Archive for the ‘Honda’ Category
There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding the new Honda Civic Type R, largely because it’s finally coming to the U.S. But what’s gotten lost in the understandable hype surrounding the new Civic hot hatch is the fact that it isn’t scheduled to hit dealerships at least until the latter half of 2017. For now, the predecessor to the 2017 model is still holding court, or at least just finished doing so since the last of current Civic Type R models has just come off the production line. And like most models that pull at our emotional heart strings, Honda has decided to commemorate the end of the current Civic Type R by launching a special edition version called the Black Edition.
The model is formally known as the Civic Type R Black Edition, but let’s not get into any debates about that. The important thing is that it’s limited to just 100 units and with the how the hot hatch Civic is trending up in the eyes of collectors, it has the potential to be a diamond in the rough and turn into a sought-after car years from now.
For now though, the Civic Type R Black Edition is what it is. It has a number of extra upgrades and features that sets it apart from all other Civic Type Rs that came before it. It also has features the same power and performance credentials, thanks in large part to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that packs an incredible 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 167 mph. That kind of performance even took the Civic Type R to the top of lap time records for front-wheel drive cars at the Nurburgring before it was usurped by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.
It’s safe to say that the Honda Civic Type R is one of the purest performance cars on the road today. Now it’s getting its own special edition model? Evidently, Honda knows how to end the production of the model on a high note.
Continue after the jump to read more about the Honda Civic Type R Black Edition.
The Ridgeline is completely new for 2017 and ushers in the second generation for Honda’s unibody pickup truck. It shares its underpinnings and a number of drivetrain and interior pieces with the Pilot crossover, but it’s designed to offer more functionality than a crossover thanks to its cargo bed with less tradeoffs of a conventional body-on-frame pickup. But how does it work in the real world? Does this compromise between crossover and pickup really translate into a practical vehicle? To find out, I spent a week with the new Ridgeline and racked up nearly 1,600 miles.
In short, yes, the Ridgeline does offer a great truck-like experience for folks who might normally shop the crossover segment, but also for those who might need something to complete their weekend warrior project list. It boasts a maximum payload capacity of 1,588 pounds, so hauling mulch or firewood isn’t an issue. The bed is even wide and flat enough to haul 4×8 sheets of plywood or drywall. Yet at the same time, the Ridgeline drives like a crossover, gets respectable fuel mileage, and has a highly functional interior. But there’s more to this review than stating the obvious. Let’s get down to business.
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The Civic Type R was unveiled to the world in prototype form at the 2016 Paris Auto Show and almost immediately the internet went wild with discussion about the upcoming performance hatch. Set to tackle some of the greats like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, the Civic Type R has a lot to live up to if it’s going to dominate the hot hatch market like it’s intended to. Based on the looks of the prototype we know it it’s got the aggressive looks, but things like engine designation, power output, and official performance figures are a mystery. Back in November CARmagazine published a story in their printed magazine that exposed some new information about the new Civic Type R, with the most significant being that it will be offered with the option of having a CVT transmission!
I’m sure there were a few guys out there that wanted nothing more than to gouge out their eyes when the first read the news, but it’s not all bad. In the article, the head engineer of the Type R, Mirsuru Kariya; the lead designer, Tsutamori; and the head of Honda Europe, Katsushi Inoue, exposed the world to a few interesting facts about the upcoming Type R. The six-speed manual transmission will still be the standard unit, so you’ll still be able to row your own if you want, but for those who are ready to give up that third pedal, the CVT will be a viable option. It was also said that the Type R will be front-wheel-drive only, despite the rumors that it would come ready to battle the Focus RS with a real AWD system. They also said that it will have a lower center of gravity compared to the standard Civic hatchback.
Along with the news that Honda’s CVT will be an option came the news that there will be no option for a dual-clutch unit – news that will certainly disappoint some who have come to appreciate the performance and quick shifting that comes along with a DCT. For now, the muscle behind the car remains a mystery, but as we’ve mentioned in our review of the Type R concept and our speculative review of the upcoming Type R, it will likely get an updated versions of Honda’s current 2.0-liter. In current form, it pumps out 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of Japanese bliss, but we’re expecting Honda to up the ante on its new performance hatch and bring those numbers a bit higher to help the car take on the Focus RS. At this point, some sources say 325 horsepower, but it could even go as high as 340.
