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2018 Civic Type-R is the quickest production front-wheel-drive high performance hatchback on the road today, how long does it take to build one? The short answer is 4-hours. But there’s a lot more to the process than bolting a few hundred components together. Watch the 2018 Honda Civic Type-R production Video, and be amazed.
This week I posted an article in Honda-Torque News, where Jason Richmond, AKA HondaPro Jason Video records the build of his personal 2018 Civic Type-R hatchback from paint booth to final assembly and drive-off. IN the Video Jason visits Honda U.K.’s Swindon, England production facility — one of the largest automotive assembly plants in the U.K.. For anyone that’s ventured into custom car building,the process is a bit of a mind blower. The 4-hour build process is nothing short of amazing.
Every Honda Hatchback sold in America is built in Swindon
The multiple variant production line raises an interesting question: With several variants of the 10th generation platformed Honda hatchback rolling sown the same production line, how often does a specific component find its way into the wrong car? Interestingly enough, not often! Thanks to advanced robotics parts and component sorting, the possibility of your Civic Type-R coming off the line with a misplaced part or two is not likely. Also, in watching Jason’s Video, we note assembly technician teams working from a detailed ‘build lists.’
Your Honda News was informed that Honda Type-R production will top out at less than 5,000 units per year world-wide, a darn rare Honda. To put that low production number into perspective, 350,000 Honda Civics will be sold in the United States in 2018.
Highly automated production ensures an affordable 2018 Civic Type-R
Honda’s method of systematic assembly is impressive. Beginning with the prime and painted manufactured safety cage (shell) the subject car moves down the production line, never remaining at one assembly station for longer than 60 seconds or so. Parts and components are transferred to assembly stations by robotic arm and magnetic-tracked electric bib-cart.
From time to time, you’ll view a Honda associate gathering a wiring harness or trim component by hand, but not often. Honda Civic Type-R is assembled from the rear forward. And, the doors remain off of the subject car for the majority of the manufacturing process, for ease of assembly and paint-preservation. This highly automated production line keeps the MSRP of Honda’s hottest performance hatchback bellow $34,000 or so in the United States.
Civic Type-R 2.0 L Turbocharged engine and FWD differential, is one unit
The last major component to join the nearly completed Type-R chassis is the front-wheel-drive engine and trans-axle sub-frame. Civic Type-R is assembled from the rear to the front, and from the inside out. After the engine and trans-axle sub frame is bolted into place, complete with Brembo Brake assembly, active dampening struts, shocks, and steering assembly — next up is the radiator, inner cooler, front-wrap, bumper, etc. Civic Type-R comes together with the help of hundreds of associates on the floor of a 3,000,000 s.ft. manufacturing facility. What’s Jason up to?
A cool foot note: Civic Type-R’s 2.0L direct injected, single scroll, turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engine is manufactured in The U.S., and shipped to Swindon for assembly. As our freind HondaPro Jason would say: “How cool is that.”
Track and street time behind the wheel of Civic Type-R
Looking beyond 2018 Honda Civic type-R’s 3016 horsepower engine, and limited slip differential sits a fine multiple task-ready high performance touring hatchback. Sure, Civic Type-R is track ready out of the showroom. But I prefer Civic Type-R on the street. You can read about my latest Civic Type-R adventure here.
Honda Motors is a world-brand, and as such, caters to the unique market conditions dictated by regional specificities. One critical consideration when designing a mass-marketed car or light truck is fueling infrastructure, and more specifically, the fuel of choice within a specific geological region. Unlike the United States, when driving in the European Union, one encounters diesel engine powered cars and trucks with regularity, many of them manually shifted.
As a side note, 55% of all on-road-grade Diesel fuel refined in the United States is exported to Great Britain, Europe, and beyond; where nearly half of all passenger cars roll on Diesel power.
