What to do with your lowly 92 horsepower Civic hatch? The usual and most popular swap route is a 1.8- or 2-liter VTEC DOHC 4, and the extreme route is a Chevy small block and rear wheel drive. This particular swap took the middle ground, but still the road less travelled. How about an Acura V-6 - pulled from its wrecked donor in an apartment complex parking lot!
We spotted this swap in person at Texas World Speedway, where it completed a weekend open track HPDE event. All in all, a very nice and clean swap with even more potential.
Follow our series of engine swap posts using the “Swap” tab below!
Honda will introduce this ”Small Sports EV” electric concept at the upcoming Tokyo Auto Show. We’re shocked, and it’s beautiful.
We’d given up on Honda when the S2000 replacement was cancelled, preceded by the cancellation of the wild V-10 powered new NSX.
But we’re also very disappointed in Honda because the company formerly known for its engine technology as well as it’s practicality and reliability and fallen significantly and steadily behind the engineering curve in recent years. Looking over the current line of engines, we’d ask where the independently variable intake and exhaust timing is, as well as variable valve lift and direct injection. Don’t even mention 6-speed automatic transmissions, which have just barely appeared in their highest-end luxury cars. Nearly everybody else has that engine technology very nearly across the board, and 6-speed automatic transmissions are in the process of being wholesale replaced by 7-, 8- and even 9-speed automatics. We won’t even ask Honda about a dual-clutch transmission.
The only engine left of any interest to enthusiasts, the Acura RDX turbo 4 cylinder, is saddled with outdated port injection and a lowly 5-speed speed automatic. Resulting in atrocious gas mileage. And is due to be cancelled next year. What might have been an “EcoBoost” type of engine, to compete with Mazda, Hyundai, Ford, GM, and BMW, is already dead and out of the plan. A better-engineered version might have powered a Civic S-Type or next-gen S2000, and it could have provided up to 35 MPG in those light and efficient cars.
With this new concept, there might be hope for some sort of Honda rejuvenation… perhaps along the lines of Toyota with its new FT-86 themed sports car. When that car appears next year (and we also know the idea of a new Supra is being explored), we will see a Toyota that recognizes and celebrates the joy of driving as well as the responsibility of environmental conservancy. Of course, Toyota has a dynamic leader (and experienced driver in sports car racing series) in Akio Toyoda – something that Honda is conspicuously missing. And Toyota is growing a new generation of enthusiasts engineers with the LFA project and some of the recent work in the Lexus LS-F and the new G series. Honda’s S2000 engineers have all retired, and the next NSX project is weighted down with political “green” undertones.
Only time will tell if any of the Japanese automakers can find their own way forward.
Honda announced a plug-in electric concept vehicle Wednesday at the Los Angeles Auto Show. This is a concept only at this point, not production, but very clearly production-ready and we’ll certainly see more of it as development continues.
With this introduction, Honda is saying “me to”, although clearly they are late to the table and seriously behind Nissan. However, the reader should also note that Honda has established an infrastructure study with Stanford University and others. It’s clear that these types of vehicles cannot exist outside of a niche without infrastructure changes and these types of studies help understand what is needed and will accelerate them.
Honda press release follows:
World Debut of Honda Fit EV Concept Electric Vehicle and Plug-in Hybrid Platform at Los Angeles Auto Show
Advanced environmental vehicles key to Honda Electric Mobility Network
Honda today unveiled the all-new Fit EV Concept electric vehicle and the platform for a midsize plug-in hybrid vehicle. Both vehicles are integral to the Honda Electric Mobility Network, the company’s comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions through innovative products, energy-management and energy-production technologies.
The Fit EV Concept hints strongly at the direction and styling for Honda’s upcoming production Fit EV all-electric vehicle, which will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012. The all-new plug-in hybrid platform showcases Honda’s next-generation, two-motor hybrid technology set to debut in 2012.
“Honda’s long history with electromotive technologies has enabled us to understand customer requirements,” said Takanobu Ito, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO. “In Honda’s view, an electric vehicle must offer great utility and be fun to drive. Fit EV’s urban commuting capability will be a perfect addition to the full-function mobility of the plug-in hybrid and FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle.”
Honda Fit EV
The Fit EV is designed to meet the daily driving needs of the average metropolitan commuter and utilizes the same 5-passenger layout found in the popular Fit hatchback. When the Fit EV production model is introduced, it will be powered by a lithium-ion battery and coaxial electric motor.
The high-density motor, derived from the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, delivers excellent efficiency and power while remaining quiet at high speeds. The Fit EV will have a top speed of 90 mph.
The Fit EV will achieve an estimated 100-mile driving range per charge using the US EPA LA4* city cycle (70 miles when applying EPA’s adjustment factor). Driving range can be maximized by use of an innovative 3-mode electric drive system, adapted from the 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid. The system allows the driver to select between Econ, Normal, and Sport to instantly and seamlessly change the driving experience to maximize efficiency or improve acceleration. While in Econ mode, practical driving range can increase by as much as 17 percent, compared to driving in Normal mode, and up to 25 percent compared to driving in Sport mode. Acceleration improves significantly when in Sport mode, generating performance similar to a vehicle equipped with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine.