Update 01/05/2016: A Honda spokesman reach out to outlet Jalopnik and confirmed that the Civic Type R will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission only. No option for a CVT or DCT transmission will exist at the time of launch.
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The Honda Odyssey was born in a time of need during Japan’s economic crisis in the 1990s. As such, the first-generation model was much smaller than the model that we know today. That model lasted just long enough for Honda to build a U.S.-based production facility and the Odyssey has been getting better ever since. Each generation of Honda’s resident minivan has been short lived, with the longest being the current and fourth-generation which will run through the 2017 model year. For 2018, Honda is introducing the fifth-generation model that includes aggressive exterior styling with LED lighting, powered rear doors, and an evolution of the “lightning bolt” beltline that has been a subject of controversy in the past. On the inside, the new Odyssey benefits from an all-new infotainment system, camera monitoring system, digital instrument cluster, and a new take on age-old problem of accessing that third row of seats. It gets even better yet, however, as Honda also saw fit to provide more power from its resident 3.5-liter V-6 – effectively raising output to 280 horsepower – and two new automatic transmissions that will help put the Odyssey at the top of its class in the fuel economy department.
So, with an updated and aggressive design, new innovative technology, and a 32 horsepower increase over the outgoing model, the new Odyssey is ready to hit showrooms and bring more stability to the once crumbling foundation of the minivan segment. But, regardless of this new design, Honda is still showing up late to the party as Chrysler redesigned the Pacifica (the Odyssey’s main competition) for the 2017 model year and it’s already established a pretty decent foothold. So, does the new Odyssey have what it takes to compete with models like the Pacifica, or even the aging Toyota Sienna? Well, I spent some time with the new Odyssey when it made its long-awaited debut at the Detroit Auto Show, so let’s dive on in to take a better look and see if we can come up with a good answer to that question.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Honda Odyssey.
The 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner and, as it happens before each major event, automakers are already teasing the cars that are set to debut at the Cobo Center. Honda is the latest to join the ranks by releasing a teaser picture of the fifth-generation Odyssey. Set to replace the current, six-year-old model at the end of the 2017 model year, the new minivan takes its cues from the JDM-spec version, which has been available in Japan since 2013.
The teaser shot suggests that the upcoming Odyssey will also retain some of the familiar styling cues of the existing model, including the lightning-bolt character line under the side windows, the V-shaped D-pillar, and the large taillights. However, the latter appear to be larger and heavily based on the Japanese model, while also featuring a new C-shaped LED signature. The side panels also seem to have a more sculpted design just above the side skirts, while the vehicle feels lower and wider overall. On the other hand, this is a conceptual rendering and likely depicts a car that’s more aggressive than the actual production model.
Honda has yet to launch a photo of the front fascia, but the Odyssey should carry a sportier design here too. Here, I expect it to borrow some cues from the Pilot SUV, including the angular headlamps and the large grille that descends deep into the front bumper. It should also have a more aggressive bumper design with LED daytime running lights and a wide mesh grille between them.
Inside, the Odyssey will get Honda’s latest technology and a design based on what we’ve seen in recently launched vehicles, including the Pilot. Hopefully the fifth-gen minivan will also get a vacuum cleaner integrated into the trunk. Under the hood, look for a revised version of the current 3.5-liter V-6 connected to either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission. Output should see a mild increase over the fourth-gen models’ 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.
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It’s no secret the compact crossover segment has exploded in popularity over the last several years. Nearly every automaker sells some form of vehicle in this class, including the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester. But it’s the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 that have attracted the most attention in the recent months. Both enter the 2017 model year with heavy changes and big improvements. The two aren’t the only new contenders in the compact crossover class, but they sure stand out.
That’s why we’ve chosen to take a close look at the CR-V and CX-5 as they compare to each other. From exterior aesthetics and interior features, to drivetrain options and trim level pricing – everything is detained below.
