Honda – Automobile Magazine http://www.automobilemag.com No Boring Cars! | Reviews, Auto Shows, Lifestyle Sat, 01 Oct 2016 00:37:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.4 A Few Minutes With the 2018 Honda Civic Type R’s Lead Exterior Designer http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-honda-civic-type-r-designer-speaks/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2018-honda-civic-type-r-designer-speaks/#respond Thu, 29 Sep 2016 19:22:25 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=997741 Like a hyperactive kid just before Christmas, we’ve been not-so-patiently waiting, and waiting, for the latest and greatest Honda Civic Type R to finally get to America. Rolling on an all-new platform and reportedly powered by a 2.0-liter turbo with as much as 340 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual, when it arrives here next...

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Like a hyperactive kid just before Christmas, we’ve been not-so-patiently waiting, and waiting, for the latest and greatest Honda Civic Type R to finally get to America. Rolling on an all-new platform and reportedly powered by a 2.0-liter turbo with as much as 340 horsepower mated to a six-speed manual, when it arrives here next spring the 2018 Honda Civic Type R promises to be one of the hottest hatches we’ve ever experienced.

At the 2016 Paris auto show, Honda showcased a super shiny, aluminum-look wrapped Type R prototype. Honda isn’t quite ready to give up the goods on the Type R’s powertrain and other details, but it did give us a few minutes on its Paris show stand with Daisuke Tsutamori, the lead exterior designer for the car, where he shared some of his thoughts about his latest creation. And by the way, he loves America!

2018 Honda Civic Type R front end 2018 Honda Civic Type R side profile 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear spoiler

Here’s what he told us:

“Every feature of the exterior design of the car has a meaning, and all of the car’s features are functional.” We’re picking up what you’re laying down, Daisuke. All those vents and ground effects and strakes work and stuff.

“One of the things I’m really proud of is the front view, compared to the hatchback, this is much wider, and has special features for the Type R for the sake of driving performance.” With its shallow hood scoop, upright grille dominated by a large red H, trapezoidal lower air intakes, and a tasty front splitter, we’d be pretty proud, too.

2018 Honda Civic Type R exhaust 2018 Honda Civic Type R badge 2018 Honda Civic Type R front three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear view

“When you look at the three quarter view of the rear, that’s what I really like. It should look really exciting when you are overtaking.” It’s going to be plenty exciting alright when we blow past other drivers on the track and the open road.

“The wing represents functional beauty and in this case the design follows the function. We put it through the wind tunnel test and based on the measurements we designed it this way. The result is the ultimate form of the wing.” From our non-functional, non-designer perspective, it also looks pretty bad ass—that is if you’re into the wing thing.

“You might say [the production model] will look like this.” We can get behind that. Nice work, Daisuke and company. And oh yeah, we love Japan!

2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front three quarters 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris rear three quarters 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris rear 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris side 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris top 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front detail 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris badge detail 2018 Honda Civic Type R badge 2018 Honda Civic Type R exhaust 2018 Honda Civic Type R front end 2018 Honda Civic Type R front three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R front view 2018 Honda Civic Type R side profile 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R side profile 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear view 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear spoiler

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Honda Previews Production U.S.-Spec Civic Type R with Sharp New Prototype http://www.automobilemag.com/news/honda-previews-production-u-s-spec-civic-type-r-sharp-new-prototype/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/honda-previews-production-u-s-spec-civic-type-r-sharp-new-prototype/#respond Thu, 29 Sep 2016 09:00:02 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=997152 Honda’s intent to bring the Civic Type R to our shores is no secret, but we have long wondered what form the hottest Honda would arrive in. At this year’s Paris auto show, Honda pulled the wraps off a new U.S.-spec Civic Type R hatch prototype, previewing what we can expect in dealer showrooms in...

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Honda’s intent to bring the Civic Type R to our shores is no secret, but we have long wondered what form the hottest Honda would arrive in. At this year’s Paris auto show, Honda pulled the wraps off a new U.S.-spec Civic Type R hatch prototype, previewing what we can expect in dealer showrooms in the near future.

This is the first concrete look at the Americanized Civic Type R since the Japanese automaker confirmed it earlier last year. It appears we’re getting the full-fat hatchback, similar to the European and Japanese market cars. Honda is keen to call this a “prototype,” but we expect the majority of these features to worm their way into production.

