New Civic Type R The Story So Far

2015 couldn’t come soon enough. With the new NSX and Civic Type R, Honda is finally ending its sports car drought. The CR-Z is a commendable effort, introducing a sporty hybrid is no easy feat, but sadly an effort quite misunderstood. The CR-Z is a sporty hybrid, but one must know what a hybrid drives first to understands and appreciates the value of CR-Z. Those who values the CR-Z will appreciates a good handling compact with sporty aspiration but at the same time, can be driven slow and steady to preserve mother earth’s precious oil reserve. Those who don’t understand the value of CR-Z will hate its less than mediocre engine compared to traditional high strung high power engines.

Well, revel on the Civic Type R ladies and gentlemen… As Honda have confirmed a production sport car true to Honda racing heritage. The Civic Type R has been confirmed to be powered by a newly developed 2.0L turbocharged engine producing “more” than 280 bhp. Honda chief engineers even want to beat Renault Megane RS Trophy achievement as the fastest front wheel drive car on Germany fearsome Nürburgring track. Dubbed by Honda engineers as a “racing car for the road”, the 2015 Civic Type R took Civic Euro 9th generation chassis and hit the ground running. Honda decision to treat the Civic Euro was heavily criticized by most Honda communities including yours truly. The major consensus is that the 9th generation Civic Euro is… A reskinned bigger Honda Fit, complete with the magic seat and the much dreaded McPherson Strut and Torsion Beam suspension.

So why Honda decides to use Civic Euro as its next Civic Type R? Nostalgia? Or because it’s one of Honda “we do it because it’s hard” kind of thing? Well, we may never know… But one thing for sure, Honda is making it happen. I can only explain that torsion beam does have its merits. Since the rear wheels are connected, it introduced rigidity to the rear suspension, one trait all racing cars has. Also, there’s the fact that THE fastest front wheel drive production car to lap Nürburgring, the Megane RS Trophy… Uses similar suspension setup as the Civic Euro. So if Renault engineers can pull it off, why can’t Honda engineers does it too?

The Civic Type R journey is truly something to remember by. It all started way back in late 2012 where spy shots reveals a regular Civic Euro with an ugly ass wing taped (it doesn’t get any janky than tape to stick something to a car) to its rear. The rumor mill is hot with Type R successor which ended production in 2010. But it was 2013 and still angry from V8 FR flagship sedan and V10 exotic sports car cancellations, the fans just gave it a meh and be done with it, expecting another half effort attempt at the car, a tuned Civic Si for the European market. It’s not until a hotter rumor, one which stated the car will be turbocharged then everybody’s attention is piqued.

Then, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito dropped the nuclear bomb of the decade. Honda will go turbo for the new Type R… Oh my, how the community riled up and dance in glee and shirtless. The rumored 1.6L turbo gave way to a 2.0L turbo and the challenge to be the fastest front wheel drive production car to run in the Nürburgring. It was an ecstasy, so many have hoped Honda to leave its comfort zone behind and create an over the top car, and they did it.

Around August 2013, a new camouflaged Civic Type R spy shots emerged with what everybody concludes is undergoing comparison with its rivals. The car now has a lower suspension profile, wider tires, wide body kit and a better integrated aerodynamic rear wing. The huge intercooler is visible from the spy shots, confirming the turbo charging aspect of the engine.

Finally on November 2013, Honda did a media event, showcasing its future technology. A global event, it showcases Honda new multi gear dual clutch transmission, the turbo engines, a light weight CR-Z, and the venerable Civic Type R. Covered in matte black paint, the Civic Type R prototype again receive some minor modification, especially in its front fender having aerodynamic bits. The auto jurno from Topgear and Autocar expresses a universal praise about the car.

Honda answers the problem of having a torsion beam rear suspension by introducing an adaptive damper, an adjustable suspension for the car. Which at the touch of the “Type R” button, stiffens to support more aggressive throttle tuning, steering, and reduced traction control.

Entering the new year we now have another sketch of the Civic Type R from Honda, and one which fuels the eagerness of people awaiting Honda return to sporting form. The sketch shows airlets on front and rear fenders, massive diffuser and an integrated rear wing-rear lighting system. The integrated wing flows elegantly as it harkens to the old days of NSX integrated rear lighting – wing system.

