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First Drive: 2018 Honda Odyssey

Putting some "fun" in functional.

by on May.15, 2017

Is this a minivan you can go nuts for?

The locals will tell you that if you don’t like the weather on the Big Island of Hawaii, you just have to drive 15 minutes. With 11 of the world’s 13 climactic zones on one volcanic rock in the middle of the Pacific, that gives us plenty of opportunity to check out the 2018 Honda Odyssey. About the only place we won’t be driving during our visit is up to the peak of Mauna Kea where there’s still some snow in the early days of May.

The Odyssey has long been at the top of the people-mover sales charts, and with the launch of the fifth-generation van, Honda is determined not to cede ground despite the fact that its key rival, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, launched a complete remake of its own minivan – renamed the Chrysler Pacifica – just last year.

Reviews You Can Trust!

Together the two dominate the segment, and while minivans have lost a lot of momentum in recent years — millions of owners and potential buyers opting instead for SUVs and CUVs — there’s still a sizable market, especially among family buyers and, to a lesser degree empty-nesters and retirees. While minivans may long ago have lost their cool factor, they remain the vehicle of choice for those who put a premium on space, flexibility and creature features.

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Honda Frees Up Silicon Valley Unit to Lead Innovation

New group will consider a broader spectrum of technologies.

by on Apr.17, 2017

Honda's Silicon Valley R&D facility is the home of Honda R&D Innovation Inc.

Honda has turned its Silicon Valley Lab in Mountain View, California, into a new company officially called Honda R&D Innovations Inc., tasked with pursuing research and product development beyond just cars.

It will also look partnerships with other companies and start-up companies on future projects.

Tech News!

“We’re witnessing a convergence of technologies that will transform mobility, create new business opportunities, and change the way we manufacture products,” said Honda Innovations CEO Nick Sugimoto, who previously served as the senior program director of Honda Silicon Valley Lab. (more…)

Honda Adds Two New Versions of Clarity Green Machine

Plug-In, all-electric versions join original Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle.

by on Apr.12, 2017

Honda's Steve Center introduces the new Honda Clarity at the New York International Auto Show.

Honda’s hydrogen-powered Clarity FCV is getting two new siblings, with plug-in and all-electric versions of the futuristic sedan making their debut at the New York International Auto Show.

Honda will be one of the first makers to offer a range of three different green powertrain options for the same model, two of those being entirely emissions-free. They will help anchor the Japanese maker’s goal of having two-thirds of its global sales generated by electrified vehicles by 2030.

Auto Show News!

“The Honda Clarity is aimed at accelerating the deployment of advanced electrified powertrain technology and bringing electrified vehicles further into the mainstream,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., during an NYIAS press conference. “The Clarity series also heralds the advancement of our Honda Electrification Initiative, representing our investment in the full spectrum of electric-vehicle technologies.”

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Acura Gives it Another Try with “Aggressive” TLX Refresh

Taking another swing for the bleachers.

by on Apr.11, 2017

Acura is looking to spark some life into its sedan sales with a new "aggressive" midcycle refresh of its TLX.

Acura has hit a number of balls out of the park in recent years with SUVs like the MDX and RDX. However, where it continues to strike out is with its passenger car models.

The luxury arm of Honda is hoping to improve its batting average with the refreshed 2018 Acura TLX making its debut at this week’s New York International Auto Show. Designed to pick up on the more “aggressive and sporty” cues of the recent Acura Precision Concept, and with plenty of new technology, the Japanese maker is looking to join the luxury big leagues.

Auto Show News!

“We’ve really upped the ante in terms of styling, emotion and road presence, more effectively communicating the TLX’s dynamic capabilities,” declared Jon Ikeda, Acura vice president and general manager, as the new 2018 TLX rolled into the Big Apple. (more…)

Honda Finally Pulls Wraps Off New 2017 Civic Si.

Civic gets sportier, but sportiest model yet to come.

by on Apr.07, 2017

Finally, the 2017 Honda Civic Si makes its official debut.

Honda decided to skip the usual auto show route with the unveiling of its 10th-generation Civic Si. As TheDetroitBureau.com earlier reported, it chose to pitch the new model to tech-savvy Millennials directly with a live YouTube debut.

A number of details had already been leaking out, so much of what was revealed was already old news – including the fact that despite switching to a first-ever turbocharged engine, the 2017 Civic Si will retain its current 205 horsepower rating. But there were still a few pleasant surprises revealed during the video preview.

“The 2017 Honda Civic Si is our first turbocharged Si and sets a new sporty compact benchmark in terms of agility and precise handling while building toward the launch of the Type R as the final chapter in our epic 10th-generation Civic story,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president automobile division, American Honda.