2018 Honda Civic Type R front view 2018 Honda Civic Type R exhaust 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R badge

Compared to the 2016 Civic Type R already charging around overseas, the Star Spangled Type R prototype carries a significantly different appearance compared to the existing car. A new front fascia includes the same handsome face from the regular Civic, and an aggressive intake scoop on the hood is lacking on the current production model.

Underneath, the Type R likely has the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder found in the regular car, producing an astounding 305 hp, routed to the front wheels through a mandatory six-speed manual transmission.

Aside from a concept car color scheme and a smattering of carbon fiber bits, this prototype is neat, tidy, and appears to be production ready. Look for the Honda Civic Type R to officially roll down the assembly line sometime later next year.

If you can’t foot the bill to Paris, don’t worry, you can catch a glimpse of the car at this year’s SEMA auto show in Las Vegas.

2018 Honda Civic Type R front view 2018 Honda Civic Type R front three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R side profile 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R side profile 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear view 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 02 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear three quarter 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R rear spoiler 2018 Honda Civic Type R front three quarter 01 2018 Honda Civic Type R front end 2018 Honda Civic Type R exhaust 2018 Honda Civic Type R badge 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris top 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris side 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris rear 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris rear three quarters 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front three quarters 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris front detail 2018 Honda Civic Type R Prototype Paris badge detail

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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Starts at $20,535 http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-civic-hatchback-price-20535/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-civic-hatchback-price-20535/#respond Fri, 23 Sep 2016 22:30:08 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=994840 Priced from $20,535, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback arrives at U.S. dealerships starting Monday. Standard features on the base LX model include basic functions like hill start assist, cruise control, and 60/40 split folding rear seats. Opting for a CVT instead of a six-speed manual brings the price up to $21,335. Either way, the LX...

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Priced from $20,535, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback arrives at U.S. dealerships starting Monday.

Standard features on the base LX model include basic functions like hill start assist, cruise control, and 60/40 split folding rear seats. Opting for a CVT instead of a six-speed manual brings the price up to $21,335. Either way, the LX hatch will cost you $1,060 more than a comparable 2016 Honda Civic LX sedan. Of course, the sedan starts off with a 2.0-liter engine which is not available on the Civic hatch, so the two can’t be directly compared.

Offering a slight boost in horsepower, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather shift knob, and racing pedals, the Sport model goes for $22,135 with the manual and $22,935 with the CVT. The next step up is the EX, which along with the higher trim levels in the Civic hatch lineup, is only available with a CVT.

Priced at $23,635, or $600 more than an EX sedan with the same engine, the Civic hatch EX model receives many upgrades including a Honda Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, front passenger seatback pocket, and push-button start. The EX-L Navi ups the ante with features like leather-trimmed seats, automatic-dimming rear mirror, and eight-way power driver seat. These goodies will cost you $26,135.

2017 Honda Civic Sport Touring Hatchback rear three quarter

Honda hasn’t released pricing for its top-of-the-line Civic hatch, the Sport Touring, as it will arrive later in the year. But it promises aluminum pedals, red-accented instrument illumination, and a premium 12-speaker audio system as well as heated outboard rear seats and automatic windshield wipers. The Honda Sensing safety package, also arriving later this year, comes standard on this trim.

All Honda Civic hatches come with a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine. In the LX, EX, EX-L, and EX-L Navi trims, the engine produces 174 hp and 162-167 lb-ft of torque depending on whether the engine is paired with a six-speed manual or CVT. On Sport and Sport Touring trims, the 1.5-liter makes 180 hp and 162-177 lb-ft, also depending on transmission choice.

Honda anticipates the Civic hatch will return up to 31/40 mpg city/highway with the CVT. Models with the stick shift should still do well, as Honda anticipates a rating of 30/39 mpg. In exchange for more power, Sport and Sport Touring models are only expected to net 30/36 mpg with the CVT.

