Category Archives: english

[EN] Rumour has it: two engines for the new Honda S2000

Not long ago, Honda confirmed a successor for the beloved roadster S2000, but they kept for themselves the technical sheets or any other relevant information. The only thing that was for sure was the fact that the new roadster will feature one of the new VTEC turbo engines. Which one of it, that’s not yet for sure.

The website autocar.co.uk unveiled yesterday a rumour stating that the new S2000 will be a direct competitor for the Mazda MX-5 roadster, and its “little kid” – The Fiat 124 Spider. The newcomer will feature the same technical details like its predecessor – a rear-wheel drive roadster, featuring a front-mounted engine, positioned behind the front axle.

honda-s2000-2005

Ok, ok, but what’s the catch? Rumour has it: there will be two options – a lighter version, powered by the upcoming 1.5 litre turbo VTEC engine, with a total output of 183 HP, to compete directly with the Mazda roadster, and a second one, which will feature the beloved 2.0 Turbo VTEC from his big brother – the Civic Type-R, with a total around 300 HP, same as the CTR.

But there’s more: seems like a Type-R version will be available for the roadster, featuring some add-ons, like a limited-slip differential at the rear, six speed manual transmission, a track oriented suspension and an advanced brake system, to match up the performance and to be prepared in case Abarth will throw on the market a tuned-up version of  Fiat’s 124 little roadster.

For the moment, all of this infos are rumours, and the pictures are simply renderings from carscoops & Autocar, but we are very-VERY interested in this matter and I will keep you posted with all the updates.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

[EN][VIDEO] Oldies but goldies: Donald John Campbell sets World Speed Record

More than 51 years ago, Donald John Campbell sets the astonishing World Record of 648 km/h for a four-wheeled car at Lake Eyre, in Australia. But still, John was disappointed because the car was designed for something more than 800 km/h… The car was designed by the Norris brothers, who already had designed the highly successful Bluebird K7 hydroplane (also a world-record setter), a four wheel drive and powered by a Bristol-Siddeley Proteus free turbine eying of 3320 kW. 

Ladies and gents, John Campbell and his Bluebird-Proteus CN7! 

[EN][VIDEO] Honda, IGNITION

Because 2015 is a fresh year for Honda – each model within Honda’s line-up is new or has been refreshed, new ventures were started – see Honda’s comeback in F1 or the HondaJet – and now we have IGNITION. 

What is Ignition, in fact? An emotive video, perfectly describing the spirit, the feeling and the passion behind the Japanese company. 

Click on the clip to understand what I am talking about. 

[EN] 2017 CR-Z – A sport hybrid? Yes, but with turbo this time. [RUMOR]

I guess it’s not a surprise for anybody that the CR-Z hybrid was quite a fail for the Honda group – planned as the revival of the CR-X (as it was expected), but with a grandma heart inside – the hybrid 125 HP engine. No sport here, indeed.

So the Japanese constructor decided to kill the production of the actual model, after five years of existence. But don’t worry  folks, the little CR-Z is going to make a strong comeback around 2017, with a totally new output and vision on the line.

Although the information is at the “rumor” state, the new CR-Z will possibly be following ALMOST the same recipe like his youngest brother – the Civic Type-R – and will feature a turbo charged 1.5 liter direct injection VTEC engine,  paired with the current CR-Z’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. To top up the performance, which is said to be around a total of 280 HP, a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also said to have replaced both the CVT and manual options of the current CR-Z.

If this concept is going to see the ray of light, we will probably see next year, at the Tokyo Auto Show. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Next Gen Honda CRZ 44

[EN][PRESS RELEASE] Honda sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for fuel efficiency with the new Civic Tourer

Honda sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for fuel efficiency, averaging 2.82 litres per 100km (100.31mpg) in 13,498km (8,387 mile) drive across 24 EU countries.

Honda has set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title for ‘Lowest fuel consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries (all cars)’, recording an average 2.82 litres per 100km (100.31mpg) over 13,498km (8,387 miles), in a 25 day drive across all 24 EU contiguous countries.

Behind the wheel of a Honda Civic Tourer 1.6 i-DTEC for the entire journey were two members of Honda’s European Research & Development (R&D) team, Fergal McGrath and Julian Warren, who took on the challenge to further demonstrate the impressive real-world fuel economy of the Tourer.

