Unique View

Isuzu has taken to advertising its pickup truck with a unique initiative. The company wanted to apply the Google Street View philosophy to some of South Africa’s more remote off-road trails, and the result is Isuzu Trail View. Using multiple action cameras situated in a 3D-printed housing strapped to the top of the truck, the crew began bouncing along dirt and rock paths, recording all the while. They also shot additional video and worked with experts to provide excellent clips on how to navigate common off-road obstacles.

You can watch the making-of below, and you can head over to the Trail View site to poke around a few South African trails for yourself.

 

New Civic Tourer – 19/06/ 2013

The Honda Civic Tourer will be revealed in  full production form at the Frankfurt Motor  Show this September, and Auto Express has learned that the new estate will  have the biggest boot in the family car class.

We spoke to senior engineer Adrian Killham at the brand’s R&D centre in  Swindon, Wiltshire. He said: “When the VW Golf  Mk7 estate appeared at Geneva [in March], it had 605 litres, then Skoda  went one better with 610 litres in the Octavia. But  the Civic will offer significantly more.”

Killham also confirmed that, like its rivals, the 1.6-litre diesel version of  the Civic Tourer will “emit less than 100g/km of CO2”. And even though the Civic  wasn’t designed to be developed into an estate, the conversion has added less  than 40kg to the kerbweight.

The design of the Geneva show concept in our pictures will be toned down  before the car hits dealers, but the swooping rear lights and wraparound glass  will remain. And Killham told us the boot lip has been lowered even further to  help boost practicality. “The Civic will be perfect for dog owners and towing,” he said.

It will keep the hatch’s flip-up ‘magic’ seatbases, too, while the higher  roofline has apparently improved headroom in the rear for taller passengers  too.

Engines will be carried over from the hatch, so there will be 1.4 and  1.8-litre petrols, plus 2.2 and ultra-efficient 1.6-litre diesels. But Killham  was coy about the possibility of a hybrid, telling us: “That target [CO2] is  always moving, and we might look at new technologies as they start to be  available. But we’ll stick with the engines we have for now.”

He also revealed that top-spec Civic Tourers would stand out with a form of  adaptive suspension that will be “very appropriate for a wagon”. And while he was vague on the exact  details, it should act like a self-levelling system. The price is expected to  rise by “between £500 and £1,200” over the hatch once it goes on sale in the UK  in January 2014.

Honda Civic Tourer front

This Car Could Make Honda Relevant Again 03/06/2013

honda-gear-front11-660x371 honda-gear-side1-660x311

Honda is losing mindshare and marketshare with the demographic it used to dominate: young people. That’s why it desperately needs to put the Gear concept into production.

With all eyes still on the Detroit Auto Show, the debut of the Gear at the Montreal International Auto Show seemed like an odd tangent, until you look at the details.

It’s a subcompact created by Honda’s L.A.-based Advanced Design Studio and supposedly inspired by fixed-gear bikes. We don’t see the connection either, but that’s irrelevant marketing-speak, and anyway just look at it. It manages to come off as both retro and modern, without erring on the side of trite or cliched. It’s just a shame Honda isn’t telling us what’s under the hood.

But as a compact runabout designed with Gen-Y city dwellers in mind, the Gear is fully customizable, similar to what Scion – Toyota’s youth-focused division – did with its initial offerings in the States. And it’s packed with connectivity options that are an absolute necessity for its target audience.

Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D says it will be “affordable” to boot, and if Honda can pull off something in the same sub-$20k price range as the latest offerings from GM and Ford, while offering more style and substance in the process, Honda could have a winner – assuming the Gear even makes it to market.

Honda Civic Tourer – 17/04/2013

honda-civic-tourer-2

honda-civic-tourer-4

Honda has confirmed the estate version  of the Civic will use the name Civic  Tourer when it goes on sale in the UK in early 2014. Shown here in our  latest set of spy pictures, the full production car will make its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this  September.

Honda has already confirmed that the Civic Tourer will be built right here in  the UK, at its HMUK plant in Swindon, and expects that the estate will  make up around 20 per cent of total Civic sales.

And the test mule spied here shows how close the Civic Tourer is to the  concept shown at the Geneva Motor Show earlier  this year. The bold rear wheelarch surfacing and big rear wing have been toned  down slightly, but you can see that the Tourer retains the swoopy look of the  concept. The rising shoulderline is still there, as are the swept-back  tail-lights, sloping roofline and small spoiler that doubles as a light bar that  runs along the bottom edge of the rear window.

