Honda Does One for the Dogs

Friday April 17th, 2009 at 7:44 AM
Posted by: m35man

Honda Element

Honda is canine-conscious and they’re proving it with a new dog-friendly car that has mutts drooling and wagging their tails worldwide.

The Japanese automaker exhibited a “Dog Friendly” version of the Honda Element SUV at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday.

The concept features a cushioned pet bed with safety restraints in the cargo area, a spill-resistant water bowl, and even a ventilation fan to keep canines comfortable. A folding ramp gives animals an easy way to get in and out.

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Acura ZDX Sporty Crossover Concept

Wednesday April 15th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Acura ZDX

More concept news from this month’s New York Auto Show points the way forward to what SUV could be like in the future. Or at least what they could be like if the Honda Motor Company has its way. Say hello to the Acura ZDX. Sources say that the ZDX is ” … very close to [a] production version of the Japanese firm’s forthcoming crossover that is due to go on sale in the States in the fall of 2009.” So Acura is really going to build this thing, and it’s going to be hitting showrooms within months. Although at first bringing another SUV-like ride to the streets might not be the brightest of ideas, there is a certain rational here. BMW, to name one, is rolling out their X6 crossover SUVs as we speak, which has the same ‘it’s a coupe, and it’s SUV’ looks of the ZDX, so if Honda is wrong, they’re not the only ones being wrong.

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2010 Honda Insight To Sell For Less Than $20,000

Monday February 16th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda Insight

Here’s some good news from Honda for or pocketbooks and our planet. It seems that the rumors are going to be true, and Honda intends to bring its Prius fighter, the 2010 Insight to dealer showrooms for less that $20,000.

One of the complaints the eco-conscious have against most available hybrids is the cost. Their reasoning, and it’s pretty sound reasoning, says that it will do the planet more good if a company sells more hybrids, not less. So rather than selling a few high-buck eco-cars, someone should figure out how to make cheaper hybrids, and sell tons of those.

Honda, it seems, is the company to crack that nut. Their Insight Hybrid, which is due as a 2010 model, should hit showrooms with a projected price tag of $19,999 when it goes on sale this spring. The insight just went on sale in Japan with a sticker price of 1.89 million yen, which works out to $20,640 at current conversion rates, so Honda should be able to trim that last 600 bucks with ease.

The 2010 Insight should go on sale in the U.S. on April 22, but Honda officials said that the company will start shipping the Insight to dealers as soon as the first boatload makes landfall, which should happen in late March.

Source: Edmunds

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Honda Accord Type-S With 180HP Diesel For Euro, Not U.S.

Thursday February 12th, 2009 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda Accord with 2.2 liter i-DTEC diesel motor

Here’s another car that we should have in the U.S., but sadly, it’s Euro only for the moment.

At Honda’s Geneva Motor Show booth this year will see the debut of the Accord Type-S decked out with a new 180-horsepower derivative of the firm’s 2.2-liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine. Yes it’s a wagon, but that from-factor is very popular in Europe, and if you think that wagons can’t be fun, you need to play around with more Audi & BMW wagons.

Anyway, since this is a diesel the torque is impressive: 380Nm at a low-low 2000rpm. Fun. And the wagon also features a discreet aero-package. Oh, and in case this “Accord” looks familiar, yet odd, to some, that’s because it is, in reality, the Euro version of the Acura TSX (there’s no Acura nameplate outside of North America).

According to Graham Avent, Manager – Corporate Operations, Honda (UK), the new car, “…will be a welcome addition to the Accord range, especially for company car drivers that want a high-specification car in an even sportier package. This model will undoubtedly appeal to high-performance diesel enthusiasts, looking for that something extra, but we hope it will also create a halo-effect across the diesel Accord range.”

And we agree with him. Just one thing Graham: BRING IT TO AMERICA!!

Source: CarScoop

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Honda Ends Production Of S2000

Monday February 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda S2000A sad, if inevitable moment, please: Honda has decided to cease production of its highly respected S2000 sports car. Yes, there have been rumors about this happening since before the world wide economic downturn, and of course Honda is using that downturn to justify this as a cost cutting move, but this has been in the cards for a while.

Honda said 2009 will be the last year for S2K high-performance roadster. Although Honda gave no official reason, they did mention that the program was originally conceived as a limited-edition tribute to the company’s 50th anniversary. That was something I was unaware of, and, if you ask me, Honda should have made a bigger deal about. A little dash plaque or some such would have been nice.

Dash plaque or no, no more S2000 means Honda is effectively out of the sports car business completely given the recent termination of the NSX program. Coming from a company so deeply involved in racing, it can’t mean a great confidence booster for the guys on the factory floor, and for us gearheads out there, it’s pretty damn depressing as well.

All might not be lost though. There have been recent rumors of an Acura-badged roadster similar to the S2000 hitting showrooms within the next two production cycles. How sporty would an Acura drop top be though? Remember when the Miata set the sports car world on fire and the answer from Lexus was the SC? A great tourer to be sure, but not a real canyon carver. So we’ll see if this rumor holds, and if Honda decides to get back into the sports car game sometime soon.

