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Posts Tagged ‘honda news’

Sport Hybrid Gives Muscle Honda CR-Z Long Needed

Hatchback gets supercharged boost from HPD performance division.

by on Aug.21, 2014

The supercharger package for the Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid adds some chassis and appearance upgrades to the hp boost from the new blower.

Long in promise, short in performance, that’s been the widely voiced complaint about the Honda CR-Z since the hatchback hybrid was first introduced four years ago this month. But the Japanese maker plans to correct that problem with the help of its Honda Performance Development, or HPD, division.

The street performance division has come up with a new dealer-installed supercharger package that will deliver a more than 50% boost to the standard-issue CR-Z pony count. The performance punch won’t come cheap, however, Honda setting the price for the 2015 CR-Z Sport Hybrid kit at $5,495 – plus dealer installation fees.

A Real Performer!

“The CR-Z was the first hybrid to prove that efficiency doesn’t have to come at the cost of sportiness and fun,” said Art St. Cyr, president of Honda Performance Development. “With HPD street performance accessories, including the new supercharger kit, the CR-Z will surprise everyone again with even higher levels of performance directly inspired by our on-track racing efforts.”

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Automakers Power Up on Solar

Ford joins growing list of makers tapping into sun’s energy.

by on Aug.14, 2014

A rendering of Ford's planned solar park.

Ford Motor Co. has been betting big on battery power, and now it’s tapping the sun to help charge up some of its electric vehicles with a sprawling new solar energy array it plans to install outside its suburban Detroit headquarters.

Ford is the latest in a growing list of manufacturers turning to solar energy at their office buildings and manufacturing plants. General Motors is even using sun power to help charge up newly assembled Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids before shipping them off to customers. And solar energy is providing a major chunk of the power needed to run Volkswagen’s big assembly plant in Tennessee.

Plug Into Your Inside Source!

Ford has “a deep commitment to sustainability,” explains Chairman Bill Ford Jr. The maker’s “beliefs are embodied in this project,” he stressed.

Working with local power supplier DTE Energy, Ford’s new solar array will be the largest in Michigan and the second-largest in the Midwest, covering 360 parking spaces in front of the headquarters building known locally as “Glass House.” In all, it will be able to produce up to 1.038 megawatts of energy.

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Acura Betting on Biggest Ad Blitz Ever for New TLX

Critical launch comes later this month.

by on Aug.04, 2014

Acura launches an ad blitz for the new TLX this month.

Counting on the all-new midrange TLX sport sedan to reverse years of weak sales, Acura will launch the largest and most expensive  advertising blitz in the brand’s history.

The move could be critical for the Honda luxury marque, Acura sales tumbling 17.6% in July despite the addition of several recent sedans, the base ILX and flagship RLX. The TLX targets what Acura’s top executive Mike Accavitti has described as the “sweet spot” of the luxury market. But the challenge is to reach potential buyers who have largely written off the brand.

Getting the Message Out!

Acura will reveal its new ads this coming Friday – though it is already pitching the car in Canada by emphasizing performance and spirited driving. The American campaign will go live in mid-August, Accatti said, even as the maker and its motorsports partner, Real Time Racing, hope to build buzz with a track version of the TLX sedan.

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Insurance Institute Recommends Safest Cars for Teens

List includes more than 50 sedans, minivans and SUVs – puts emphasis on safety features.

by on Jul.16, 2014

The Chevrolet Malibu is one of a dozen GM models included on the IIHS list of safest cars for teens.

With teen drivers the group at risk for serious crashes, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has issued its first-ever list of the used vehicles it most recommends for young motorists.

The list puts a premium on such safety features as airbags, electronic stability control and anti-rollover systems, though teens might not like the fact that most of the recommended offerings are low on power. The IIHS recommendations also offer something for almost every pocketbook, the picks ranging in price from around $4,000 to $20,000.

The Journal of Record!

“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” stresses IIHS President Adrian Lund. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”

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Despite Skeptics, Fuel-Cell Vehicles Hit the Market

“Fool cells” or “fuel of the future”?

by on Jul.15, 2014

Toyota Executive Vice President Mitsuhisa Kato reveals the company's new FCV fuel cell vehicle in Japan.

Hyundai’s first fuel-cell vehicle, a zero-emissions version of its Tucson sport-ute, has just gone on sale in Southern California, and hydrogen-powered Honda and Toyota models will follow in the months ahead.  Mercedes-Benz is fleet testing its own F-Cell model, and other makers, such as General Motors, may soon enter the fuel-cell market, as well.

To proponents, hydrogen is the ultimate form of clean energy, and one that overcomes many of the drawbacks of battery power such as limited range and long charging cycles. Yet reaction to the technology remains sharply divided.

Fuel for Thought!

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of TeslaMotors, the California-based battery-carmaker, has repeatedly asserted that hydrogen vehicles will never pay off commercially, deriding them as “fool cells.”

