Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • Honda Plant Goes Back Into Production !


    David Crabtree, Midlands correspondent
    Honda's Swindon car plant has swung back into production after a four-month shutdown.

    Workers on the Honda Civic production line

    The stoppage was aimed at riding out the worst effects of the recession which brought a global drop in demand.
    Other manufacturers have also had periods of non production, but not on this scale.
    Some 1,300 Honda jobs have been shed through a voluntary scheme, leaving a workforce of 3,400 hoping for a period of stability.
    The workers have agreed to take a 3% drop in salary, while management wages will fall by 5%.
    They are temporary pay cuts over ten months, designed to prevent the loss of a further 500 jobs.

    These guys have accepted a pay cut; they've taken four months off. If anyone questioned whether the British worker was willing to make sacrifices, this is the perfect example.
    Ken Gibson, motor trade expert

    Later this year, the Swindon plant will take on production of Honda's best-selling small car, the Jazz, which has previously only been made in Japan and China.
    The shutdown period has been used to prepare for the car, which is vitally important for the Swindon operation.
    Dave Hodgetts, director of Honda UK Manufacturing, said: "This all shows that we are totally committed to our base in Swindon.
    "We have production of the Jazz coming soon and we are doing everything we can to maintain our skilled and loyal workforce. The four months have been well used to update, streamline and modernise our capabilities."
    The original annual production figure of close on 230,000 cars a year has been revised down to 112,854.

    Honda's car plant in Swindon

    Motoring expert Ken Gibson said:" It is an incredible example of how a British management can work with its workers.
    "These guys have accepted a pay cut; they've taken four months off. If anyone questioned whether the British worker was willing to make sacrifices, this is the perfect example."
    Honda has a policy of not asking the British Government for loans or bail-outs.
    The industry will be hoping the kick-start from the scrappage scheme's £2000 discount will deliver a long term effect.
    But Honda's assembly line is being restarted in the face of continued uncertainty.

    29 de poze !!!

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    • 10 Best Used Cars for Less Than $9,999 !


      Articolul e prea mare, copii ce e legat de Honda/Acura :

      1999-2000 Honda Civic Si:

      The major challenge when it comes to buying a 1999 or 2000 Honda Civic Si is finding one that hasn't been made worse by lunk-headed modifications. But there are clean, unmolested, sweet-driving Civic Si coupes out there for under $10,000.
      While other Civics of this vintage have dropped well below $5,000 in value, the Si Coupe has kept its value up because it's fundamentally a different beast. The big change being, of course, the presence of Honda's famed "B16" 1.6-liter DOHC VTEC four under the hood.
      Rated at 160 hp, the B16 doesn't make a lot of torque, but it will rev right up to its 8,000-rpm redline with an astounding eagerness. But beyond the engine swap, the Si also got stiffer springs and shocks, a neatly detailed interior with vastly better seats, and a set of neat 15-inch alloy wheels.
      One reason this generation of Civic Si is so cherished is because it was the last generation of Civic to use a double-wishbone front suspension. That suspension design was once one of Honda's signature engineering elements, and many claim none of the Civics equipped with MacPherson struts built since can match the old ones for handling.
      If it were our money: We'd hold out for a low-mileage, well-maintained, well-documented, never wrecked, never modified, near pristine Civic Si. Then we'd upgrade the wheels and tires and maybe — maybe — go for freer-flowing intake and exhaust systems.
      Online sources: Temple of VTEC, HondaClub.com, ClubSi.com

      ================================================== ===========

      2002-'06 Acura RSX:

      The RSX succeeded the Integra back in 2002 when Acura decided to get out of the real name business. But outside North America this car was sold as the Honda Integra, and that's exactly what it is.
      Built only as a three-door hatchback coupe, the front-drive RSX was offered in two trim levels: base and Type-S. Both featured Honda's then-new K-Series 2.0-liter four, with the base car's engine making 160 hp, while the Type-S engine was more highly tuned to produce 200 hp (bumped to 210 hp in 2005).
      The base RSX could be had with either five-speed manual or automatic transaxles, while the Type-S came solely with a six-speed manual gearbox. Compared to previous Integras, the RSX had a more relaxed, easygoing personality that can be traced to the greater torque production and quieter operation of the new engine and a more isolated ride.
      The old Integras were street fighters: eager, roaring beasts with an appetite for competition. That just isn't in the RSX's more robust, low-key personality. And many Integra loyalists will never believe an RSX can handle because it runs MacPherson struts up front instead of the beloved double-wishbones. But the RSX is a well-built, exceptionally solid, small coupe that has always been fun to drive.
      If it were our money: The Type-S is the one to go for here; the extra power and 8,000-rpm redline of the VTEC-equipped engine make it vastly more entertaining than the base car. But that would restrict us, almost solely, to 2002 models with higher mileage. Adding a free-flowing exhaust would add some rip-snort to the RSX's personality and, if we could afford it, we'd upgrade to a limited-slip differential to improve cornering.
      Online sources: Temple of VTEC, Club RSX, Integra and RSX History
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      • BCAA's annual hybrid cost comparison: Several models remain cost competitive, in spite of lower fuel prices and loss of federal rebate !


        un tabel interesant

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        Yokohama wins in Redline Time Attack Series !


        FX Motorsports Development Acura NSX
        driver Billy Johnson is on a roll. The Yokohama Tire
        Corporation-sponsored racer claimed victory again in the May 30-31
        Redline Time Attack Series at Willow Springs International Raceway in
        Rosamond, California. Johnson drove the NSX to RWD Unlimited Class and
        overall event wins, as well as setting the series record - 1:18:555 - on
        ADVAN A005 racing slicks. Johnson also won the special Super Session
        event finale, a wheel-to-wheel, five-lap points race featuring the top
        running cars.

        This was the second Redline Time Attack race Johnson has won this
        season. He claimed the season opener in March at Buttonwillow Raceway in
        Central California.

        Also winning on Yokohama tires for the second time this season was
        Jeremy Toye, who piloted the Reese Tuning Mitsubishi Evo to a Street
        Class-AWD victory on the new ADVAN Neova AD08s in 1:28.817.

        "Thanks to driving skills of Billy and Jeremy, this is shaping up to be
        a very successful year for Yokohama in Redline Time Attack," said Mark
        Chung, Yokohama director, corporate strategy and planning. "Both drivers
        are leading their classes in points and the ADVAN A005 and Neova AD08
        are performing extremely well."

        The Redline Time Attack, which features purpose-built 600-horsepower
        race cars and highly tuned street-legal vehicles, awards points and
        names winners based on which driver achieves the fastest lap time during
        competition. For details, visit http://www.redlinetimeattack.com/.

        ================================================== ===============

        Civics lesson for GM !

