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Honda Set to Reveal All-New Accord on July 14

Gen-10 sedan getting Civic design cues, Type-R engine.

by on Jun.19, 2017

The new 2018 Accord will clearly borrow key design cues from the Honda Civic.

One of the most important automotive unveilings of the year – at least for Honda fans – will take place next month, the automaker pulling the wraps an all-new version of the midsize Accord sedan on July 14th.

The Japanese automaker offered up a teaser image to substitute for hard details about the new model – though we did get a look at a heavily camouflaged version of the 2018 Honda Accord during a visit to the company’s Japanese proving grounds last month.

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During that visit we got to drive an early prototype complete with the new turbocharged inline-four engine that will replace the familiar Honda V-6 in the tenth-generation Accord. The new model is new from the ground up and is also expected to feature a new suspension system similar to what was offered on a “mule” car we drove during the proving grounds visit.

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First Drive: 2017 Honda Civic Type-R

Honda aims to rule the "hot hatch" category.

by on Jun.14, 2017

The 2017 Honda Civic Type-R finally reaches U.S. showrooms after a two-decade wait.

Pity the poor American driver. Sure, they have plenty of options to choose from, but many of the most intriguing alternatives haven’t made it into U.S. showrooms. Until recently, that included some of the most exciting offerings in the hot hatch segment, like the Ford Focus RS and the Honda Civic Type-R.

We’ll have to wait a bit longer to get our hands on the Blue Oval’s entry, but we had the good fortune to spend a long weekend in Montreal, first sitting back to watch the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix and then logging some track time of our own behind the wheel of the Type-R, the first version of the Honda five-door rocket ever to reach the U.S. market.

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The latest and last entry into the largest line-up of Civic alternatives ever, the Type-R is also the most powerful, delivering a blistering 306 horsepower to the front wheels. From first glance, the five-door is also the most audacious, with the sort of aero treatment you’d expect on something specifically designed for the track. But it’s all functional, and despite some concerns about Honda’s decision to stay with a front, rather than all-wheel-drive layout, it all magically comes together. And with a starting price as much as $5,000 less than key competitors, this hot hatch seems destined to become a hot ticket. (more…)

Next-Gen Honda Accord Getting the Fast-Beating Heart of a Civic Type-R

Nudging 120 into a banked oval.

by on Jun.09, 2017

A heavily camouflaged version of the 2018 Honda Accord due in production later this year.

The Shinkansen, Japan’s lightning-fast bullet train, has nothing on us.

As we rocket down the back straight, the heavily camouflaged 2018 Honda Accord quickly hits triple digits and keeps on climbing…110, 120. At that point, it’s time to take our eyes off the instrument cluster as we rise to the upper lane of the steeply banked oval at the Honda Proving Ground in Haga, Japan. As we come out the other side, we’re clocking bullet train speeds.

The Last Word!

Those who think of the Honda Accord as a competent, albeit staid, midsize sedan or coupe could be in for a big surprise when the 10th-generation model hits showrooms later this year. All the more surprising, the added performance comes at the same time that Honda abandons the V-6 option long offered on the Accord line.

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Late to the Game, Honda Puts Autonomous Driving on the Fast Track

Japan's #3 automaker also ramping up electrification efforts.

by on Jun.08, 2017

Author Paul A. Eisenstein goes for a drive in Honda's Level 3 autonomous vehicle prototype.

Honda has long had a reputation for building solid, reliable and fun-to-drive cars and utility vehicles, but it has been slow off the mark in adapting some of the key, cutting edge technologies that are likely to define the automotive world in the decades to come. But that’s about to change, the second-largest of the Japanese automakers lifting the kimono as part of a media tour of its vehicle proving grounds this week.

Among the key revelations made during an opening session, Honda President and CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the carmaker has put its autonomous driving efforts into high gear in a bid to catch up with traditional rivals like Toyota, General Motors and Volkswagen, as well as new auto brands and tech players, such as Tesla, Waymo and Uber.

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Honda will put its first hands-free models into production in 2020, although they will only allow autonomous operation on limited-access highways, with a driver at the ready to take control, if needed. Beyond that, said Hachigo, “We will strive to achieve the technological establishment of Level 4 automated driving for personal car use by around 2025.”

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First Drive: 2017 Honda Civic Si

Solid performance, great handling, pleasing price.

by on May.30, 2017

Longer, lower, wider, the 2017 Honda Civic Si also is a bit lighter than the outgoing model.

The Winding Course at Honda’s Mojave Desert proving grounds is a challenging place to test out a new car. The nearly two-mile track boasts a series of steep hills, sharp and often blind corners, little run-off, and a menagerie of wildlife ranging from coyotes to several different types of rattlesnakes.

So, strapping on helmet and slipping inside the new Civic Si, we decided to take things slow the first time ‘round the course. The track lived up to its treacherous billing, but so did the new Honda which, by day’s end, we had the chance to drive in both coupe and sedan configurations.

Performance News!

There’s been a lot of buzz, in recent months, about the all-new Honda Civic Type-R. Set to arrive in U.S. showrooms for the first time ever later this year, there’s good reason for all the excitement. For serious performance coupe fans, it will become the most powerful Honda compact ever sold in the States. Too bad, however, that it’s drawing attention away from the 2017 Honda Civic Si. This eighth-generation model might not deliver all the muscle of the Type-R, but it is a solid performer, with good power and great handling yet the ride and comfort you’d want for an everyday driver.

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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.

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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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