Honda Tokyo Motor Show Summary: All Hail Electric Cars!

Honda just announced an overview of their display on the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, and what an overview it is. Like any all Japanese automaker in the show, hybrid and electric cars are making a strong showing… Too strong for my taste actually, but thank goodness Honda have some traditional gas burning ass kicking cars in the show as well.

Honda does bring out a slew of motorbikes, but for this entry I’m just going to cover the four wheel aspect of Honda TMS booth (I’m already ditching my lunch break to write this)… So why I’m writing a news that’s been reported to death by any online news media? Because I put in my usual witty comments and explanatory behind the news, so enjoy!

Strong Hybrid Front

Leading the charge on the hybrid front is the long waited CR-Z. Finally Honda unveils in the flesh, a near production ready CR-Z to the masses. It looks very much like the concept, albeit with toned down styling. Still though, it’s a striking model for a hybrid.

Here I am baby!

Honda dubs the car as the “fun hybrid” (actually, it’s me who dubbed it). It supposedly brings Honda “fun to drive” trait, offering driving responsiveness of a sport car to a hybrid… Honda 2007 showing of CR-Z mentions about the meaning of the term CR-Z… Compact Renaissance Zero… So is this car going to revolutionize the compact scene? It’s hard to imagine how. Honda explicitly mentions light weight on the car’s press release back in 2007, something that can be attributed to good power to weight ratio. However, with Honda most powerful compact hybrid engine producing only 115ps (Civic Hybrid)… It’s… Hard to say… Let’s just wait for its drivetrain info. Interior wise, it’s as ready as waiting the sun at 4 in the morning. You know it’s coming soon, and you know how bright the sun would be a couple hours down the road… For pictures of the interior, click the Temple of VTEC link down below.

Hot on the heels of hybrid cars, Honda unveils a 6 seater hybrid concept. Dubbed the Skydeck, the CR-Z front end look alikeness is uncanny, indicating that the car will share the same platform. Still a concept though, this car brings sensibility and load factor to a hybrid. The car features scissor front doors and below the chassis sliding door mechanism, but it will definitely be gone if the Skydeck hits the production. But seriously… Honda will definitely made this.

Call me CR-L for Long

On the electric side of anything four wheel, Honda isn’t making any ground breaking car like Nissan Leaf. Instead, Honda is bringing back the original 1986 Honda City concept, complete with a mini runabout like the legendary Motocompo. Dubbed the EV-N, this is Honda second full electric car after the EV+ that went on special lease in the United State back in 1997. The EV-N is a two door electric car that takes retro design cue to the extreme…. Extremely extreme. Now wait… Before you guys said “The car looks like an old Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper crashed together and the guy in the repair shop use too much sanding” The car is actually a homage to Honda very first compact back in the late 60’s, the N360. You can see its distinctive raised headlights and the boxy design. The original mini is more roundish than the N360.

Seriously, I want to bite this car, it’s just too cute

From the look of it, the EV-N is a Keii car with dimension similar to Toyota IQ. The rear seat seems useless for an adult, and when the front seat slides backward, there’s no legroom for the rear seats (just like the IQ). EV-N electric theme goes up to its roof where Honda installed a solar panel… I wonder if the panels is usable if at all…

Hello grandpa: The original Honda N360

The coolest thing of all is the addition of U3-X on the EV-N. Like the 1986 Honda City, the EV-N has a “mini bike” stowed on its left passenger door. Honda City own Motocompo was already a marvel in engineering, and the U3-X tops the Motocompo and bring the term mini bike to the next level. The U3-X, unveiled before Tokyo Motor Show (which I didn’t have time to write on the blog) was a marvel of engineering. Imagine segway, and now imagine a unicycle… Now what if Segway made love to a unicycle and had an offspring? You got the U3-X.