        Future of beleaguered automaker now in hands of governments
        Last Updated: 3rd June 2009, 3:12am


        WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Long ago, when I had the dodgy, post-bedtime Mommyjob of telling jokes to strangers, I opened for a comic's comic named Brian Regan at the DC Improv.
        One of my favourite Regan bits was a brilliant routine about taking his car to a mechanic and trying to explain, as an automotive imbecile, exactly what the problem was.
        The bit starts out with Regan as the civilian trying to imitate the sound the engine's been making and spirals into a spitting duet of ridiculous mouth noises as the mechanic, playing him like a rube as per the professional cliche, gradually refines the sound into an unintelligible garble of screeches, knocks and pings.
        It could be that part of what went wrong with the big U.S. automakers has to do with the fact that taking your car in to be serviced is even more dreaded by women than men and we're buying more cars than we were when General Motors, for instance, could afford not to care.
        In the past 30 years, the combination of an increase in double-income, double-career families boosting consumption in general and an increase in single professional women boosting female purchasing power has meant more women are in charge of a decision that, in the halcyon days of Detroit's supremacy, was pretty much the purview of the man of the house.
        In a Cadillac showroom in Washington's suburbs yesterday, the day after General Motors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and President Barack Obama unveiled his administration's restructuring plan for beleaguered automaker, the salesmen, as you might expect, were still sunny.
        "Well, I can't do anything about it," said one 17-year veteran who wished to remain anonymous. "So except for the warranty information, I've just stopped reading about it."
        As we were standing there, the Wall Street Journal was reporting that his bosses would soon be offered money by head office to close their doors.
        His daughters both drive Honda Civics.
        I drive a Honda Civic -- my second one -- specifically because I don't know how to speak to auto mechanics.
        Under the plan Obama unveiled Monday, GM will receive $30 billion in U.S. federal aid, in addition to the $20 billion it has already had.
        The $9.5 billion US from the Canadian and Ontario governments will make them, like the U.S. administration, temporary car dealers, which may be the thing that saves the New GM from becoming the old New GM.
        At the dealership, marvelling at the hulking, 15-mile-a-gallon dinosaur of a black Cadillac Escalade, I could imagine it looking just like this on display at the Smithsonian one day. It also struck me that women really do look for different things in a car than men do, something most car companies have recognized by re-designing for the growing market of women SUV buyers.
        Even Cadillac has been running that ad about how when you turn on your car, you want it to return the favour; a pretty blatant appeal to an overfunctioning, well-heeled female market. But the Cadillacs here still look like Cadillacs.
        On Monday night, Kent Kresa, interim GM chairman, told MSNBC's Chris Matthews in a moment of candour that explained an awful lot, that he didn't really know what had happened to America's love affair with American cars. Pressed, he said, "Well, the world developed a lot of very good cars."
        Kresa went on to say he "Can't wait to get into a Camaro -- I haven't done that since I was a kid!"

        Yes, they're still making those.

        Last edited by tokyodream; 03-06-09, 19:43.
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        • REVIEW: 2009 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6 !

          TEST DRIVE: Accord Coupe strikes a sporty pose


          The Honda Accord has been one of the most desirable vehicles in North America since its debut in 1976.

          Joe Duarte

          Since its debut in 1976, Accord has grown into a handsome and spacious car, and the coupe is a classy variant. (Sun Media)

          It started off basically as a larger Civic hatchback, which had made its impact on our shores during the oil crisis of 1973. At launch, Accord came only as a three-door hatchback, with a four-door sedan added in '79. The hatch hung on through the third generation, giving way to a two-door coupe and five-door wagon in 1990.

          Accord really took flight when it started North American production in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982 -- the first Japanese transplant. Over the years, it has also set the platform for the Acura Vigor sedan (a rebadged, upscale Japanese-market Accord) and Honda Odyssey minivan (and by extension of both, the Acura CL, TL and RL, as well as Honda Pilot and Acura MDX). Acura TSX is the Accord the rest of the world gets, which also comes in coupe and wagon versions.

          Accord has grown into a handsome and spacious car, and the coupe is a classy variant. As with most coupes, looks are the selling point and family friendliness takes a back seat (but, literally, not much of one). Due to the position of the front seats and the cut of the roof, leg- and headroom are at a premium back there and only the smallest passenger will find any semblance of comfort for any trip longer than half an hour.

          Access is also not the easiest, despite the tilt/slide mechanism of the front seats. You have to be careful not to pinch shins or feet when returning the front seat to its intended position.

          Trunk access is limited by the shape of the deck and opening, though the rear seat drops in one piece to create space for longer items.

          All that said, coupes aren't about what you can carry as much as about the image you portray while carrying whatever you can. On the inside, that image brings leather trim, while on the outside, you get fog lights and a rear spoiler.

          The Accord has the swoopy profile to effectively play on Honda's racing heritage, and delivers the sportiness through either a 190 hp 2.4-litre four-cylinder linked to a five-speed manual transmission, or the 271-hp 3.5 V6 found in our EX-L V6 tester.

          It comes with a standard six-speed manual transmission that upholds Honda's reputation for what may be the best manual transmissions on the planet. Crisp and intuitive through its entire gear range, it is a pleasure to shift in combination with a smooth clutch that takes up at just the right time to grant effective shifts regardless of driver abuse. Automatics are available, but you really would miss out on the fun in choosing one.

          Honda's renowned double wishbone suspension grants a flat stance under all high-speed manoeuvres, while direct steering makes sure the car goes precisely where the driver aims it. Effortless around parking lots, it firms up and grants precise road feel once speeds pick up and the road kinks up. Adding the V6 also adds 18-inch wheels and tires, for a more tenacious grip.

          It's no sports car, mind you, so you also get a decently even ride on crumbling city streets. Minor imperfections are relegated to background noise and more intense pothole intrusions are fairly well absorbed.

          Though the Honda Accord coupe isn't recommended for a growing family, it does provide the fine styling and decent driving enjoyment of an upscale sporty coupe, at a price of less than $40,000, well under in some iterations.

          --- --- ---

          Fact file

          2009 Honda Accord Coupe :

          Trim level
          : EX-L V6

          As tested (before taxes): $35,890

          Options: None

          Freight: $1,410

          MSRP range: $28,190-$37,890

          Configuration: Front engine/FWD

          Available engines: 3.5-litre V6/ 6-speed manual

          Power/torque: 271 hp/251 lb.-ft.

          Fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 12.6 city; 7.8 highway

          Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 9.3 combined over 1,169 km.

          Warranty: 3 yr./60,000 km basic; 5 yr./100,000 km powertrain

          Competitors: BMW 325; Hyundai Genesis; Nissan Altima; Pontiac G6; Toyota Solara

          Strengths: Drivetrain; looks; affordability

          Weaknesses: Rear seat room; cargo versatility

          --- --- ---

          Report card (out of 5) :


          Value for $ 4.0

          Styling 4.0

          Comfort 3.0

          Performance 3.5

          Overall 4.0

          RESEARCH YOUR NEW CAR: autonet.ca/09accordcoupe

          E-MAIL: Joe Duarte
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          • Honda Sets Up 50th Anniversary Homage 1959 Storefront In HQ !