The concept’s neat roof rails have also made it onto the final production  model, while the car spied here ditches the concept’s centre exhaust layout, and  gains a rear windscreen wiper.

The stylish look isn’t to the detriment of practicality, however, as the spy  pictures clearly reveal the car’s large, rectangular tailgate that cuts right  down low into the rear bumper to make loading heavy objects easier.

No boot figures are available yet, but the firm did say that the Tourer will  have “class-leading cargo space”. That suggests it’s load area will easily  eclipse models like the Ford Focus Estate and Vauxhall Astra Sports Tourer, which  have 1,502 litres and 1,550 litres of boot space respectively.

The engine line-up will include Honda’s new 118bhp 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel,  and although no figures are available yet, this is likely to emit less than  100g/km. Also likely is a more powerful 2.2-litre diesel, plus 1.4 and 1.8-litre  petrol models. A Type-R version with a 300bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is  also under consideration, to rival the Ford  Focus ST Estate.

March 25 2013 – Land Rover Defender 110 Electric

Land Rover has unveiled a number of zero emission electric Defender 110 models, developed by Land Rover’s Advanced Engineering Team following successful trials of the Defender-based electric vehicle, Leopard 1. The Defenders were tested in extreme conditions which included pulling a 12-tonne ‘road train’ up a 13% gradient and wading to a depth of 800mm.

The standard diesel engine and gearbox in the 110 Defenders have been replaced by a 70kW (94bhp), 330Nm electric motor twinned with a 300-volt, lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 27kWh, giving a range of more than 50 miles. In typical, low speed off-road use it can last for up to eight hours before recharging. The battery can be fully charged by a 7kW fast charger in four hours or a portable 3kW charger in 10 hours.

The 410kg battery is mounted in the front of the Defender in place of the diesel engine. Kerb weight is 100kg more than a basic Defender 110 and ranges from 2,055kg to 2,162kg depending whether the body style is a pick-up, hard top or station wagon.

The four-wheel drive system and differential lock in the Defender has been retained, whilst the electric motor delivers maximum torque immediately it starts eliminating the need for gear shifting. The transmission comprises a single speed, 2.7:1 reduction gearbox which is combined to the existing four-wheel drive system. A modified version of Land Rover’s Terrain Response®System has also been incorporated.

All the major components in the electric powertrain – including the battery, inverter and motor – are air-cooled rather than liquid cooled, saving a considerable amount of weight and complexity and adding robustness. Regenerative braking has been optimised to such an extent that using Hill Descent Control, the motor can generate 30kW of electricity. Because the battery technology can be charged very quickly at a rate of up to twice its capacity of 54kW without reducing battery life, almost all of the regenerated energy can be recovered and stored. Up to 80 percent of the kinetic energy in the vehicle can be recovered in this way, depending on conditions.

There are no plans for the all-terrain electric Defender to enter series production however, the research EV’s will go into service in real world trials later this year.

21 Jan 2013 – German cars ‘among worst’

Audi, BMW and VW ranked in the bottom 10 of a study  into engine reliability

German-made cars are not as reliable as many believe, according to new  research. Warranty Direct has studied its claims data to compile a list of the  manufacturers with the most reliable engines – and Audi, BMW and Volkswagen all finished in the  bottom 10 out of a total 36 makers.

In fact, the only firm whose cars had a worse engine failure rate than Audi  was MG Rover. MINI wasn’t much better, finishing third from  bottom, while its parent company BMW came seventh from bottom. And, despite its  reputation for rock-solid reliability, Volkswagen came  ninth from bottom.

Honda scooped the gold medal – the study found that just  one in every 344 Honda engines failed, compared to one in every 27 Audi engines.  Despite its recent recall woes, Toyota came second and Mercedes managed to outperform its fellow German brands  with a respectable third-place finish.

Duncan McClure, Warranty Direct Managing Director, said that engine failures  are the worst for motorists as they’re the repairs that can lead to the highest  costs because of the parts and hours of labour required to fix them: “The nuber  of failures may be low compared to areas such as axle and suspension damage but  engine repairs almost always result in costs reaching the thousands for  motorists who aren’t covered by a warranty.”

An engine failure on a Range Rover  Vogue recently led to Warranty Direct’s highest ever claim of £13,000.