U3-X snug comfortably on the door

Like the segway, you tilt your body to move, whether it’s forward, backward, sideways… Whaaa? Sideways? Yes, sideways. Albeit it looks like the U3-X has only one wheel, it actually comprises of small diameter wheels making up a bigger wheel. When the person shifts their weight sideways, the small wheels turns towards that direction. When the person shifts their weight forward or backward, the small wheel stops and rolls around its bigger wheel. When the person wants to make a turn, all the wheels turn… All thanks to Asimo. Weird eh, how a bipedal robot contributes to a self balancing unicycle… Psych! That’s that… Asimo self balancing gyro technology is installed on the U3-X (and you call yourself a gadget website).

The U3-X and EV-N are both a comeback from 1986 Honda City. The concept is that you park your car in a public parking building and use the compact bike stowed in the car to reach your final destination.

Civic Euro Returns Home

On the fuel burning front, Honda brings back FN2 Civic Euro hatch back home to Japan, and not to mess around with Civic heritage, it’s bringing the Civic Euro Type R. It’s going to be a pretty interesting battle between the type Rs… The FN2 Euro Civic was built using the Fit/Jazz platform, meaning pedestrian level suspension (McPherson strut & torsion beam) and hangar size cabin. Suspension wise, the Euro Civic is no match for the FD2 Civic. Power wise… It’s going to be an embarrassment as the Euro Civic Type R only produces 201ps while the FD2 Civic produces 225ps at full throttle.

Still though, the FN2 Euro Civic was built not with performance in mind. It’s bringing sensibility into a performance oriented car. The Fit/Jazz platform means ULTRA seat, the amazing fold up/down mechanism of the rear passenger seating. Loading a tall or wide objects are a cinch for the Civic Euro. The engine is also tuned to deliver better midrange, rather than the high strung spine tingling limit of the FD Civic… Me? I’m choosing Euro Civic Type R…

Then we have the StepWGN… and no, there’s no vowel there after the “e”. StepWGN is Honda mid-high model of people mover above Freed and below the Elysion. It’s size rivals the Elysion, but with more utilitarian design and features. The model shown on the show will be the third generation of StepWGN ever since the car introduction in 1996. The car has gone a loooong way from its initial “commercial van” history. Well, it’s not a commercial van per se, but it looks like one, tall, dinky, and had an overly long rear overhang, the design looks forced… Maksa deh…

Looks a lot like Nissan Serena

StepWGN came with flat floor running from front to back, and the first car (ever I think) to have wood panel as a floor… Wood panel for God sakes! And a funky sunroof that runs the spine of the car’s roof from front to back (optional off course). The car truly is a fresh take on an MPV. However, the usual Honda move, the third generation StepWGN brings something better.

The third generation design though was a shocker to many. The second generation StepWGN was applauded for not looking like any MPV on Japanese road with its angular design which translated well to Honda Freed. The new StepWGN now look indistinguishable compared to Nissan Serena and/or Toyota Voxy/Noah. The boxy design is simplistic in nature like canned corned beef. It looks the same from the outside, it’s not until you brace yourself for change and try the new brand on the next shelf… Sigh… Still though, expect some surprises on the car.

There’s a third row seat there, can you find it?

The first pictures of the car show a disappearing third row seat… Completely inside the floor… It might be an old technique as USDM Honda Odyssey has it for ages, but it’s a good thing to implement on the StepWGN. The second picture that grabs my attention is the size of the car. The car length grew from 4640mm to 4690mm, a healthy 50mm. But what’s a 50mm increase right? Well… The interior space of the car grew to 3095mm from a measly 2775mm that’s 320mm increase in interior length, and that’s crazy… That’s Honda. If you find seating comfortably on the second generation StepWGN, this new third generation will make you feel like seating inside a house… Well, a small house… Okay, a studio apartment, don’t be so antsy…

So that’s that on the four wheel side. Honda also introduce a new bike, the CB1100, a retro take to the CB line. An electric scooter under the legendary Cub name, some power products and Honda walk assistant.


Honda global: Tokyo Motor Show Report

Temple of VTEC: Honda Overview Photos

The New Honda Insight Is Hout!