The remarkable distance travelled is similar to the team driving to Australia from their home in the UK, stopping just nine times to refuel. The car achieved an incredible average 1500km (932 miles) on each tank of fuel, at a total fuel cost for the whole journey of just 645 Euros* (£459).

The team set out on their epic road trip from Aalst, Belgium, on Monday June 1st, navigating the continent in a clockwise direction. They returned to their start point on Thursday June 25th, recording the incredible fuel economy figures which exceed the Tourer’s quoted efficiency of 3.8 litres per 100km (74.3mpg), by more than 25%.

Fergal McGrath comments: “It was tough, but we really enjoyed it, and setting this new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title has made all of the hard work worthwhile. This was a huge team effort so I’d like to thank everyone involved for all of their commitment and support. After spending so much time behind the wheel Julian and I are just happy to be back behind our desks for a while!”

The official GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title is ‘Lowest Fuel Consumption – all 24 contiguous EU countries’, measured in litres per 100km and miles per gallon calculated over the entire journey.

Under the rules the same two drivers must be in the car for the whole journey, giving Fergal and Julian, Honda R&D colleagues of some 18 years and based in the UK, the challenge of driving an average of approximately 600km, taking around 7.5 hours, each day.

Based on strict and rigorous guidelines, the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title attempt required the car to enter each of the 24 countries specified, collecting a range of evidence including a fuel/mileage logbook, GPS readings, video and photographs and independent witness signatures to prove that it has done so. To ensure accurate monitoring of the route, journey time and distance driven, the record car was fitted with a tracking device, provided by fleet telematics and stolen vehicle recovery expert, TRACKER (part of the Tantalum Corporation).

Under the rules of the record title attempt the car must be a standard model in every respect, with no modifications to create an advantage, to replicate ‘real world’ conditions. This was judged by independent witnesses at the beginning and end of the attempt. Fuelling was carried out at regular filling stations, with the tank filled to the maximum at each stop to ensure no weight advantage. Additionally, tyres were inflated to the recommended pressures and the wheel alignment set to factory specification to represent the experience of the regular customer.

The team, both amateur drivers, were also keen to show that through adopting some simple but very effective driving techniques, anybody could achieve such remarkable fuel economy. They simply used some very logical methods including careful and sensible route planning, driving smoothly and consistently without harsh acceleration or braking, anticipating the road conditions ahead, carrying no unnecessary weight, and ensuring that the car was correctly maintained at all times. Driving speed was always within the law and keeping up with traffic conditions.

Kate Saxton, Manager – PR Communications at Honda Motor Europe Ltd comments: “This is an incredible achievement and the team should all be very proud of the efforts that they have put in to set this new GUINNESS WORLD RECORD. Driving the equivalent distance from their home in the UK to Australia in just 25 days is a huge challenge very few would take on. The fuel economy figures are remarkable – particularly when you consider that this is not a small car, but a tourer with class-leading load space and vast practicality.”

[EN] No more waiting: the NSX is finally (almost) here

Because  I think I am not the only one annoyed with the fact that Honda was skipping the launching of the most speculated & waited car of their last 10 years, and I for one have long waited to see it: the Honda NSX will be OFFICIALLY launched during the North American International Auto Show, on Jan. 12, 2015.

“After three years of intensive development work we are excited to reveal this next-generation supercar—the Acura NSX—to the world. We’ve developed a human-centered supercar that responds to the will of the driver and that builds upon the NSX heritage.”  said Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global project leader over NSX development.

As most of you already know, the mid-engine hybrid sports  beast will be excursively built at the new Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio, USA.  We are waiting for more technical details close to the launching moment  the production version at the Acura press conference during the NAIAS, on Jan. 12 2015. Stay tuned.

The game is on: 2015 Honda Civic Type R

We’ve seen many pictures of the final form and we’ve heard numerous rumors regarding the new R member of the Honda Sport family – but this time, the Japanese say that this is it – Honda is revealing the final form of the 2015 CTR on the 2nd of October, at the Paris Auto Show.


They call it “the most powerful Type-R” ever created, with unmatched performance compared to all previous Type-R – excluding the NSX-R, of course. This blue little one is mildly updated version of the CTR presented in March during Geneva MotorShow.