Of course, we’ll have to save driving impressions until we can get behind the wheel of each, so consider this a more objective run-down of features rather than a subjective comparison of in-person impressions.
Continue reading for the full comparison.
The Honda Civic has always been a go-to for tuners everywhere, but more recently, the Civic hasn’t exactly been praised for its looks or design. All of that changed with the introduction of the 10th-generation model, and now we’ll be blessed not only with a new, track-ready Civic Type R, but a Civic Si in coupe and sedan form as well. Slated to launch in 2017 as a 2018 model, the Civic Si was unveiled to the world in a near-production-ready form at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, which means it gives us a very good idea of what to expect when the road-going model officially debuts. As a production model, the new Civic Si will spot a 1.5-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-banger that utilizes dual variable valve timing and mates to a six-speed manual transmission. Performance figures are unknown at this point, but Honda says the standard engine is both “high-performance and high-torque” Furthermore, it will come with active damper and steering systems, limited-slip differential, and 19-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. A factory performance aero kit that has front and rear splitters will help tie together the package that is the Civic Si.
The best part about the new Civic Si is that it maintains its own unique design compared to the standard road-going Civics and the Type R hatchback that broke the internet when it debuted. When it came to an Si model, we all kind of expected to see a lot of Type R styling in a coupe or sedan body form, but Honda did things right and gave the Si its own identity. If you like good performance and awesome looks without having to go hatchback, the Civic Si Coupe or Sedan will definitely be for you.
With that said, let’s talk about the upcoming model and what we can predict about it based on the prototype that Honda brought to the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The Honda Prelude was introduced to the world for the 1979 model year and lived through five different generations, with the final generation ending with the 2001 model year. If you’re someone who is into Muscle, then the Prelude may not have meant much to you, but for fans of the Honda brand, or tuners in general, the Honda Prelude was an important item. Based very loosely on the Honda Accord, the Prelude was a bit more cramped inside, but as it evolved from generation to generation, it got better and better. Unfortunately, sales weren’t all that good dropping from more than 330,000 models sold from 1983 to 1987 to less than 60,000 examples between 1997 and 2001 — ultimately leading to the demise of the sports coupe. Well, for those of us who have missed the sporty little coupe, there may be a little bit of hope yet, as the senior planner for the Civic, Rob Keough, reportedly told Car Buzz that there have been “hallway conversations” within Honda about the car’s revival.
What “hallway conversations” means is really unclear, as it could mean just about anything. Maybe there’s just some lonely engineer talking with a couple of buddies around the water cooler about how awesome it would be to see a new Prelude go into production. Or, maybe it’s a serious conversation between an engineer and someone who might have a little bit of say or persuasive power. Either way, the fact that a car that was discontinued 15 years ago is still floating around in the heads of some over at Honda is a big deal. The question is, whether or not there’s a real business case for such a model to come back. It would be a travesty to call something other than a sports coupe a Prelude. That would be like giving a new SUV the NSX nomenclature. Right now, the only real competition out there would be the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins, and those aren’t exactly performing quite as well as they would have 20 years ago when the sports coupe market was strong.
Then again, the Civic Si and Civic Type R have been met with massive enthusiasm this year, so there is hope that little Japanese sports coupes can make a comeback, but I honestly wouldn’t hold my breath as it’s definitely a reach hoping that the Prelude comes back anytime soon. Still, hang onto that little bit of hope, because as someone who’s driven one in the past, I sure do.
The Honda CR-V hit the global market back in 1995 and has sold fairly well since its introduction. The CR-V entered the most recent generation back in 2012, but it went through a pretty significant update for 2015 that included an improved safety structure to help bring the little crossover up to par in IIHS crash testing. At the time, the CR-V also received a new, direct-injected engine, new CVT transmission, and some additional chassis work to help improve its overall ride. For the 2017 model year, Honda is ushering in the fifth-gen model that brings even more significant change, including additional interior space and a new, turbocharged engine for the upper trim levels – marking the first time the CR-V has been offered with forced induction of any kind from the factory.