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Honda Using YouTube for Civic Si Reveal

Automaker aims to connect directly with potential Millennial buyers.

by on Apr.03, 2017

A concept version of the 10th-gen Honda Civic Si debuting at the 2016 LA Auto Show.

In another sign that the times, they are a’changing, Honda is turning to YouTube to reveal the production version of the new Civic Si on April 6, rather than waiting for next week’s New York International Auto Show.

Honda did go a more conventional route when it unveiled the Civic Si Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show last November. But it only showed off a modestly disguised version of the Si Coupe. It’s kept everyone guessing about what the sedan version will look like.

The Auto Show Beat!

Automakers are increasingly open to novel ways to get the message out, rather than having to fight for attention on crowded show floors. And so, with tech-savvy Millennials and Gen-Xers the target audience for the latest Civic variant, the YouTube launch is expected to connect directly with potential buyers for the 2017 Si.

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A Real Gas: First Drive of the 2017 Honda Clarity FCV

Hydrogen-powered sedan is no lightweight.

by on Mar.20, 2017

A bit late, but ready to roll. The new Honda Clarity FCV is the latest fuel-cell powered vehicle to hit the U.S. market.

During a visit to Detroit last week, President Donald Trump all but promised the auto industry his administration will roll back the tough 54.5 mpg federal mileage standard set to go into effect in 2025.

Yet while some manufacturers, especially Detroit’s Big Three, issued a collective sigh of relief, others insisted such a move wouldn’t make much, if any, difference in their long-term plans. That includes Honda, whose CEO recently emphasized his commitment to generating two-thirds of the maker’s sales from electrified powertrains by 2030.

Reviews You Can Trust!

“Electric” doesn’t necessarily mean “battery,” however, and Honda has become one of the biggest proponents of fuel-cell technology, the Japanese maker recently becoming the third manufacturer to start marketing a hydrogen-powered car in the U.S. market. This past week, it gave TheDetroitBureau.com a chance to put the new Honda Clarity FCV through its paces traversing the mountainous terrain east of Santa Barbara, California. (more…)

Honda Set to Unveil All-Electric, Plug-in Versions of Clarity at NY Auto Show

New models complement Clarity fuel-cell model.

by on Mar.09, 2017

Honda teases the three versions of the Clarity model it will show off at the 2017 NYIAS.

The first version of the new Honda Clarity has only just gone on sale but Honda is already rolling out two other variants.

With the Clarity FCV, Honda became the third automaker to launch a fuel-cell vehicle in the U.S. market last year. Now, it says, it will debut both the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid and the Clarity Electric at the 2017 New York International Auto Show. All three models are based off the same, unique midsize platform, and all are equipped to carry five passengers.

Auto Show News!

Honda boasts Clarity will be “the first vehicle series to offer customers an expanded array of electrified vehicle choices with fuel cell, battery electric and plug-in hybrid powertrains.” But other makers are also working up multi-use platforms, including both Hyundai and its Korean sibling Kia.

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Honda Muscles Up With Civic Type R

Most powerful version yet for compact mainstay.

by on Mar.08, 2017

After a long wait, U.S. buyers will soon be able to order the latest Honda Civic Type R makeover.

The Honda Civic Type R, the long-awaited capper to the automaker’s ever-popular compact model range, has finally made its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

Honda has been rolling out a procession of new Civic variants over the last two years, the hatchback version making its first appearance in Geneva a year ago. But no model has generated more of a buzz than the Type R, which will finally make it to the U.S. market come late spring 2017.

Performance News!

The five-door model, equipped with a 306-hp turbocharged four, will become the fastest version of the Honda Civic ever to reach U.S. shores, and Honda hopes it will help it challenge such serious competitors as the Ford Focus ST and Volkswagen Golf R.

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Honda’s Top American Exec, John Mendel Stepping Down

Jeff Conrad to take his place.

by on Feb.21, 2017

Honda's John Mendel accepted the North American Truck of the Year award this year. Mendel is being replaced by Jeff Conrad.

As part of a series of management changes announced Tuesday, 62-year-old John Mendel will step down as the executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co.’s automotive divisions.

A one-time Ford executive who joined Honda in 2004, Mendel was the highest-ranking U.S. member of the Honda team and given credit for not only delivering a series of record sales for the automaker but also for helping guide it through some potentially serious problems, including the recall of millions of vehicles equipped with faulty Takata airbags.

Best of the Best!

Mendel, well-regarded not only within the company but also by franchised dealers and the automotive media, will be replaced by Jeff Conrad, currently the general manager of the Honda division. In his new role he will, among other things, oversee the high-line Acura division. (more…)