Technical speaking, the specs are the similar with the ones we found out in March – a 2.0 liter turbocharged i-VTEC engine with an output of 280 HP, but with a lower redline – 7,000 rpm (compared to the 9,000 rpm we we’re used to)…

In terms of novelties we can mention the magical “+R” button. Ehm, what is this? Something Honda says that when pressed, it activates the “+R” mode – heghtened engine response by altering the torque mapping, makes the steering more responsive, and tweaks the new four-point adaptive damper system for enhanced handling performance.

Suehiro Hasshi, Large Project Leader for the Civic Type R explained: “In default standard mode, the Civic Type R is exceptionally agile, an everyday sports  car with an enjoyable and fluid acceleration. The  ‘+R’ button brings out a more dynamic and athletic car for the driver, to set pulses racing. The difference in character is immense. The ‘+R’ mode is extreme; the car is ideal for track use and will be appreciated by the genuine sports-driving enthusiast.”

As we are already accustomed with, this TypeR version will be built at Honda’s plant in Swindon, UK, it will arrive in dealerships during 2015.

 

 

[EN] Ferrari 458 Speciale A, ready for Paris

The Prancing Horse is again showing it’s beautiful shapes on the red carpet, this time he’s ready for a special parade in Paris, so  prepare to greet the limited edition 458 Speciale A.

Limited to only 499 units, the 458 Speciale A is the most powerful spider in Ferrari’s agenda, a celebration for the real success the 458 model had in the last past years – numerous prizes, category wins in classic endurance races – LeMans, Sebring, Daytona – long story short, the 458 represents one of the most successful models of the Italian company.

But please, don’t be mistaken here – the new Ferrari 458 Speciale A (A from Aperta, which means open) is a Spider indeed, but not the ordinary 458 Spider we know – and it is probably  the last Ferrari with a naturally aspirated V8, since we are waiting to see the next evolution of the 458 in a twin-turbo setup..

This limited edition features a 4,5 L V8 engine, with a total output of 600 HP – with 30 more HP than the normal 458 Spider version, jumps from 0-100 km/h in 3 seconds (yes, three) and from 0-200 km/h in less than 10 seconds (9.5 seconds, more exact).

No need to say we will see this little on in Paris, on the 2nd of October. Stay tuned.

[EN] Paris 2014: Honda goes sport, or not quite – Civic Sport Edition

Less than 10 days remaining till its official launch in Paris, time in which Honda is revealing some  details about their new Civic Sport – sort to say the new Type-S, but they don’t call it like that, so I won’t, either.

Sport – but not so sport – the new Civic will keep some visual elements borrowed from the Type-R, sport elements that will be combined with the same engines from the standard version – the 1.8-litre I-VTEC, 142 PS petrol engine and 1.6-litre i-DTEC, 120 PS diesel engine. And by saying visual, I meant to say only this – no improvements  or upgrades  will be applied on the technical sheet.

The exterior will feature a new front bumper with a lower grille mesh and a black roof lining for the cabin, details that are echoing the design of the forthcoming Type-R.

But in the same time, Honda is upgrading a little bit also the standard Civic, so the changes will be adopted by the Sport derivative as well – new headlamps with integrated daytime running lights, redesigned new front bumper, side skirts, rear bumper and LED taillights.

The interior will feature some changes regarding the in-car entertainment – by adding the all-new in-car audio and information system – Honda Connect. This new information system runs on Android 4.0.4 and offers beside media facilities some others functions like Bluetooth connectivity, internet browsing, satellite navigation (optional) and rear-view parking camera. Long story short – a new all-in media unit.

The new Civic Sport and the other novelties will be presented in Paris, on the 2nd of October, during the Paris AutoShow.

[EN] Paris 2014: Polo GTI reborn – the 1.8 Turbo is back!

After they tried to “spice” things with their 1.4 TSI engine, the engineers behind the Polo GTi project went back to their senses and they fitted back the 1.8 turbo engine under the hood. Now the car makes a little bit of sense. Again.

Ok, we totally understand the need of downsizing, in most cases I agree with this. But this need also has its limits – and Volkswagen finally understood this – the 1.8 TSI is back on tracks, with a total out put of 192 HP and 320 Nm, compared to the old motorization – 1.4 TSI + compressor. Well, in fact, that engine has been replaced on many other VW models also, so there is no wonder the little GTi received back his 1.8 TSI motor-heart.