As announced Monday by Honda U.K. Introducing the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback 1-DVTEC
The latest and final variant of the 10th generation world-platform Honda Civic will be Diesel engine powered, and initially, manually shifted. 2 years prior we reported on a Diesel engine powered Civic Touring Hatchback that broke the Guinness Book of Record’s “most miles driven on one gallon of fuel,” where a team of Honda associates hyper-miled their way to a world record. At that time I read from our European Honda fans of real-world fuel efficiency approaching 70 MPG, adjusted. While I haven’t personally confirmed the claim, it’s impressive, just the same.
Today I expound on Honda’s most fuel-efficient Civic Hatchback variant in Torque News. Check it out, and let me know what you think. Would you buy a diesel-powered Civic Hatchback if it was available in the U.S.? Honda’s EarthDream i-DVTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine rolls worldwide. Why not in the United States?
In other Honda News: Yet another accolade for 2018 Honda CR-V
Earlier in January, our Honda News was dominated by C.E.S. Las Vegas. Honda attended the world’s premier Consumer Electronics Show and presented cutting-edge Robotics, some rolling some stationary. Me, I like Honda’s Autonomous work-horse 4-wheeler. Pre-programmed and controlled remotely through an app, this 4-wheel quad-like platform can be modified for work, and homesite labor saving tasks.
2018 marks the third year running that a Honda brand car or truck wins a North American Auto of the year award. This award is in effect the Oscar or Emmy for the auto industry. The selection process is arduous, long-winded and political. North American Car, Truck, or Utility of the Year is vetted by, reduced to finalist, and and then chosen by the majority consensus of a panel composed of active automotive journalists, editors, and lifestyle bloggers — a few of them good friends and associates.
This year, 2018 Honda Accord finds itself in good company with the reinvented 2018 Volvo XC60 midsize SUV, and the flagship Lincoln Navigator. An interesting cross-section of automotive engineering to be sure. Yet each winner is a standout in its respective segment. And like 2018 Honda Accord, the best at its intended application. Here’s where my Accord, Camry comparison reference comes into play. I have driven both, and find each car to be an extraordinary redo of what was in the not too distant past, a bread and butter appliance car.
With a hat off to Toyota engineering, the 2018 Toyota in any variant, is a pleasure to drive. You may read my initial drive impression of 2018 Camry hybrid here. With newfound cutting-edge good looks, premium cabin refinement, a much-improved driver to car connectivity, and very impressive normally aspirated pedal power, Camry is a winner. Yet, according to a jury of 60 professional automotive jurors, Honda Accord takes the nod for, and here I quote; “2018 Accord honored for bold “new from the ground up” approach to remaking America’s best-selling car over the past 41 years.” says American Honda Motors.
Enough already. Here’s what I like about the reinvented from the ground up 2018 Honda Accord
Looking to Accord’s newfound design directive, one would be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic, eye-catching body design, available in today’s subpremium midsize auto segment. Playing off of the well-received 10th generation Honda Civic design, 2018 Accord, regardless of trim level, runs with Civic’s European inspired body language, and takes it to the next level in refinement and understated elegance. From its short-overhang trunk line to its classic touring car inspired long hood and pronounced 3D grill design, Accord breaches the limitations of an affordable midsize family car segment with exceptional standard featured connectivity and advanced active safety features. On the performance side, we find a new lineup of dynamic, fuel-efficient, turbocharged engines, and 2 new proprietary transmissions.
For 2018, Accords suspension is re-engineered for not only improved handling dynamics, but a quiet and comfortable drive and ride experience. 2018 Honda Accord is the quietest midsize sedan in the sub-premium midsize sedan segment — thanks to the strategic placement of acoustic deadened auto glass, carpet batting, and active electronic noise cancelation, Accord is at times, eerily quiet — something one doesn’t anticipate from a sedan sporting a beginning MSRP well below $30,000. read my initial 2018 Honda Accord drive review here.
Not wishing to read too much like An Accord Ad
Honda engineering presents an Accord variant for every sedan driver. From the entry-level 1.5 Liter Accord Basic to the 2.0 Liter Turbocharged VTEC, 10-speed Accord Touring, 2018 Accord presents the greatest bang for your buck found today in a mainstream 4 door sedan. For the “Green” among us, 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid should arrive at dealerships sometime in the late Spring. I drove Accord Hybrid in New Hampshire last Fall. As with the current Accord Hybrid, the 2018 Accord Hybrid sits at the top of the Accord lineup, with sophistication, and fuel efficiency befitting a hybrid mainstay. Me, I like driving Accord. And will miss the V6 powered, manually shifted Accord Sports Coupe featured in this article. This too shall pass.