Anticipation is through the roof about the Civic Type R. It is the defining moment of Honda return to sporting form of the 90s. Which was marked by amazing cars like the NSX, the Integra Type R, the Civic Type R and the Prelude. The 2000’s was the decade of confusion in Honda history. The ending of S2000 and the NSX was disheartening as  the US only Civic SI single handedly carried the torch of sporting car from Honda.

There are more rumors abound about Honda not only making the Civic Type R and NSX as their sporty offering but until these two cars launches sometimes next year, I think Honda fans needs are all covered up.

To watch the journey of 2015 Civic Type R you can watch here at


Autoblog Civic Type R spy shots

Autocar Civic Type R first drive

Topgear Civic Type R first drive

Acura TLX 2015 – Acura Design At Its Finest

It’s easy to dislike Acura, Honda long historied premium brand does not fare so well in America, where it first debut back in the late 80’s. Being beaten in sales by the likes of the German premiums and even by its Japanese compatriot, Lexus which happens to arrive later in the decade is not something to brag upon.

The problem lies on Acura management or even Honda HQ questionable decision to make Acura as Super Honda or Honda+. There’s nothing wrong, it’s just that there is still a Honda baggage and identity carried around by the brand which should hastily distant itself from an entry level mass market product image.

The first problem every Acura faces as of late is in the mechanical side of things. Acura cars are making do with what’s available on Honda side of things with only a slight modification. K24 engine straight from Honda Civic Si or K24 Accord  with higher compression ratio. J35 engine modified from Accord/Odyssey/Pilot with slight update on VTEC on intake and exhaust side. The 6 speed automatic transmission is nice, it’s unique to Acura but the competitions has move on with 7 speed automatic transmission and even some goes up to 9 speed automatic transmission, making Acura seems out of touch with the market.

The second problem lies on the design of the Acura products. It is just too bland looking. Ever since Acura adopts the new power plenum design in 2008 Acura TL debut, the brand tried to distance itself from Honda by using an “in your face” approach. The bold huge chrome filled shield like grille was dubbed the beak in its early days since the car that debuts with it have a pronounced reverse trapezoid form with gaping distance and a protruding lower bumper, creating a beak like visual. It was a bold move, but one that Acura designers tone down by a lot due to media and consumers negative responds. What is left is a car with a mismatch of design aspects.

Acura still sticks to the power plenum, but the result is a mixed bag, it works relatively good on the MDX and RDX since both cars are tall SUV, the stretched and refined grille looks fine on wide surfaces. The recent entry level Acura sedan, the ILX also carried a good representation of the power plenum, with wide lower air dam which contemplates the lines of the grille. Yet, the top of the line RLX misses out with weird protruding lower bumper and tall accented front wheel arch.

With that said, there is a lot going on for the release of Acura new car, the TLX. Fans, media and consumers are expecting a plenty from the car which is going to replace two model at the same time, the TL and the TSX. The TSX or Accord Euro is a midsize sedan famous for carrying the sporty notion to Accord nameplate once it splits into two line at the start of 2000 sporting a smaller size than the porkier last generation Accord and powered with a potent 200 horsepower engine. The TL, Acura bread and butter sedan is a large car which offers a powerful V6 and loaded with Acura exclusive all wheel drive system.

Hopes are high for the TLX, as sales of Acura sedan was dropping. ILX sedan although visually good, lacks the punch of a luxury vehicle in terms of options and power. It comes with a partly 2.0L engine with the more powerful 2.4L engine only available as manual trim. The RLX top of the line sedan has a polarizing but sedate look. Sure the ILX are rumored to receive powertrain update and the RLX more powerful sports hybrid are getting favorable reviews (with the same complaint of design), still, it was not a good time for Acura sedans.

Then 14 – 1 – 14 arrived, and the TLX happened.

It was a climactic reveal. The TLX, while sporting the much debated power plenum front end exemplary showcase the best use of the design, much better than even the top of the line RLX. There is still front overhang which comes inherited by front wheel transversely mounted engine cars, but it is decent, and not pronounced more with a jutted lower bumper like the RLX.

The proportion is wondrous, the tall belt line and seemingly small side windows creates a sports car like proportion. All are finished off with a tapered and swept back shape which gives the car that “looking fast standing still” look.

There is some Honda design touches, where two creases from front and back overlaps each other, but with such lateral angles, it pronounced the sporty looks of the car much more.

