Honda dreaming up Civic Type R variants – with more power, AWD

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The Honda Civic Type R has gone on sale in the US, and it promises a lot of entertainment for its eager fan base. On our recent drive, we found it to be impressively stable for a front-drive car boasting 306 horsepower. Making this more impressive, as Jalopnik reports, the Type R makes 295 hp at the wheel according to a dyno test. Compared to many vehicles, that’s a rather small loss between the engine and the wheels.

If, for some reason, the Type R isn’t powerful enough for you, or you don’t like the front-drive layout, Hondamight still find a way to make you a Type R customer. According to Automotive News, Honda is planning a number of variants to broaden the appeal and extend sales once the first enthusiasts have already made their purchases.

The first candidate for a special Type R would be a sportier, more powerful version. Honda’s chief engineer for the Civic lineup, Hideki Matsumoto, told Automotive News that a more civilized grand touring version is also under consideration. Perhaps most interesting is the possibility of an all-wheel-drive Type R that would compete more directly with the likes of the Volkswagen Golf R, Subaru WRX STI, and Ford Focus RS. So, while the wait is over for the Type R’s arrival in the US, the slow burn of the rollout is just beginning as Honda works to give the model staying power in the marketplace.

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Why the Honda Urban EV concept is a success, and how Honda could replicate it in America

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One of the big surprises at this year’s Frankfurt auto show is the Honda Urban EV concept. Not only was Honda able to keep the car under wraps right up to the reveal, but the styling was a significant departure from what we expected of a future electric car designed for Europe. Instead of a funky, one-box urban pod, Honda gave the Urban EV sporty, retro looks. It looks like a cross between a first-generation Honda Civic (the thick, raked C-pillar and front fascia), crossed with a classic Mini Cooper(the tiny size, low stance and flared fender arches).

This design is such a success because it both bucks the trend of EVs primarily being ultra-futuristic and aerodynamic machines, and it does that with classically attractive design cues. It allows the Urban EV to stand out from slippery-looking amalgam of Hyundai Ioniqs, Chevy Volts and Bolts, Teslas, Nissan Leafs(Leaves?), and even Honda’s own Clarity line. And it shows that traditionally appealing elements like wide fenders and a low, forward-leaning stance that have been successful on internal combustion cars for ages can work just as well on an electric car.

We love the design, and many of us would love to see the car in the United States. It’s very unlikely to happen though, and, as hard as it is to admit, that’s probably the right move for Honda. Americans seem to be uninterested in subcompact hatchbacks, unless they’re lifted with cladding or have a Mini badge. But the thing is, there’s no reason Honda can’t transfer what it’s learned with the Urban EV to something with a more American-friendly body style.

At the bare-minimum, Honda could scale up the Urban EV to be sized similarly to a Civic, add a couple doors, lift it an inch or two, and paint the fender flares in a matte black. Then they could call it a crossover, but retain most of the Urban EV’s slick, old-school looks. Honda could also create a sedan with some of the same, crisp, squared-off lines of the Urban EV. Keep the C-pillar raked forward, leave the body as straight and unadorned as possible save for some aggressive wheel arches, and emphasize width in the front and rear fascias. It could be Civic or Accord sized, or somewhere in-between, and would make for a lean, mean sedan.

In the end, Honda has something really sweet in the Urban EV. It would be a shame if Europe was the only beneficiary, and there are clearly ways Honda can bring the same aesthetic here, too.

[Source: Autoblog]

Junkyard Gem: 1982 Honda Prelude

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The first-generation Honda Prelude never sold in huge quantities in the United States, though I do find them in wrecking yards from time to time. Most Japanese cars of the Malaise Era turned into barely recognizable heaps of reddish powder after several years in the Upper Midwest, but somehow this Preludemanaged to survive 35 years without rusting (much) before arriving at this Wisconsin self-service wrecking yard.

Just barely over 100,000 miles on the clock. Perhaps it spent many years in someone’s garage, awaiting a head-gasket repair.

At some point, this car lived in New Jersey.

These were not powerful cars, but 75 horsepower in a car weighing about a ton wasn’t considered intolerable in 1982.

