Phew… That’s a long title, and a long title this news deserve as it will stir a lot of controversy. Caught under testing in the desert is Honda new much talked about small global hybrid that is estimated to rival Toyota Prius in performance, fuel economy and sales number. So what is the controversy is all about? Well, if you take a look at the profile of this new car, you will see a Toyota Prius and across the Internet, this new car is ridiculed to “steal” the design of Toyota Prius. But do you know there’s a similar car that looks like a 2 door Toyota Prius 20 odd years ago with a Honda badge? Witty comments about the small global hybrid and the car in question after the click.Without further a due, these are the new Honda small global hybrid that are undergoing hot weather testing. Pictures courtesy of Temple Of VTEC, for clearer and bigger picture click here.
A distinct front end with design cue from the FCX
A tall and swoopy rear reduce rear drag
No, this is not the new Prius. This is Honda latest all new global small hybrid that is coming near you early next year, well, probably the Americans will be the lucky one, as the car tested is a left hander and it’s tested in America. This car is the culmination of almost 2 year (maybe more, time estimate is just at the time of spy shot taken) of design and research, you guys can check out the test mule of this car here.
The small global hybrid test mule caught testing in 2007… How times changed
Now a lot of Internet automotive forum that displays this new car is flooded with Toyota loving children that ridicule Honda incapability of designing a car. Well, I myself sees a lot of Toyota Prius in this car especially in the rear end, but does anybody forgot about the Honda Insight, and its grandfather, the CRX? Now why do I have to use Toyota loving children remark? Well, certainly nobody ever mentions the CRX, and those who do not know the CRX must still be in his teens. The CRX, a 20 year old car is the first to incorporate tear drop shape with a raised C pillar and trunk long before Toyota even considered a hybrid car.
Honda CRX: The original design cue for a highly efficient aerodynamic body
This design was chosen because it effeciently eliminate rear drag because of the unusually swoopy tall trunk design. Just like motorcycle faring; in its early years, no motorcycle maker considered this simple device to increase aerodynamic efficiency and thus speed, why? Because they don’t know, back then aerodynamic study is considered to be voodoo magic. Now we see farings as a standard device on a sport motorcycle, and it would be considered silly for a sport bike not to have farings. So, this is the same with highly aerodynamic efficiency of a car, the rear end have to be tall and swoopy to allow air to break and reduce rear drag. So it’s never about who copying who, it’s just a natural design evolution.
So there you go, a brief design study on why this new Honda looks very similar to Prius. Expect the new car to be unveiled at Paris Motor Show this year and officially sold early next year globally… Well, it is afterall, the small global hybrid.