In addition to the 3-mode E-Drive system, the Fit EV will include several interactive coaching systems to assist the driver in maximizing battery range.
A special meter display advises the driver when to shut off air conditioning and other accessories to conserve battery power.
To help the driver manage the electric vehicle ownership experience, the Fit EV will have a standard connectivity system that allows the driver to stay connected through a smartphone and personal computer, or the Honda-exclusive interactive remote, while away from the vehicle. The pocket-friendly, interactive remote provides connectivity to the vehicle without the need for an internet connection or mobile phone signal. Through the connectivity system, drivers will be able to remotely view the vehicle’s state of charge, initiate charging and activate the air conditioning, even while connected to the grid, to reduce the drain on the battery at start-up. The mobile application and website also offers the ability to set charging notifications and alerts to optimize utility rates, and provides 24-hour roadside assistance, along with a public charging station locator. The Fit EV will come equipped with a standard Honda Satellite Linked Navigation System™ that includes a public charging-station locator capability.
The Fit EV is designed to be easy and convenient to charge. Battery recharging can be accomplished in less than 12 hours when using a conventional 120-volt outlet, and less than six hours when using a 240-volt outlet.
The Fit EV Concept displayed at the Los Angeles Auto Show features an exclusive Deep Clear Blue Pearl exterior color and distinctive five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with blue inserts. The Concept has unique LED headlights, a chrome front fascia, aerodynamic bumper, clear LED taillights and EV decals. Inside, the Fit EV Concept is outfitted in an eco-friendly gray bio-fabric on the seating surfaces.
Displayed alongside the Fit EV Concept at the show is a prototype Honda charging stand. To begin charging, the driver swipes a card in front of the screen and then connects the charger to the vehicle. The Honda charging stand provides a glimpse at the future of an electric-charging infrastructure that is easy to use and intuitive for consumers.
Honda Plug-in Hybrid
Honda also unveiled a plug-in hybrid platform, which showcases Honda’s next-generation two-motor hybrid system. Integrated into a mid-size sedan platform, the plug-in hybrid is designed to be compatible with daily driving habits, allowing for short, frequent trips in all-electric mode, while providing long-distance driving capability when needed. The Honda two-motor system continuously moves through three different modes to maximize driving efficiency: all-electric, gasoline-electric and a unique, engine direct-drive mode. The plug-in hybrid also uses regenerative braking to charge the battery.
In all-electric mode, the vehicle uses a 6kWh lithium-ion battery and a powerful 120 kW electric motor. The all-electric mode achieves a range of approximately 10-15 miles in city driving and a top speed of 62 mph. Fully recharging the battery will take 2 to 2.5 hours using a 120-volt outlet and 1 to 1.5 hours using a 240-volt outlet.
The vehicle can also run in a gasoline-electric hybrid mode, the platform features a fuel-efficient 2.0-liter, i-VTEC® inline 4-cylinder, Atkinson cycle engine, paired with an electric Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). An onboard generator adds to the battery powering the electric motor.
For more efficient high-speed cruising, the vehicle can engage in a direct-drive mode, in which only the engine drives the front wheels.
Advanced Technology Demonstration Program
Honda will launch an Advanced Technology Demonstration Program this year to provide real-world testing of its new vehicles, as well as research into customer behavior and usability, public charging infrastructure planning and sustainability initiatives. Partners in the program will include Stanford University, City of Torrance, Calif. and Google, Inc.
Honda Electric Mobility Network and Energy Management
Together with the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Fit EV and the future plug-in hybrid vehicle are a part of the company’s comprehensive approach to reducing CO2 emissions. Honda is unique in its efforts to create both environmentally-responsible products and the renewable energy solutions to power them. Honda is currently producing and marketing thin-film solar panels in Japan, and an installation is planned at Honda Performance Development in Southern California in early 2011. Honda is also using innovative ways to produce and distribute energy through sustainable methods, such as using solar power to produce hydrogen fuel from water. Additionally, Honda is developing home energy-management systems that utilize micro-cogeneration technology and solar cell modules to power and heat homes as well as charge electric vehicles. The Honda Electric Mobility Network joins clean vehicle technology, renewable energy production and energy management solutions for the benefit of customers and society.
Honda Environmental Leadership
The Fit EV and a plug-in hybrid sedan will be introduced to the U.S. and Japan in 2012, joining Honda’s diverse lineup of environmentally-responsible vehicles, which include the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, the Civic GX compressed natural gas-powered sedan (U.S. only) and four distinct gasoline-electric hybrid models: Civic Hybrid; CR-Z sport hybrid; Insight hybrid and Fit Hybrid (Japan and Europe only).