            By Ray Wert, 6:45 PM on Mon Jun 8 2009, 6,599 views (Edit post, Set to draft, Slurp) Copy this whole post to another site
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            In 1959 Honda established itself here in the U.S. selling motorcycles out of a small storefront in LA. Fifty years later, the folks at Honda erected a homage to that first little store in their U.S. headquarters. See it below.

            The display inside the faux storefront includes the following:

            - 1975 Civc CVCC: At 40 mpg, the 1975 Civic CVCC topped the EPA's fuel efficiency ratings and was the first car to meet the 1975 U.S. Clean Air Act standards without a catalytic converter. Available as a sedan or three-door hatchback, the Civic sold for $2,150 and garnered the title of "Import Car of the Year" by Road Test magazine.
            - 1983 Honda Accord: On November 1, 1982, Honda became the first Japanese auto manufacturer to produce cars in America when a slate-gray four-door 1983 Honda Accord rolled off the assembly line at Honda of America Mfg., Inc.'s Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio.
            - The 50th Anniversary Time capsule: It was engineered and manufactured by American Honda's Special Project Department and is to be opened on the 100th anniversary in 2059.
            - 1959 Honda 50: One of the first Honda products sold in America, the SuperCub (renamed Honda 50 for the U.S. market) offered customers convenient transportation at a reasonable price ($250).
            - 2010 Honda Fury: With chopper styling, the longest wheelbase ever in a production Honda motorcycle and a 1312cc long-stroke Honda V-twin engine, many have deemed the 2010 Fury the most radically styled production Honda motorcycle ever built.
            - The Honda T10 engine: known as the "Honda Cuby", was used in the 1960s by American Honda service staff for small engine motorcycle vocational training.
            - The portable E40 generator: was one of the first Honda generators sold in the U.S. by Honda's Engine, Generators and Farm (EGF) group.
            - The actual first lawnmower produced in the U.S.: at Honda Power Equipment Mfg., Inc. in Swepsonville, N.C. in 1984. The HR-214 Lawnmower features OHV engine technology, electric starter, roto-stop system, and a self-propulsion system.
            - Replica of HondaJet: Honda's first-ever commercial aircraft.
            But to really flip your wig — here's what the rest of the lobby looks like from the inside of the storefront — just to give you an idea of where Honda's gone in the last fifty years:

            From hometown to space-age.

            ================================================== ===========

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            • http://www2.canada.com/topics/news/n...tml?id=1287792

              Honda Civic still the benchmark compact !

              Latest version is leaner, cleaner and more sophisticated

              Alan McPhee, Canwest News Service

              Published: Monday, February 16, 2009
              The 2009 Honda Civic is a far cry from the stubby little hatchback that landed on our shores in 1972. Since then Honda has stayed the course, year after year adding, improving and perfecting the Civic in response to customer needs and the ups and downs of market conditions. It's a business model that Ford, GM and Chrysler have never understood.
              For the 10 years between 1997 and 2007, it was the top-selling car in Canada and today, it remains the benchmark for all compacts in North America.
              Not only that, it comes in three models -- high-performance Coupe, Family Sedan and Hybrid -- neatly covering the all the bases in the marketplace and appealing to a broad range of individual tastes. Now in its eighth generation, the 2009 Civic is leaner, cleaner, more sophisticated and, with nearly 40 years of development behind it, reliable as a hammer.

              Honda Civic.


              More pictures: < Prev | Next >

              Our test car was the Civic EXL Sedan finished in Crystal Black Pearl with Gray Leather Seating. Introduced last year, the latest Civic has a sleeker, more aerodynamic shape that flows in continuous curves from the integrated front bumper, over the steeply raked windshield, before sloping gently back to the rear deck lid. The smoother shape means less wind resistance and optimum fuel efficiency.
              The slightly flared fenders and elegant ten-spoke, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels give the Civic a purposeful look while the body-colour outside mirrors and door handles add a touch of understated luxury.
              A great handling car starts with a rigid body structure that resists flexing or twisting when negotiating bumps or cornering.
              The Civic's ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure takes this a step further by incorporating load bearing substructures to disperse energy away from the cabin in the event of collisions.
              Power is provided by a 140-horsepower four-cylinder 1.8-litre, 16-valve, SOHC engine with i-VTEC, Honda's exclusive " i" for intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control.
              Without getting too technical, the system provides more efficient combustion for increased performance and fuel economy while lowering emissions, earning the Civic EPA's ULEV (Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) status. The engine delivers 140 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via an electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission while The Drive-By-Wire Throttle System replaces mechanical parts with electronic impulses for a more immediate and smoother response to the accelerator pedal.
              A 5-speed manual transmission is standard but our tester came with the optional 5-speed Automatic with Lock-Up Torque convertor. (The high performance Si Coupe and Sedan come with a 197-horsepower, 2-litre I4 while the Hybrid combines a 1.3-litre I4 with an Electric Motor Assist).
              The EXL combines heated (front) leather seating with manual seat controls. Not a usual combination but perfectly acceptable. Getting comfortable behind the wheel is no problem thanks to the tilt/telescoping steering wheel and the 6-way manually adjustable driver's seat (4-way adjusters for the front passenger).

              The Civic's two-tier instrument panel features a bold digital speedometer flanked by linear gauges for engine temperature and fuel, positioned in the direct line of sight. At first, I found the digital speedometer a distraction as the large numbers kept changing with the car's speed. But after a while, your peripheral vision accepts it without taking your main attention away from the road.
              A more conventional tachometer, redlined at 6,300 rpm, is positioned in the lower tier with a read-out panel for odometer and trip odo, plus transmission mode indicator. I particularly liked the three-spoke steering wheel. It features audio and cruise control buttons plus thumb notches that allow for comfortable (and correct) 3- and 9- o'clock hand positions. The interior, finished in soft shades of grey, uses a pleasing mix of surface textures, highlighted with brushed metal trim to convey a high-tech look.
              All the controls are intuitive and easy to reach. An info panel for the clock, trip odo, ambient temperature and audio system tops the centre stack. Simple controls for the speed-sensitive audio system are set below, featuring AM/FM/CD plus MP3/WMA compatibility. Conventional controls for the AC (with air filtration) and heating are positioned below. The multi-functional centre console features two beverage holders, stores up to 20 CDs and serves as an armrest for both front seat occupants.

