Soichiro Honda is, for me at least, one of those very stubborn and strong-willed individuals that ever walked the face of the earth. He was a visionary, who had a dream, a one-of-a-kind kind of dream, and he didn’t rest a second until that image in his head transformed into reality! His journey was not at all easy – he faced failure, disappointment and had to rise again and start over. But in the end, it was worthy, because today we can truly understand the famous statement – “The Power of Dreams”.
1. “It wasn’t necessary to be born a nobleman or rich to succeed in life.” – Soichiro Honda
2. “I just wouldn’t give in, no way.” – Soichiro Honda
3. “I think best when I have a wrench in my hands.” – Soichiro Honda
4. “If you make a superior product, people will buy it.” – Soichiro Honda
5. “Profound belief in something allows every individual to find an immense inner force, and to overcome his or her failings.” – Soichiro Honda
6. “(Studying at university and running a business at the same time) I was like a hungry man who had to listen to long explanations of dietary laws and their effects instead of being given something to eat.” – Soichiro Honda
7. “You don’t measure a man’s greatness by his physical size, but by his acts, by the impact he makes on human history.” – Soichiro Honda
8. “I would have to put in the necessary time, but nothing could stop me from succeeding.” – Soichiro Honda
9. “I forced myself to be enthusiastic.” – Soichiro Honda
10. “I enjoy working, and it isn’t because I’m president that I would deprive myself of that pleasure!” – Soichiro Honda
Efﬁciency is the art of exploiting time so that you can enjoy your private life. – Soichiro Honda
11. “Real happiness lies in the completion of work using your own brains and skills.” – Soichiro Honda
12. “There are… qualities which… lead to success. Courage, perseverance, the ability to dream and to persevere.” – Soichiro Honda
13. “I let no one disturb my concentration… Even hunger could not disturb me.” – Soichiro Honda
14. “A diploma is by no means a sure ticket to life.” – Soichiro Honda
15. “I don’t give a damn for the diploma. What I want is the knowledge.” – Soichiro Honda
16. “When you fail, you also learn how not to fail.” – Soichiro Honda
17. “[On Napoleon] I imagined him to have a physique as imposing and strong as his reputation merited. When I discovered from reading history books that he was a small man, I was not at all disillusioned. I’m not very big myself, and it was obvious that you don’t measure a man’s greatness by his physical size, but by his acts, by the impact he makes on human history. I also learned that Napoleon was of humble origin, that probably his family was very poor. So it wasn’t necessary to be born a nobleman or rich to succeed in life. There are other qualities which also lead to success. Courage, perseverance, the ability to dream and to persevere.” – Soichiro Honda
18. “I will become the Napoleon of mechanics!” – Soichiro Honda
19. “I too, one day, would be like Napoleon, small and famous.” – Soichiro Honda
20. “Racing improves the breed.” – Soichiro Honda
21. “A lot of my friends top me I’d be better off staying in my garage, growing little by little, letting my business prosper in this way rather than undertaking risky adventures. I had invested all my savings into this operation. I felt responsible to those with whom I’d gotten involved, and I said to myself that by closing my garage at the age of 30, I had perhaps missed my chance and sunk my own ship.” – Soichiro Honda
22. “When I take stock of life, I realize how important the personal contact is, how much more they are worth than the invention of machines, because [people] allow us to expand our view of things, and open up thousands of experiences which we would otherwise be unable to understand.” – Soichiro Honda
23. “I don’t regret the thousands of times I came home empty-handed, having lost all my ammunition and bait. When the days get as gloomy as that, then you know you will soon find the treasure…” – Soichiro Honda
24.“Hope, makes you forget all the difficult hours.” – Soichiro Honda
25. “In the lab, 99 percent of the people are working on lost causes. The modest percentage of success, nevertheless, serves to compensate for all the rest of the effort.” – Soichiro Honda
26. “The laboratory of a factory is the best place to learn about failure!” – Soichiro Honda
27. “Success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents 1 percent of your work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure. Many people dream of success. To me success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection. In fact, success represents 1 percent of your work which results only from the 99 percent that is called failure.