Top 10 manufacturers

Manufacturer Failure rate (%) Failure rate (1 in x)
1 Honda 0.29% 1 in 344
2 Toyota 0.58% 1 in 171
3 Mercedes 0.84% 1 in 119
4 Volvo 0.90% 1 in 111
5 Jaguar 0.98% 1 in 103

Bottom 10 manufacturers

Manufacturer Failure rate (%) Failure rate (1 in x)
1 MG Rover 7.88% 1 in 13
2 Audi 3.71% 1 in 27
3 MINI 2.51% 1 in 40
4 Saab 2.49% 1 in 40
5 Vauxhall 2.46% 1 in 41

22 Dec 2012 -Honda SUV Concept at the Detroit Motor Show

18201_honda_compact_urban_suv_concept

We broke the story back in  January, and now Honda has confirmed that a  small Jazz-based SUV concept will debut at the Detroit  Motor Show in January 2013. When it reaches showrooms – likely in late 2013,  after the production car is shown in Tokyo in November – it will sit below  the CR-V in the range.

The show car – which is called the Urban SUV Concept – is teased in this  darkened sketch, but the proportions and several design details are clear to  see. A low coupe-like roof and swollen wheelarches give it a stretched-out  sporty look, while the signature line is a bold upturned crease that joins the  window line to create a point in the C-pillar.

The front door handle is visible but not the rear, suggesting some sort of  hidden handle in the C-pillar is likely. Turbine-style alloys, narrow head and  tail lights and a roof spoiler complete the styling.

Honda has released precious few details on the car at this stage, other than  to say that it is a global model that will definitely be coming to the UK.

We’ll bring you all the details and pictures when the car makes its world  debut in Detroit on 14 January next year.

16 Nov 2012 – Radical Ener-G-Force concept.

mercedes energforce 6

The striking SUV has been developed for the Los Angeles Design Challenge, and previews a bold new look and cutting-edge technology for the next G-Class, due in 2015.

Mercedes describes the Ener-G-Force as a “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025”. It has an intimidating look, but bears a clear resemblance to the current G-Class, with the front grille, wing-mounted indicators and LED headlamp designs in the shape of a ‘G’ all paying tribute to the existing car.

There’s loads of ground clearance, while a short windscreen adds to the imposing stance. Dramatic off-road cladding around the wheelarches and sills enhances the imposing stance, and there are three-section side windows in the G-class tradition.

Completing the look are narrow tail-lamps and a small rear windscreen, plus there’s a pull-out toolbox in the tailgate storage section, which is styled to look like a traditional spare wheel holder.

Under the skin, the Ener-G-Force is equally radical, with a hydrogen fuel cell powering motors in each wheel hub.

Mercedes says the car has a range of nearly 500 miles, with hydrogen stored in roof-mounted water tanks which feed water to a ‘hydro-tech convertor’. The electric energy they provide is then stored in the Ener-G-Force’s sculpted side skirts

13 Nov 2012 – The next Civic Type-R – 300bhp !!!

The next-generation Honda Civic Type-R will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that could produce as much as 300bhp, according to Yasuhisa Arai from Honda’s R&D centre.

Previous reports suggested it would use a development of Honda’s 1.6-litre motorsport engine, but Arai told Auto Express that a 2.0-litre capacity was necessary to ensure the Type R could be more powerful than the Renaultsport Megane 265.

Honda is using the Megane as the benchmark and has pledged that the new Civic Type R will beat the 265’s Nurburgring lap record for a front-wheel-drive car when it arrives in 2015.

Arai said: “We have an idea of the products our rivals are developing and regardless of what anyone else produces, our car will be the fastest front-wheel-drive model around the Nurburgring when it goes on sale, and we will do whatever we need to in order to make that happen.”

What’s more, Arai said that despite using turbo power he hoped the engine would still offer the top-end rush of the old naturally-aspirated VTEC Type-R engine. Honda is also investigating a trick suspension set-up that should help minimize torque steer and a range of other performance-boosting enhancements.

These include fitting a mechanical limited-slip differential and maybe even rear-wheel steering (although this would mean redesigning the standard Civic’s torsion beam rear suspension setup). The firm has just showcased its new Precision All-Wheel steer at an event in Tochigi Japan, which we tested on a US-market Accord.