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Honda S Dream Goes Nearly 262 MPH on Three-Cylinder Power http://www.automobilemag.com/news/honda-s-dream-goes-nearly-262-mph-on-three-cylinder-power/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/honda-s-dream-goes-nearly-262-mph-on-three-cylinder-power/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 22:15:57 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=994098 Hitting 200-plus-mph speeds in a 12-cylinder supercar is one thing. Doing that in something powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder is quite another. The fastest speed ever recorded for a Honda in the flying mile was recently set at 261.875 mph, and it was done using three-pot power. The Honda S Dream streamliner captured the FIA...

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Hitting 200-plus-mph speeds in a 12-cylinder supercar is one thing. Doing that in something powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder is quite another. The fastest speed ever recorded for a Honda in the flying mile was recently set at 261.875 mph, and it was done using three-pot power.

The Honda S Dream streamliner captured the FIA Category-A, Group-1, Class-4 record at the Bonneville Salt Flats following Bonneville Speed Week. The run bests the last flying mile top speed set by a BAR Honda Formula 1 car in 2006, making this the fastest Honda ever. Looking at the purpose-built car, it certainly looks the part of a land speed record machine, with its long jet-like fuselage and streamlined canopy. But powering the vehicle is a humble 660-cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine based on the unit found in the Japanese-market S660 sports car.

Honda S Dream Streamliner front three quarters

A team of young Honda engineers examined the stock S660 engine and altered or replaced many major components, including the cylinder block, pistons, crankshaft, and valves. The aluminum block was replaced with a steel one and reinforced connecting rods were used to give the engine the strength needed to support the power needed to achieve the record. Honda doesn’t say just how much power the S Dream makes, but you can bet it’s a good deal more than the 63 hp of a stock S660 roadster.

Honda S Dream Streamliner side

The goal was to achieve a world speed record using a 660-cc engine, and the 16 members of project “Bonneville Speed Challenge” achieved that on the first day of the shootout. Honda says the S Dream hit 266 mph in one run, but was unable to duplicate it so its record stands at 261.875 mph.

Honda S Dream Streamliner front side

 

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New Honda Patent Reveals Transmission With Three Clutches, 11 Gears http://www.automobilemag.com/news/new-honda-patent-reveals-gearbox-three-clutches-11-gears/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/new-honda-patent-reveals-gearbox-three-clutches-11-gears/#respond Fri, 26 Aug 2016 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=983366 Apparently Honda isn’t done pushing the boundaries when it comes to transmission technology. The automaker already has a unique eight-speed dual-clutch automatic with a torque converter and a new nine-speed auto (albeit sourced from ZF), but AutoGuide recently dug up a patent filed by Honda detailing a triple-clutch, 11-speed automatic transmission. Honda submitted the patent to...

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Apparently Honda isn’t done pushing the boundaries when it comes to transmission technology. The automaker already has a unique eight-speed dual-clutch automatic with a torque converter and a new nine-speed auto (albeit sourced from ZF), but AutoGuide recently dug up a patent filed by Honda detailing a triple-clutch, 11-speed automatic transmission.

Honda submitted the patent to the Japan Patent Office back in May, but the link is currently broken or has been taken down. But according to AutoGuide¸ the patent’s description claims the addition of a third clutch would decrease the loss of torque experienced between gear shifts in dual-clutch gearboxes. The triple-clutch unit would also allow “speed change to be more effectively restricted and a speed change response to be increased.” Since the description was translated from Japanese, we assume it means even quicker gear shifts compared to dual-clutch units.

Autocar followed up on the patent and spoke to a Honda insider who confirmed the patent filing. However, the insider said the automaker currently has no plans to approve the triple-clutch gearbox for production. The unnamed source expressed doubts that it would be used in any of Honda’s new models on the horizon, including the next-gen CR-V.

The automaker currently uses dual-clutch automatics in a number of models including the Acura TLX sedan and NSX supercar. It has also increased its usage of continuously variable transmissions in vehicles like the 2016 Honda Civic and Accord.

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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Gets 1.5-Liter Turbo for U .S. http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-civic-hatchback-gets-single-engine-option-u-s/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-civic-hatchback-gets-single-engine-option-u-s/#respond Mon, 15 Aug 2016 20:00:27 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=977766 A few days after an enthusiast forum dropped images of the new Civic Hatchback, Honda is releasing official details about the model. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback arrives in U.S. dealerships this fall, and it will receive a single engine option unlike its sedan and coupe siblings. Buyers choose between five trims – LX, Sport,...