The new Honda Insight is out in Japan and it’s hot, yup, witty title and witty comments ensues. Honda little baby that we saw a couple years back that took shape of a franken last generation Fit with the body of Honda Airwave now took the new corporate face of Honda. With Honda halting all of its luxury and performance models, all hopes are literally in the trunk of the new Insight… But does it have what it takes? Well, some say okay, and some say hell yeah! Read on for a paper review and witty comments. Continue reading

All New Honda City Revealed… Gravy On The Steak

With the already too much spy photos, renderings, pictures and hints from around Asia, the all new Honda City has arrived in full glory. For this generation, Honda goes all out to design the new City. No longer a lanky and dorky brother of Honda’s own Fit for which the City is based upon. The new City, albeit derived from the same platform of the Fit now sports a huge different between its hatchback brother… To a degree that the new Honda City is now is Fit’s second cousin that the Fit really want to get its groove on upon… I really am rusty… More pictures courtesy of autoblog after the click. Continue reading

Acura TL 09′ Official Teaser Picture

Here it is, the all new 2009 (2008 model year) Acura TL in all of its Darth Vader ride of choice glory.

Acura TL 09'

2009 TL, Darth Vader’s personal car

For those in the not know… If there’s such a term… Acura is the luxury division of Honda, and the TL is one of its most successful model, sales wise. This car actually was designed and made exclusively for Acura, so you won’t find a Honda with the same styling as the TL. It’s officially stated, that the new TL will come under two flavors, vanilla and bush berry suprise, that meaning, a front wheel drive version and a “hotter” all wheel drive version. Acura official press release just mention about that that and the fact that the hotter model will feature “Acura’s most powerful engine in history of Acura”. Well, we know that they have the 3.7L VTEC producing 300bhp in the MDX and the RL (Honda Legend), so in a sense of the statement, the new TL will have… I don’t know… More? Or the same?

The design of the car really brings some sort of shock and awe to the automotive scene. Acura is regarded as one of the most conservative brand, styling wise in the industry… Well, with it being Honda lackey and all. The new TL design is leap and bound of Acura basically bland designs. Well, the RDX and MDX leads the way and stuff, but the TL raise it up a notch. Gone are the classic Accord lines, and in are the new lines that resembles Lexus ES and Infiniti M series. Some again… Ridicule the design, stating that the Japanese only have one designer for the three marque. However, it is a very welcome change, I see the new TL design is a breath of fresh air, and I’m anxious of how it fares against its competitors.

The “shield” grill is okay, it’s growing up on me. It’s a distinct shape, and one that separates the Acura from the Honda… The men and the boy, the well established and the aspiring enterpreneur, the bold and the beautiful, the mickey and the mouse… the… I’m running out of word here, so before it gets more corny, I will just quit.

The current and soon obsolete Acura TL Type-S

Anyway, the 2009 TL will be unveiled soon, this fall… And you know there will be a paper review up in the corner somewhere…


Acura Media News room.

4th Generation Honda City Caught Testing In India

Honda CityThis post has been updated with official pictures here. With the advent of Honda Fit, came along the small compact global platform from Honda and with it, a slew of Fit inspired cars all shape and size. Now that the 2nd generation Honda Fit is rolling out across the globe, Honda venerable Fit based entry size sedan, the City is also due for a redesign. Although the details are sketchy, a forum member of Team-BHP India has pictures of a camouflaged car that is claimed to be the 4th generation Honda City in India. Witty comments and more information of when it will be released, after the click. Continue reading

Honda NSX Replacement Got Undressed

Based on the spy pictures of Honda next generation NSX replacement supercar, AutoExpress came up with a beautiful render without the ugly camouflage. Although the proportion might be a little bit blown off, a real representation of the car is looking better than expected. Better pictures of the render and witty comments after the click.

Continue reading

A Supposed Honda Supercar Caught On Testing, GT-R Killer

Internet media have claim that they have pictures of a supposedly Honda/Acura burly supercar under testing in Germany, on the famous Nürburgring race track. One of the media, the famous even claim from a reliable source that the CEO himself has tasked Honda R&D to make this car a Nissan GT-R and Lexus LF-A killer. But is this an Acura or Honda? Let’s compare this car to the Acura Advanced Sport Sedan Concept. As usual, more pictures and witty comments after the click. Continue reading