Honda was recently named America’s “Greenest Automaker” for the fifth consecutive time by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The award is earned by the company with the lowest combined smog-forming and greenhouse-gas emissions (primarily CO2) in its U.S. automobile fleet.
Honda has led the UCS rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since the first UCS study in 2000, marking a decade of Honda leadership in reduced vehicle emissions. Honda earned the recognition this year with an industry-best score based on model year 2008 data, the latest available for analysis.
Instead of the grotesque Honda Crosstour, here’s the car Honda should have given us: the European version of the Accord. Indeed, as shown in early spy photos, this was the mule car for the Crosstour.
But wait, doesn’t this car look oddly familiar? Yes, it does, because the 4-door verison of this car has been sold here for years as the Acura TSX. Slight change in the grill, bumpers, and badging and you have the same exact car that Acura sells here at a premium price. Honda doesn’t have it’s own premium chassis (like the Nissan/Infiniti FM platform that is used for the 370Z, G, M, FX, EX, and other platforms here and in Japan) so it has to resort to re-badging existing cars from across the world. It costs very little to do, results in a very high margin, and provides Acura with an entire line of cars.
That’s one heckuva handsome wagon!
And what Accord do we get in the United States? The ever-enlarging (because it just gets bigger and bigger in every rev) Japanese home market Honda Inspire.
It’s a strange mixed-up world at Honda these days.
And, like Jay Leno once asked Hugh Grant, we’d also say “What the hell were you thinking?”
Too heavy, too tall, too big, too slow, and unbelievably ugly. What was Honda thinking? These ars not the attributes that Honda owners are looking for. What happened to the new Honda styling themes that the rest of the world appreciates? Why does Honda think that gigantic schnozola grills (Honda) or metal blades (Acura) are appealing? Yes, they do set these products apart… we see them coming down the road from far away and wince at their grotesque excess.
We just don’t understand what Honda and Acura are thinking. No NSX, S2000, RSX, aging and out-dated 4 and 6 cylinder engines, and now styling that not even a mother could like. We would take a guess that this “thing” and the latest Acura grills were all done by the United States wing of Honda/Acura product planning. Totally out of touch with the Japanese mindset that we have appreciated all along.
Honda Press Release follows:
2010 Accord Crosstour Styling Conceals Surprising Versatility
09/01/2009 – TORRANCE, Calif. –
The all-new 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour evolves the Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) concept by integrating a sleek and aerodynamic shape that blends sporty, low-profile contours with versatile CUV functionality, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today.
“Our concept is to broaden the appeal of the Accord line-up by leveraging traditional Accord strengths of fun-to-drive performance and handling while also adapting to dramatic shifts in the light truck marketplace,” said Erik Berkman, vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The Accord Crosstour accomplishes that by offering a modern interpretation of a CUV while integrating the refinement and efficiency of a premium sedan.”
Derived from the Accord Sedan, the Accord Crosstour maximizes car-like ride and refinement, yet maintains capabilities consistent with a CUV’s increased ride height and all-weather potential. The Accord Crosstour’s styling builds on the Accord’s familiar character lines and adds a bolder front grille complemented by a durable lower-body appearance, wedge-shaped C-pillars and an aggressive rear stance. The flowing roofline narrows smoothly into the rear of the vehicle to create an aggressive-looking design, which conceals a unique cargo area that can adapt to large objects that exceed the capacity of a sedan.
“We know SUV buyers like the commanding view of the road that comes with a high eye-point and like the comforts of living with an SUV,” said Berkman. “This vehicle meets the needs of buyers looking for those attributes yet at the same time want an image that is different from a conventional SUV.”
The Accord Crosstour will be positioned at the top of the Accord family when it goes on sale in fall 2009. Additional details will be announced later in the year. Consumer information is available at http://automobiles.honda.com/future-cars. An Accord Crosstour Facebook page is available at www.facebook.com/accordcrosstour. Additional media information regarding all Honda products is available at www.hondanews.com.
Honda introduced the “Honda OSM” concept in July at the 2008 British International Motor Show . Web speculation abounds as to what this is: either a hybrid FWD sports car or an S2000 replacement – or both? Very limited statements by Honda confirm that it is absolutely not an S2000 replacement. (whew!)
Looking at the drawing, we can see follow-on elements from the current S2000, but it’s also clear that this is a FWD car. Note the long front overhang and the minimal distance between the front wheels and doors – clearly not a front/mid engine platform. Note that Honda announced a few weeks ago that there would be several new hybrids coming soon and undoubtedly this is one of them.
(reposted from a prior post, which spammers had attacked with comments)
Honda’s rich and enviable heritage in the coveted Formula One World Championship spans the best part of 40 years. Yet Honda’s earliest years of competition took place on two wheels rather than four.
Continue at source: http://www.sportnetwork.net/main/s169/st88032.htm?fromrss=1