The system boosts cornering speeds and turns both rear wheels inwards slightly under hard braking to stop it weaving around.

The only issue is cost. Honda UK wants the new Civic Type-R to start from no more than £25,000 to make sure it is competitive on price. But is it really possible to achieve both this target and the lap record? Time will tell…

13 Nov 2012 -New all-electric Honda Micro Commuter

Honda has revealed a new all-electric prototype model called the Micro Commuter. honda micro commuter 1

It follows on from the Micro Commuter Concept that debuted at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show and provides seating for two children behind an adult driver. The seats can be shifted to accommodate one adult passenger in the rear, too.

The Micro Commuter weighs 400kg and uses lithium-ion batteries and a 20bhp electric motor. Honda says range stands at about 37 miles and the top speed is 50mph.

From behind the wheel it feels a lot like a Renault Twizy, and there’s no assistance in the steering or brakes. There aren’t any windows, either, but some will be available as an option.

Rather than normal dials driving information is displayed on a Samsung Galaxy tablet which is charged via solar panels on the car’s roof. It also double as a rear view mirror, displaying images from a camera mounted at the back.

Alongside the Micro Commuter Prototype Honda also revealed a system that can talk to traffic lights to tell the driver when they will change. Auto-braking technology that can brake a car to a halt from 40mph was also on display.

08 Nov 12 – Honda CB1100

Unmistakably Honda, the CB1100’s clean lines elegantly echo the past. The large round headlight, scalloped fuel tank (proudly detailed with the Honda Wing) and silver painted sidepanels add style and substance, while familiar analog dials, slim seat, side-swept 4-2-1 exhaust pipe and chromed front and rear mudguards provide the finishing touches, gently stirring memories of how motorcycles used to look and, as importantly, feel.

Perhaps it’s what you don’t see that matters more with the CB1100; this is the motorcycle at its most elemental. A steel double cradle frame houses the engine, with 41mm conventional telescopic forks and twin rear shocks providing compliant and finely tuned suspension. The CB1100’s riding position is upright and relaxed, a perfect platform from which to watch the world slide by.

From the outset of the project, the CB1100’s development engineers decided to use the word ‘design’ rather than ‘styling’ for their new bike. Utilising the characteristics of many materials – metal, plastic, leather and rubber – they created individual parts that are both beautiful and functional, and bought them together to stunning effect. Centrepiece of the CB1100 is its handsome DOHC engine. Air (via 2mm fins) and oil-cooled (via a 335mm 9-tier, front-mounted oil cooler), the finning is the finest found on any bike within the Honda range, and new production methods had to be found for its manufacture. It revs to 8,500rpm and features a compression ratio of 9.5:1. Maximum power output is 66Kw, with a peak torque figure of 93Nm @ 5,000rpm.

Importantly, however outright horsepower figures on Dynograph paper was not the goal – if the engine proved fun to use, then it would be deemed a success. Smooth, instantly accessible power and torque is what the CB1100’s motor’s all about, and plenty of it, anywhere in the rev range. No frantic thrashing to the redline; just dial in the throttle, and go. Four-stroke, four-cylinder motive thrust at its creamy, effortless best.

Extremely efficient PGM-FI fuel injection, utilising one 36mm throttle body, gives excellent fuel consumption of 25.1km/l (70.9mpg) @ WMTC.

Bore and stroke is set at 73.5mm x 67.2mm. Drive for the twin camshafts is via central chain, and the valve included angle is 26.5° inlet and exhaust. Inlet valve diameter is 27mm, with a 2.5mm stem; exhaust 24mm with 2.5mm stem. A single, secondary balancer shaft ensures smooth running and drive is transmitted via wet clutch and five-speed gearbox. Final drive is by 530 chain.

It’s sporty, without being a sportsbike. It can tour, without being a touring bike. The CB1100’s capacities, thanks to its strong engine and well-balanced chassis, are broad and multi-faceted; it’s a bike to be ridden and enjoyed in a variety of situations.

The CB1100’s classic, tubular steel double cradle frame grips the engine with four rigid and two rubber mounts; the swingarm is constructed from box-section steel. 41mm conventional telescopic forks are spring preload adjustable, as are the pair of Showa rear shocks. Painted silver, cast aluminium 18-inch five-spoke wheels mount 110/80-18 and 140/70-18 tyres and the standard Combined ABS brakes feature twin, 296mm floating discs up front, with four-piston Nissin calipers, and 256mm disc and single-piston caliper at the rear.