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A few days after an enthusiast forum dropped images of the new Civic Hatchback, Honda is releasing official details about the model. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback arrives in U.S. dealerships this fall, and it will receive a single engine option unlike its sedan and coupe siblings.

Buyers choose between five trims – LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring. All Honda Civic hatchbacks sold in the U.S. will pack a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. On most models, the engine is tuned to make 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque, matching the standard Civic. Sport and Sport Touring grades, which feature a high-flow center-mounted exhaust, deliver 180 hp.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Front Three Quarters

Honda expects its Civic hatchback to top out at 31/40 mpg city/highway when equipped with the CVT transmission. That’s slightly below the 31/42 mpg rating for the 2016 Honda Civic sedan with the 1.5-liter turbo. LX, Sport, and EX trims are available with a six-speed manual.

Although we don’t yet know all the details, Civic hatches will offer the gamut of Honda Sensing features, including collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow. Other features to look for include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, heated front seats, remote engine start, and power driver and front passenger seats. On the top-of-the-line Sport Touring, Honda Sensing, smartphone integration, and LED headlights are standard.

Honda says the hatchback will offer 122.9 cu. ft. of interior space. Rear seat legroom is pegged at 36 inches, compared to 37.4 inches for the current Civic sedan.

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Side

Honda makes the Civic sedan here in the U.S., but it looks like that won’t be the case for the five-door version. Honda will only build the Civic hatch at its manufacturing plant in Swindon, U.K. Meanwhile, a hotted-up Civic Type R is still slated to launch in the U.S. market next year.

Pictured below is the Honda Civic Hatchback Concept.

Source: Honda

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback prototype rear three quarter 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback prototype front three quarter Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype rear end Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype front end Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype front side Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype profile

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Just Listed: This 1991 Honda Beat is What Kei Car Dreams are Made Of http://www.automobilemag.com/news/just-listed-1991-honda-beat-kei-car-dreams-made/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/just-listed-1991-honda-beat-kei-car-dreams-made/#respond Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:17:07 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=977614 As more and more Japanese Domestic Market cars turn 25 years old, import companies have made a killing from bringing these JDM gems legally into the states. Of course, the R32 Nissan GT-Rs and assorted Skylines are great, but our heart has been stolen by this adorable 1991 Honda Beat kei car offered for sale on...

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As more and more Japanese Domestic Market cars turn 25 years old, import companies have made a killing from bringing these JDM gems legally into the states. Of course, the R32 Nissan GT-Rs and assorted Skylines are great, but our heart has been stolen by this adorable 1991 Honda Beat kei car offered for sale on Bring a Trailer.

This tiny, tiny roadster arrived on our comparatively gargantuan shores this past May, currently held in Rhode Island with a clean Texas title. Visually, the Beat is in good condition and holds no reports of records or accidents, according to the current owner. The “Festival Red” paint is still strong–a rare sight for these little cars.

1991 Honda Beat BAT rear three quarters

If you have never seen a kei car in person, the size of this Beat might be hard to wrap your head around. Not much power is needed to motivate the tiny thing, so Honda went with a revvy 660cc engine. The tiny three-cylinder engine is mounted amidships, sending 63 hp to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. We’re not kidding; this is a manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, right-hand drive roadster with a mid-mounted 660cc three-cylinder that revs to 8,100 rpm, all in a package that is 30 inches shorter than an first-generation Mazda Miata.  Whew.

1991 Honda Beat BAT interior

Inside, the madness continues. Somewhere along the line, a Momo steering wheel and shift knob, modified handbrake handle, and aftermarket pedal covers were installed. See that zebra-pattern cloth on the seats and floormats? That’s factory, if you can believe it.

Although it’s a quarter-of-a-century old, this Beat covered just 47,000 miles since new. You’ve got five days left as of this post, so get those wallets out and head over to Bring a Trailer to submit a bid.

1991 Honda Beat BAT front three quarters 2 1991 Honda Beat BAT front three quarters 1991 Honda Beat BAT interior 1991 Honda Beat BAT rear three quarters 1991 Honda Beat BAT exploded

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First Drive: 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-accord-hybrid-first-drive/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/2017-honda-accord-hybrid-first-drive/#respond Mon, 25 Jul 2016 17:46:47 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=970513 NAPA, California — When a publication with the motto “No Boring Cars” asks you to review the mid-cycle refresh of a hybrid sedan, a sensible person may seriously question his standing in the organization. Not me. I dived into the assignment with a zeal that borders on disturbing. Because when it comes to powertrains, I am...