If you think the vacuum-hose tangle in a 1982 Honda CVCC engine is intimidating, just fast-forward a few years for the real nightmare.

Chrysler and Nissan had some pretty vivid Whorehouse Red interiors during the 1980s and 1990s, but this car was the pinnacle of Unnecessary Redness.

Honda Odyssey gets top safety ratings in insurance, government crash tests

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Honda’s redesigned 2018 Odyssey minivan picked up a Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and a five-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Odyssey joins the Chrysler Pacifica as the only minivans to receive the IIHS’s coveted award.

Honda won the Top Safety Pick+ designation via the addition of its Sensing braking system and improved LED headlights to the 2018 model, its fifth generation. The Odyssey won “good” ratings across the five crashworthiness tests, including small overlap front, moderate overlap front and side impact. It also won a superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable rating for the LED reflector headlights that feature on Elite and Touring trim lines, which automatically switch between high and low beams, depending on the presence of other vehicles.

Honda has been integrating its Sensing advanced safety and driver-assist technologies, part of its quest to develop highly autonomous vehicles, into many of its new models. In IIHS track tests at 12 mph and 25 mph, the system helped the vehicle avoid collisions. The 2017 Odyssey earned a basic rating for front crash prevention because it came only with an optional forward collision warning.

The Odyssey also notched a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score in NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program by getting 5 stars in the frontal crash test for driver and passenger, 5 stars for side crash tests for both front and rear seats and pole, and 4 stars in the rollover test.

The IIHS also awarded a Top Safety Pick to the 2017 Kia Sedona, which missed out on the top award because of its “poor” headlights rating. The Sedona got a 5-star crash rating from NHTSA.

Honda Urban EV confirmed for 2019 launch in Europe

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Honda revealed a small electric concept with a slight throwback vibe Tuesday at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Based on an all-new platform, the Urban EV will launch in Europe in 2019.

The tiny concept is even smaller — by 100 mm — than the diminutive Jazz supermini. You’ll immediately notice the backlit Honda emblem, which presages a design cue that will show up on future Honda EVs. The grille area displays words, like the charge status, but it can also display messages for other drivers. That could be fun.

 

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid gets best-in-class electric range from EPA

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Honda said Monday that its 2018 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid earned an EPA range rating of 47 miles on a full charge, the highest all-electric range among midsize plug-in hybrids.

The plug-in hybrid, which made its debut in April and hits showrooms later this year, also received an EPA fuel economy rating of 100 combined MPGe, among tops in its class, and a gasoline-only rating of 44/40/42 (city/highway/combined).

The sedan comes with a 181-horsepower electric motor that delivers 232 pound-feet of torque. It draws power from both the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack that can recharge in 2.5 hours at 240 volts. Drivers will be able to select from three driving modes — Normal, Econ and Sport — with a fourth HV mode that lets you preserve your electric charge for use later in the trip. The PHEV is capable of an EPA overall driving range of 340 miles.

The Clarity lineup, which also includes the hydrogen-powered Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, is part of Honda’spush to derive two-thirds of its global sales from electrified vehicles by the year 2030. Honda also expects the plug-in hybrid, which will be available in standard and Touring trims, to be the volume sales leader in the Clarity lineup.

Pondering the 2018 Dodge Demon and 2018 Honda Accord | Autoblog Podcast #521

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On this week’s Autoblog Podcast, Editor-in-chief Greg Migliore is joined by Associate Editor Reese Counts and, for the first time, Senior Editor, Green, John Beltz Snyder. We discuss the new 2018 Honda Accord dropping the V6, what the Dodge Demon means for FCA’s future, and if Mercedes-Benz could sell a pickup truck in the US. Spend my money (your money, everyone’s money) will be back next week.

The rundown is below. Remember, if you have a car-related question you’d like us to answer or you want buying advice of your very own, send a message or a voice memo to podcast at autoblog dot com. (If you record audio of a question with your phone and get it to us, you could hear your very own voice on the podcast. Neat, right?) And if you have other questions or comments, please send those too.Autoblog Podcast #521

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Topics and stories we mention

Rundown

  • 00:00:00 – Intro + Demon
  • 00:15:48 – Accord
  • 00:28:48 – X-Class
  • 00:43:10 – Outro

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