Honda Jazz Hybrid officially revealed in green

August 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The Honda Jazz Hybrid has been officially unveiled and is being prepared for sale in the Japanese domestic market and European markets. The visual updates over the lesser standard models are subtle, with reworked bumpers and headlight glass and a special Lime Green metallic color. The price hike over the cheap standard Jazz isn’t slight at all. Apparently a $6,600 NZ premium over the standard Jazz is expected. However, even with the price premium the Hybrid Jazz would still be the cheapest hybrid in the market.

The Jazz Hybrid features the same IMA hybrid drivetrain as the Honda CR-Z and Insight, so it can’t quite match the Prius in fuel economy figures, though Honda claims they will be comparable to the smaller CR-Z.

The new Jazz Hybrid will make its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show next month.

Honda Fit hybrid to launch in Japan shortly

August 17th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Recent reports coming out of Japan are stating that Honda will launch the hybrid version of its Fit (Jazz here in NZ) subcompact in the domestic market this October. The prices are attractive starting from around 1.6 million yen ($26,500 NZ), easily making it Japan’s cheapest hybrid model.

The Fit Hybrid, will use the same 1.3-litre gasoline engine and electric motor drivetrain as the Honda Insight and will cost 400,000 Yen ($6,600 NZ) more than the conventional Fit in Japan but still around 300,000 Yen ($4,900 NZ) less than Honda’s larger hybrid model.

There is no word yet on whether the Fit/Jazz Hybrid will make it into other markets, NZ included.

Honda Civic Type-R kicked out of Europe

August 13th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s the end of the road for the current generation Civic Type R in Europe as Honda recently announced its hot hatch will no longer be sold in most parts of the continent from the end of 2010. The 2.0-litre, 198-horsepower hatch debuted as a production model in late 2006, and in its current form the engine doesn’t meet the new Euro-V emissions standards which now apply throughout the European Union.

“The introduction of Euro 5 means the Type R can only be sold up until the end of 2010 in markets where those rules apply,” the Japanese maker said in an official statement.

Production of the exclusively UK-manufactured 3-door Civic Type R is set to continue to supply market where regulations allow it, including Australia and South Africa.

Since its market debut back in January 2007, Honda has sold over 12,000 examples of this generation model in the UK alone. The next generation of the Civic is due to make its debut in 2011, with a Type R model expected (but not confirmed) to be in development. Continue reading “Honda Civic Type-R kicked out of Europe” »

Dramatic video showing the devlopment of the Honda NSX

July 24th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Dramatic video showing the devlopment of the Honda NSX

Toyota to cut domestic production by 20%

July 23rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota and Honda have been making hay while the sun shines on their hybrid vehicles in Japan. But that is set to change as the Japanese government’s incentives for eco cars, which has been running for the past two years is about to end. The Toyota Prius has been the top-selling vehicle in Japan for more than a year and even the mixed-reviewed Honda Insight has sold beyond expectations. The eco car incentives end in October and with the expected drop in sales, Toyota is now planning on a sizeable cut to domestic production.

News agencies in Japan have been reporting that Toyota will slash production from its current 14,000 vehicles a day to fewer than 12,000 for the final quarter of the year. The automaker does expect sales to recover again later in the year and has kept its same production targets for the full fiscal year.

Honda to cease diesel engine development

July 19th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s no secret how far diesel engines have come in the last few years. Old issues like rough running, nasty smells, loud operation and narrow power bands have all been ironed out. But after all that hard work, many automakers are now turning much of their focus on to electric and hybrid vehicles.

According to sources in Japan, Honda is joining the list of global automakers that have abandoned plans to move further into diesel power development. Instead, Honda will continue to focus entirely on hybrid basket, developing a new system for use in larger vehicles. Currently, Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist technology is used in the Civic Hybrid and the Insight.

Honda’s next hybrid system should further improve its current IMA tech, which has fallen short of the fuel efficiency and performance of rival Toyota, but is able to operate on the electric motor alone for longer stretches.

In addition to stopping development of clean diesel tech, Honda has also put the brakes on the new microcar plant in Japan that was to build future Kei cars for the domestic market.

Honda Impossible Dream

June 25th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Honda Impossible Dream commercial shot in New Zealand

Honda remakes Impossible Dream ad with more NZ scenery (+video)

May 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Honda has brought back its once popular Impossible Dream TV commercial. The original ad was shot mostly here in NZ and aired in many countries a few years back. The first ad featured a range of models from the Japanese company’s past. From lowly scooters to the company’s early racing bikes and F1 cars, the ad was a highlight reel of successful products new and old.

Since the Impossible Dream ad first aired things have changed for Honda. It’s abandoned its F1 efforts, discontinued the S2000 and moved it’s focus to boring passenger vehicles. But the new updated The Impossible Dream II clip shows no boring stuff. Honda has removed any reference to Formula One and ha now removed the old hot-air balloon at the end of the ad in favor of products like the new Honda Jet, CR-Z hybrid and the FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle. Even Asimo, Honda’s much teased robot makes a cameo and the end features a hot tub powered by a Honda generator to help display a full range of products.

Check out the new Impossible Dream II ad by clicking on the link below and see if you can recognise any NZ spots featured.

Continue reading “Honda remakes Impossible Dream ad with more NZ scenery (+video)” »