              On the road, the Civic provides a quiet, comfortable ride. With its tall fifth gear, the engine is only turning 2,000 rpm at highway speeds, enabling it to deliver 5.7 L/100 km (50 mpg). The supple suspension smoothes out road irregularities and the power-assisted, variable rack and pinion steering is light and direct with a strong on-centre feel at highway speeds. In stop-and-go city driving, I found it best to select D3.
              This allows the transmission to utilize the bottom three gears, leaving fourth and fifth for higher speeds. Power-assisted anti-lock (ABS) disc brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) inspire confidence with short, controlled stops on any surface. New this year is standard VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) with Traction Control that checks wheelspin to maintain directional control on any surface. Occupants are protected with 3-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners for all five positions, active front head restraints and the full complement of airbags: dual-stage, dual-threshold front; front seat side (with Occupant Position Detection); and full, side curtain airbags.
              The trunk capacity of 340 litres (12 cu.ft.) is almost doubled by folding down the rear seat and easily accommodates two golf bags and weekend luggage. Other amenities include keyless-entry system; power remote/heated outside mirrors; Immobilizer Theft-Deterrent System; power windows with auto up/down driver's side; variable, intermittent wipers; MP3 auxiliary input jack and LATCH tethers for child seats.
              "The EXL is a great addition to the Civic line," says Kelvin Frumento of Nanaimo Honda. "We didn't have a model with leather seating before and so it gives people a chance to enjoy a new level of comfort and luxury without giving up Civic's well known affordability and economy."

              Alan McPhee is a Canadian automotive journalist and is former editor of Carguide Magazine. His articles appear each week in this space.

              BOTTOM LINE:

              HONDA CIVIC EXL

              Type: FWD compact sedan
              Engine: 1.8-litre SOHC L4
              Horsepower: 140 @ 6300 rpm
              Torque: 128 @ 4300 rpm
              Fuel economy: 8.2 L/100 km city; 5.7 L/100 km highway
              Base price: $24,680
              Price as tested: $25,990
              (includes PDI and freight)

              Vehicle provided by Nanaimo Honda

              © Driving License 2009
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              • After 50 years in US, Honda faces new challenges !


                By DAN STRUMPF
                AP Auto Writer

                NEW YORK — In 1973, the local newspaper in Akron, Ohio, sent a photographer to Rick Case's filling station to take pictures of his signs bearing gas prices. The Middle East oil embargo was in full swing. Gas prices were around 30 cents a gallon and rising fast.
                Case also owned the Honda dealership next-door. Before the photographer arrived, he changed the signs to read 99 cents - as high as the displays would go back then.
                Case was on to something. A confluence of political and market forces gave Honda Motor Co. its big break in the U.S. in the '70s. Consumers who were suddenly worried about gas prices snapped up fuel-efficient small cars like the Civic that Case and a handful of other Honda dealers were selling. The Japanese automaker has found success by offering Americans affordable, reliable gas-sippers ever since.
                "I was really hanging my hat on Honda, and I'm glad I did," said Case, who now owns several Honda and other dealerships in Ohio, Florida and Georgia. "The gas thing really helped get them attention."
                But as Honda reaches its 50th anniversary in the U.S. Thursday, new challenges confront the automaker. It will have to mount a stout defense of its turf as gas prices rise again, fuel-economy rules tighten and the market for small cars grows out of the wreckage of the Detroit Three.
                "The industry is coming around to where Honda is, where (its) strengths are right now," said Jeff Schuster, executive director of vehicle forecasting for J.D. Power & Associates. "So they face a tougher competitive landscape."
                Japanese engineer Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motor Co. in Tokyo just three years after World War II as a manufacturer of small motorcycles. The company established American Honda Motor Co. in 1959, signed up a handful of dealers and began importing small bikes like the Honda 50 to the U.S.
                The company's first import car was the two-door N600, which sported a two-cylinder engine and a sticker price of $1,295.
                Honda's big break came with the oil embargo, which sent the price of gasoline soaring. Fuel-efficient cars from companies like Honda suddenly looked a lot more appealing to American consumers.
                Between 1973 and 1976, sales of the compact Civic more than quadrupled to 132,286, and they continued climbing for another three years. By the end of the decade, Honda had opened its first U.S. plant in Marysville, Ohio, and others sprung up across Ohio, Alabama and Mexico to build products from motorcycles to lawnmowers.
                Meanwhile, a relentless focus on quality control "created a contrast with where American cars were going," said Fred Notehelfer, a professor specializing in modern Japanese history at the University of California at Los Angeles. American cars at the time, he said, "were often flashy but falling apart very quickly. ... Japanese cars, especially Hondas, would keep running."
                Honda reaped the benefits of a second energy crisis last year, when an oil bubble pushed gas prices above $4 a gallon. As Detroit and its SUV-heavy lineups suffered, Civic sales in the U.S. climbed to a record 339,289.

                Honda's overall U.S. sales, however, declined 8 percent as the economy soured. The downturn accelerated and sales kept falling. The company has fought back by slashing production and offering buyouts and sweetened retirement packages to its employees.
                The turmoil wracking the auto industry presents a paradox for Honda. On the one hand, Honda has weathered the crisis because it hasn't depended on once-profitable gas-thirsty vehicles as much as its Detroit rivals. On the other hand, its competitors now have little choice but to muscle in on Honda's turf.
                Last month, the Obama administration laid out stricter fuel-economy rules for the auto industry, raising fleetwide average efficiency to 35.5 mpg by 2016. That's likely to benefit Honda, which already has a sturdy lineup of fuel-efficient cars like the Fit, the Civic and the Insight hybrid. But it also means it will have to confront new competitors armed with a wider lineup of fuel-efficient cars.
                "Everybody is moving kind of at warp speed toward the position to where Honda is right now," J.D. Power's Schuster said.
                On Wednesday, Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA sealed a deal to buy the bulk of Chrysler LLC. The Auburn Hills, Mich., company is now poised to introduce new small cars to the U.S. like the two-door Fiat 500, along with vehicles branded under the sporty Alfa Romeo brand.
                Chrysler's crosstown rivals have small-car plans, too. General Motors Corp., which is also operating under bankruptcy protection, plans to start building the subcompact Chevrolet Cruze next year and says it will get about 40 miles per gallon. GM will also start selling the Chevrolet Spark minicar in the U.S. in 2011.
                Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. is bringing its popular subcompact Fiesta to the U.S. from Europe next year, and Toyota Motor Corp. is working to bring a new car to the U.S. modeled after its iQ microcar.
                Honda also plans of electrify its fleet. The company, which just relaunched its Insight hybrid as a cheaper alternative to the Toyota Prius, plans to sell a hybrid based on its sporty CR-Z concept sometime in 2010. It will also offer a hybrid version of the Fit subcompact and is planning a new version of its Civic hybrid.
                John Mendel, executive vice president for sales at American Honda, said the company already competes with small-car makers in Europe and plans to succeed in the U.S. by sticking to its strengths.
                "We face those challenges globally now," he said. "That's not to diminish, certainly, the competition we see coming with a stronger, restructured GM or Chrysler or Ford."
                AP Business Writer Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo contributed to this report.

                ================================================== ===========

                Honda ventures into the compact market !