Overall dimensions are 2195mm (length) x 835mm (width) x 1130mm (height). Wheelbase is 1490mm, ground clearance 125mm and the seat height is reasonably low at 795mm, making the CB1100 very manageable.

Rake and trail is set at 27°/114mm. Kerb weight is 248kg; Fuel capacity is 14.6L with a 3.5L reserve.

The circular analog speedo and rev counter evoke memories of classic Hondas of old, and are easy to read. Equipment also includes a fuel gauge, clock, and a centrestand, passenger grabrail are fitted as standard equipment.

The CB1100 will be available in three different colours:

– Pearl Milky White/Eternal Silver sidepanels – Glory Red/Eternal Silver sidepanels – Graphite Black/Graphite Black sidepanels

08 Nov 12 – Honda invests £267 million in Swindon plant

Honda Swindon factory

Coinciding with the Honda CR-V going on sale in the UK, Honda has announced its biggest investment in its Swindon UK manufacturing plant for 10 years.

The £267 million programme began last year with the arrival of the new Honda Civic, and now extends to the Honda CR-V, which is built in Swindon for the European market.

The money also includes the production of Honda’s new 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine which will be shown in the new Civic at the Paris Motor Show, and will be offered in the two-wheel drive CR-V from the middle of next year.

In order to meet the production demands, Honda has taken on 500 extra staff, taking the Swindon workforce to 3,500. As a result, Honda forecasts that it will build 183,00 cars in Swindon this year, double the amount of cars it built in 2011.

Honda aims to increase its production figures to 250,000 units per year within 3 years.

06 Nov 12 -Ultra-efficient Honda Civic 1.6 i-DTEC

Honda has announced that a new 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine will join the Civic line-up from January 2013, boasting CO2 emissions of just 94g/km.

The new engine produces 118bhp and 300Nm of torque and comes paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. As well as emitting just 94g/km of CO2, it’s also capable of 78.5mpg.

Buyers can order the new engine in SE, ES or range-topping EX trim. The level of equipment is the same as any other Civic, but 1.6 i-DTEC models get newly designed 16-inch alloy wheels.

SE cars get electric windows and air-conditioning, while ES models get extras like cruise control. Opt for EX trim and luxuries like sat-nav and leather upholstery are thrown in.

First deliveries of the Civic 1.6 i-DTEC are in January 2013. Prices start from £19,400 for entry-level SE models, with mid-range ES cars costing £20,595 and range-topping EX variants costing £23,175

5 November – Hyundai and Kia shares dip on overstated mileage claims

Hyundai and Kia shares dip on overstated mileage claimsHyundai and Kia Motors shares have dipped as the firms admitted they had overstated the fuel efficiency of some of their vehicles and said they would compensate US consumers.
According to estimates, the compensation, which will cover nearly 900,000 vehicles, may cost the firms millions of dollars.
There are also fears that the firms’ sales in the US, one of their biggest markets, may be hurt in the near term.  Both firms’ shares fell 7% in Seoul.
Hyundai Motors was trading at 200,000 South Korean won while Kia Motors was down to 56,300 won early on Monday.  “We believe this could be a game-changing event in Hyundai’s success story,” James Yoon, an analyst at BNP Paribas was quoted as saying in a report by the Reuters news agency.
“We now find improvements in brand perception at risk due to faulty mileage claims, which are at the core of the brand’s success during difficult times.  “We think the potential financial loss is immaterial compared to the potential reputational loss of brand equity.”  The errors were discovered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The agency said the firms had misstated claims on 13 models between them, including Hyundai’s Elantra and Kia’s Rio and Soul.
However, the carmakers blamed “procedural errors at testing facilities in Korea” for the faulty mileage claims.
The firms said they would issue debit cards to the owners of these vehicles to reimburse them for the higher-than-expected fuel costs, based on the difference between their actual mileages and the firms’ claimed mileages.

