As Tesla Fanatics tout battery electric, the Auto Industry embraces hybrid electrification

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Honda Clarity Fuel Cell captures market interest in 2017.

 

Comming off of the first week in January, the 2017 automotive market sales report is dropped on my virtual desk. No surprise found here: The majority of cars and light trucks sold in yet another bullish auto market remain gasoline-fueled, internal combustion engine powered. Yet 2017 marked a turning point in auto-industry wide promotion and integration of electrification, most of it hybrid.

Stamp your feet and cry as you will Tesla fans, battery electric will not go mainstream anytime soon. There’s a reason or two for that, the least being public acceptance. Less than 2% of new cars and trucks sold in North America for the model year 2017 were electrified — the majority, by far, was mild gasoline/electric hybrid powered.

Here’s how Honda, Hyundai, Volvo and other makers look at the future of Auto-electrification. Acura Division takes hybrid electrification mainstream with MDX.

Last November, Honda’s chairman reiterated the Japanese automakers intent to electrify no less than 70% of worldwide auto production by the model year 2030. I’d previously experienced all three variants of Honda Clarity. The first being the 3rd generation Honda Clarity FCV, ( fuel cell vehicle) followed by a dealership loaned 2018 Clarity BEV. ( battery electric)

And finally, the car that Honda’s Steve Centers tells me will be the best seller in the Clarity platform, the 2018 Clarity PHEV. ( plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)

Center’s logic follows market trends driven by product availability and the public’s ongoing concern with reliance on a still-expanding public charging infrastructure, and between charge cycle range anxiety. Although Clarity PHEV does present an extended real-world electric-only drive range of 40+ miles, one can drive indefinitely on the gasoline-fueled Atkins cycle 4-cylinder engine co-generator.

The up trim Clarity 5-door premium sedan comes to market at a price slightly higher than a well-equipped Honda Accord. Such is the case with Hyundai Ionic, Chevrolet Volt, and other electrified vehicles. The majority of auto buyers fear the implications of public-grid or home charged vehicle — they don’t wish to bother. 

Yes, Honda’s best selling compact car goes electric for 2019

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Shades of Civic Hybrid

As reported last week on Torque News: Honda Insight is reborn for 2019 in its 3rd generation as an up trim Honda Civic 5-passenger sedan; or is it a hatchback? Honda’s not saying prior to the media reveal of Honda Insight in Detroit on January 15. look for coverage of N.A.I.A.S. ( North American International Auto Show.

 

10th Gen Honda Civic redefines compact car segment

 

With unprecedented accolades coming from the automotive press and consumers alike, the reinvented Honda Civic lineup is on course for a record sales year — not an insignificant accomplishment in a rather good field of domestic and import car contenders. In effect, the 10th generation Honda Civic redefines the compact car segment. and, what buyers anticipates as to performance, standard features and comfort, in what was at one time the bare bones introduction to car ownership.

At this point I’ve driven the entire Honda lineup with the exception of the Civic Si variant and the legendary Civic Type-R — that will most likely happen for me sometime in early 2017. In the meantime, read my latest initial drive and ride experience behind the wheel of what I consider to be Honda’s most refined Civic to date.

Honda’s reinvented 10th generation Civic world car 

With very few bumps encountered along the road to segment supremacy, American Honda Motor Company is on track to a record sales year for 2016. While Accord and the reinvented Civic continue to dominate the non-fleet midsize and compact sedan. 

CR-V crossover and the surprisingly well selling subcompact HR-V 5-door hatchback drives Honda’s light truck segment sales, with Honda Pilot and the reinvented 2nd generation Ridgeline pickup exceeding projected sales targets for the big “H.”

Monday morning found yet another accolade placed in the 3rd row of this vehicle. Congratulations Honda!

2016 Civic Type-R hype continues in U.S.

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Paris Motor Show 2014

Parks McCants G+ 2016

Although Honda has successfully introduced the first turbocharged Civic sedan in the history of the icon to North American buyers, 2017 Civic Type-R hype continues in North America.

The short story: On the engine performance side of things, Civic metric gear-heads want more!

My most read article for 2015 reported on a car that will never be marketed in the U.S., the 2015, 2016 Honda Civic Type-R.

With a stated 300 + horsepower engine, close throw manual 6-speed transmission, limited slip FWD differential, Brembo-like brakes, 18 inch cookie cutters, superior independent, reactive dampened suspension and more, Civic enthusiasts look to this 4th generation Civic Type-R to take on Ford Escort RS and Subaru WRZ, without the advantage of all -wheel-drive.

No worries, I’ve caught Civic Type-R in action on the track. it may have an advantage or two over AWD in dry driving conditions, I’ll leave that up to Honda engineering.

Last month we discussed the collectible status of arguably Honda’s rarest car-offering in better than a decade. If the paltry 750 car offering of Japan’s initial Civic Type-R release is any indication of North America availability, Civic Type-R will be a much coveted collector’s car on the day of its predicted release sometime in 2017.

With a rumored estimated MSRP of $39,999 U.S., ( I believe this to be too low.) Honda won’t have any difficulty selling out the initial “made in England” run of Civic Type-R in Canada and the U.S.. Check out my latest Civic Type-R article here

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Honda introduces the 2016 Civic Type-R in Geneva.

looking to the European specified 2016 Civic Type-R will give enthusiasts a hint as to what to anticipate in North American specified Civic Type-R’s future.

In the mean time, fans can anticipate the arrival of 2016 Civic Touring Coupe at a show room near you in March 2016. The 170 horsepower 1.5 liter turbocharged VTEC is a step above the competition as to horsepower, fuel economy and refinement. With a MSRP of under $25,000 U.S., it may well be worth your consideration.

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9th generation Civic Si Vs 10th generation Civic Touring.

 

Read about the all new 10th generation Civic here

Today on Honda-Torque News

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Winterize your Honda Civic

In Honda Torque News today: With winter 2016 weather conditions coming on hard, a reader or two has come forward with a question as to “winterizing” their older Honda Civic. While Civics do take intermittent service cycles in stride, winter weather can take its toll on Civic and driver if not prepared for the seasonally inclement weather; specifically driving on icy, snow covered roads, frozen windshield washer fluid plastic wells and sometimes bursting plastic lines, Ts and clamps.

Living in the Pacific Northwest residents of Eugene and Portland Oregon rarely deal with the harsh winter weather conditions of eastern and northeastern North America.

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Honda all-wheel-drive takes most driving conditions in stride

But ice and snow does inundate the region on a yearly basis. I have a few tips for increasing your road visibility during cold, and sometimes foggy driving conditions.

And then there’s that ever present tire issue. We have a suggestion or two for Civic owners on a limited budget, including affordable All-Weather tires.  Check my Honda-Torque News article and drive safely this Winter.