Despite the fact that Honda is boasting an all-new body and chassis design, you’re not going to see a whole lot of significant change on the outside. The car has been reworked to some extent, but it’s more in line with what you might see on a facelift as opposed to a generational redesign. There are some fresh goodies to talk about inside, and there is that new, turbocharged engine that promises the best fuel economy in the compact SUV class. So, without spilling the beans too much here, let’s dive on in and take a good look at the 2017 Honda CR-V.
Updated 12/21/2016: Honda announced prices for the 2017 CR-V which is now on sale at dealers nationwide. Check the “Prices” section for the full details.
Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Honda CR-V.
Sport compact fans have been blessed with a ton of fantastic products over the last few years, with models like the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf R, Toyota 86, Mini Cooper S, Fiat 500 Sport, and Mazda MX-5 all proving that big fun can be had in small packages. Joining the party is the new Civic Type R, which just debuted in prototype guise at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Stateside buyers will be happy to know that the ‘Ring-storming, R’d-out tenth-gen Civic will indeed make it to U.S. dealers, but what if you want something a little less over the top? Honda has an answer, and it’s called the Civic Si. For now, details on the mid-ranger are still under wraps, but that’ll soon change, as it was just confirmed that the new Civic Si will make its formal public debut next month at the Los Angeles Motor Show.
Breaking the news (perhaps unintentionally) is a single line in a recent L.A. Auto Show press release, which lists the Si as of many upcoming debuts slated to drop cover at the event. And while official specs are still forthcoming, a little speculation couldn’t hurt.
First off, we know the powerplant will be turbocharged, and will most likely be the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder currently outfitted on the more pedestrian Civic variants. Those models get 174 horsepower, but we think the Si will sport around 225 ponies, all of which will get routed to the front axle by way of a six-speed manual transmission.
The body style is bit more uncertain, but with the recent reveal of the tenth-gen Civic hatchback, an Si five-door seems likely. Also look for swoopy, sporty styling, with an aggression level somewhere around 5, as opposed to the Type R’s 11.
Major debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show are scheduled to kick off Wednesday, November 16th, continuing into Thursday, November 17. Stay tuned, as we’ll be on the scene bringing you the latest as it happens.
Note: 2014 – 2015 Civic Si shown above.
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Introduced in 1995, the CR-V has become one of Honda’s most vital vehicles, now being the company’s second-best selling model after the iconic Civic. Redesigned every five years, the crossover has just stepped into its fifth generation, which brings completely new design inside and out and turbocharged power.
Scheduled to hit the market this winter for the 2017 model year, the new CR-V received a bold and somewhat sophisticated design that puts it in line with more recent Honda products. Although similarities aren’t very obvious at first glance, the front end is reminiscent of the new Civic thanks to its imposing grille with chrome elements, the sporty headlamps, and the aggressive looking bumper.
The profile of the crossover seems more massive now, with the beefier wheel arches and the squared off roof being the main culprits for the new look. Around back, Honda redesigned every single detail. The taillights now also extend toward the “Honda” emblem in the middle, while the elements that climb up toward the roof are narrower. Under the rear glass there is a big gray element that gives the SUV a more premium look, while the license plate recess was lowered, now sitting just above the bumper. The latter also sports a big gray-painted element.
More changes are visible inside, where Honda ditched the previous two-tier dashboard design in favor of a simpler, cleaner layout. The revised center stack looks modern and houses a larger infotainment screen, while the A/C vents have been moved at the top. The steering wheel has a sportier design, while the all-new instrument cluster no longer uses the classic dial configuration. The navigation system, developed with Garmin, is also new, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come with voice-activated features. Other features include dual-zone climate controls, remote start, rear USB charging ports, and an electric parking break.
Under the skin, the CR-V uses a new platform derived from the Civic that’s a tad longer and wider, and adds 1.6 inches to the wheelbase. There’s also a new engine to talk about, in the form of a turbocharged, 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Already available in other Honda models, the four-banger produces 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. The naturally aspirated 2.4-liter is still on offer with 184 horses and 180 pound-feet, but it won’t match the turbo’s fuel economy figures. Unfortunately, Honda has yet to release EPA numbers.
