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Posts Tagged ‘honda news’

Honda Civic Type R Heats Up Hot Hatch Segment

Japanese maker going for ’Ring record.

by on Oct.02, 2014

The Honda Civic Type R may be the fastest Type R in the 22-year history of it brand.

The chatter about “hot hatches” has been going on for some time, and Honda’s new Civic Type R is only going to add fuel to that fire.

Featuring a few small exterior changes, such as an electric blue paint job to replace the standard red, it still keeps the large rear wing, quad exhausts and racing-style rear diffuser.

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Speculation is that the new iteration is the best performing Type R in the 22-year history of the car. In fact, Honda’s been running the new version around Germany’s famed Nurburgring track trying to set a new record. (more…)

Honda Reveals New 2015 CR-V

New cute-ute hits showrooms in October.

by on Sep.22, 2014

Honda will have more to say -- and show -- about the new CR-V next week.

Honda is giving us a first look at its 2015 CR-V – but not much more – hinting it will have plenty of details to reveal later this month.

But some significant details have already leaked out about this mid-cycle update of one of the U.S. market’s best-selling products, the 2015 Honda CR-V set to go on sale at the beginning of October. Beyond the cosmetic changes, the new CUV is expected to get a new 2.4-liter engine that, when paired with a new automatic gearbox, should deliver a solid bump in fuel economy.

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Honda clearly needs to keep the little crossover on the top of its game considering the hefty competition in the compact CUV segment, with buyers offered alternatives as diverse as the Toyota RAV-4, the Nissan Rogue, the Mazda CX-5, and other options from the U.S. and South Korea.

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Honda Unveils “Virtual Tow System”

Japanese maker joins autonomous drive revolution.

by on Sep.15, 2014

A schematic of how Honda's Virtual Tow system would work in the real world.

While it hasn’t announced a production date, Honda is getting ready to join the autonomous driving revolution, revealing a prototype of its Acura RLX sedan capable of hands-off highway driving.

The Japanese maker has also developed a new “virtual tow” system that it says a motorist could use to assist another vehicle in distress.

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Frank Paluch, president of Honda R&D Americas Inc. said the Japanese automaker  one of many working towards of a collision-free society by utilizing innovations in active safety, connected and automated vehicle technology.

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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.

(This story has been updated to include torque numbers, and information about fuel economy changes.)

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.

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“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.

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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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