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NAPA, California  When a publication with the motto “No Boring Cars” asks you to review the mid-cycle refresh of a hybrid sedan, a sensible person may seriously question his standing in the organization. Not me. I dived into the assignment with a zeal that borders on disturbing. Because when it comes to powertrains, I am an inveterate nerd. The 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid may not be the most thrilling car on a curvy road—actually, there’s no may about it; it’s simply not—but Honda’s latest hybrid system is perfect for getting your geek on.

You’ll notice immediately after you hop in, power up, and take off that this Accord doesn’t feel like other hybrids. If you’ve driven an all-electric car or a Chevy Volt, the Accord’s smooth and seamless flow of power will feel familiar. This is because, like the Volt, the Accord uses its electric motor to drive the wheels. The 2.0-liter gas engine’s primary job is to turn a generator that provides electricity for the motor, supplemented by the battery in the trunk. As with other hybrids, when demands are light—or when driver presses the “EV” button—the engine takes a snooze and the battery provides the juice. With no mechanical connection between engine and wheels, the mixing and matching of power sources is completely fluid. The system is effective, efficient, and elegant.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid interior

There’s one exception to the electric-drive rule: When cruising steadily at around 60 mph, mechanical transmission is more efficient than electricity. Under these circumstances, a clutch connects the Accord’s engine to the drive motor, allowing it to drive the wheels directly. You have to love Honda’s devotion to efficiency: No doubt the driveline would be cheaper to build without the clutch, but why leave a couple extra mpg on the table?

Another advantage to Honda’s system is that the controller is generally able to match the engine note to the accelerator position. Mat the pedal, though, and pretense goes out the window: The engine revs to max-torque speed, and the taps from the battery are opened wide. I generally avoid passing on a two-lane road in a four-cylinder hybrid, but when a local yokel in a Chevy Malibu made a concerted effort to ruin my day, I decided to give it a go. The Accord Hybrid responded with a rapid surge from 40 to 60 mph, which I found both unexpected and rewarding.

Though the basic operation of the Accord’s hybrid system is unchanged since its introduction in 2014, Honda has made a series of improvements for 2017 that will delight the geeks. The motors are smaller and lighter thanks to copper wire with a square profile, which can be wound more densely than traditional round wire. The powertrain control unit (PCU) has been repackaged and downsized, as has the battery, freeing up an extra 0.8 cubic feet of much-needed trunk space.

They’ve also cranked up the regenerative braking system, which uses the drive motor as a generator when the driver applies the brakes, charging the battery and creating resistance that slows the car. The Accord’s system is now capable of creating enough resistance that the hydraulic brakes only come into play under harder stops. Chief engineer Koji Ninomoya told me that with the regenerative brakes now doing so much of the work, an Accord Hybrid owner could, theoretically, drive the car for more than 100,000 miles without having to change the brake pads.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid instrument cluster

No surprise that the Accord’s EPA fuel economy estimates are, once again, best-in-class: At 49/47/48 mpg city/ highway/combined, the Accord Hybrid beats out the Chevrolet Malibu (46 mpg combined), Ford Fusion (42), Hyundai Sonata (42), and Toyota Camry (40). (Come on, Toyota, get with the program!) Keen eyes will notice that the city number is down from the 2014-’16 Accord Hybrid’s 50 mpg. That’s because the EPA changed their test methodology for 2017. (Under the old formula, the 2017 model’s figures would have been 50/47/49 versus 40/45/47 for the outgoing model.)