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Honda just revealed a new “short range ‘Micro Commuter’ electric vehicle” that applies a variety of interesting ideas and technologies to the world of automobile production, including 3D printing. The super-tiny EV made its formal debut at this year’s CEATEC trade show in Japan, and is designed as a delivery vehicle for the Japanese bakery Toshimaya.
In case you were unaware, CEATEC (Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies) is an annual tech-heavy trade fair similar to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) here in the U.S.
The micro commuter uses a pipe frame chassis sourced from Honda as the underlying structure. On top of this you’ll find exterior body panels and a cargo area created by a 3D printer. Providing the go are the same electric drive components as were used in the MC- β (Micro Commuter Beta), another single-seater prototype that was revealed back in 2014.
That means this new micro-mover gets a maximum of 15 horsepower thanks to a lithium-ion battery pack. Charge times look like seven hours from a 100-volt outlet, and less than three hours when plugged into a 200-volt outlet.
Total range is capped at around 50 miles, which might seem low, but remember, this is a delivery vehicle, which means it’s got a pretty fixed A-to-B schedule. Seating capacity is limited to just the driver, with space in back to accommodate Toshimaya’s various confections.
To produce the new micro commuter and create those nifty 3D printed panels, Honda partnered with Kabuku Inc., a Japanese firm that specializes in digital fabrication technology. Honda also says it employed an open innovation model during development (basically sourcing ideas both internally and externally), and that the underlying structure uses a variable design platform.
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Of all the things to blame for causing a car crash, a bee’s sting ranks right up there as one of the weirdest of them all. Yet that’s exactly the excuse given by a Taiwanese journalist who claims that a bee stung him in the neck as he was test driving a Honda NSX, causing him to lose control of the supercar and crashing it into a highway divider.
The alleged journalist, identified by local Taiwanese media as “27-year old Hu,” was taking the 500-horsepower hybrid supercar for a test run on the Wang Kung Temple Provincial Highway in Taiwan with the windows down. According to Hu, a bee flew into the cabin and proceeded to sting Hu in the neck. The pain from the sting ended up forcing Hu to lose control of the NSX before the car ended up slamming nose-first into a concrete barrier. While it’s not yet verified, this incident could very well be the first NSX hybrid supercar to crash on a public road.
Photos and videos from the scene reveal a good amount of damage on the front-left side of the NSX, including the detachment of the front fenders on that side of the car. Fortunately, the journalist didn’t suffer worse injuries than the alleged bee sting, something he can credit to the airbags, which appears to have engaged judging from the photos.
Police officials did give Hu a sobriety test to make sure that he wasn’t intoxicated at the time of the crash. Test results reportedly came out clean so at least that’s one problem that he doesn’t have to answer to. Sadly, he still might be on the hook for the damages incurred by the NSX when it crashed.
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When you go to an event like the Paris Auto Show, you expect some crazy exotic or some new luxury car to steal the spotlight, but at the 2016 Paris Auto Show, it was a Honda that was in the limelight. Specifically, it was this Honda Civic Type R Concept, which serves as a preview of the upcoming production model. This concept is all about looks, but it’s widely believed that there’s an uprated 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC hidden away under the hood – the same engine that will eventually make it into the road-going Type R. And, that engine could produce upward of 350 horsepower.
It’s hard to believe that a concept car from Honda is getting such a following, but Honda has finally tapped back into the hot hatch market in a big way with the new Civic Hatchback. Mainly because the new Civic Hatch is built on a global platform, which means we’ll finally get it, and the Type R all of us tuners have been dying to have, here in the U.S. With the aggressive styling seen on this concept from the gnarly front bumper all the way back to that meticulously designed spoiler, this concept proves that Honda is finally listening to its fan base again.
So, with that said, let’s dive on into the best Civic we’ve seen from Honda in a long time and go over the details that make this Type R concept one of the coolest cars to roll into the Paris Auto Show.
Updated 11/21/2016: We added a series of new images taken during the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, where the Type R made a brief appearance next to the Civic SI.
Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Civic Type R Concept.
