Honda, Toyota, and Nissan Threaten to Leave the U.K. if Brexit Kills Profits
The uncertainty of the U.K.’s “Brexit” away from the European Union looms as one of the world’s biggest storylines since the shock vote that happened in 2016. There’s still a year away before the U.K. formally leaves the European bloc, but there are already concerns from other countries all over the world about the kind of trade agreements that will arise from the country’s departure from the EU. One of the concerned nations is Japan and, in an unusual move for the normally docile Japanese people, the country said that its companies would leave Britain if trade barriers made them unprofitable. Among the Japanese companies that could exit Britain include Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi.
Honda Renews U.S. Patent for CDX Name
Acura has renewed its U.S. patent for the CDX name – one that belongs to a China-only crossover based on the Honda CR-V. While Acura has sold the compact CDX crossover in China since 2016, no official talk has emerged about Honda bringing the luxury-branded vehicle to the United States. Unfortunately, that remains the case despite the patent filing.
See, Honda originally patented the CDX name back in 2015 ahead of the crossover’s debut for the Chinese market. Since then, Acura’s U.S. branch has made do without an entry-level crossover below the RDX. In fact, the mid-size RDX and full-size MDX remain Acura’s only two crossovers. Now, especially more than ever, seems to be the right time for a third member in Acura’s crossover lineup.
The segment is getting increasingly more competitive with new entries and refreshed versions of existing vehicles. Both Lexus and Cadillac have new vehicles on the horizon for the segment with the UX and XT4, and vehicles like the Audi Q3, Volvo XC60, Jaguar E-Pace, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Lincoln Nautilus, Range Rover Evoque, and even the Buick Encore all enjoy strong sales.
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Honda is Bringing Back the Passport Name to Fill the Gap Between the CR-V and Pilot
Honda’s OG SUV is making a comeback. The once proud Pilot badge is reportedly getting a new shot in life, this time in a form of a two-row crossover that will slot between the CR-V and Pilot SUV. The new Passport is expected to to be shown at a Honda dealership meeting in November before going on sale sometime in the early part of 2019. Before that, a date with the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show is also on the calendar.
Automakers Say Manufacturing Jobs Are Safe From Robot Takeover, For Now
Fears that automation in the auto manufacturing sector will make the human worker redundant are widespread. However, according to a recent report from Bloomberg, the current state of technology still requires a human touch to do the job right.
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2019 Honda Insight
Introduced in late 1999, the Honda Insight was the first production car 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 is set to revive the nameplate with a modern design and a new drivetrain. A pre-production prototype was unveiled at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, with the production model likely to follow by the end of the year.
"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 don’t forget to come back for updates, as Honda will probably release more data by the end of the year.
Continue reading to learn more about the Honda Insight.
Honda Insight Returns to Take on the Toyota Prius with Sleek Design, High-Tech Interior
The Toyota Prius’ main competitor for many years, the Honda Insight took a break from the U.S. market between 2006 and 2009 and was again discontinued in 2014. The Japanese hybrid is set to return once again in 2018 with a brand-new design and Honda just previewed its upcoming production model with a prototype at the Detroit Auto Show. A production-ready vehicle at first glance, the new Insight is a significant departure from its predecessor, a scenario we’ve seen before. While the first-gen Insight was a rather weird-looking three-door hatchback with hidden rear wheels, the second-gen model had a more conventional design and five doors. For its latest iteration, Honda went with a four-door sedan configuration, probably hoping to appeal to a bigger crowd.
Honda Brings Together Consortium of Tech Startups To Focus on Future Mobility
In case it isn’t obvious by now, the Consumer Electronics Show attracted just about every automaker that has a vested interest in future mobility. Honda was in attendance at the event, where it announced plans through Honda Xcelerator to bring together a consortium of tech startups with the goal of developing new technologies that are geared towards future mobility. Included in this list of startups are BRAIQ, DeepMap, DynaOptics, EXO Technologies, Tactual Labs, and WayRay.
Honda’s New Powerpack is Revolutionary in Terms of Simple Mobility
In the continuing quest to develop alternative sources of power, Honda took to the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show to unveil the Mobile Power Pack, a portable, swappable, and rechargeable battery that users can use to power digital devices, home appliances, emergencies, and electric mobility vehicles like motorcycles and scooters. The Mobile Power Pack is essentially an oversized powerbank that carries an output of at least 1kWh, enough juice to serve a myriad of purposes.