Source: Edmunds

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Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa Comparison – The New Big 3's Little 3.

Monday January 26th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

Honda Fit - Nissan Versa - Toyota Yaris

By Kurt Gensheimer

Whether or not you’ve grown up as a car buff, unless you’re a troglodyte who still walks barefoot from point A to point B, you’re probably familiar with who “The Big 3″ automakers comprise. And if you’ve watched any of the executive groveling before our esteemed panel of D.C. dunderheads we call our “leaders”, then you’re absolutely familiar with The Big 3. However in the aftermath of Toyota’s recent ascension past GM to become the number #1 selling automotive brand in the world – in addition to its involvement in NASCAR and multiple American manufacturing plants – the old Big 3 moniker may need revision to include Toyota.

And who would be “The Other 2″? Honda and Nissan seem to fit the role quite well, with similarly expanding market share and multiple U.S.-based factories. Yes, it seems that when people nowadays refer to “The Big 3″, there needs to be some level of clarification – New School or Old School?

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2009 Honda Fit Sport Review – Phat and Phun is the Fit

Tuesday January 20th, 2009 at 11:11 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2009 Honda Fit Sport
by Gary Chan

Pros

  • Gas mileage
  • Storage flexibility
  • Structural rigidity
  • Perfectly weighted steering

Cons

  • Engine size = limited power
  • Driver’s cup holder have are not in best locations
  • Triangulated A-pillar blocked visibility at times
  • Fold-down driver’s arm rest thin and high

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Honda Shows Off 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

2010 Honda InsightHonda is once again placing its collective neck on the line and opening it up out on the hybrid highway with the 2010 Honda Insight, which they debuted at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) recently. When it hits dealerships next spring, we’ll see if they can reach their goal with the intended sale price of under $20,000. If they can do it at that price, I predict these babies will fly out of dealerships like locusts. They will have people re-thinking their decision to buy a Toyota Prius, for instance.

The 2010 5-door, 5- passenger Insight has broader outlines and is being touted as “the most affordable hybrid on the market”. Gas prices went down, but during the scare, people learned that it doesn’t hurt that bad to be a little greener. If Honda can tap into a greener public with less money to spend, they just might have hit the automotive Super Lotto with this one, but only time tell.

The main question is–will people step up the plate and buy these vehicles? Will they even be able to get credit? Do they still have jobs? I mean, who knows what the economy will be like next week, let alone in three months? But if people are looking to save some cash and are genuinely concerned about the environment, this could be a huge winner for Honda.

Honda has some other cool alternative fuel vehicles currently on the drawing board, including another sporty hybrid patterned on their 2007 CR-Z concept coupe; and a gas/electric version of its Fit subcompact.

Photo gallery and press release from Honda announcing the unveiling of the Insight hybrid are below the jump.

(Continued on page 2)

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Sources: Honda To Cut More Future Sport and Luxury Models – S2000 and RWD Acuras

Monday January 12th, 2009 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: tonyb

The ax continues to swing over at Honda, and this time, it’s a bit too close to home. This time the sources say the axeman cometh for, gulp, the S2000 and various rear wheel drive Acuras.

According to CarScoop (via England’s AutoCar) Honda’s restructuring plans call for the death of more models in addition to the NSX to cope with slowing demand worldwide. Honda has eliminated a range of rear-wheel drive models for the Acura range along with a new V8 engine also slated for Acura. Also to be killed, the convertible version of the CR-Z hybrid coupe form last year’s London Show and finally and most sadly, the successor to the Honda S2000 sports car.

I can live without the big sedans with the big V8s to push them, but losing the S2000 is quite the blow. I never fit in the right, but they sure were a hoot to drive. Losing the S2K AND the NSX means that Honda will be without ant sort of sports car. Which is both sad, and borderline unforgivable. Let’s hope that not all of these rumors are true.

Source: CarScoop

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Mugen Mods Honda's Zest Minicar

Friday January 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mugen Honda Zest

I know, this is meant for Japan, but I still find this whole idea kind of funny and too cute by half.

What we have here is the home market only Honda Zest, a tiny little urban box of a car, designed for crowded city environments (sort looks like the car that comes INSIDE the Scion Xb, doesn’t it?), and Mugen, sometimes sort of tuning partner to Honda has taken a swipe at it.

I’ve got nothing whatsoever against tuning cars, but I have to admit that this gave me a bit of pause. It’s sort of like fixing up a riding lawnmower. Sure, you could, but really, what would be the point? The point, bedsides the fact that there’s probably a market for it, is that Mugen tunes every last vehicle Honda makes (I’m guessing). And hey, why not. After all, Mugen is not a firm to be trifled with, having bulked up everything from Honda’s NSX to supplying parts for Honda’s various F1 efforts to actually running the F1 team for a stretch, so why not let them have a little fun with the entry level city car.

Mugen did the usual tuner stuff: front spoiler, a modified front grille, side skirts, a rear spoiler and a roof wing, 14-inch or 15-inch alloys, a sport exhaust system and suspension.

Bedsides, you never know, with CAFE standards being raised, Honda just might end up bringing these little guys over here.

Source: CarScoop

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