To compliment the strong emphasis on green technology and efficient motoring we’re seeing at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, Honda is making its presence known with a concept hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and the latest iteration of the high-strung VTEC performance motor. It’s a product showcase that caters to both the Earth-conscious commuter crowd and performance lovers, all with that characteristic H-badge pragmatism.

With the 2014 FCV Concept car in Detroit for its North American debut, Honda is looking to round out its already impressive lineup of alternative fuel vehicles, which currently includes the 2015 Fit EV, 2015 Civic Hybrid, 2015 Civic Natural Gas, 2015 CR-Z hybrid, and 2015 Accord hybrid. U.S. availability for a production FCV is scheduled to open up sometime next year, following a March 2016 launch in Japan.

Thanks to an innovative drivetrain and a body shaped to minimize drag, the FCV is expected to come with a range of 300 zero-emission miles, with refuel times approximated at just three minutes. The fuel cell used is 33-percent smaller than that found on the outgoing FCX Clarity, which means the FCV boasts a large cabin with seating for five.

The automaker also unveiled plans for a new VTEC Turbo engine slated for debut at the end of this year. The combination of Honda’s renowned variable timing and lift system with forced induction can only mean one thing: hyper-efficient internal combustion, good for both power and mileage. We’re talking four cylinders and two liters making 300 horsepower and 40 mpg (although that’s just speculation). With $340 million invested in its engine plant in Anna, Ohio, the new VTEC Turbo should start rolling off the assembly line very soon.

Honda says it plans to offer a variety of “advanced powertrain vehicles” in the next few years, including a new battery-electric model, plug-in hybrid model, and additional use of its “two- and three-motor hybrid systems,” all scheduled for release by 2018.

Click past the jump to read more.

Why it matters

Back in November of 2014, Honda stated it would provide FirstElement Fuel with $13.8 million to build hydrogen-refueling stations throughout California. FirstElement Fuel also partnered with Toyota, which recently announced an expansion onto the northeastern seaboard with 12 new hydrogen-refueling stations built in cooperation with Air Liquide.

One of the biggest hurdles facing widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is a lack of supportive infrastructure. But as cars like Honda’s FCV integrate into the mainstream alongside substantial financial backing to keep them topped off and running, we can only predict a growing tide of fuel-cell vehicles in the near future.

The new VTEC Turbo motor is exciting for a number of reasons. First, Honda has made cars that combine sporting fun with high mileage specs for decades and decades. As the rest of the world starts to move in that direction, Honda is a step ahead with experience, which means we could see a surplus of Honda awesomeness very soon.

Lending credit to this claim is the highly anticipated release of the new Civic Type R, which will come with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter engine and “at least” 276 horsepower. Sound familiar? Throw in rumors that the motor will make it stateside in one form or another, and it’s hard to not get at least a little giddy.

With Honda’s Acura luxury brand breaking cover on the new NSX in Detroit, we have a feeling the Japanese automaker is just getting warmed up for a year packed with activity, both with green alternatives and canyon-carving screamers.

Honda FCV Concept

Honda Brings FCV Concept and Turbocharged VTEC Engines to Detroit High Resolution Exterior
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Press Release

The Honda FCV Concept makes its North American debut at the 2015 North American International Auto Show with U.S. availability of the production vehicle in 2016. In an effort to ensure Honda’s environmental vehicles remain strong competitors and provide a new sales-volume pillar, the company will offer several next-generation, advanced powertrain vehicles, including a new battery-electric model and plug-in hybrid model by 2018. Additionally, the company plans further application of its two- and three-motor hybrid systems in the years to come. Together, these vehicles will offer significant volume enabling Honda to bring ultra-low carbon transportation to consumers in the U.S. Honda also announced plans to introduce new VTEC® Turbo engines to be built in Ohio and debut later in 2015.

Honda Brings FCV Concept and Turbocharged VTEC Engines to Detroit High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Honda FCV Concept
The Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda’s next fuel-cell vehicle, anticipated to launch in the U.S. following its March 2016 introduction in Japan. The new Honda fuel-cell car will feature a spacious cabin with seating for five-passengers, a driving range estimated to be in excess of 300 miles, and an anticipated refueling time of approximately 3 minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa. Its fuel cell stack, which fits entirely within under the hood, is 33 percent smaller with a 60 percent increase in power density compared to the outgoing Honda FCX Clarity.

As the next progression in Honda’s dynamic FCV styling, the Honda FCV Concept features a low, wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior strives to achieve harmony between man and machine by taking advantage of new powertrain packaging efficiencies delivering even greater passenger space than its predecessor, the 4-passenger Honda FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle. The Honda FCV Concept made its world debut in Japan on Nov. 17, 2014, followed by an announcement at the Los Angeles Auto Show that Honda will provide FirstElement Fuel with $13.8 million in financial assistance to build additional hydrogen refueling stations throughout the state of California in an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel-cell vehicles.

Honda Brings FCV Concept and Turbocharged VTEC Engines to Detroit High Resolution Exterior
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Next-Generation Advanced Powertrain Vehicle
In addition to the all-new fuel-cell vehicle, by 2018 Honda will introduce several next-generation advanced powertrain vehicles that will leverage new Honda Earth Dreams™ Technology powertrains. These next-generation vehicles will build on Honda’s longstanding portfolio approach to advancing ultra-low carbon technologies for mobility and will include:

An all-new Honda plug-in hybrid model (PHEV);
An all-new Honda battery-electric vehicle (BEV); and
Further application of our two- and three-motor hybrid systems to contribute to significant sales volume growth for Honda’s U.S. hybrid vehicle lineup.

New VTEC® Turbo Engines
Before the end of the year, Honda will begin to introduce our new 4-cylinder VTEC® Turbo engines – an extension of its Earth Dreams™ Technology powertrain lineup – that will deliver fun-to-drive performance while supporting fuel efficiency at a very high level. Production of the new VTEC® Turbo engines will begin later this year at Honda’s Anna, Ohio, engine plant, the largest automobile engine plant in Honda’s global production network1. Honda is investing $340 million at the Anna Engine Plant to produce the VTEC® Turbo 4-cylinder engines using domestic and globally sourced parts, including the addition of a third assembly line for production of 4-cylinder engines and additional manufacturing innovations.

Honda Brings FCV Concept and Turbocharged VTEC Engines to Detroit High Resolution Exterior
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Honda Environmental Leadership
Based on its vision of "Blue Skies for our Children," Honda is taking a portfolio approach to reducing the environmental impact of its products, advancing fuel efficiency, low emissions and fun-to-drive performance with new powertrain technologies from its Earth Dreams Technology™ lineup, which includes more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions and advanced electromotive technologies. Honda’s alternative-fuel vehicle lineup includes the Fit EV, Civic Hybrid, Civic Natural Gas, the CR-Z sport hybrid coupe and the Accord Hybrid.

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