As for the design part, the new Polo receives a redesigned front bumper and the LED headlights are also continuing the GTI typical red line we can see on the grille, while the interior we greet the well-known ecosse upholstery and nothing else new (for the moment).

The new Polo GTi will be launched in two weeks, during Paris Auto Show. Stay tuned!

[VIDEO] How to put a Mustang on the top of Empire State Building (again)

Simple… you take the Mustang, you disassemble it, put it in the elevator and then re-assemble it on the top of the building. Don’t believe me? Watch this link below.

But this is not new – the company did the same thing 50 years ago (well, 49 years ago, more precisely – in October 1965 – with the initial launch of the product – see below.

empire_state_building6

[EN][PHOTO] The new Civic Type-R, exposed

Just a few hours left until the official launch of the new Civic Type-R Concept, as they call it – but we mostly know that this one will be also the one that will hit the showrooms – ladies and gents, the new R baby from Honda is almost here.

She is described by the design team as a ‘racing car for the road’ rather than a high performance version of a road car – she is not coming with the most extreme CV or not even she’s not set to break all the records on the hot-hatches market (probably just the sales record, which is indeed a good thing).  But she’s bringing something new on the market, and this time I am not talking just about design.

“Type R represents Honda’s racing spirit. It is built with a passion for motorsport.”

Masaru Hasegawa – Chief Stylist, Civic Type R

This appearance at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show is something big for the Japanese constructor, indeed – not only the new Civic Type-R will be released, but also the new Castrol Civic will be revealed, version that will take its well deserved place in the WTCC competition. 

1924619_603931456356973_563099480_n 1920314_603931499690302_1029085536_n

As we already know it, the Type-R will be the first Honda that will feature one of  the newest VTEC turbo-charged engines developed by the Japanese constructor, with a total output declared around 280 HP.  So goodbye aspirated VTEC, welcome into the new era, which is not that new for Honda, if we take a far look behind…

Although turbo engines have not been seen in Honda’s production lines in Europe for some time, this is not something new for the Nippon company – Honda’s first turbo engine was seen in 1988 – the RA168E used in Formula One, which brought new heights for the Japanese constructor the most race victories (15 out of 16), the most Constructors points (199) and the most one-two finishes (10). 

But the turbo-mania doesn’t stop here, because Honda featured the setup – or something similar – for some of the cars they sold outside the European market  – the 1988 Honda Legend was equipped with a 2.0-litre 24-valve V6 engine with a variable “Wing Turbo” that could regulate exhaust stream and efficiently utilize charging pressure, followed by some Acura RDX versions, that were using combined Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) with Variable Timing Control (VTC).  Also, the Japanese market had for many years the City Turbo version, which returned in 2012 under the name of N-One Turbo – 660 cmc DOHC, with a total output of 65 HP.

There are thousands of words that can be written here, stories about history and tales of the heritage behind – but one thing is for sure – Honda is bringing that quelque chose that was missing here, and I am more than anxious – in a good way – to see it in person.

 

[EN] Porsche’s rear horsepower technology, explained..

The newest advertising campaign launched by the Stuttgart company for celebrating the 911 brings us a little bit of fun and imagination, but not only – explains to all technical and non-technical-savvy 911 lovers out there what is the secret behind…

The Ad was not launched to celebrate anything new into their products, nor to say happy birthday to anyone… No, they just needed to remind us that the 911 has the engine placed behind the real axle – not like the other Porsche models that are either mid-engined or front.

The 911 has its personal story, that started when Ferdinand Porsche thought that if he will place the engine in the rear of the axels – behind the wheels to be more specific – he will put more heaviness on the back of the car, creating like that more grip on the wheels of the car.  This aspect remained the same since 1963, when the first 911 was launched – more than 51 years ago.

The actual Porsche 911 advertising campaign that was launched by Fred & Farid has the meaning to explain exactly this phrase : REAR HORSEPOWER – see the horse behind the carriage? Oh well… It’s clear now!

[EN] Geneva 2014: Honda is preparing the toys

Just a few weeks until Honda will lift its veil from the European version of the newest Civic Type-R during the 2014 Geneva Motorshow, but that’s not the only exponent – the FCEV concept will be revealed in Europe for the first time, the NSX as well (we are getting used to see it on display so far) but also the autopsy of the new 2014 WTCC Civic.