Meet Honda’s Newest Cute Robots the 3E Empathy, Empower, and Experience
Honda has pulled the covers off of four robot concepts at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Collective called the 3E Robotics Concepts, the small prototypes are more than just novelty items that Honda cooked up for our collective pleasures; they were created to give us a taste of what the future could look like with these robots by our sides to improve our daily lives in different ways. Three of these concepts are making their world debuts at CES. One of them, 3E-C18, made its debut at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show last October.
2017 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.
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Do New Patent Images Reveal Forthcoming Honda NSX Type R?
Recently published patent images show that Honda has a new, simplified air dam design that increases strength and rigidity, while simultaneously improving air flow as well. The patents also show what appears to be the new air dam attached to a second-generation NSX, spurring rumors that the H Badge could be cooking up a go-faster Type R iteration of its hybrid supercar.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.
Honda Insight Returning After Four Years; Prototype Ready for Detroit Debut
Discontinued in 2014, the Honda Insight is about to make a comeback for the 2019 model year. The big news comes from the Japanese automakers, which just announced that a prototype model will be shown at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show in January. Described as a precursor to the all-new model, which will go on sale next year, the prototype is will preview a vehicle described as an "upscale, stylish five-passenger sedan positioned above the Civic in the lineup."
Stolen Honda HR-V Found With Lyft Stickers And 13,000 Miles On The Odometer
A brand new Honda HR-V that was stolen back in August in front of the apartment of its owners has been found abandoned on the side of a road for around two weeks. That in itself makes this a head-scratching case. But the story doesn’t end there. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the stolen HR-V had Lyft stickers on the front and rear windows, a sign that the HR-V was used as a Lyft vehicle at the time it was stolen.
Poor Guy Has Rims Stolen from His Honda Accord Twice in One Week
There’s bad luck, and there’s really bad luck. A couple from Prince George’s County in Maryland found themselves on the short end of the stick when a thief stole all four tires from their Honda Accord not once, but twice. The first incident occurred on November 28 when surveillance footage showed a man getting out of his car and jacking the tires from the Accord before it leaving it on bricks. To prevent the incident from happening again, the husband of the owner of the car, identified as Anthony Greer, decided to install a Viper alarm system with a tilt sensor on the Accord. Turns out, the two safety devices weren’t enough to prevent the crime from happening again. Exactly a week later on December 5, the thief managed to steal the Accord’s new set of tires after breaking the wheel locks and leaving the car on the same type of bricks.
Honda Set To Unveil Four New Robot Concepts at CES 2018
Ever since Honda unveiled ASIMO back in 2002, we’ve looked to the Japanese automaker to come up with new robot concepts. It took some time, but Honda’s finally granted our wishes with not one, not two, not three, but four different robot concepts. The unveiling is scheduled to take place at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next January. Of the four concepts, one is a companion robot, while another is an autonomous off-road concept. The other two are described as “mobility” concepts to help move people and things about.
HondaLens Augmented Reality - The Future of the Dealership Experience
Honda has high hopes for the all-new 2018 Accord, so it’s taking the car’s dealership experience to a whole new level with a new feature called HondaLens. The augmented reality (AR) feature puts prospective customers in a unique position of seeing the Accord and its features in a whole new light, literally and figuratively. The proprietary system made its debut at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in grand fashion. Those in attendance were given an opportunity to peak into the history of one of Honda’s best-selling models before diving deep into the array of features that the tenth-generation Accord has at its disposal.
Honda Plans for 15-Minute EV Charging Times by 2020
Compared to a lot of automakers, Honda has remained largely mute about its EV goals for the future. Be that as it may, the brand recently released two EV concepts and is now aiming for 15-minute charging by 2022, effectively tackling the largest hurdle in the mission of EVs moving into the mainstream category. The goal is to provide at least 240 km on a single, 15-minute charge, or at least 80-percent capacity – the industry standard at this point. The company will get an assist in this mission, however, as most of Europe and Japan should have a full network of 350 kW charging stations by 2020, and infrastructure that is a necessity for this type of fast charging to even be feasible let alone become a reality. To put that timeline into perspective, Honda is expecting to have production EVs on the road by 2019 and this high-speed charging in play just three years later. But, there’s a bit more to it – keep reading to learn more.