Insight? Civic? Accord? We need some Clarity: Honda’s hybrid hierarchy


Today, Honda previewed the revival of the Insight hybrid, seen above, ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Detroit Auto Show. This comes just shortly after the launch of the Clarity trio — a battery electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV) and fuel cell electric (FCEV) — which doesn’t have a standard, non-plug-in hybrid model. What gives? If you’re a little confused, you’re not alone, but we think we can help you make sense of Honda’s hybrid hierarchy, and how they correspond to other advanced- and traditional-powertrain vehicles in its lineup.

Let’s start with the Insight. We honestly didn’t know that Honda would be recycling that nameplate until this morning. We didknow that Honda would reveal a “compact dedicated hybrid” at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. We don’t know what platform will underpin the new Insight — and “dedicated” could just refer to the nameplate, not the platform. So perhaps it’s on its own platform, or it shares with another compact Honda: the Civic.

Then why not call it the Civic Hybrid?

Our guess is that Honda wants to separate the sporty from the “upscale,” the latter being a used to describe the Insight in its press release this morning.

But Clarity is also being called “upscale,” yet there’s no traditional hybrid under that nameplate. What’s that about?

That’s a separation of segment, and possibly also powertrain technology. Insight is compact, Clarity is mid-size. The Clarity nameplate might also be reserved for cars with plugs or fuel cells, which the Insight doesn’t have. The fact that Honda chose to make its midsize PHEV a Clarity rather than stick with the Accord nameplate could be evidence of that.

Oh yeah, the Accord. What’s up with that?

There is a new Accord Hybrid on the way. It’ll be roomier than the Insight. There won’t be an Accord Plug-In Hybrid, because Clarity has that covered. Clear enough?

One more time?

Honda compact ICE: Civic
Honda compact hybrid: Insight
Honda compact EVs: None, right now. (But you can get the sub-compact Fit EV in certain places.)

Honda mid-size ICE: Accord
Honda mid-size hybrid: Accord Hybrid
Honda mid-size EVs: Clarity Electric, Clarity Fuel Cell, Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

So what would Honda call a compact plug-in or fuel cell vehicle?

Who knows? But probably not Civic. We’d guess they’d either start growing the Insight family or give it its own nameplate.


You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

[Source: Autoblog]


Honda Civic Type R K20C1 turbocharged crate engine debuts at SEMA


Honda pulled the covers off its K20C1 crate engine at SEMA today, greatly reducing the hassle for enterprising racers wishing to bolt 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque into their track-day weapons of choice. Details on how to apply for the right to purchase one of these powerplants can be found at Honda’s Racing Line site.

A purchase price of $6,519.87 (plus shipping) sounds downright reasonable for a factory-fresh, ready-to-run engine with this kind of reliability and power. Remember, this is the engine that powers the Civic Type R, which is capable of lapping the legendary Nürburgring in just 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds. But before you start dreaming up that perfect engine swap scenario, know that Honda won’t sell a crate engine to just anyone.

The Japanese automaker says these crate engines are available “to U.S. grassroots and professional racers for verified, closed-course racing applications,” which means these turbocharged beasts are not intended for the street. That said, we won’t be surprised at all the first time we see a K20C1-powered Integra at the local Cars and Coffee…

Cheaper Honda Civic Type R apparently revealed in NHTSA filings


The Honda Civic Type R is one of the fastest and most capable hatchbacks around, but with a base MSRP of $34,775, it isn’t exactly the most affordable. The high base price is due in part to the mono-spec nature of the car: one trim with all the bells and whistles. That said, it seems that Honda may be working on a second model that ditches some equipment, presumably lowering the car’s price. This news was uncovered by The Truth About Cars.

TTAC was digging around in NHTSA filings when it discovered that Honda registered two Type Rs, one listed as a Touring model. Both cars use the same K20C1 turbocharged 2.0-liter and six speed manual, but the separate listing suggests less equipment. On most Hondas, the Touring package includes things like LED lighting, automatic climate control, premium audio and navigation. Expect the lesser Type R to ditch most or all of those features. Smaller wheels and less aggressive aero could be on the table, too.

There’s no official word yet from Honda, but as 2018 models roll onto dealer lots we’ll keep our ears to the ground.

[Source: Autoblog]


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


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.


Brand-new 2017 Honda Civic Type R wrecked on drive home from dealer


For this week’s entry in New Car Dreams, Shattered, we point you to the tale of Greg Ellingson, a man who flew from Philadelphia to Boston to pick up his sporty new 2017 Honda Civic Type R only to finish the trip home in a tow truck with a wrecked car.