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.
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
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.
Today in Honda-Torque News: What can I tell you, Honda Torque News is my day job. I look forward to reporting Honda news and updates. And, on slow news days, I have a bit of fun with it! With Honda’s annual sales report coming to press a day late this year, American Honda Motor Company announces, for the third year running, anew sales record for America’s # 5 auto maker. * as measured by sales volume.
For December, we discover an astounding 60% uptick in Honda Pilot sales, for total sales of 127,279 sold in 2017. Honda points to increased production capacity with Alabama coming on line — Could be! Dealers can’t sell cars without inventory. However, with no shortage of competition in the mid and full size 3-row SUV segment, the comprehensive drive and ride package that is Honda Pilot consistently meets or surpass the needs of a mostly Soccer Mom, multi-tasking, 3+ Kids family market, and, offers something Honda Odyssey doesn’t – all-wheel-drive.
I called the reinvented Honda Pilot a refined SUV bargain in 2015, it still is. When compared to Toyota Highlander, Mazda 9, and Chevy Tahoe, Pilot can’t be beat for value-packed standard featured packaging, V6 engine performance, and class-leading fuel efficiency. Me, I just like driving Pilot.
Honda’s best selling vehicle for 2017 just happens to be a compact 2-row SUV, or a crossover, depending on how you look at it. At any rate, Honda CR-V, the best selling SUV of all time, just beat Honda Accord and Civic for the top sales spot in 2017.
I first reported on the reinvented, up-sized Honda CR-V in 2015. At that time I was astounded by CR-V’s new found handling characteristics, quiet, comfortable cabin, and innovative, fuel efficiency 1.5 Liter turbocharged gasoline engine, and segmented CVT (continuously variable) transmission.
Honda CR-V outsold Toyota RAV4 in 2017 with 377,895 units sold for the year. That’s a lot of Honda CR-V! Yet there’s more to Honda’s annual sales report hen initially meets the eye. With the market introduction of Honda Clarity PHEV
This first week of 2018 is a bit slow as to breaking Honda News. Here it is Tuesday, and American Honda has yet to publish year end sales data for the 5th largest U.S. car brand. Japanese owned, but mostly made in Canada, Mexico and the U.S., production related news, will most likely come on Wednesday, with yet another record year for America’s #5 car brand.
Factoid: Honda integrates more U.S. sourced parts into their new car lineup than Fiat Chrysler, GM or Ford. If you drive Accord, Civic or CR-V, your car or light truck is more likely than not, built in North America. Here’s where the news comes in to play: Last month American Honda Motors teased not only the redesigned Acura RDX compact crossover, but a made in Ohio 3rd generation Honda Insight Hybrid. This marks the remake of the first hybrid gasoline/ electric car made available to North American buyers back in 1999, light years ago by automotive design and development standards.
Yet here we are, once again returning back to the future — with a Civic sized Insight that Honda tells us will be manufactured in the U.S, rolling down the same production line as Honda CR-V — that plants an idea or two for the future of CR-V. Electrified? Certainly! Read my Torque News take on Honda’s latest and greatest mainstream hybrid car here.
I anticipate an entry trim price point just south of $30,000. What do you think? Will Honda get it right this time — market timing that is, Insight was and remains a great compact hybrid.
Honda’s luxury car Division is scheduled for a new offering or two. That reinvention will begin with the introduction of a ground-up RDX compact crossover redesign for 2019.
As shared at the top of my first week of 2018 rant, 2 weeks earlier, Acura leaked a Pre-Detroit Show reveal of Acura RDX; the one and only compact, CR-V derived crossover in the maker’s North American lineup. I like RDX, in-fact, It’s my favorite personal daily driver. But, it could use a makeover, more specifically on the electronic, connectivity, integrated navigation side of the equation.