                From correspondents in Delhi, India, 06:01 PM IST

                A day after the Japanese car maker Honda celebrated 50 years of venturing overseas, the company Wednesday launched Jazz, its first compact offering for the Indian market.
                'In the 12 years in India, we have had products only in the premium sedan categories. With Jazz, which is one of our most successful offerings globally, we have entered the compact market in India,' said Honda Siel Cars president and chief executive Masahiro Takedagawa at the launch.
                About 2.5 million units of Jazz, which is also marketed as Fit in certain markets, is sold in about 130 markets worldwide and comes to India eight years after being first introduced in Japan.
                The Indian version comes with a 1.2-litre petrol engine - the same as Honda City - in order to save the 12 percent excise duty that the government imposes on bigger engines.
                The attached price tag of Rs.6.98 lakh-Rs.7.33 lakh makes Jazz the second costliest offering in the compact category after the Fiat 500, which at double the price point falls under the luxury segment.
                Takedagawa said although the 1.2-litre engine has been introduced to save on excise duty, the company is in constant touch with its dealer network for consumer feedback, and could introduce the more popular 1.5-litre engine in future.
                Honda Siel is hoping to cross the 20,000-unit mark per year for the new car, Takedagawa indicated.
                The compact car market commands over 75 percent of the overall passenger car sales in India and has more than 20 offerings from about nine manufacturers.
                'I will be happy if the Jazz achieves half the sales volume of City this year,' he said. Honda sells roughly 40,000 units of City in India annually.
                Apart from the Jazz and City, the company currently has three other models in its line-up including the sports utility vehicle CR-V. It has plants in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

                (Staff Writer, © IANS)
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                • REVIEW: 2009 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L V6
                  TEST DRIVE: Accord Coupe strikes a sporty pose!


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                  Honda Insight: Powerhouse Museum's New Green Star !


                  TULLAMARINE, AUSTRALIA – June 11, 2009: The first production hybrid vehicle to be sold in Australia was the first-generation Honda Insight – and it is the newest attraction at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.
                  The Honda Insight display is located in the museum’s permanent exhibition ‘EcoLogic: creating a sustainable future’.
                  The EcoLogic exhibition highlights how our lifestyles and industries can change to avoid damage to ecosystems and provides innovative ways to redirect our economy and society towards sustainability. It also focuses on what Australians can do for the future of the planet and demonstrates how smart ideas and environmental design can make a difference.
                  The first-generation Honda Insight deserves its place in this exhibition not only because it was the first hybrid vehicle to be sold in Australia; it is the result of over 25 years of research and development by Honda engineers into fuel efficiency and low emissions.
                  The Honda Insight was launched in Australia in 2001 and was the world’s most fuel efficient petrol powered car at the time. It featured Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) petrol-electric engine that produced 2.8 litres per 100km highway cycle and 3.6 litres per 100km city cycle.
                  The one litre lean-burn VTEC engine was assisted by an ultra thin DC brushless motor. Honda’s IMA system employed the electric motor to assist as engine load increased. When maximum acceleration was required the electric motor would contribute as much as 10 kilowatts, reducing fuel consumption and boosting acceleration.
                  The electric motor assist was deactivated when the vehicle was cruising and when the driver accelerated again, IMA instantaneously restarted the electric motor to provide power assistance. Energy released as heat during deceleration was recovered and used to recharge the IMA batteries. The energy was then used for the next motor assist cycle. IMA also helped reduce fuel consumption when the vehicle was stationary by automatically shutting down the engine.
                  This revolutionary technology was used as the basis for today’s Honda Civic Hybrid, Australia’s most affordable hybrid vehicle.
                  The second-generation Honda Insight was launched in Japan in February 2009 and became the first hybrid vehicle in Japan’s history to be the biggest selling vehicle in the month of April – an outstanding achievement. It is due to hit Australian shores in late 2010.

                  Don’t miss the Honda Insight at the Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street Ultimo, Sydney. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults, $5 for children and $25 for the whole family.

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                  Guangzhou Honda sells 30,296 cars in May, up 9% !


                  By George Gao From:Gasgoo.comJune 10, 2009

                  Shanghai, June 10 (Gasgoo.com) Guangzhou Honda sold 30,296 cars in May, up 9.43% year on year (y/y) and up 16.42% month on month, xinhuanet.com reported today.
                  The joint venture, which makes mid- to high-end sedans of Accord, Odyssey, Fit ands City brands in China's southern city of Guangzhou, said its sales in the first five months this year totaled 128,963 units.
                  The 8th-generation Accord sold 14,048 units in May, leading the monthly sales of mid- to high-end sedans in the China market since May 2008. The Accord achieved sales of 63,598 units from January to May and is expected to be the best-seller of its kind in the first half of this year.
                  The medium-size City model sold 37,705 units in the first five months, with 9,616 units sold in May. An official of Guangzhou Honda said that the City is still in short supply and the company is boosting the output of this car model to meet the growing demand.
                  Guangzhou Honda expected its car sales to exceed a target of 330,000 units for 2009 following a recovery in China's auto market. The venture sold 306,242 cars in 2008, up 3.7% from a year earlier.

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                  Last edited by tokyodream; 13-06-09, 18:19.
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                  • Ce-ar fi daca?


                    Neal asks "What If?" again, and imagines a Civic Si Touring Concept
                    Date: June 08, 2009 09:44
                    Submitted by: Jeff
                    Source: TOV Art Director Neal McDaniel
                    Credibility Rating: Not Specified

                    Have you ever wondered how a Civic Si would look as a small sportwagon? In another installment to the "What If?" series of photoshops, Neal shares his vision.
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                    • Originally posted by tokyodream View Post
                      Ce-ar fi daca?


                      Neal asks "What If?" again, and imagines a Civic Si Touring Concept
                      Date: June 08, 2009 09:44
                      Submitted by: Jeff
                      Source: TOV Art Director Neal McDaniel
                      Credibility Rating: Not Specified

                      Have you ever wondered how a Civic Si would look as a small sportwagon? In another installment to the "What If?" series of photoshops, Neal shares his vision.
                      Dacă ar avea spatele de la Accord, poate ar ieşi ceva fain...

                      Originally posted by assero View Post

                      Honda, Skoda si Volvo, in topul satisfactiei clientilor din Franta.
                      Chiar detaşată Honda pe locul I.
                      Curios este că m-am întors de curând din Franţa, iar automobile Honda erau mai puţine decât Loganuri.
                      În schimb, Honda stă foarte bine la moto, mai ales la "monştrii" aceia.
                      CR-V RE6
                      JAZZ GD1 CVT

                      Ex: Civic FD1
                      Ex: RDX TB1

                      Ex - JAZZ GD1
                      Ex - ACCORD Type-R
                      Ex - DEL SOL EH6


                      • Hardcore Civic FN2 on the way to UK

                        Full article ... http://pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=20110


                        • Best and worst green cars chosen !

                          By Mike Swain on Jun 17, 09 10:31 AM in Environment
                          The best and worst green cars have been picked by the Environmental Transport Association.