No one was injured in the crash, which took place Sunday on Interstate 95 in Connecticut.


“Jackass not paying attention hit me full on and pushed me into another car,” he wrote in a Facebook update that, unlike his badly damaged hatchback, has caught fire. The post, which also included photos of his badly damaged grey Type R, had been shared more than 4,000 times and had attracted more than 1,800 comments as of this story’s publication.

Reached by phone Monday, Ellingson, said he was stopped in traffic on I-95 when he paused to change the radio station, was rear-ended by an older man and pushed into another vehicle. He said he didn’t see the car coming.

“He wasn’t on the breaks when he hit me, he was on the gas,” Ellingson said.


“There was some considerable distance between me and the car in front of me,” he said, adding that he had enough time to take his hand off the radio dial and place it on the shifter before he was driven into another car in front of him.

The man who struck him did not appear to be using a cellphone at the time of the crash, he said.

Ellingson had posted an earlier update about his new purchase on Facebook, checking in at Boston Logan Airport on Sunday and announcing he was “Picking up mah new cah.” His plan was to drive it home after paying $39,000 out the door.

Ellingson works as a sales consultant for Scott Honda in West Chester, Pa. He said his dealership had sold out its inventory of Civic Type Rs, which have an MSRP of $33,900, and he spent two months trying to find a dealership that would sell him one at a reasonable price.

“There’s a lot of effort that went in to just getting the car,” Ellingson said.

The Type R bears a 2.0-liter, DOHC, direct-injected, turbocharged, i-VTEC inline-four that delivers 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Ellingson’s version had a mere 151 miles on it — the odometer was at 12 when he left the dealership — when the crash occurred.

In an update on Facebook, Ellingson was highly complimentary of both the Connecticut State Police trooper who assisted on the scene and Honda Link Assist, which asked him to pull off the road and contacted him to see if he needed assistance.

“Looking back, most importantly I’m grateful my Honda protected me,” he wrote. “I came out without even a scratch. I’ve been selling new Hondas for almost a year now and I read about their safety, I’ve seen the crash test videos but experiencing it first hand is a whole different thing. The engineers who designed this car did a fantastic job. It took all the brunt and all 4 doors still open!

Ellingson also said he purchased special insurance for the collectors car and expects to be covered in full if the vehicle is declared totaled.

Maybe Ellingson can bond with the man whose Ferrari 430 Scuderia went up in flames last week in England after crashing it just an hour after acquiring it. The driver of that considerably more expensive car reportedly suffered only cuts and bruises.

[Source: Autoblog]


EPA beats Honda to revealing Civic Type R’s mpg: 22/28/25

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that there will be a version of the Honda Civic for 2017 powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. This, quite obviously, is the new Civic Type R, which is coming to America for the first time in its 20-year history. Honda has yet to provide detailed fuel efficiencyspecs, but that’s no problem – the EPA beat ’em to it. Expect official ratings of 22 miles per gallon in the city, 28 on the highway and 25 combined.

Let’s put those figures into some context. The Volkswagen Golf R is a direct competitor to the Type R, and it’s rated at 23 city and 30 highway with the DSG or 22/30/25 with the 6-speed manual. Oddly, while both its city and highway figures are better than the Civic, the VW gets the same combined figure of 25 mpg. Moving up a notch, the Ford Focus RS, which is quite a bit more powerful at 350 hp and 350 lb-ft, gets EPA ratings of 19/25 and 22 combined. It’s worth noting that the Ford and VW are both all-wheel drive while the Honda is front-drive only.

If you need to brush up on your Type R knowledge, know that it’s powered by a DOHC, direct-injected, turbocharged, i-VTEC inline-four that makes 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. Equally as noteworthy, that peak torque is available from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm, which ought to make for great fun at passing speeds on public roads. And, with its Nürburgring lap time of 7 minutes and 43.8 seconds, it’ll be quite quick at the track, too.

[Source: Autoblog]


Finesse over power | 2017 Honda Civic Si Video Review

Last month, we went to Southern California to try out the 2017 Honda Civic Si. It’s the first completely new Civic Si since the previous generation departed after the 2015 model year. Among the big questions we sought to answer was whether the car’s underwhelming 205-horsepower output was adequate. As we learned, it’s peppy enough, however, the Civic Si is about more than power. Check out the video here.

On the winding roads of Angeles National Forest and at Honda’s Mojave-based proving grounds, the Civic Si shines with excellent handling, superb steering, and a good shifter. It also has plenty of features and a low price that make it a great value. Come along for the ride in the video above, and check out the full written review for more details.

[Source: Autoblog]