But after years on the back burner as money and resources were shifted to battery technology, hydrogen has been regaining momentum in the U.S. and abroad.

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Acura Going All-In with New TLX

New sport sedan sees largest launch ever for struggling luxury brand.

by on Jul.14, 2014

The new 2015 Acura TLX targets the performance sport sedan market once a stronghold for the old Legend model.

Acura is playing its new TLX sports sedan like a winning poker hand, going all-in on the mid-range model it is launching for 2014.

It may not have any other choice. Despite the strong reception given the Honda subsidiary’s redesigned MDX sport-utility vehicle this year, Acura has continued to struggle with the rest of its line-up, its sedans, in particular, posting double-digit sales declines. But it’s confident that it finally has the right cards in place to ante up with the biggest launch campaign in its 30-year history.

Beyond the Headlines!

“We’re very excited about what the TLX will bring us,” said Mike Accavitti, the executive recently appointed to head Acura, which is gaining more independence from its parent brand in a bid to reverse years of weak sales.  Replacing the old TL model, Accavitti promised that the new TLX “is positioned in the sweet spot of the sedan market. It has the right stuff to put us back in the performance sedan game.”

Acura better hope so.

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Acura MDX Sales Set Record – But Passenger Cars Remain a Problem

Japanese luxury brand bills MDX as best-selling 3-row ute ever.

by on Jul.11, 2014

The 2014 Acura MDX has readily outsold all its competitors in the three-row luxury SUV category.

With sales up more than 68% so far this year, Acura is billing its MDX as the best-selling three-row luxury SUV ever. The redesign has clearly clicked with consumers, but the MDX has been a hot-seller ever since its introduction 15 years ago, topping all other three-row competitors every year since 2002.

That’s the good news for Acura, but there’s also plenty of bad. Despite introducing several new passenger cars in recent years, including its entry-level ILX and flagship RDX, Acura’s passenger cars simply aren’t cutting it with consumers.

Your Global News Source!

So, despite the surge in sales of the brand’s big SUV, Acura’s overall volume slumped 18.6% in June, making it one of the few brands to report a decline as the U.S. car market continues its recovery.

“MDX is the clear benchmark in its class,” crowed the Acura Division’s General Manager Mike Accavitti, proclaiming that “Luxury car buyers have spoken.”

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Honda Adds Another 1 Mil Vehicle to Airbag Recall

Subaru also impacted by faulty Takata airbag problem.

by on Jul.09, 2014

Honda will recall as many as 1 million more vehicles due to airbag problems, including '03 Accords.

One of the largest safety-related problems in automotive history has become even bigger, faulty Takata-made airbags forcing Honda to recall as many as 1 million more vehicles, while Subaru has become the eighth automaker impacted by the problem.

More than 10 million vehicles have been affected by the defect which could cause airbags to improperly inflate in a crash, potentially sending shrapnel flying into the passenger compartment.

The Journal of Record!

The announcement comes a day after Honda announced a separate recall due to a separate problem involving the headlights on some of the vehicles sold by its Acura luxury brand. Ford, meanwhile, announced six separate recalls on Tuesday covering over 100,000 vehicles. All told, more than 41 million cars, trucks and crossovers have been recalled since January 1, already a record well ahead of the 34.1 million vehicles recalled in 2004.

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3D System Helps Honda Accurately Simulate Crash Tests

Virtual crashes can be run “at the push of a button.”

by on Jun.25, 2014

A life-like, 3D Honda crash simulation.

There was a time when an automaker might have to build dozens of costly prototypes just to crash them in an effort to meet federal safety standards. These days, most of the work is done by computer simulation. But the challenge is to ensure that what goes on in the virtual world accurately reflects what would happen not only in a physical crash test but in the real world.

Honda has turned to a new 3D software system that promises to make crash simulations more realistic while saving both time and money in the process of developing new vehicles.

Virtual Reality!

“With this technology, we have gained the potential to improve the quality of decision making and reduce the time required for finalizing a vehicle design by greatly increasing the ease of communicating and understanding the results of a crash test simulation,” explained Eric DeHoff, the technical leader for computer aided engineering, in the Crash Safety Group of Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

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Honda Moves from Making Cars to Making Music

Automaker’s new YouTube channel aimed at young buyers.

by on Jun.12, 2014

Honda is hoping its foray into music content, called Honda Stage, will lure young buyers.

Automakers often seek different ways to connect with customers and Honda has decided to take a stab at reaching out to its younger buyers with Honda Stage, a YouTube music channel.

The Japanese maker is partnering with Live Nation, Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Revolt and Vevo to develop the channel.

On Top of the News!

“Breaking through the clutter and reaching younger buyers through traditional advertising is proving more and more difficult in this always-on, digital generation,” said Tom Peyton, assistant vice president of Advertising and Marketing for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. (more…)