                          The least green car is the monster 200mph eight litre Dodge SRT-10 sports car.
                          It's a petrolhead's fantasy accelerating from 0 to 60 in less than four seconds but emits the same amount of C02 as would be absorbed by an acre of mature oak trees.
                          You would need 322 trees to absorb the C02 from driving the Dodge for a year for the average 9,000 miles. And it only does 13 miles to the gallon on an urban cycle.
                          At a cost of £77,000 there are only an estimated 15 on British roads.
                          The greenest car is the Honda Insight 1.3 IMA ES.
                          The Honda, a hybrid rival to the Toyota Prius, costs £16,700 and climbs from 0-62 in 12.5 seconds but does 60 miles to the gallon with a top speed of 113mph
                          Jeremy Clarkson called it "biblically terrible" after a test drive.

                          "It's the worst car I've ever considered driving into a tree, on purpose, so I didn't have to drive it any more," he said.
                          The association, which has 20,000 members, examined more than 1300 models for their green car awards.
                          Andrew Davis, director of the ETA, said: "The concern is not the Dodge SRT-10's and Lamborghinis because there are not many of them on the road. The concern is that people are continuing to buy cars that are much too big for their real needs.
                          "The discrepancy between the greenest and the least green cars today is striking but the market is changing and a combination of consumer pressure alongside government leadership will result in an increasing choice of environmentally sound cars."
                          Diesel cars have been criticised for causing roadside pollution. But diesels do well in the list where they have been fitted with diesel particulate filters which have dramatically improved their emissions.
                          Many of the worst performing cars on the green list are eligible for the government's car scrappage scheme.
                          Here's the full list:

                          Best and worst by category (C02 g/km):

                          Greenest car overall: HONDA Insight 1.3 IMA ES (101g/km)
                          Worst(least green) car overall: Dodge SRT-10 (488g/km)

                          Large Family - best: BMW 3 Series 320d with particulate filter (144g/km)
                          Large Family - worst : BMW M3 (309g/km)

                          Supermini - best: TOYOTA Yaris 1.4 D-4-D 6-speed (109g/km)
                          Supermini - worst: RENAULT Clio Renault Sport 200 (195g/km)

                          Small Family - best: Honda Insight 1.3 IMA ES (101g/km)
                          Small Family - worst: VOLKSWAGEN Golf R32 4MOTION (255g/km)

                          City - best: TOYOTA iQ 1.0 VVT-i (99g/km)
                          City - worst: FORD Ka, Post 2006 1.6 Duratec Sportka (182g/km)

                          Sports - best: VAUXHALL Tigra 1.3CDTi 16v (124g/km)
                          Sports - worst: Dodge SRT-10 (488g/km)

                          MPV - best: S-Max 1.8 Duratorq TDCi (164g/km)
                          MPV - worst: MERCEDES R-Class R63 AMG (387g/km)

                          Small MPV - best: RENAULT Modus 1.5 dCi 86 Quickshift 5 (119g/km)
                          Small MPV - worst: MERCEDES Viano 3.5 (284g/km)

                          Executive - best: BMW 5 Series 520d saloon with particulate filter (136g/km)Executive - worst: CADILLAC CTS-V (350g/km)

                          Off road - best: SUBARU Outback AWD (153g/km)
                          Off road - worst: CADILLAC Escalade 6.2 V8 (383g/km)

                          Luxury - best: JAGUAR XJ 2.7L Diesel Saloon (209g/km)
                          Luxury - worst: Bentley Brooklands Coupé (465g/km).


                          ================================================== =============
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                          • Sorting out the best SUVs for families !


                            Huge choice

                            By David Booth, Canwest News Service June 17, 2009

                            2009 Honda CRV EX-L.

                            Photograph by: Handout, Canadian Auto Press

                            The immense popularity of sport-utility vehicles means that all manner of diverse takes on the SUV format are available: compact sport-cutes, mid-sized, full-sized, unibody frame and ladder and even luxury utes abound.
                            Whether you’re a soft-roader or a hardcore off-roader, there’s a utility vehicle for every occasion and price range.

                            Dodge’s Nitro is based on the same platform as the Jeep Liberty and powered by a selection of V6s — either a 210-horsepower, 3.7-litre SOHC V6 or the more powerful 260-hp 4.0L SOHC V6. Three transmissions are offered: a six-speed manual, a four-speed manumatic and a five-speed manumatic. And unlike so many in the price range, the Nitro’s base two-wheel-drive model powers the rear wheels. Prices start at $20,995.

                            The big Dodge news for 2009, however, has been the Journey, a crossover meant to marry the look of an SUV with the seven-passenger seating capacity of a minivan, all for $19,995. The Journey features two engine/transmission combinations — a 2.4L four-cylinder with a four-speed automatic and a 3.5L V6 mated to a six-speed manumatic. On price alone, the Journey is attractive, and the sport-cute has been one of Chrysler’s stellar performers.

                            One of the most popular sport-utes in Canada comes from Dodge’s cross-town rival Ford. The Edge offers edgey styling, pardon the pun, and outstanding performance thanks to its 265-hp, 3.5L DOHC Duratec V6 and six-speed automatic transmission.
                            Not as much in the limelight but still not forgotten is Ford’s Escape, which, for 2009, gets a new 2.5L four-cylinder mated to a six-speed automatic. The optional 3.0L V6 gains 30 hp and also comes with a six-speed auto. The Hybrid model retains its four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gas engine, but its displacement, too, grows to 2.5 litres. Aerodynamics have also been improved to improve fuel consumption.

                            Honda’s CR-V is one of Canada’s most popular light trucks. The third-generation CR-V was completely redone in 2007, adding safety enhancements such as Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. Front-wheel drive is standard as is a 166-p, 2.4L four-banger. The CR-V can be outfitted to virtual luxury SUV standards with the EX-L Navi package, which adds a navigation system with bilingual voice recognition and rear-view camera plus a 270-watt AM/FM/six-disc premium audio system with seven speakers.

                            Hyundai’s strong contingent of sport-cutes starts with the four-cylinder, 2.0L I4 Tucson, which starts at a bargain-basement $21,195. The Tucson is available with an electronic on-demand four-wheel-drive system that routes up to 99% of the power to the front wheels. As road conditions or torque demand change, the system automatically diverts up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels.

                            Slightly larger and definitely more powerful is Hyundai’s Santa Fe ($25,995) powered by a 2.7L, 185-hp V6 (with a 242-hp V6 optional). Front-wheel drive is standard as is an electronic stability control system that includes traction control and anti-lock brakes. Six air bags are also standard, including side curtain air bags that extend head protection to all three rows of seats.

                            Truly the most road-oriented and least expensive ($16,395) of Jeep’s extensive sport-ute lineup, the Compass stresses the look and functionality of an SUV with the performance, handling and fuel economy of a small car. The standard engine for all models is a 172-hp, 2.4L four-cylinder coupled with a five-speed manual. Optional on the front-wheel-drive Sport and North Edition versions with continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a smaller, 2.0L four-cylinder engine with superior gas mileage. With virtually the same mechanicals as the Compass, the Patriot offers more butch off-road styling. Standard safety equipment includes side-curtain air bags, electronic roll mitigation and anti-lock brakes.