In short, RDX electronics don’t work perfectly, something that Acura owners insist on! Looking to the reveal photo, 2019 RDX comes to market with a futuristic, low drag coefficient look. I see RDX taking on Lexus, it’s that cool!
However, I’m afraid that Acura’s mechanically bulletproof V6 will go the way of 2018 Honda Accord. In its place will most likely sit a high output, fuel efficient 2.0L direct injected, turbocharged 4 cylinder gasoline engine, paired to a segmented CVT or 8-speed duel clutched transmission. Yes there will be an all-wheel-drive offering. Will it be electrified, smart ?
Hang in there Honda fans: We should know more after Acura shares a detail or two in Detroit on January 15, 2018. Read my take on the all new Acura RDX here.
Compact ultimate performance hatchback meets worlds tallest tree: So it goes. Yet another week in the seat behind the wheel of Honda’s latest and greatest Civic performance hatchback. “Ultimate,” is an interesting word, with vast implications as well as a plethora of applicable meaning. Believe it or not, comparing the mighty coastal Redwoods to Honda’s latest and most powerful Civic manifestation is not that much of a stretch when we look to the unique, segment breaching, performance attributes presented in 2017 Honda Civic Type-R Touring.
Well, at the least, California’s original coast highway provides an exceptional, scenic backdrop for Type-R. The road itself is well maintained, narrow, twisty, and fast enough — keep an eye out for the trailer towing tourists. They’re generally slow driving, and many in number. Last week we took a 1,000 mile, 48 hour road trip to Humboldt County, where Civic Type-R carved a path through the historic Avenue of the Giants.
The Coffee Girl at Starbucks loves the edgy look of 2017 Civic Type-R
True enough, on our recent foray from Eugene, Oregon south to Humboldt County, California, Honda’s top of the performance mark Civic Type-R drew more attention than Mick Jagger at a Rolling Stones concert. Even the hardcore Subaru WRX fans came out for a look — walking away grinning after gaining a few minutes of seat time in Honda’s 306 horsepower, turbocharged, limit slip differential, 6 speed manually shifted FWD wonder car.
The 10th generation Civic world platform Type-R lives up to all the media hype
It’s rare that I drive a new car offering that meets or exceeds the stated performance attributes, handling prowess, and fuel efficiency touted by the maker. This is the first Civic to ever wear the Type-R badge in the United States. Yes, a European Type-R with a stated 316 horsepower has broken track records in Europe and Asia, but that’s not the 10th generation Civic platform Type-R that became available for the Honda die hard 2 short months ago.
Our leather and cloth trimmed, cream white, and red and black interior 2017 Civic Type-R test mule is manufactured in England; features a manufactured in Alabama Earth Dreams gasoline engine, and is shifted by a very good close throw, 6 speed manual transmission made in Japan. 2017 Civic Type-R is a world car, manufactured by a world-auto-manufacturer. Frankly, it’s club-car track ready right out of the box.
For $36,000 and change, Civic Type-R is an exceptional, fun to drive performance bargain that’s very happy on the street, thanks to 3-drive modes, including “comfort,” and what I soon discovered to be a very comfortable racing style bucket seat. Me, I’d like power adjustment, but that’s just me.
The Type-R suspension and driving attitude is firm, but not painfully stiff. The instant-on torque and track-sticky cornering traction is a bit of a mind blower, considering that Type-R is a front-wheel-drive car. Honda engineering does a commendable job of reducing torque steer. — sure there’s some there, but it’s very manageable.
On start up, Type-R defaults to “sport” mode. Here you’ll find a stiffer steering feel, a bit more pedal, and reasonably firm suspension. Going on the track, toggle into “R” drive. It’s pretty extreme, and as my Chiropractor will tell you, a bit taxing on the bones. I like what Honda engineering did with Type-R’s exhaust tone, although the deep baritone growl can get a bit load at times.
