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Revolution on Wheels: Honda’s New Hybrid SH-AWD System

Maker looking to transform its powertrain line-up.

by on Dec.08, 2011

Honda is coming up with a 3-motor hybrid version of its SH-AWD system

It’s been a tough year for Honda: earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, production shortages.  And bad reviews.  The maker has taken a series of dings from the likes of Consumer Reports, no less, which panned its latest Civic model.  In some ways, that’s worse than the sharp downturn in Honda earnings in recent months.

TheDetroitBureau.com spent the better part of a week with mid-level and senior executives, all the way up to President and CEO Takanobu Ito to get an inside look at the company’s turnaround plans – which include a rapid fix of the much-maligned new Honda Civic.  But much of the effort revolves around a dramatic transformation of the Honda powertrain line-up. This is, after all, a company that likes to say it’s in the business of building engines, first and foremost.

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The new line-up includes both advanced gasoline and alternative propulsion systems – one of the most intriguing being a gas-electric version of Honda’s innovative Super Handling-All-Wheel-Drive system, or SH-AWD, a 3-motor system that we had a chance to take for the proverbial spin on the Twin-Ring Motegi race track a few hours outside Tokyo.

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First Look: Honda EV-Ster

Japanese maker provides tantalizing hint of what it may have coming.

by on Nov.30, 2011

Honda's electric sports car concept, the EV-Ster.

It’s just a concept.  It’s just a concept. That, at least, is what Honda is officially calling the EV-Ster, the show car making its debut at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show.  But you certainly should anticipate seeing some of the basic technology under its sexy hood reaching market in the not very distant future, company officials broadly hint.

The Honda news conference in Tokyo disappointed some who had been hoping to see a long-anticipated revival of the maker’s extreme NSX sports car.  That will likely have to wait until the upcoming Detroit Auto Show.

In the Know!

If anything, the EV-Ster is a bit closer to the old Honda S2000, a more modest and affordable sports car that would pick up on the Honda brand’s historical emphasis on performance.

The goal was to create a look that expresses speediness at the same time as sustainable mobility,” said Honda design exec Ichiro Tobisawa.

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