                            More rugged than the original, Jeep’s Liberty was completely redesigned in 2008. Though not as single purpose as the Wrangler, the Liberty does offer two J Trail Rated four-wheel-drive systems: Command-Trac and Selec-Trac II. Chassis improvements for 2009 include stiffer rear axle shafts and retuned springs, shocks, anti-roll bars and steering gear valve for improved steering and handling. The Liberty continues to be powered by Chrysler’s ubiquitous 3.7L V6, in this guise sporting 210 hp.

                            A direct descendent of the Jeep that started it all, the Wrangler Unlimited is a slightly more practical version of the classic off-roader with four doors, roomier rear seats and almost triple the cargo space of the original. However, it retains the Wrangler’s removable full-framed or half doors, exposed hinges, fold-down windshield and removable and convertible tops. The Wrangler continues to be powered by Jeep’s torque-laden 3.8L overhead-valve V6.

                            One of the relatively new players in the small SUV segment, the Kia Rondo’s powertrain choices include a 2.4L, 175-hp four-cylinder with a four-speed Steptronic manumatic or the available 2.7L V6 with 192 ponies. The front-wheel-drive Rondo features independent front and rear suspensions. Standard front and rear anti-roll bars are calibrated for precise and responsive handling along with the tuned hydraulic power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering.

                            Kia’s upmarket SUV is the Sorrento, a more substantial beast of burden with a 3.8L V6 that can tow up to 2,268 kilograms. Sorentos come with standard four-wheel drive and available electronically controlled torque-on-demand puts all that power to good use. Independent suspension smoothes out the ride, while standard electronic stability control, a traction control system and anti-lock brakes deliver the stability, traction and safety demanded by the modern sport-ute buyer.

                            Arguably the most luxurious of sport-cutes, the $44,900 Land Rover LR2 certainly has the best pedigree. Brand new in 2007, the LR2 delivers outstanding on-road performance as well as class-leading off-road ability, It is powered by a 230-hp., 3.2L in-line 6.

                            Land Rover’s Terrain Response system is standard, co-ordinating the LR2’s many systems and sensors to offer the optimum drivability in a diverse set of circumstances. Other technologies include a new permanent intelligent AWD system and gradient release control, which improves driver confidence when releasing the brakes on steep and slippery slopes.

                            The LR2’s list of standard equipment includes dual-zone automatic climate control with pollen filter, a cold-climate package that includes a heated windshield, heated windshield washer jets and heated front seats as well as a dual-panel sunroof.
                            The mechanical twin to the Ford Escape, Mazda’s Tribute ($22,795) was completely redesigned for 2008 with a more aggressive exterior and a more luxurious interior. For 2009, the base engine gets a boost to a 171-hp, 2.5L four-cylinder, while the optional 3.0L V6 gains 30 hp over the 2008 version.

                            Available in three trim levels — GX, GS and GT — the Tribute also gets a revised, sportier suspension with rear stabilizer bar and a new easy fuel system. An active torque-split all-wheel-drive system is standard on the GT and optional on the GX and GS.

                            The first Mercedes truly aimed at the lower end of the SUV segment, the Mercedes-Benz GLK 350 is nonetheless powered by a torquey 268-hp., 3.5L V6 and Mercedes’ 4Matic all-wheel-drive system.

                            Being a Mercedes, the GLK boasts a long list of standard equipment including a two-zone automatic climate control system, an adjustable steering column, front seats with electrically adjustable height and backrest angle and manual lumbar support, integrated Bluetooth interface for mobile phones, a microphone for the hands-free system and a central five-inch colour screen.

                            Mitsubishi’s Outlander was redesigned last year, now longer, taller and wider than the previous version. For 2009, all Outlanders feature redesigned side skirts, heated front seats and a rear cargo cover. The base engine is a 168-hp, 2.4L DOHC four-cylinder, while the upscale LS and XLS models feature a 220-hp, 3.0L SOHC V6 and are equipped with 4WD. XLS models also feature steering wheel-mounted shifter paddles controlled by a centre console-mounted knob.

                            In 2008, the Nissan Rogue ($24,398) was named the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada’s Best New SUV/CUV under $35,000. The Rogue is offered in S and SL trim, each with a standard 2.5L four-cylinder and Xtronic continuously variable transmission, vehicle dynamic control, traction control and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS. All-wheel drive is available on both models and the Rogue’s list of safety equipment includes front seat-mounted air bags and roof-mounted curtain supplemental air bags.

                            Named the Best New SUV between $35,000 and $60,000, the Saturn Vue offers two different hybrid options for 2009 including the new 255-hp two-mode Hybrid’s 3.6L V6 with direct injection technology. In addition to the Two-Mode Hybrid version, the Vue is available in XE and XR trims as well as the high-performance Red Line. A four-cylinder hybrid model features the more affordable GM Hybrid system.
                            The new Subaru Forester ($25,75) is larger for 2009 with significant improvements in safety, technology, comfort and driving dynamics. A new double-wishbone rear suspension replaces the previous strut-type configuration, while the longer wheelbase increases rear-seat legroom.

                            A 2.5L four-cylinder powers the 2.5X, Touring and Limited versions. A high-performance turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder powers the fully loaded 2.5XT Limited.
                            Suzuki’s Grand Vitara ($25,995) gets improved performance and is more fuel efficient for 2009 with a new 166-hp, 2.4L four-cylinder or an even more powerful 230-p, 3.2L V6. The Grand Vitara is rated to tow a substantial 1,360 kilograms. It also offers six standard air bags and ESP (V6 models) with two new functions —Hill Hold and Hill Descent Control. Suzuki has also added rear disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist for improved stopping power.

                            The 2009 RAV4 ($26,500) is available with either a four-cylinder or V6 powertrain, each in three trim levels. It also boasts a new 2.5L four this year that produces 179 hp while still seeking out better fuel economy. A 3.5L V6 paired with a five-speed automatic is optional.

                            All RAV4s are equipped with vehicle stability control, which enhances cornering stability by using both throttle and brakes to correct oversteer and understeer. Traction control and Toyota’s active torque control 4WD system are also standard.
                            Volkswagen has finally brought its compact, German-built “small Touareg” — aka the Tiguan — to market this year in both front-drive and 4Motion AWD versions. All Tiguans seat five and are powered by a 200-hp, turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder.
                            Volkswagen’s 4Motion AWD system distributes engine power optimally between the front and rear wheels. At low speeds, the system changes over automatically to front-wheel drive, while, at higher speeds, the torque distribution is electronically controlled.