The new Civic Type R Concept has made its debut in near-production form, and it’s damn near breaking the internet with everyone from around the globe dying to learn all about it. And, rightfully so, everyone should be pretty excited. I mean, just look at it. That aggressive aerodynamic styling, the wing designed for function, that brushed aluminum vinyl wrap, and that WRX STI-looking scoop on the hood. It’s pretty clear that Honda is looking to take back its throne in the hot hatch department. Needless to say, the road-going production model is going to be all that and a bag of chips.
But, before I go making a mess all over myself getting too excited about this concept, let’s talk about why I think it’s going to be the world’s ultimate tuner. We don’t know for 100-percent certainty what will actually motivate the road-going Type R, but Honda just went to all the trouble of building the 2.0-liter, turbocharged, VTEC powerplant with 306 horsepower, so that’s the most likely candidate. In the old Type R – you know, the one we didn’t get here in the U.S. – it was enough to push the car to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds on the way to 167 mph. But, the Civic Type R now has to compete with cars like the Ford Focus RS, so we expect to see a fair jump in performance. How big of a bump is the real question.
Given the fact that the Focus RS pushes 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque here in the U.S., you can expect similar numbers from the Type R. Even better yet, that 2.0-liter VTEC tachs out 200 rpm higher that the Focus RS, so the Type R could have just a little more push in that department. Sure, the Civic is FWD, and the Focus RS is RWD, but that doesn’t matter at this point. In the end, if the road-going Type R looks as good as this concept, and we suspect it will, it already looks better than the RS, and I think Honda is going to do well on the power front too.
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Here it is, ladies and gentlemen. The long-awaited, U.S.-bound Honda Civic Type R has finally arrived. Okay, so this is a prototype version if we’re going to be technical about it. But by and large, we can at least expect the production Type R to look a lot like this prototype, albeit with some tweaks here and there and the fact that the production model will come in hot hatchback form.
There’s obviously plenty to pore through here but the Civic Type R prototype’s striking appearance takes precedence over anything else. It’s still largely based on the 2017 Honda Civic, which isn’t a surprise. But Honda also delivered on its promise in making the new Civic Type R the sportiest and most aggressive iteration of the Civic that it’s ever made to the point that it has a little bit of the Subaru WRX STI feel to it. The hood scoop is less pronounced, but it’s still noticeable on the Type R. The fenders are enormous, as are the air vents.
The smoked LED headlights are nice touches and the wheel arches are flared, which isn’t at all a surprise given Honda’s goal of driving the car’s sportiness to another level. And let’s not forget those carbon fiber skirts, the three exhaust outlets, and that massive fixed rear spoiler. All these elements combine to make a car that’s definitely going to get its share of attention when it arrives in the U.S. in the early part of 2017.
Is it safe to say that the hype and anticipation surrounding the Honda Civic Type R’s entry into the US market is going to be at a fever pitch after the prototype’s official debut at the Paris Motor Show? To that question, my answer is a resounding yes!.
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Triumph’s attempt to set the land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats may have been scuttled, but that wasn’t the case for Honda and its Honda S Dream Streamliner, which set a new FIA world record for a vehicle in its class (Category-A Group-1 Class-4) by hitting an average top speed of 261.875 mph over the flying mile at the Salt Flats. It also posted an average of 261.96 mph over the flying kilometer.
The Dream Streamliner accomplished its goal using a heavily modified version of the 660-cc engine that’s based on the three-cylinder engine that was designed for the Honda S660. Using that 660-cc engine to set the world speed record was always the company’s number one objective, as project leader Keisuke Tsuta admitted in a press release.
The record-setting run may have looked easy as the posted time of 261.865 miles over the flying mile was already faster than the 227.776 mph it set on the first day of the shootout to break the FIA record. Getting there, though, proved to be the difficult part as the team poured through every nook and cranny of the S660 engine and reworked a host of its components to get three times the power than the engine was capable of producing in stock form. Several runs soon took place, including some at the Bonneville Speed Week where the team was unable to reach the speed it needed to break the record.
Despite all of the issues that the team had in preparing the Dream Streamliner, the vehicle stood tall when it was finally time to attempt the world record run, not only becoming the fastest vehicle in its class, but also becoming the fastest vehicle Honda has ever developed, eclipsing the BAR Honda F1 race car that hit an average top speed of 246.9 mph over the flying mile at the Salt Flats in 2006.