Visually, Civic Type-R teeters on Bat Man stunning! However, everything you see on Type-R has a purpose, from its whale-tail hatch fin, down to the best looking 20 inch alloy painted wheels in the compact performance segment — Brembo calipers included.
48 hours, 1,000 miles, still smiling Civic Type-R darn near perfect
Once again, Honda’s latest and greatest Civic Hatchback does not disappoint. Read my latest Torque News article as we journey through the California coast redwoods and beyond.
As announced Wednesday by American Honda Motors, with Clarity, you get three options of electrification, presented in a stunning future forward 5-place personal conveyance. Electric Vehicle proponents now have an debut opportunity to view the Clarity lineup, April 14 through the 23, at the 2017 NYIAS (New York International Auto Show.)
NYIAS remains a favorite model reveal launching pad for Honda, the fastest growing automotive brand in the United States. Predicted market availability for Clarity BEV, (battery electric vehicle) and Clarity, gasoline/electric hybrid, is Fall of 2017; just around the corner in automotive development time.
A bit disappointed with stated Clarity BEV drive range
Say what you will Honda, in today’s rapidly developing mainstream electric vehicle market, a “real-world” realistic battery-electric drive range must exceed 130, and better yet, approach or exceed 200 miles between charge cycles. Unfortunately, this is not the case for the much welcomed Clarity BEV. We’ll see where it all lands.
Looking to the electric market handwriting on the wall, and the increased sales performance for the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid, I believe the winner of the Clarity trifecta to be the hybrid. I love the zero emissions quotient of the Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell. But, before that innovation can go mainstream, an escalated expansion of the Hydrogen Fuel Network must ensue. We’re 3-years into that proposition in California, with 18 stations or so completed to date? Progress, yes, it’s slow, but meaningful.
Next week we take our first spin behind the wheel of Clarity Fuel Cell. I’m excited. look for updates here. If you could purchase a ZERO emissions vehicle for under $40,000, would you? Let us know what you would like to see come to market in a long-trip-viable, supper low emissions car or light truck. Your thought provoking comment is always welcomed here.
As announced Monday morning by Automotive News, E.V. enthusiast looking to Honda for extended battery electric vehicle range, will be a bit disappointing by Clarity BEV. (Battery Electric Vehicle)
In a recent interview with American Honda, Automotive News was informed that the Clarity platform battery electric follows the example set by the no longer available in the U.S. Fit E.V. — with an approximate 80 mile drive range before requiring recharging. O.K., I was anticipating a bit more!
Will short-range kill the market for Honda’s battery electric Clarity platform variant?
Frankly, I believe when looking to the recently formed hydrogen development alliance between Honda and General Motors, the maker has dedicated facility and resources to the development and marketing of compressed hydrogen fuel cell electric cars. I take a closer look at 2017 Clarity FCV here.
With the 230 mile range Chevy Bolt coming on-line at well under $38,000, before tax incentives, and Tesla shooting for 2018 manufacturing and delivery of the Tesla 3, outside of the hardcore Honda EV loyal, there is little market for Clarity BEV.
Clarity to come in 3 variants
Hydrogen Fuel Cell, Plug-in Hybrid, and Battery Electric
At this point in time it’s nearly impossible to measure what’s referred to as the “white space” in a rapidly expanding and ever-developing E.V. market. The viable future of the electric car rests with battery density, and the manufacturing volume capacity of an emerging battery industry.
In a recent report from automaker Tesla, it’s revealed that battery module cost was 60% of what it was just 5 years earlier. That’s a step in the right direction as auto manufacturers mainstream electrification of personal conveyance. Who will take the immediate lead in the market mainstreaming of the E.V.?
As of this writing the #1 engine manufacturer in the world is Honda — that’s the internal combustion engine. No company has done more to develop and market low to no emissions
I.C.E, and certainly Honda demonstrates market viable applications of electric motors in the NSX supercar, and the now on the highway Clarity FCEV.
At its base core, Clarity Fuel Cell is an electric vehicle. Clarity Battery Electric, for now I’ll take a wait and see position as to the market viability of Honda’s 80 mile range electric. Read my latest take on the Clarity BEV here.