Success can be achieved only through repeated failure and introspection.” – Soichiro Honda
28. “A company is most clearly defined not by its people or its history, but by it’s products.” – Soichiro Honda
29. I’d sooner die than imitate other people… That’s why we had to work so hard! Because we didn’t imitate.” – Soichiro Honda
30. “Success is 99% failure.” – Soichiro Honda
31. “If you hire only people you understand, the company will never get people better than you are. Always remember that you often find outstanding people among those you don’t particularly like.” – Soichiro Honda
32. “You direct a garage or a business like you drive a bus. It does its round, stopping to pick people up, but it can’t make a long distance trip. Of course, you can be happy driving the same route all your life. But I wanted to drive bigger and faster buses, and see other places.” – Soichiro Honda
33. “If I’d had to manage my company myself, I would have very quickly gone bankrupt.” – Soichiro Honda
34. “Why should a man… spend his days seated behind a desk, twiddling his thumbs to pass the time?” – Soichiro Honda
35. “I got myself completely absorbed in my job as apprentice inventor. I let no one disturb my concentration, not even my friends with whom I enjoyed spending time and doing a thousand things. ‘Time for supper!’ My mother had to force me to come to the table since my mind was elsewhere, my ears blocked. ‘I’m coming!’ I would answer politely and then get back to work. So she ended up respecting my work and letting me finish what I had to do. Even hunger could not disturb me.” – Soichiro Honda
36. “The moment had come to start working on realizing another dream. Trying to win Formula 1 was for many trying to accomplish the impossible. But my decision was made, once and for all. I would have to put in the necessary time, but nothing could stop me from succeeding.” – Soichiro Honda
37. “I finally became an independent man, a real man, master of his legs, head, destiny, of his timetable and the risks he knew he should take.” – Soichiro Honda
38. “A diploma is less useful than a ticket to a movie.” – Soichiro Honda
39. “My biggest thrill is when I plan something and it fails. My mind is then filled with ideas on how I can improve it.” – Soichiro Honda
40. “There is a Japanese proverb that literally goes ‘Raise the sail with your stronger hand’, meaning you must go after the opportunities that arise in life that you are best equipped to do.” – Soichiro Honda
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 rumor 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.
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 info are rumors, 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.
Nu exista loc pe acest pământ mai cu patoș pentru mine decât este Japonia. Twin Ring Motegi, mai cu seamă, celebrul circuit din inima ținutului Honda. Un loc cu totul si cu totul deosebit, destinat acestui imperiu, ale cărui baze au fost puse de celebrul Soichiro Honda, în urmă cu aproape 50 de ani (48 mai exact – 1947).
La Motegi regăsim atât circuitul Twin Ring, destul de cunoscut de puritanii mărcii si nu numai, circuitul fiind folosit si pentru etape precum cele din cadrul Campionatului Mondial de Turisme WTCC, eveniment ce nu este destinat doar iubitorilor mărcii nipone, cât și altor pasionați de patru roți, dar și celebrul muzeu Honda Collection Hall – piesa de rezistenta as zice – despre care vom vorbi noi astăzi , muzeu ce adăposteste nu mai bine de 300 de exemplare Honda – de la celebrele monoposturi ale anilor 60 – RA272 dar și celebrele S500 sau motocicletele de seama – RC143.
Articolul de astăzi face parte din seria realizată în colaborare cuOkutan102 și Romain Farrands, iar datoria mea este de a împărtăși cu voi istoria unui brand nu doar de seamă, dar și de tradiție în această lume a motorsportului.
Primul lucru pe care îl poți repera când pășești pe ușile acestui muzeu este senzația foarte puternică de univers paralel, un loc în care totul pare oprit în timp, exponatele privindu-te de parcă abia au ieșit de pe porțile fabricii și așteaptă să cucerească lumea întreagă. Nicicum n-ai impresia că te aflii într-un muzeu sau că mașinile de aici au fost deja scoase din producție sau se află deja la a enșpea generație. Nu. Ai impresia ca totul se petrece azi.
Aș sta să le enumăr, dar n-are rost. Un amalgam de modele, din ce în ce mai evoluate tehnologic, practic o moștenire ce merită să fie cel puțin la fel de cunoscută și celebră precum este numele Honda. Honda Collection Hall plătește un tribut erei de glorie trăită de constructorul nipon, atât în lumea motocicletelor, de unde a pornit totul, cât și în cea a automobilelor sau a motorsportului, toate exponatele fiind păstrate parcă într-o capsulă, o mașină a timpului.
Totuși, despre Honda trebuie să întelegeți ceva – într-o lume în care automobilele s-au fabricat în ideea consumului general, iar producătorii au creat modele după standardele consumatorului de rând, Soichiro Honda a fost – încă de la începuturi – concentrat pe competiție, poate mai mult decât alți producători ai momentului.