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While all-electric power and autonomous driving systems grab most of the headlines these days, there’s another piece of tech out there that’s worthy of your consideration – augmented reality (AR). It’s the same stuff used in the video game sensation Pokemon Go, but rather than imprisoning adorable monsters, some folks are interested in using it for four-wheeled applications. The latest automotive AR news comes from Honda, which just filed two patents that outline how the technology can be used to enhance safety behind the wheel. While Honda has yet to release an official statement on the technology, the patents summarize systems that allow drivers to avoid pedestrians and rear-end collisions.
Essentially, the patents propose a system that pulls images and information from various onboard sensors, then relays that info to the driver through a heads-up display that projects it onto the windshield, revealing what would normally be obstructed or out of sight.
One of the patents shows a system that detects pedestrians, then shows the driver an AR display of an intersection dotted by pedestrians, including those in the driver’s blind spot.
A second patent incorporates vehicle-to-vehicle communication whereby the distance between two cars is projected into the driver’s field of vision. Should a car ahead of the group brake heavily or identify an obstruction, it will relay that information to the cars behind it, with the drivers notified by an AR display.
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You would think that for an automaker that comes from Japan, its home market would get first dibs on any of the cars it builds. But that’s not the case with the Honda NSX. Apparently, the Japanese market isn’t getting the NSX until 2017, much later than other countries like the U.S. and Australia. Even more curious, the NSX will come with a base price of ¥23.7 million in Japan, or the equivalent of $235,000 based on current exchange rates. That amount is not only 50 percent higher than the supercar’s base price in the U.S. of $156,000, but it’s also a lot more expensive than the Nissan GT-R Nismo in Japan. For the record, the GT-R Nismo is priced at ¥18.7 million in Japan, or around $186,340.
It sounds ridiculous that a Japanese supercar costs more in its manufacturer’s homeland compared to international markets, but if you pull the curtains behind the development of the NSX, a number of revealing informations will tell you that it’s not as it might seen. First, the NSX, despite “technically” being a Japanese supercar, is actually being produced in the U.S., specifically at the automaker’s new Performance Manufacturing Center (PMC) in Marysville, Ohio. That puts it in the “imported car” category, which traditionally carries a higher tax rate than local or regional cars. Then there’s the issue of Japan’s other tax rates, not the least of which includes an eight percent gas-guzzler tax that adds to the rising price tag of the supercar. Throw all of these charges together with the NSX’s base price in Japan and you get to that rather exorbitant figure.
In any event, Japanese customers aren’t obliged to buy the NSX if they feel that it’s not worth the price of owning one. Those who don’t mind paying a premium for the car now have a chance to get a hold of one as NSX Performance Dealers in Japan are now accepting applications for the supercar. Only 100 units will be made available in the first year with deliveries expected to begin on February 27, 2017, or May 2017 in the case of models that come with iron brake rotors.
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While two decades ago seven-speed transmissions for passenger cars were unheard of, they are quite common today. Actually, automatic transmissions have been receiving additional cogs on a regular basis, with several vehicles using eight- and nine-speed automatics. More recently, Ford and GM have announced plans to introduce a jointly-developed 10-cog unit, but a patent that Honda filed with the Japanese Patent Office suggests that in the future we might use transmissions with even more gears.
According to AutoGuide, the Japanese manufacturer filed a patent for a new 11-speed gearbox that will use three clutches (instead of just two). The patent describes a transmission that shifts quicker and delivers better fuel economy. The third clutch is also supposed to reduce the drop in torque that occurs during up shifts on a regular dual-clutch gearbox, but there’s no information as to how the unit actually works.
Also, there’s no mention of what type of vehicle this transmission would eventually be offered in, but it sounds like it could find a home in small, fuel economy-oriented cars. It could also be used on the company’s future sports cars, as well as in larger vehicles in need of better fuel economy. On the other hand, it might not make it on the market at all, as patents don’t always spawn mass-produced parts.
The patent was published on May 27, 2016, and is no longer available on the Japanese patent office’s website. Stick around for updates, we’ll be back as soon as we get fresh info.
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