From technical side of things, the car is met with mixed response. It still carries Honda own K24 and J35 which you can find in the Accord. Luckily, TLX owners will find improved power from those engines per the usual practice of Acura of past. For the naysayers, the K24 seems redundant for a car which was exclusively offered on a V6 engine option, will it be underpowered? Cannot say much at this point. The TSX was a smaller car than the TL, so the K24 is enough, but Acura haven’t yet release the specific of the car, namely its weight. So it’s nothing more than conjunction at this point whether the K24 will be underpowered or not.

The TLX will debut the use of 8 speed dual clutch automatic transmission on the 2.4L engine and get this… 9 speed (unspecified tech) automatic transmission for the 3.5L engine. Honda recently developed an in house 8 speed dual clutch automatic transmission (well, Honda recently developed A LOT of things, which I haven’t got the time to write about) for mid size cars using 2.0-3.0 Liter engines, and it is much expected on the TLX debut. The 9 speed gearbox is one which plenty questions about, including yours truly. The TLX was expected to debut last year, but was postponed until middle of 2014. Some say Honda was further testing the TLX with a turbo engine, while some says Honda is fitting the TLX with a 9 speed transmission from ZF, a German gearbox manufacturer which produces gearboxes for German brands such as Mercedes and BMW. If the latter is true, then this opens up a new mindset for Acura, nay, Honda in general.

Honda is a very conservative company. A company that is (too) proud of itself sometimes. This is given, one which is an enduring and respectable trait of a company which mimics the late Soichiro Honda attitude towards self sufficiency. Honda mostly develop their transmission in house, sans few specific models which I can only points out at S2000 which uses Aisin 6 speed manual gearbox. Why in house, because it can be put to test internally and catered specifically to Honda products. But the development time of Honda gearboxes are slow, Honda 4 speed automatic gearbox has been around for almost 2 decades, and Honda 6 speed automatic gearbox in the Acuras are mostly a refinement and gear addition of the old automatic gearbox.

The new dual clutch transmission according to Honda will give 8 percent improvement of efficiency and 10 percent improvement of acceleration. With plenty of gears, the lower gears can be very short while the higher gears can be extra long, giving punchy acceleration and low RPM on cruising. We all know that, but what about the 9 speed? Honda/Acura is never known to brag about numbers, the 8 speed dual clutch transmission is plenty of gear already, so why the need for the 9 speed gearbox? Does the 8 speed cannot handle the torque of the bigger engine?

All in all, the TLX is looking mighty fine. The pictures here are still in prototype form, and there will be toning down to measure. The front and rear bumper might feature slightly less fierce looking trim and the the aerodynamic side view mirror will give way to the usual chunky housing. It’s good enough as it is for me though.

It’s a good start for the new year Acura… Now give the TLX the turbocharged engine, and I will eat that goat eye soup.

Source: Acura TLX Prototype unveiled at NAIAS 2014 TLX future car

Penampakan Honda CR-V Generasi Ke-4 (2012)

Honda Amerika telah melansir foto prototipe Honda CR-V generasi ke-4 yang siap diluncurkan di akhir tahun (di Amerika Serikat). Berita dilansir oleh, silahkan kunjungi link tersebut untuk informasi lebih lengkap.

Seperti semua foto prototipe Honda Amerika, Honda CR-V ini jelas akan menerima sedikit perubahan minor ketika sampai di tangan para dealer. Salah satu fitur yang pasti hilang adalah lampu depan berkelir hitam, body kit yang lebih sederhana dan kaca spion yang lebih besar, sesuai dengan foto spyshot yang sudah beredar di Internet. Selain perubahan minor tersebut, sebagian besar bentuk Honda CR-V akan tetap sama.

Sesuai dengan kredo hijau Honda, untuk meningkatkan efisiensi konsumsi bahan bakar, Honda CR-V akan menggunakan mesin yang lebih efisien dipadukan dengan bobot total yang dikurangi dari CR-V generasi ke-3 (sekarang). Perubahan interior dan fitur ruang kargo yang lebih lapang dengan lantai rendah akan membuat CR-V generasi ke-4, CR-V terbaik yang pernah Honda buat.

Sumber: 2012 CR-V prototype unveiled

Honda Hotness Is Coming Back?

2008 was a great year for Honda fans and maybe even for automotive scene in general. Just imagine this, Honda, a conservative company who swears on sensibility and quality is throwing those notions away for a V8 rear wheel luxury sedan and a V10 powered super car. The automotive scene roars with high expectations. Spy photos of the rear wheel sedan test car is everywhere and the super car already making runs on a race track. Alas, comes 2009 and demand for automotive products dwindles as most sought after cars are econoboxes. Honda new President, Takanobu Ito back then changed his tune about the new cars and tells the fans and the scene to go “enjoy yourself” (there’s a new profanity filter in effect). So everything was scrapped, and all hopes out the window.