Cu toate astea, constructorul nipon s-a lovit mult timp de barierele tehnologiei – în anii 50, compania sa era cu mult depășită tehnologic de standardele occidentale. Într-o lume în care competiția era crucială, pentru a combate aceste lipsuri tehnologice, Soichiro Honda decide participarea în cadrul competiției moto World Championship Tourist Trophy Isle of Man, reușind titlul de Campion Mondial în toate categoriile aproape – 50, 125, 250, 300 și 500 cmc.
Honda Collection Hall reprezintă practic o hartă ce însumează reușitele Honda, cu motocicletele caracteristice epocii de aur dar și automobilele ce semnează acei ani – de la legendarul cabriolet S500, despre care am povestit aici, coupe-ul S800 special conceput pentru competiție, celebrul Civic SI, cât și faimosul NSX GT2 al echipei Kunimitsu – toate acestea sunt dovada vie a implicării Honda în ramura motorsport, întrucât NSX-ul a câștigat competiția LeMans în 1995, la volanul căruia se afla nimeni altcineva decât Keiichi Tsuchiya.
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.
Well hidden but not forgotten, this old footage of the RA270 Prototype was discovered in a warehouse from Saitama Prefecture, Japan – this is known as the only footage of the prototyped vehicle.
The RA270 is presented while tested on the Suzuka circuit, while the video is supposed to be dated around 18 February of that year.
But the lovely part of this video is not the RA, nor than the fact that the prototype is tested by Yoshio Nakamura – later to be the first manager of Honda’s Formula 1 racing and soon after executive of the company, while Soichiro Honda can be observed in a corner, watching closely the reaction of this machinery. No, the greatest thing is that this video represents a great moment in the history of the brand – this was the time when a line of legends was born. I mean when the RA was born.
How was, in fact, the RA born? Well, Honda wasn’t actually planning in entering the Formula 1 directly, as the RA270 prototype was originally a project meant to be sold to the British Team Lotus. The engines, nothing more. But at one point, the deal fell and Soichiro decided to have the RA270 transformed into reality and to put his foot into this world – the world of racing machines.
“Whether that horsepower could be achieved was not the question. He just told us we must produce this much power in order to win. For example, the code name for the engine, RA270, was assigned by Mr. Honda, who probably wanted to remind us that the engine had to produce 270 horsepower.”
When Soichiro Honda was asked by Yoshiro Nakamura whether he wanted to enter the F1 circuit, he is said to have replied, “I don’t know if we can do it or not, but I sure as hell want to try!”
But about the beautiful history of the Honda’s racing pedigree in another article.
P.s. seems that the videotape was well hidden so that not even the Honda Co. personnel knew about it. The footage was discovered almost a month ago, and officially released by Honda.
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 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 turbocharged 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.
Honda sets new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ title for fuel efficiency, averaging 2.82 liters per 100km (100.31mpg) in 13,498km (8,387 miles) 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 liters 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 traveled 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 liters 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 liters 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 drove, 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, tires 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.”
They R here! First Civic Type R models roll off the line at Honda’s European manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK
Today hundreds of production staff and management from Honda’s European car manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK, joined invited guests to celebrate the first production models of the hotly-anticipated Civic Type R rolling off the line.
Breaking cover at Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) to a high-energy fanfare of lights and music, the first three models arrived in patriotic red, white and blue respectively as they left the line heading to Honda dealerships across Europe.
Addressing those gathered for the event, Soichiro Takizawa, Managing Director at HUM, took the opportunity to thank the staff for their continued commitment and hard work, expressing the shared pride felt by all at HUM in seeing the all-new British-built Civic Type R in the metal.
The ceremony topped a very positive few months for HUM, following an announcement in March confirming that it will become the global production hub for Honda’s flagship Civic five-door model, extending its reach beyond European shores. Reflecting this achievement in his address to those attending, Mr. Takizawa spoke of renewed optimism for the plant – regarding it as a major milestone and testament to the knowledge and experience of staff who have been building Civics at the plant for more than twenty years.
Mr. Takizawa commented: “The new Civic Type R is an imperative model for Honda, representing our racing spirit and demonstrating our commitment to innovation and passion. We are extremely proud to be the only manufacturer of the Civic Type R in the world. Our high standards have earned us this privilege and this is testament to the continued commitment of our Associates.”