All Accord Hybrids now get Honda’s Amplitude Reactive Dampers, which separate oil paths for short- and long-travel inputs. The Accord Hybrid’s compliant ride reminded me of the heavy V-6-powered Accords from a couple generations ago. But the Hybrid stays relatively flat and poised as you bend it into the corners, with the front tires squealing out a warning long before the onset of understeer—which, I should add, came sooner than I expected. Choose your entry speeds and line judiciously and the Accord will link the bends together nicely, though it lacks the raw fun factor of the Mazda6 or the Ford Fusion. It’d be great to see the hybrid powertrain ported over to the Sport trim, which has a lighter and more direct feel than other Accords. The Sport is one of the Accord’s best-selling variants, so I’m sure a case could be made for it.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter

The rest of the changes to the 2017 Accord mirror those made to the gasoline-powered models for 2016. The front-end fascia has been revised (though the hybrid gets a unique hood) and the taillights, which used to look vaguely like they came from a Hyundai Genesis, now look vaguely like they came from a Mercedes E-Class. There’s the usual fussy application of chrome that seems to be part and parcel of half-hearted styling refreshes. The Accord Hybrid is not a bad-looking car, but it still looks frumpy compared to most of its rivals.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 04

Inside, Honda has shuffled a few bits around to provide more storage space, and a wireless phone charger is now available as a dealer-installed accessory. That’s all well and good, but I still can’t wrap my head around the dual-screen center stack in EX-L and Touring models. I prefer the simpler stereo in the base Accord Hybrid, though I still don’t think the layout is as visually cohesive as that of the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, or Chevy Malibu hybrids. Accords with a display stereo now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, but what they really need is a proper volume knob, which Honda says is coming in the not-too-distant future.

Would I buy an Accord Hybrid? It’s not a slam dunk for me, because the Ford Fusion Hybrid is better to drive and the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a more cohesive interior. That said, if one is buying a hybrid, does it make any sense to get anything but the most fuel-efficient one? When it comes to fuel economy, the Accord Hybrid is the undisputed champ, warts and all. And even if driving one doesn’t exactly stir your soul, your inner geek is going to love it.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Specifications

On Sale: Now
Price: $30,440/$36,790 (base/as tested)
Engine:

2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4/143 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 129 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm;

plus electric AC motor/181 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm, 232 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm; 212 hp combined

Transmission: Continuously variable
Layout: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD sedan
EPA Mileage:  49/47 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H: 194.1 x 72.8 x 57.5 in
Wheelbase: 109.3 in
Weight: 3,483-3,536 lb
0-60 MPH: N/A
Top Speed: N/A
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 06 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarters in motion 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 09 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 08 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 03 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 04 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 05 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid side profile 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear three quarter 07 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid side mirror 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid trunk 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid taillight 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid sunroof 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid steering wheel 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid steering wheel 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid side profile 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid interior 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid key fob 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear badge 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear end 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear end 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear interior view 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid interior view 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid interior door panel 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid interior controls 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid instrument cluster 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid instrument cluster 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid headlamp 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 07 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 08 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 09 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarters in motion 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 06 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 05 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 04 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 03 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 09 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 03 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 04 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 05 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 06 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 07 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 08 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front interior 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front end 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front end in motion 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front end in motion 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front end 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid engine 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid engine cover 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid engine 02 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid drive modes 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid cockpit

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Spy Shots Give us Our Best Look at the Honda Civic Si Coupe Yet http://www.automobilemag.com/news/spy-shots-give-us-our-best-look-at-the-honda-civic-si-coupe-yet/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/spy-shots-give-us-our-best-look-at-the-honda-civic-si-coupe-yet/#respond Mon, 18 Jul 2016 19:43:42 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=968509 A prototype for the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe has been spotted testing with minimal camouflage. Despite being covered, we can tell the front grille and lower fascia areas are more aggressive than the standard Civic Coupe. Where the standard coupe has a chrome piece and horizontal bars in the fascia’s three lower air intakes,...

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A prototype for the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe has been spotted testing with minimal camouflage.

Despite being covered, we can tell the front grille and lower fascia areas are more aggressive than the standard Civic Coupe. Where the standard coupe has a chrome piece and horizontal bars in the fascia’s three lower air intakes, the Civic Si Coupe has a blacked out grille piece and a hexagonal insert in the center lower intake. The outer intakes, which are masked off, appear to have a more aggressive shape similar to that first seen on the initial Honda Civic Coupe concept.

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot rear 3

Like the Honda Civic Type R hatchback, the Civic Si Coupe prototype features a center-mounted exhaust below the rear bumper. Unlike the Type R model, the Si Coupe replaces the sportiest variant’s trio of exhaust tips with a wide single outlet. Also absent on the Si Coupe is a large rear wing like that on the Type R hatch.