17 October – Nissan steer-by-wire cars set for showrooms by 2013

Nissan steer-by-wire cars set for showrooms by 2013                  Nissan plans to sell cars controlled by steer-by-wire technology within a year.
The innovation works by sending electronic signals from the steering wheel to a computerised unit that then controls the movement of the tyres, rather than using mechanical links.
The tech is commonly used in aeroplanes, but the Japanese firm said it would be the first to apply it to mass-produced cars.  However, it might need to overcome motorists’ safety concerns.  Although the vehicles would still be controlled by a human, one analyst said the development could eventually be incorporated into driverless cars. Controlled feedback
Nissan said that users would benefit from an improved driving experience since their intentions would be transmitted to the wheels faster than by using a hydraulic and mechanical system.
In addition it suggested that the development would “insulate” motorists from disturbances caused by unnecessary feedback.
“For example, even on a road surface with minor ridges or furrows, the driver no longer has to grip the steering wheel tightly and make detailed adjustments, so travelling on the intended path becomes easier,” it said in a statement.
Nissan appears to have borne potential issues in mind by deciding to install a back-up clutch system in its steer-by-wire vehicles, to link up their steering wheels and tyres in the event of a problem.
However, it signalled it hoped to be able to ditch the safety measure in the long term.
“If we are freed from that, we would be able to place the steering wheel wherever we like,” said Masaharu Satou, a Nissan engineer.
“Such as in the back seat, or it would be possible to steer the car with a joystick.”

02 Oct 12 – Honda Civic estate confirmed

Honda Civic estate

The Honda Civic estate will be shown in concept form next year. That’s the message from Honda’s European President, Manabu Nishimae, who announced the addition of an “all-new Civic wagon-style model” to the Honda range at the Paris Motor Show.

Apart from this shadowy teaser picture, very little information was released, but we expect that the Civic estate will be built on the same platform as the latest hatchback and it will use the same range of engines, as Honda has confirmed that the estate and new Type R hatchback will be built at Honda’s UK manufacturing facility in Swindon.

What’s more, an estate model will add extra versatility to a car that already boasts impressive boot space. The Civic hatch has a 477-litre boot, which not only beats the Focus hatchback (which has 316 litres of space) but the Focus Estate’s 476 litres, too.

Nishimae confirmed that a concept car will be shown next year, most likely at one of the big European shows – Geneva in March, or Frankfurt in September. He also confirmed the introduction of a new Civic Type R in 2015.

The facelifted Honda CR-Z has made its world debut at the Indonesian International Motor Show

honda crz facelift

Imperial Purple is the ‘in’ colour for 2012 !

Honda bosses revealed the revised hybrid sportscar a week before it was expected to make its first public appearance at the Paris Motor Show.

The changes are sublte, but do include a new honeycomb grille, front bumper and fog light design, as well as lightly revised door mirrors, headlights and wheels.  Inside, there are new black and red sports seats and a revised instrument panel. A Sport Plus button has been added to the car’s three existing driving modes, to offer drivers a more responsive feel.

The 1.5-litre VTEC engine now produces 118bhp when had with the six-speed manual, with an additional 20bhp from the 100-volt electric motor. This should make it marginally quicker from 0-62mph than the outgoing model, which manages the sprint in 9.9 seconds.

The updated CR-Z will also be making an appearance at the Paris show next week, with deliveries starting early next year. Expect prices to kick-off at around £18,000.

21 September – Honda aims to nearly double car sales in four years

Honda aims to nearly double car sales in four years Honda Motor Co (7267.T) aims to almost double its global car sales to at least 6 million vehicles in four years, its chief executive officer said on Friday, as the Japanese automaker tries to catch up in emerging markets with cheap compact cars.  The Fit subcompact car and its series, as well as the small car Brio will be at the core of the company’s product offering. The lineup will help Honda meet its aggressive sales target in the year ending March 2017, CEO Takanobu Ito said.  “This is quite a big figure for us and there were debates over whether we should make it public, but unless we set a goal and work to figure out how we can achieve it, our business operations won’t be specific,”
“Our car business depends on the Fit series and I am confident that this is definitely a core product in any region in the world.”  The Fit is known as the Jazz in some countries.
Honda aims to sell 3 million cars in Japan, the United States, Europe and other developed markets combined, up from about 2 million in the year ended March. It also wants to double sales to 3 million cars in emerging markets including India and China.  Honda’s rivals are also expanding in emerging markets. Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) is reviving its Datsun brand targeting buyers in the lowest end of developing markets while Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) makes its Etios compacts in India and Brazil.
The 59-year-old CEO did not elaborate on the firm’s biggest car market, North America, or its mainstay mid-sized car the Accord, which went on sale in the United States this month.Honda will open new plants that will produce the Fit and its derivatives in Mexico and Japan. The Mexican plant will start work in spring 2014, and the Yorii plant in Japan will become operational in July 2013.  The Fit series is currently produced in 12 countries, including Japan, Brazil, China, India and Indonesia. The new Fit series will go on sale in Japan in 2013 and globally in the following two years. The Brio was introduced in Thailand and India last year.  Ito also set a goal for the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturer to sell 25 million or more motorcycles globally in the year ending March 2017, up from 15 million it sold in the year ended March.  He reiterated that Honda will keep making 1 million cars in Japan, with a greater focus on 660 cc minivehicles that are selling well.Earlier this week, Honda suspended operations at five car plants in China after violent anti-Japan protests erupted in the world’s biggest auto market, with some protesters destroying Japanese cars and setting fire to dealerships.  All five Honda factories in China have restarted work but are not operating at full capacity as parts suppliers have also been impacted by the protests, Ito said.