Billed as a ‘Race car for the road’, the new Honda Civic Type R is the most extreme and high-performing model to ever wear the acclaimed ‘Red H’ badge. With a high-revving all-new two-liter VTEC TURBO engine, advanced new suspension systems, stand-out function-led styling, and a new +R track mode it is set to bring new standards to Europe’s high-performance front-wheel-drive hatchback segment. Peak power output is 306BHP, with the engine red-lining at 7,000rpm, delivering a class-leading top speed of 167mph.
The new Honda Civic Type R will be built exclusively for Europe at HUM. The announcement made in March that HUM will become the global production hub for the Civic five-door model will see a further investment of £200million for the plant, bringing the total investment to £2.2billion since 1985, and confirming Honda’s long-term commitment to manufacturing in the UK and Europe.
In advance of the market launch of the highly anticipated next-generation NSX, the engineers leading the supercar’s development shared new technical details and design strategies with the automotive engineering community at the SAE 2015 World Congress and Exhibition. Additional information about the team’s efforts to achieve a true “New Sports Experience” included details of the NSX’s world’s first body construction process that helped create a multi-material space frame resulting in class-leading body rigidity, the advanced total airflow management system and an update on NSX’s power unit specifications.
Ted Klaus, chief engineer and global development leader of the new NSX, introduced key powertrain, body and dynamic performance engineers who shared new product and technical details in their related areas of the development. The unprecedented sharing of technical details prior to the car’s market introduction reflects the desire of the NSX development team and the company to inspire the imagination of automotive and technology enthusiasts along with the next generation of engineers.
“Our goal is to create something altogether new and exciting, something that advances the concept of a next-generation supercar in the spirit of the original NSX,” said Klaus. “In order to provide NSX-level value, we needed to push ourselves to experiment with, refine and then realize many new technologies.”
Significant technical revelations concerning the NSX included:
The NSX includes Acura’s first use of a revolutionary multi-material space frame design that delivers class-leading body rigidity while remaining lightweight.
World’s first automotive application of new ablation casting1 technology resulting in world-class body rigidity for ultimate handling and control.
World’s first use of a three-dimensionally formed, ultra-high-strength steel A-pillar, supporting class-leading rigidity and crash performance while providing outstanding outward visibility.
The NSX achieves top-in-class aerodynamics targets without the use of active aerodynamic elements, while its three-motor Sports Hybrid power unit is cooled through 10 heat exchangers all thanks to a total airflow management strategy that maximizes the flow of air around and through the NSX.
Displacement of the NSX’s all-new twin turbo V-6 engine was confirmed to be 3.5 liters.
The NSX will mark the introduction of the most capable and highest torque capacity Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system in Acura’s history.
The latest proprietary logic advances Acura’s two-decades-long pursuit of Super Handling that proactively responds to driver inputs, allowing the NSX to achieve a new level of line trace while at the same time intelligently supporting the driver in changing environments.
Ma gandesc la S2000 ca fiind unul din cele mai cunoscute modele Honda din lume, poate dupa NSX. Nu doar cunoscut, cat si una din cele mai ravnite creatii semnate Honda. Totusi, roadsterul are ceva istorie in spate, cat si o linie destul de puternica de precedesori ce merita amintita – iar puritanii marcii stiu bine despre ce vorbesc: S500, S600 si S800. Desi apartenenta S2000-ului la linie este un subiect foarte discutat de catre iubitorii marcii, n-avem cum sa il renegam – asa ca aducem in fata istoria unei linii – linia S.
La finele anilor ’50, unul din cei mai cunoscuti constructori de motociclete japonez decide sa se lanseze in productia de automobile, o miscare ce nu ramane fara ecou – Ministerul Japonez al Comertului si al Industriei promoveaza aceasta actiune lansata de Soichiro Honda, incurajand astfel pentru constructia unui vehicul destinat cetateanului de rand, avand un pret sub 150,000 yeni. Se naste astfel o citadina berlina in patru locuri, insa Soichiro isi doreste mai mult – anul 1958 vine cu o miscare brusca din partea lui Honda – isi doreste prea mult un model sport, incropind astfel prototipul XA190. Dupa alti trei ani de munca asidua si de perfectionare alaturi de Yoshio Nakamura, prototipul ia forma unui cabriolet, fiind prezentat oficial in Iunie 1962, in cadrul celei de-a 11-a conventii Honda, sub numele de S360. Roadsterul isi face astfel intrarea timid pe pista de la Suzuka, la volanul lui aflandu-se in acea clipa chiar Soichiro Honda, in stanga caruia se afla mana lui dreapta – Yoshio Nakamura – seful proiectului micului roadster. S360 reprezinta pentru Honda un nou inceput, un proiect curajos pe o piata destul de restrictiva, insa Soichiro a facut ce a facut el in general – a riscat. Iar rezultatul muncii sale il stim cu totii. S360 purta sub haine un motor DOHC alimentat de patru carburatoare, generand un numar de circa 33 CP la circa 9,000 rpm, un numar de rotatii incredibil pentru acele timpuri, alt factor curios pentru acei ani fiind acela ca masura o greutate totala de numai 510 kg.