Denied luxury: The canceled mule of the FR Luxury Sedan

Rumors from inside automotive industry said that the V8 rear wheel luxury sedan which was destined to go to Acura division was a great car one that should put Honda luxury division on par with tier 1 luxury marque. While the super car lives on as a special fielded race car on Japan’s most prestigious racing event, the Super GT and won it. So as you can read, it’s very unfortunate for Honda to cancels both of these cars altogether.

Denied performance: Reportedly, this car doesn’t even consider GT-R and LF-A as competition

But this morning, birds are chirping beautifully on my front porch, the wind blows softly and the sun rose with a hint of blue and orange altogether. While I browsed Autoblog and Temple of VTEC the next minute, I was shocked out of my pants that Takanobu Ito in a way hints a little hope of a super car comeback after Honda discontinued the NSX. Apparently, Takanobu Ito was interviewed in Japan and some reporters asked if Honda would make a road going version of the super car that won the Super GT.

Ito’s answer for the question was “I have something in mind”. Now for those who don’t know Takanobu Ito, this guy is all straight as an arrow kind of leader. He always answers question in a definite way, yes or no and that’s that. For Ito to answer “having something in mind” well, it’s still ambiguous but having something is better than nothing right?

Such a tease: “I have something in mind”

Okay, so the news came from a French auto news site, which might make some little mistranslation (from Japanese to French to English). However, according to Temple of VTEC news section;Yahoo Japan and Asahi Shimbun also confirms and clearly stated that Takanobu Ito greenlight the project once again. Asahi Shimbun which post the news in English also mentions that Ito hints at making two sports car, the affordable and high performance… *faints*…

For those who don’t know, this is actually earth shattering news. Honda currently has no true performance sports car in its lineup, well, sure there’s the Civic Type R, but it’s more of a pedestrian car with souped up engine. Honda Prelude ends its production in 2001, Honda NSX ended in 2005, Honda Integra ended in 2007 and finally Honda S2000 ended in 2009. What came from the demise of those cars? Hybrids and lots of it. Civic Hybrid, Insight 2.0, CR-Z, and Fit Hybrid, not to mention Freed Hybrid and next generation Accord with Honda next generation hybrid system.

The shift from hardcore to green for some was considered too rough as there are no transition product in between. It’s quite understandable actually, as technology to produce performance with fuel economy wasn’t available yet. The  2010 CR-Z was Honda answer to this and although the blend of performance and fuel economy is good enough, as usual,  some consumers demand more… Well, to be fair… This particular consumer is too accustomed to huge ass performance gas guzzler 2 door sports car that’s bigger than a Honda Fit. Still, the CR-Z receives acclaims and accolades in a place where sensibility is praised.

But remember folks, Honda has set its sight straight in the green line and we’re not talking about money. Ever since the green revolution in the late 00′ Honda has been making fuel sipper as priority. So when you think about Takanobu Ito statement, don’t forget to add the green juice. Honda has fielded NSX with KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System, a form of hardcore hybrid system for racing) as a test bed for SuperGT 2012 rule change that mandates smaller engine and a hybrid system. It’s unclear whether this will be applied to Honda super car but you can be sure Honda will put every single piece of technology in its super car.

Front engine – KERS NSX test car: notice the exhaust tip on the side skirt?

Whatever it is Honda… We are awaiting with arms wide open, but until this car shows up in the real world, I’m putting a question mark on the title. We’ve been burned before Ito-san, and I won’t let my heart be broken the fourth time.


Temple of VTEC: Ito san changing his tune about NSX/HSV

Yahoo Japan: NSX development to resume (Japanese)

Asahi Shimbun: Honda to develop high performance sports car

SuperGT: 2012 KERS rule

Honda Brio: Kendaraan Ekonomis ala Honda

Honda secara resmi meluncurkan mobil kompak dengan harga ekonomis yang diberi nama Brio di Thailand. Mobil kompak ini secara resmi hanya baru dijual di Thailand dan India saja tanpa detil mengenai peluncuran mobil ini di negara lain.