2 July – Fiat clashes with German carmakers on EU CO2 law

Fiat clashes with German carmakers on EU CO2 law                  Proposals to toughen EU standards on car emissions have put the giants of the German auto industry on collision course with makers of lighter vehicles, including Italy’s Fiat.The plan from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is to enforce a 2020 goal to lower carbon dioxide emissions to an average of 95 grams per kilometer (g/km).It had been expected to be officially published at the start of July, but a Commission spokesman said there was no fixed date yet.Divisions have gaped wide over how the proposed new binding standard, which compares with a 2015 mandatory target of 130 g/km, should be enforced across the European fleet.Sergio Marchionne, president of the car industry association ACEA and CEO of Fiat, said ACEA had been unable to find a unified position.As Fiat boss, however, he said he supported the Commission proposal and understood the Germans had a different plan, which he hoped would not succeed.”We have to not shift the burden to smaller carmakers,” he said. “This time we are not moving.””We can keep on arguing,” he told reporters in Italy late on Sunday.EU and industry sources say German manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler have been lobbying for a calculation that would mean they had to make a smaller contribution, while makers of lighter cars, such as Renault, Peugeot and Fiat would have to do more.Germany’s Association of the Automotive Industry VDA was not immediately available for comment.An ACEA spokeswoman said the body was waiting for the Commission proposal to be published before commenting.Distribution of effortThe argument, known as the “slope of the curve” debate, has been contentious in the past.In 2008, it took EU summit talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and then French President Nicolas Sarkozy to forge an earlier deal to limit car emissions.The Commission’s assessment of the proposed legislation, seen by Reuters, said the aim was to be “as neutral as possible from the point of competition, socially equitable and sustainable”.To achieve this, the proposal put forward a 60 percent slope, using 2009 baseline data, to determine how the carbon dioxide reduction is distributed so that the extra retail cost would be spread relatively equally across different manufacturers.EU sources say the German car industry has been lobbying for a steeper slope, based on adjusted calculations.A curve of 100 percent would mean BMW, for instance, would face costs of around minus 3 percent compared with the average, while Fiat, for instance would see a more than 3 percent increase, the impact assessment shows.The Commission and the German industry have been basing their calculations on the weight of cars, which the impact assessment says has been retained as a parameter for now to provide regulatory consistently.

Honda Civic Type-R – 06/06/2012

Mystery fast Civic prototype wearing a huge rear wing breaks cover for the first
time………

Civ R

Has the new Honda Civic Type-R started testing? This mystery prototype was spotted near to Honda’s engineering centre close to the Nurburgring in Germany – and it wears a vast rear wing, indicating that it is no ordinary hatchback.

The protoytype also features modified front air intakes, although there appear to be no other changes to the wheels, tyres, brakes or suspension, leaving our spies to believe this could be the first prototype to test the Civic Type-R’s new engine.

Rather than follow the current trend for small capacity turbos, the Type-R is likely to have a naturally aspirated, high-revving i-VTEC engine measuring the same 2.0-litres as the old Civic Type-R. Producing around 210bhp, it will be significantly less powerful than the
247bhp 2.0-litre turbo of the Focus ST and 276bhp Astra VXR, but Honda will instead concentrate on agile handling.

The new Civic Type-R won’t be available in three-door form this time as the Civic is five-door only, but the finished model will have a dramatic bodykit, large alloys and a development of the vast rear wing as seen on this prototype.

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