Prezentat la Tokyo in Octombrie 1962, alaturi de S500 si T360, micul roadster S360 nu apuca sa vada insa linia de productie, in cele din urma niponii renuntand la model in favoarea urmatorului descendent in linie – S500. Ei, despre S500 se pot zice multe-multe – este probabil un alt model bine-cunoscut Honda cat si destul de iubit chiar si in ziua de astazi; aflat in productie o perioada destul de scurta de timp – intre 1963 si 1964, S500 este primul model roadster ce a vazut lumina zilei si cea a showroom-urilor Honda, fiind totusi un model destul de rar intalnit in zilele noastre – doar 1400 de bucati iesind pe poarta fabricii. Desi optic vorbind, diferentele sunt destul de mici intre cele doua modele – S360 si S500, cea din urma este caracterizata de o imagine si o prestanta mai sport decat precedenta. Masurand circa 3,3 m lungime si 1,2 m inaltime, S500 era vizibil mult mai mare decat primul roadster al niponilor, insa motorul instalat – AS280E (o versiune updatata a lui AS250E montat pe S360), 531 cmc, construit fiind complet din aluminiu – genera circa 44 CP la 8,000 rpm, cu 11 CP mai mult decat pe varianta precedenta, motorul fiind tot DOHC, dar avand constructie diferita si un singur carburator – orizontal Keihin de tip CVB. Datorita motorului usor dar destul de puternic pentru perioada respectiva, S500 devine unul din cele mai ravnite roadster-uri de pe piata in acel moment. Micul S500 isi inscrie astfel in CV date importante, precum o viteza maxima de circa 130 km/h cat si tractiune spate – da, acest “mic” amanunt a fost pastrat si respectat pana in zilele noastre, devenind o caracteristica speciala a liniei S. Juniorul S500 a fost comercializat pana in Septembrie 1967, intr-un numar de 1353 de bucati – insa cel mai important amanunt este acela ca S500 a fost produs exclusiv RHD (right hand drive), pentru piata Japoniei, singurele doua modele ce aveau volanul amplasat pe partea stanga a autovehiculului au fost produse strict pentru showroom-urile de prezentare – autovehiculul nu a fost niciodata exportat. Repede-repede sau pentru a nu lasa un loc gol in lista sa, Honda inlocuieste rapid modelul cu cel deja dezvoltat inca din ’64 – S600. Zic dezvoltat deja pentru ca niponii deja il comercializau in acelasi timp cu micul S500, insa S600 a fost mai norocos se pare, roadsterul reusind sa doboare granitele, fiind expusa in cadrul Salonului de la Paris, bucurandu-se astfel nu numai de comercializare in Europa, cat si in Canada sau in Australia. Honda S600 devine astfel primul model Honda exportat, fapt ce ajuta la cresterea vertiginoasa a vanzarilor – fata de S500, ce a fost comercializat in circa 1400 de bucati, iata ca S600 mai adauga un zero in coada acelei cifre, vanzarile totale fiind de circa 13,084 bucati (bine, nu chiar un zero, insa destul de aproape, oricum). Pentru ca fiecare model Honda din acea perioada aducea cate o noutate sau o inovatie, iata ca nici S600 nu a dezamagit – motorul AS285 a fost marit pana la 606 cmc, generand astfel circa 57 CP/5,700 rpm – pe cand zona rosie a turometrului este ridicata la suma rotunda de 9,500 rpm. Astfel, cantarind numai 690 kg, micul S600 accelereaza de la 0 – 100 km/h intr-un numar de 18,7 secunde, atingand o viteza maxima de 145 km/h. Privite astazi, aceste cifre sunt mici, nimic nu pare impresionant, insa pentru anii ’60, in piata auto, Honda scria istorie cu aceste mici roadsters, insa nu numai. S600 este primul model Honda ce beneficiaza de doua tipuri de caroserie – roadster si coupe – cel din urma fiind introdus in anul 1965, crescand greutatea totala la 715 kg, cu 20 kg in plus fata de versiunea roadster. Productia acestuia ia sfarsit in anul 1966, fiind la fel de repede inlocuit de S800. S800 este mult mai masiv decat versiunea precedenta – cu circa 35mm mai lung si 20 kg mai greu, modelul este disponibil in aceeasi