Although automakers face tough times, Detroit is still alive and kicking, with several new launches set for the 2009 auto show. Honda and Toyota duke it out with their respective hybrid vehicles, while GM shows off a new direction for Chevrolet. Ford has an impressive new muscle car, plus its stable of hybrids and high-tech luxury Lincoln cars.
LOS ANGELES -- Not long ago, John Hawkins sold every Fit small car he could get his hands on. Now he doesn't want them.
"We are turning down everything" Honda wants to ship, says Hawkins, president of Great Metro Autogroup in suburban Los Angeles, which includes one Honda dealership.
Honda Division was on top of the world last summer, cracking the 10 percent market share threshold in the United States and claiming the top-selling vehicle in May, the Civic.
But Honda's world turned upside down when fuel prices plummeted and the economy tanked. Honda'… Read more
After our reviews of previous model year Civic Sis, we're always happy to get another one in the garage. The 2009 model turned out to be as fun as we expected, with precise shifting and handling that kept us in the driver's seat for long stretches as searched out mountain roads. The car's navigation system makes exploring easy--any time we saw a particularly crooked road on the map, we would head that way--and it's also useful for spotting sharp turns on unfamiliar roads before you get to them. Even better with this generation of Civic Si, … Read more
Although Honda's Integrated Motor Assist gasoline-electric hybrid system was originally dual-mode, purely internal combustion and internal combustion with electric motor assist (best thought of as an electric turbocharger), it has been further developed to operate in electric-only mode in some conditions.
That's interesting, but during a recent week with a 2009 Civic Hybrid, I never did figure out just exactly what those conditions were. Unlike most competitors, Honda is very low-key about hybrid power train dynamics. There is, as of now anyway, no real-time power diagram on the dash to show passengers how green they are. And because … Read more
Honda has released the first photo of the production version of its would-be Prius-killer, the Insight hybrid. So what has changed since the concept was unveiled at the 2008 Paris Motor Show? Let's take a look at the two cars side by side and find out.
We were disappointed to see that our 2009 Honda Civic LX-S was practically devoid of much of the cabin tech that we like to see on the dashboard of our test vehicles. There was neither Bluetooth hands-free nor GPS navigation. There wasn't even a trip computer that calculated fuel economy. Even the Honda Fit has a mpg meter.
The Civic is one of the most oft-modified cars in the world, so we decided to upgrade ours. Because of the heavily proprietary nature of the Civic's base audio system, swapping the receiver for an all-in-one unit was out of … Read more
The Insight is back to do battle with the Prius (and possibly impersonate one). Brian Cooley takes a look at it on the floor of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
This century, vaunted supercar names such as Ferrari and Lamborghini might be displaced by Honda. At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda showed off a supercar concept, the FC Sport, powered by an electric motor with energy generated by a hydrogen fuel cell. The fuel-cell powertrain, which Honda calls V Flow, is being used in the FCX Clarity, the hydrogen-fueled sedan that Honda currently leases on a limited basis. The FC Sport is designed to be a lightweight, performance-oriented car, and should have a 0-to-60 mph time of under 4 seconds to achieve supercar status. While Honda is known … Read more
While Honda didn't roll out any new models or concepts at SEMA 2008, it did introduce a few new trim levels and accessory packages to some old favorites. The Civic Honda Factory Performance Concept sedan represents Honda's quest to bring the performance of its Type-R and Si models in line with its green initiatives.
Along with the HFP Civic, there were tuned Fits by Mugen and Tjin, tuned Pilots and Ridgelines, and a rather hot Accord Coupe. These vehicles represent the broad range of directions that owners take when customizing their Honda vehicles and the degree to which … Read more
See all the cool things we'll have to look forward to when we're older?
Honda unveiled another experimental walking-assistant device on Friday that lets people's legs still do the walking while taking take some of the weight off leg muscles and joints. The device looks like a follow-up to another walking aid from Honda shown off earlier this year.
With the latest one, a person steps into the device shoes and leans back into the high seat. Honda does the rest by supporting a large portion of the person's body weight during walking, stair-climbing, or even … Read more