About the newest Civic Type-R we already talked and saw some pictures with the Concept in action – not spy shots, but not official either. The version presented was a hothatch in 5-doors setup, I am very curious to see if the official launchig product will feature a 3-doors version also.

07

Regarding the FCEV Concept, this one will be presented in Europe for the first time – it’s an appeal to the newest technology developed by Honda, well, in this case we are talking more about the potential styling direction of the next-generation hybrid / full electric cars developed by the  Nippon constructor. The FCEV will be officially launched on the US and Japanese market starting with 2015.

About the NSX, there is nothing new to say – another Autoshow where they are going to display the car – nothing new to add since last year though.

But “la piece de resistance” in this case is – from my point of view – the WTCC Civic. – Honda has already created an important name in the Manufacturers’ Championship of the 2013 WTCC edition, so they will present the updated version of the 2014 Civic car.

Additionally, Honda will showcase the long history in the F1 championships, starting with 1964’s car – RA271, that debuted on the Nurburgring and the also well-known record-breaking turbo-charged RA168E engine which dominated the 1988 season.

download (8)

[EN][VIDEO] The Baby beast: all-quattro Audi S1

It was just a matter of time until Audi launched the Sport version for it’s little baby – A1, so ladies and gents, I present to you the newest baby-beast: the S1.

This new hothatch comes in two version, like the normal A1 does also – Coupe and Sportback, and his technical sheet reveals 231 HP from the 2.0 TFSi engine, offering a round torque of 370 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h. Well, indeed, not extraordinary in numbers, but we are kind of already used with the performances of the classical 2.0 TFSi from VAG.  Ok, nothing so spectacular here, until I found this:  S1 is the first quattro drive in the small compact segment, so things are getting suddenly interesting.

It’s not new to see the Audi S1 as something interesting – some of you all ready know the reputation S1 garnered in the late ’80s while racing the  World Rally Championships, even though we are talking about a completely different car today. But as nothing is really impossible, I am very curious to see how some numbers and results will look for the new Audi S1 Racing Cars in the WRC competitions. 

Price range? Well, as used with the Audi models –  €29,950 and €30,800 respectively for the Germany market.

[EN] Polestar(ed): 650 HP in V8 for the new Volvo supercars

I don’t know about you guys, but whenever I hear the word “Polestar” I think about those angry and smurfs-look-like little street monsters. But if until now we had to deal with normal engines, maybe with just a sip of tune in it, well… This time, Polestar has done it: 650 HP from the 5.0 V8 engine. Well, big engine, big number.

This engine will be featured on the newest racing supercars signed by the tuner, mostly sold on the Australian market. But what’s so special about it it’s the sound, some kind of unique tone and voice. If you don’t believe it, hit the video below – and wait until the engine will hit 7500 rpm. You’ll see that it will worth your time.

[EN][VIDEO] Nissan GT-R, or how the legend was born

You all know it – that one-of-a-kind supercar, that can be easily recognized not only by its looks, but by the sound also. Nissan’s most beloved children – the GT-R – is thought to be today’s Godzilla of the supercars.

Sharp but tough look, raw power and pure energy, this legendary car has also some kind of history behind it.

Get yourself comfortable and prepare for a little piece of history about one of the most beloved cars out there. You will enjoy it!

[EN] SUPRAdose, signed by Toyota – of simply FT-1 for the moment

At last, it seems that Toyota is resurrecting the legends, and I dearly hope and pray that it won’t make a mess out of it – so here we have – the FT-1 aka the future SUPRA.

One of my childhood madness and most beloved products signed by the Nippon automaker, this “how-it-should-look-like” concept was revealed today, during Detroit NAIAS AutoShow.

FT-1’s futuristic design is signed by Calty Design Research – who’s also guilty for Toyota Celica’s design and… that’s about it in the sport class – they are also responsible for RAV4, Prius, but that’s not something relevant in our case, for the moment. Also the fact that the company is entirely American, it lifts a little bit from the mirage of this Japanese car… Oh well, let’s see where it leads, in the end, because let’s not forget that we are still talking about a concept car, not at all about a final product of what the new Supra should look like.

I don’t want to go deep into the details – there aren’t very much to explain about this large coupe nor any detailed technical sheets  – its aggressive image and sassy interior are leaving us the impression that this time is going to be something that’s going to matter on the automotive scene. We will see.

And as a short p.s. – FT-1 means ” « Future Toyota n°1″.