tipologie precum S600 – roadster cat si coupe. Si de aceasta data, schimbarile nu sunt masive la nivel de caroserie, insa ochiul fin al iubitorului marcii observa cu lejeritate grila cromata fata ce inglobeaza de acum logo-ul Honda, planseul de bord finisat intr-un negru mat, stopurile isi pierd forma rotunda ce existase pana acum pe modelele precedente, cele noi fiind acum alungite. Motorul – AS800E – este marit acum pana la 791 cmc fata de generatia precedenta, generand un numar de circa 70 CP / 8,000 rpm. Performantele micului S800 ridica stacheta Honda – de la 0 la 100 km/h in 13,7 secunde si distanta de la 0 – 400 m in 16,9 secunde, atingand astfel o viteza maxima de 160 km/h. In 1967, micul cabriolet este declarat cel mai rapid autoturism de productie in serie, cu motor sub 1 litru. Nu este de mirare ca masina devine astfel un hit, fiind exportata cu succes atat pe piata Europeana cat si pe cea Americana – de fapt, piata Americana este si de vina pentru schimbarile radicale de care a suferit – atat spatele si stopurile au fost restilizate pentru a raspunde la exigentele normelor de securitate rutiera de la vremea respectiva, semanlizarile laterale si-au facut repede loc in aripile fata, franarea de tip tambur de pe puntea fata a fost inlocuita cu discuri in echiparea de serie si lista continua. Pentru Europa, micul S800 a reprezentat un model ce oferea clientilor un raport foarte bun calitate – pret pentru vremea respectiva, ba mai mult de atat, Honda punea la bataie si o lista destul de lunga de dotari pentru micul European Mai bine de 11,000 de unitati au fost vandute la nivel mondial – o diferenta ca de la cer la pamant intre primul nascut al liniei sport – S500 – ce s-a comercializat in doar 1500 de exemplare, si penultimul model – S800. Zic penultimul caci dupa el a urmat mult iubitul S2000. Si ultimul S din linie. Zic din linie, pentru ca apartenenta lui S2000 la aceasta este discutabila – puritanii marcii stiu bine despre ce vorbesc. Cred ca singurul amanunt impartit cu S-urile mai sus numite este ideea de cabriolet, soft-top si tractiune, caci vorbim de doua categorii diferite aici – S360, S500, S600 cat si S800 faceau parte din categoria specifica Japoniei – Kei car. Pe de alta parte, S2000 este un roadster in cea mai pura forma posibila. Intradevar, el este un nomenclator, avand unele detalii tehnice asemanatoare cu cele ale clasicelor dar, cand tragem linia de final, intre primele S-uri si S2000 diferenta este destul de evidenta, trecand peste asemanarile de ordin optic. S2000 – aici pot scrie multe, dar multe de tot. O masina cu totul diferita de tot ce construise Honda pana atunci – lansata in 1998, din dorinta de a imbunatati linia – japonezii tocmai “adormeau” productia targa-ului delSol, ramanand astfel un loc liber in lista de modele, ce se cerea “umplut”. Ba mai mult de atat, Honda avea nevoie de acel model sport, accesibil publicului de rand, Bine, nu a rasarit peste noapte – in 1995, Honda lansa la Tokyo un prototip numit SSM ( Sports Study Model), prima aparitie a modelului final avand loc in Aprilie 1999, la Geneva, cu ocazia aniversarii a 50 de ani de existenta Honda, unde roadsterul a castigat prompt premiul “The Cabrio of the Year 1999“. Cum? E destul de simplu – atat proiectul SSM cat si S2000 au avut acel quelque-chose – aici dam vina pe chief designer-ul ei – Shigeru Uehara. Acum, facand o mica paranteaza – sa va spun ceva despre Shigeru – personajul nostru cheie: nu numai ca este vinovat de design-ul S2000-ului, dar si al intregului proiect NSX. Da, el este “savantul nebun” ce a reusit sa dea viata unei legende (pardon, doua legende) ce dainuie si in ziua de astazi. Ba mai mult de atat, Shigeru a fost sef de proiect si pentru Integra DC2, insa acolo contributia lui a fost mai redusa pe parte de design. Dar despre Integra, cu o alta ocazie.