Berikut adalah spesifikasi resmi yang dilansir oleh Honda:

  • Panjang 3610mm, Lebar 1680mm, Tinggi 1475 mm.
  • Konsumsi bensin 5L/100 Km atau 1L/19,98 Km *estimasi Honda.
  • Harga di Thailand 400 ribu Baht atau Rp 119 Juta.

Berikut informasi yang masih bersifat rumor atau tebakan semata mengenai Brio:

  • Menggunakan mesin 1200 cc.
  • Tersedia dengan pilihan transmisi otomatis (berdasarkan foto interior Brio resmi).

Meskipun baru resmi diumumkan untuk dijual di Thailand dan India saja, CEO Honda yaitu Takanobu Ito dalam pidatonya menyatakan bahwa Brio juga akan tersedia negara di Asia lainnya mengingat pengalaman Honda berbisnis motor di negara tersebut… Mengingat Indonesia adalah salah satu negara konsumen motor terbesar Honda, perlukah kita beroptimis ria menunggu hadirnya Brio?

Dimensi Honda Brio tidaklah terlalu kecil mengingat panjang kakaknya yaitu Honda Jazz adalah 3900 mm dengan lebar 1695 mm. Alhasil, mobil ini sudah cukup untuk mengakomodasi keluarga muda.

Satu hal yang perlu diingat adalah, Brio masih dalam tahap prototipe, sehingga produk akhir biasanya lebih sederhana dibandingkan dengan yang tertampil disini. Bemper depan, side skirt dan bemper belakang sudah pasti akan terlihat lebih sederhana, begitu juga dengan lampu dan pegangan pintu berbalut krom yang nantinya akan terlihat lebih sederhana. Meskipun begitu, sudah bisa dipastikan inilah Brio, sebuah mobil terjangkau persembahan Honda.


Situs resmi Peluncuran Brio di Thailand

Honda Small Car Concept Debut: Not Bad At All

When Honda released a statement late last year about wanting in on the small cheap car parade, I was afraid… Wait? Afraid? No! I’m PETRIFIED.

When Tata unveils the Nano at its expected price of US$2500, the car was damn awful. 660cc simplistic engine, fixed hatch, engine in the cabin, the non existence of brake booster, no AC, no everything! Money doesn’t lie, you pay for a peanut, you get a peanut. Honda even declared that they are not getting into the small cheap car parade. But late last year, they did the unthinkable and announced Honda is getting into the parade after all, following Toyota and Ford. I thought that Honda has lost it mentally… But it seems that I have to take it all back as Honda foray in the small cheap car parade are anything but cheap…

A compact compact

Dubbed the Small Concept Vehicle, as reported by, the car will be ready for emerging market in 2011. The car will be available initially in India and Thailand first, but I suspect it will be available for the rest of ASEAN as well, especially Indonesia & Malaysia.

The car take heavy design cue from CR-Z, CR-V, and Freed. The A pillar is definitely CR-Z, with the distinct bonnet over the pillar. The side profile is taken straight from CR-V coupe like silhouette. The rear hatch and the side crease is taken from the Freed, which makes the car looks like a short Freed from the quarter rear view.

Coupe like design, but it’s a four door

Not much is given technically, but the car is going to be powered with an extensive line of engines, topping at 1.2L. Obviously Honda has the 660cc option from its Keii car line, and the 1.3L engine from the new L series. But what about the 1.2L?

What gives me a sigh of relief is that the car is priced around 500k Rupee or about US$10K. Compare that to Tata Nano base price of US$2500, and you’ll understand why Honda still kept its promise not going in with the small and cheap parade. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud Tata intention of making the Nano accessible to every layer of society, a car for every family. However, making it cheap enough by leaving out safety is a big no no. Leaving out the brake booster? Come on… This is not a bike, this is a car. Braking a 3 KG bike is different than braking a 500 KG car. Okay, I didn’t know the Nano weight, but even if the car only weighs 200 KG, it’s still a hundred times heavier than a bike.

The rear door handle is flushed with the body panel

At around US$10K, Honda Small Concept will definitely include better safety equipment than the Nano. Given that in Indonesia the Fit/Jazz comes in at US$19K, the new Small Concept will fit right in below it. After tax and miscellaneous, the Small Concept could be priced at US$12-14K in Indonesia, and that’s still considered cheap.

This car and a Freed would make a killer combo of small runabout for the office and compact hauler for the family.


Autoblog: Honda new concept unveiled at New Delhi show

Autonews: Honda Small Concept will be priced below US$11K