While Honda hasn’t confirmed the powerplant for the Si model, rumors suggest it could be a more powerful version of the turbocharged 1.5-liter (174 hp, 162 lb-ft of torque) found in the standard Civic sedan and coupe or a detuned version of the turbocharged 2.0-liter (305 hp, 295 lb-ft) from the Type R model. The Si will likely make somewhere around 220-230 hp. A six-speed manual will back the engine.

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot interior 2

From the spy shots, we can see a few unique Si details including larger front seat bolsters, carbon fiber dash trim, Alcantara door inserts, and red stitching. Strategically placed tape on the grille and trunklid likely hides Si badges.

Expect the 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe to make its official debut at either the 2016 Los Angeles auto show or the 2017 Detroit auto show before it goes on sale early next year.

2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 6 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot steering wheel detail 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot side 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot side 3 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot side 2 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot shifter detail 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot rear 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot rear 4 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot rear 3 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot interior 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot interior 2 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 7 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 5 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 4 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot Front three quarters 3 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot front three quarters 2 2017 Honda Civic Si Coupe Spyshot exhaust detail

 

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Honda’s New Electric Motor Works Without Essential Rare-Earth Metals http://www.automobilemag.com/news/hondas-new-electric-motor-works-without-essential-rare-earth-metals/ http://www.automobilemag.com/news/hondas-new-electric-motor-works-without-essential-rare-earth-metals/#respond Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:28:20 +0000 http://www.automobilemag.com/?p=966953 Honda has revealed a new electric motor for hybrid vehicles. Not only does it cost less to manufacture, it doesn’t require the use of rare-earth metals in its magnets, according to a report from Automotive News. Heavy metals such as dysprosium and terbium are no longer needed. The biggest takeaway is that Honda won’t be at the mercy of supply...

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Honda has revealed a new electric motor for hybrid vehicles. Not only does it cost less to manufacture, it doesn’t require the use of rare-earth metals in its magnets, according to a report from Automotive News. Heavy metals such as dysprosium and terbium are no longer needed. The biggest takeaway is that Honda won’t be at the mercy of supply bottlenecks of rare-earth metals, particularly when it comes to dealing with China.

The first vehicle to use the new electric motor will be a hybrid variant of the Freed small minivan, which is based on the Fit. Honda co-developed its new electric motor with Japanese metal supplier Daido Steel Co., and the companies said in a joint release that the reduction of heavy rare-earth elements “has been one of the major challenges needing to be addressed.” Honda and Daido used a new technique called hot deformation to make its magnets; instead of the more common sintering method. The new method apparently allows crystals within the magnets align into a finer structure, eliminating the need to use certain rare-earth metals.

Reducing dependence on rare-earth metals has been a key goals for automakers when developing electric motors for use in hybrids and EVs, according to AN. Limited resources and projected rising prices coupled with increased demand from the auto and electronics industries mean that the rare-earth metals market could grow at an annual rate of 14 percent and exceed $9 billion by 2019, according to a forecast by Technavio Research. “Rising global demand for rare earth metals has resulted in sharp increases in their prices due to a flat to negative supply growth from the key producing region,”said Technavio. “Japan has been sourcing rare earths and is aggressively trying to develop its own source of rare earth metals amid regional disputes with China.”

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid rear badge

China currently produces nearly all of the world’s rare-earth metal output at about 90 percent, leaving Japan vulnerable after political and territorial disputes broke out between the neighboring countries. China stopped shipments of rare-earth metals to Japan after both countries fought over a group of islands.

The magnets used in the electric motor uses a light rare-earth metal called neodymium, which is more common and can be acquired from the U.S. and Australia, in addition to China. The electric motor’s magnets are composed of 65 percent iron, 30 percent neodymium and 10 percent heavy rare-earth metals.

Daido Electronics Co., a subsidiary of Daido Steel, will start production of the new electric motors in August in a new factory in Japan and will use the partnership with Honda to enter the market for electric drive motor magnets for hybrids and EVs. Honda is expected to deploy in hybrid vehicles first, as engineers noted that application in EVs is less likely because the motors provide the only source of power and operate at higher temperatures.

2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 05 2015 honda fit hybrid front three quarters1 2015 Honda Fit Hybrid Japan spec front right side 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid front three quarter in motion 02

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