Shigeru a reusit sa inglobeze prin design-ul a doua modele ceea ce multi au dat gres, de-a lungul timpului. Nu ma credeti? Priviti un NSX, astazi, la mai bine de 24 de ani de la lansare. Acelasi lucru este valabil si pentru S2000 – model ce inca intoarce capete dupa 15 ani de viata ai modelului.Revenind, de data asta la ultimul exemplar al liniei S – roadsterul S2000 a fost disponibil la vanzare timp de 10 ani – intre 1999 si 2009, beneficiand de doua versiuni – AP1, cea initiala, urmata apoi de facelift-ul AP2, in 2004. De amintit este totusi ca, in ciuda update-ului, schimbarile au fost subtile, mai mult de detaliu, roadsterul pastrandu-si identitatea pana la final. Dupa succesul inregistrat cu SSM in 1995, Honda revine cu versiunea finala in 1998, cu ocazia aniversarii celor 50 de ani de existenta Honda. In Aprilie 1999, succesorul liniei S este in sfarsit prezentat la nivel mondial, intr-o formula aproape finala – dimensiunile finale au fost revizuite pentru a pastra totusi atenticitatea liniei S, incat aceasta sa corespunda modelelor precedente, nascute in anii ’60. Singurul aspect unde nu s-a putut modifica foarte mult a fost totusi lungimea – S2000 depasea astfel 4 m. Sasiul roadsterului a necesitat multa munca si atentie din partea inginerilor – datorita structurii in X, S2000 nu este doar foarte rigid, cat si mult mai rezistent in cazul unei coliziuni, amanunt ce atarna destul de greu, mai ales in anii ’90, cand SSM isi scotea nasul in societate. Mai mult de atat, sasiul a fost dezvoltat special pentru a atinge acelasi nivel de rigiditate al unei masini compacte – tunelul frontal are aceeasi inaltime precum rama sasiului stanga cat si cea dreapta – “trident structure” – a, greutatea fiind dispersata pe praguri, tunel si structura podelei Revenind la S2000, pentru a asigura o repartizare ideala a maselor, motorul a fost atent studiat pentru a corespunde ingineriilor din spatele proiectului – amplasat longitudinal pe pozitie central-fata, sub capota din aluminiu, acesta corespunde mult filozofiei Honda – mic, dar eficient. Luandu-si numele de cod F20C, motorul masura circa 1,998 cmc DOHC, in 4 cilindrii, producand nu mai putin de 240 CP / 8300 rpm (varianta produsa pentru Europa, caci cea speciala pentru piata japoneza urca cu inca 7 CP, datorita compresiei crescute).Doua motorizari au fost disponibile in toata viata modelului – F20C si F22C1, total diferite de celelalte motoare din serie F detinute de Honda (regasite pe multe modele Accord din anii ’90). Ba mai mult de atat, F20C a castigat de nenumarate ori premiul “Best Engine”, fiind chiar si in ziua de astazi privit cu admiratie de catre puritanii marcii si nu numai. Totusi, acest fapt nu este de mirare, intrucat randamentul oferit de cei 125 CP / per litru este destul de remarcabil pentru un motor atmosferic de productie in masa, fiind numit oficial cel mai puternic motor aspirat al momentului. Insa nu reprezenta nimic nou pentru Honda – inginerii mai atinsesera deja Jackpotul cu micul CRX si al sau 1,6 DOHC 160 CP si Integra Type-R – 1,8 DOHC si 190 CP. Inimioara aceasta salbatica era legata la o cutie manuala in sase trepte de viteza, dotata cu un LSD Torsten. Toate acestea, plus greutatea redusa de doar 1,240 kg duc la un raport 0-100 km/h de doar 6,2 secunde. Iar pentru a pune punctul pe “i” mult mai apasat, in Iulie 2000, Honda lanseaza pe piata japoneza o versiune limitata VGS (Variable Gear ratio Steering – aka Servodirectie Asistata Variabila), noua tehnologie aparand in premiera mondiala pe un automobil de serie prin acest s2000 Type-V (versiune exclusiv Japonia), acest model reprezentand si una din putinele dovezi efective ale acestei noi tehnologii.