                            Smaller and shorter than the company’s iconic XC70 and lower than the XC90, Volvo’s new XC60 competes in the compact premium crossover segmentwith rivals the Land Rover LR2 and Mercedes GLK. The big news is Volvo’s city safety system — a segment first — which uses electronic sensors to determine if a collision with the vehicle in front is imminent and then applies the brakes automatically to avoid or reduce the impact of the collision. The XC60 is powered by a turbocharged, 281-hp., 3.0L in-line six-cylinder. Volvo’s AWD system with Instant Traction is standard.


                            © Copyright (c) Driving

                            ================================================== ======

                            Crossovers: The decade's vehicle success story!


                            By Tom Ripley, Studio One Networks

                            So just what is a "crossover"? Not only is it among the hottest vehicle types in a decidedly not-so-hot market this year, but it is also essentially a cross between a car and an SUV. More precisely, it is a high-profile vehicle that looks and behaves much like a sport-utility vehicle but is based on a car platform rather than a truck platform. Though nobody talks about the crossover craze the way they did about the SUV craze of the '90s, the new vehicle type has proven to be among the most popular of the decade.

                            Perhaps the biggest reason for the success of the crossover segment over other segments is that there are just so darn many of them in all shapes and sizes and more are being introduced, seemingly every day. Crossovers are also appealing to a wide range of buyers because they offer much of the versatility of an SUV but the way they ride, handle and offer fuel economy is much more analogous to a sedan. In addition, their taller profile makes them easier to get in and out of than a conventional sedan, and many people like their upright seating.

                            These days, because of the soft automotive market, another thing people like about them is their affordable prices. Very often, these vehicles are discounted by several thousands of dollars versus MSRP, and they are usually less expensive than equivalent traditional SUVs. The "deals" take a number of forms: a combination of factory-to-customer cash, factory-to-dealer cash and special financing offers. Some great lease deals are also available on crossovers right now.
                            Sound appealing? Here are some crossovers worthy of your attention:

                            Honda CR-V:

                            One of the granddaddies of all crossovers, the small CR-V was originally introduced as an SUV, but it offers all the advantages of the typical crossover in terms of ride, handling and fuel economy. It has grown more sophisticated through the years, but it's still a bargain.

                            Toyota Venza:

                            The Venza has moved the crossover even closer to the sedan than many of its brethren, and it virtually eschews any semblance of off-road capability. In the old days, we would have called the highly styled Venza a station wagon.

                            Buick Enclave:

                            Luxury, style and quality from an American-based manufacturer? It's all there in the Buick Enclave. This is an easy-riding vehicle that looks great, and it offers a wide variety of luxury amenities.

                            Acura MDX:

                            One of the most popular luxury crossovers, the MDX combines a future-look exterior with abundant space and a sport-sedan level of handling and performance. Some might be turned off by its looks, but the technology under the skin is stellar.

                            Chevrolet Traverse:

                            Based on the same platform as the Buick Enclave, the Traverse does many of the same things as the Enclave but at a much lower price. It is well-built and a great alternative to pricier crossovers in its size class.

                            Volvo XC60:

                            This is touted as the safest Volvo of all time, and that's really saying something. Beyond that, it might also be the best-looking Volvo of all time, with impressive exterior and interior style that transcends the stolid Volvo image.

                            Porsche Cayenne:

                            The Cayenne doesn't hold all that many people or that much stuff, it's not all that economical to purchase and its fuel economy is nothing to text home about. But of all the crossovers, it might well be the most fun to drive. And interestingly, it offers serious off-road capabilities in addition to its top-notch on-road abilities.

                            Driving Today Contributing Editor Tom Ripley writes about the automobile industry and the human condition from his home in Villeperce, France.
                            Copyright (c) 2009 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
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                            • J.D. Power and Associates Ranks Honda CR-V and Ridgeline Highest in Segments in IQS

                              06/22/2009 - TORRANCE, Calif. -
                              The Honda CR-V, the top-selling CUV in the U.S., and the Honda Ridgeline pickup ranked highest in their respective segments in the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Initial Quality Study℠ (IQS), American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today. Honda's East Liberty, Ohio manufacturing facility, which assembles the Honda CR-V, also received a coveted Gold Plant award, ranking it as the top factory in the Americas.

                              IQS serves as the industry benchmark for new-vehicle quality measured at 90 days of ownership and captures problems experienced by owners in two distinct categories - quality of design and quality of production (defects and malfunctions). The study ranked nameplates and vehicles based on survey reports of Problems Per Hundred (PP100 studied).

                              Honda vehicles averaged only 99 PP100, an improvement of 11 PP100 over 2008. The Honda CR-V ranked highest in the Compact Multi Activity Vehicle segment for the third consecutive year, with an IQS rating of 93 PP100, and the Honda Ridgeline truck ranked highest in the Midsize Pickup segment, with an IQS rating of 81 PP100.


                              • http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=837962

                                Mag-X breaks out the crystal ball for the 2012 CR-V !

                                Loyal TOV reader Dan forwarded this July '09 Mag-X piece on the 2012 CR-V. TOV member 'sugaki' was kind enough to provide a translation of it. Thanks go out to both.

                                In summary, Mag-X says that the basic requirements for the next generation CR-V (production code 2WS) have been settled and Honda is currently focusing on the styling direction for the 4th generation of their compact SUV. Due to the current CR-V's popularity abroad, it is said that the new model will be very similar in size to the current version. The dimensions projected by Mag-X reflect very small increases in length, width and height (4535x1820x1685 mm).

                                Mag-X mentions that Honda is aiming to improve the CR-V's sales performance from the current pace of around 800 units/month to around 1130 units (an increase of about 40%). Honda originally intended to sell the current model at a rate of roughly 2000 units/month. (Side note: even in our incredibly poor market conditions, the CR-V sold at an average rate of 560 units PER DAY in the USA last month). The targets for the US-market are not mentioned, but supposedly Honda is looking to increase monthly sales in Europe by around 5% (up to 5350 cars/month).

                                Mag-X asserts that for cost-saving reasons, the next-generation CR-V will be based upon the current platform, and the 2.4L K24A engine will also carry over. A 2.0L version is also being planned for entry level Japanese market FWD-only trims. Mag-X goes on to say that Honda is considering saving the introduction of an advanced engine for a big mid-cycle model change. Additionally, according to the article are no plans for a V6 engine for North America.

                                According to the article, there are no plans to introduce a diesel CR-V in Japan, but the diesel will continue to be offered in the European market. It is also noted that production of Honda's i-DTEC diesel engines will shift from the Suzuka factory to the new Ogawa factory starting in the fall.

                                Mag-X says the exterior design should be finalized by November of this year, and the new CR-V is planned to be announced in September of 2011, with a formal introduction taking place in October of 2011 at the Tokyo Motor Show.

                                The image caption is said to read: "'Premium' and 'sporty' are the keywords to the next-gen CR-V design."
                                Honda Accord 2.2 i-ctdi Nighthawk Black Pearl Executive-2007