space. In the tail, you’ll find an electric motor in place to drive the rear wheels. Range per charge is around 100 miles, but if you need more, there’s the option for a gasoline “range extender” internal combustion engine for a little more outlay.

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW i3.

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive


2017 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive
- image 689210

The Smart Fortwo focuses much more on catering to urban environments than the BMW i3, with tiny exterior dimensions and a tiny turning circle as well. This thing was made for squeezing through cramped spaces, which is great, but the interior space suffers as a result, only offering seating for two passengers max. Range is also a bit on the low side, with just 75 miles offered between plug-ins. The price, however, is far below that of the Bimmer and what we’re speculating for the Project Redspace, slotting in under the $25,000 mark.

Read our full review on the 2017 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive

Conclusion


2020 Project Redspace - image 750735

Redspace says cars spend the vast majority of the time (up to 90 percent in fact) just being idle. And therein lies the designer’s idea of what could be done to increase efficiency on a variety of levels. In terms of time, the car was designed to be a mobile workspace and lounge thanks to its modular interior layout. Thanks to the electric motivation and potential autonomous technology, the car should be efficient with the energy reserves as well.

It makes sense this thing was designed by a Chinese firm. After all, few countries have as many megacities as China, and demand for personal transportation solutions will only increase. The automaker says the target demographic includes “young people who just want a place to be with their friends on their own in a car that they have fun with, and at the same time, the mom, the woman who needs a second car in the family.” Then there are the folks who will use it as a “business tool.” All told, the Project Redspace is meant to appeal to a wide variety of folks in the newly emerging, hyper-crowded megacity landscape.

“That’s a rather tall order, hence the good deal of experimentation that went into the vehicle’s creation. However, if autonomous tech really takes off in the next few years, it could be quite successful.”

And that’s a rather tall order, hence the good deal of experimentation that went into the vehicle’s creation. The novel design approach is also pretty interesting, with an inside-out look at making the car work.

If the Project Redspace really does become a reality, the biggest hurdle we see to its success is price. There’s a lot going on here, and making it function properly in the real world will be complicated, which means by the time it reaches consumers, it could be quite out of reach for the target buyers.

However, if autonomous tech really takes off in the next few years, and Project Redspace adopts a “sharing” business model to help bring down the price, it could be quite successful as well.

We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

  • Leave it
    • * Not all folks will like the way it looks
    • * Likely very expensive
    • * Best served with autonomous tech, but where’s the tech?

References


maker logos - image 745566

Read more 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show news.

PostHeaderIcon The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The Honda Civic Type R is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder constructed from aluminum. It uses Honda’s proven VTEC system to phase the timing of the 16 overhead valves. Rotational mass is kept down thanks to sodium-filled exhaust valves and lightweight pistons. A short blip of the throttle will have the 2.0-liter screaming at its 7,000-rpm redline in very short order. Thankfully, redline isn’t required for making peak horsepower. All 306 galloping ponies are in full stampede at 6,500 rpm and the 295 pound-feet of torque peak at only 2,500 rpm but stays through 4,500 rpm.

Temperatures are kept in check by an intercooler, a radiator, and four separate inlets into the engine bay. The lowest inlet in the grille chills the turbo’s intercooler while the space below the Honda H directs air to the engine’s radiator. The upper slot just below the hood is what feeds fresh air into the intake. Last but not least, the hood scoop is used to push cool air down the backside of the engine while relieving positive air pressure under the hood and thereby reducing lift.

More cooling happens via the oil jets that squirt the underside of the piston and the water-cooled, two-piece exhaust manifold. As for those oil jets, they not only cool the pistons and cylinder walls, they also provide a constant flow of lubrication.

After air leaves the unique exhaust manifold, it travels down a single exhaust pipe. Behind the rear axle, the pipe forks off into three seconds. The outer pipes go to large mufflers, while the center pipe feeds a resonator. The three each feel their own exhaust tip in the center of the bumper. Honda says the center resonator is used to control mid-rev booming inside the cabin, while the outer mufflers move vast amounts of air at high speeds. Interestingly, the center resonator actually generates negative pressure at higher revs. The result is a snarling yet not overbearing exhaust note – both from inside and outside the car.

Read our full, driven review of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Continue reading for charts and stats.

Drivetrain Specifications


The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 729258
Engine Type Turbocharged In-Line 4-Cylinder
Turbocharger Single-Scroll MHI TD04 with Internal Wastegate
Boost Pressure 22.8 psi
Displacement (cc) 1,996
Horsepower (SAE net) 306 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Torque (SAE net) 295 LB-FT @ 2,500-4,500 RPM
Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined) (mpg) 22 / 28 / 25
Curb Weight (lbs.) 3,117
0 to 60 mph 4.9 seconds
Quarter-mile 13.5 seconds at 108 mph
Top Speed 169 mph

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719399

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


The Turbocharged Heart of the 2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.

PostHeaderIcon Watch How Honda Manages Air on the 2017 Civic Type R

The 2017 Honda Civic Type R has made massive waves in the hot hatch segment since its launch midyear. The Type R blazes its own trail with a different map that Ford and Subaru use for their Focus RS and WRX STI. The Honda lacks a fancy AWD system, drift mode, or some expensive Recaro or Sparco branded seats. Rather, Honda focused on reducing mass and aerodynamics. The aero work is clearly seen when looking at the car, but there’s more to the story than just tall spoilers and big intakes.

Rob Keough with Honda Civic Product Planning goes into deep detail on all the Type R’s aerodynamic surfaces and cooling ductwork in this five-minute video from Honda. Keough goes through the visual tour of the car’s thermal package first, showing the three separate intakes for the intercooler, radiator, and engine air intake. The hood-mounted scoop then channels air down and out of the engine bay. This not only helps relieve air pressure, but also reduces lift on the front wheels. A hidden air duct below the fog lights help cool the front brakes.

Around back, the wing is positioned high enough to not block rear visibility yet is thin enough to not cause any undue drag. Its angle and shape are positioned to create downforce at higher speeds, aided by vortex generators along the rear of the roof. Honda says the Type R has a drag coefficient of 0.26, which is incredibly low. By comparison, the Bugatti Chiron has a drag coefficient of .35 in its Top Speed mode. Yeah…

Of course, aerodynamics are only a part of the 2017 Civic Type R’s story. We’ll have more Type R content this week as we’ve got one in the driveway. Feel free to ask questions in the comments and we’ll answer them.

References

Honda Civic


2017 Honda Civic Type R - image 719399

Read our full review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.


2017 Honda Civic Type R – Driven - image 729293

Read our full driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R


maker logos - image 742500

Read more Honda news.

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