Comercializarea modelului ia start in Aprilie 2009, de-a lungul anilor avand parte de diferite versiuni speciale, imbunatatiri la nivel de suspensie si directie, structura caroseriei si diverse alte amanunte. In 2004 productia modelului se muta in fabrica de la Suzuka, S2000 beneficiaza de un facelift anul urmator, alaturi de o noua motorizare – F22C – 2156 cmc si 242 CP/7800 rpm. Odata cu motorizarea, s2000 se mai pricopseste si cu diferite tehnologii “vedeta” ale momentului, precum drive-by-wire – un mic aspect care a starnit controverse printre iubitorii modelului, pro si contra, urmat apoi in 2007 de sistemul VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist – Sistemul de Stabilitate al Vehiculului), sistem ce face parte din pachetul tehnologiilor dedicate sigurantei active, o caracteristica tot mai importanta pentru constructorii auto dedicata diminuarii riscului accidentelor. Cum Honda fusese primul producator auto nipon ce-si echipase automobilele sale de serie cu ABS (denumirea in primii ani fiind A.L.B.) si totodata primul constructor auto din lume ce dezvoltase un sistem de control al tractiunii pentru un automobil cu tractiune fata, urmatorul pe lista a fost – fireste – S2000 – micul roadster cu tractiune spate.
Tot in 2007, Honda lanseaza versiunea Type-S – suspensie mai rigida, kit aerodinamic special, sasiu rigidizat, ba chiar si greutatea redusa – circa 40 kg mai usoara decat versiunea de fabrica. Din pacate, versiunea Type-S ramane doar pe piata nipona, iar in 2007, in Statele Unite aparand o versiune asemanatoare Type-S – S2000 CR – impartind aproape toate calitatile sus-numitei, cat si un hardtop din aluminiu.
Piata Europeana ramane in schimb “ferita” de modele sport, primind doar variante speciale, care mai de care mai exclusive. Pana in 2009, data ultimei lansari oficiale, S2000 cunoaste si imbraca diferite versiuni, pentru Europa, SUA sau Japonia – cele pentru piata de export fiind mult mai bine echipate decat cele destinate pietii nipone, precum 40th Anniversary edition, in 2004, special lansata pentru a sarbatorii 40 de ani de existenta Honda pe piata frantuzeasca – versiune ce a beneficiat de un hardtop si tapiterie de piele de culoare bej, 2000 RJ – un omagiu adus pilotilor F1 Rubens Barrichello si Jenson Button, cat si ultima versiune S2000 lansata pe piata, in 2009 – Ultimate Edition – editie disponibila exclusiv in culoarea Grandprix White, jante gri-graphit cat si interior din piele rosie. Ah, si hardtop, sa nu uitam de hardtop.
A urmat o perioada de tacere. Lunga de cativa ani. Dar Honda ne-a promis ca linia S v-a reveni pe podium, alaturi de celelalte modele sportive ale companiei – Civic Type-R si NSX. Cele doua sunt deja vedete astazi, asa ca speram sa auzim ceva de bine si de linia S, cat de curand. Stati pe aproape.
Honda has started the countdown for their most waited sport little fella – the new Civic Type-R which will make its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show, on 3rd March.
Just a few weeks left until we will see the final version of the hot hatch, so to kindle the fire in us, the Japanese constructor launched this morning a set of photos with some of the design enhancements that will feature the little one.
The front bumper was reshaped to inhibit air turbulence around the front wheel, cutting drag and enhancing high-speed stability, and was completed by a wide splitter and deep side skirts, all with the purpose to manage airflow and reduce lift. Also, enlarged upper and lower grilles, vents above the wheels on the front quarter panels and trailing edges on the front wheels and some other details more were specially added to provide greater cooling and ventilation for the Turbo VTEC engine – that “little” 2.0 l Turbo VTEC 280 HP one.
New Brembo brake kit was specially designed for the Civic Type-R, four-piston calipers and 350 mm drilled discs, all these completing the image of the newly-designed 19″ alloy wheels.
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.
We’ve seen many pictures of the final form and we’ve heard numerous rumors regarding the new R member of the Honda Sports 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 a mildly updated version of the CTR presented in March during Geneva Motorshow.
Technical speaking, the specs are 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’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 – heightened 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.
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.