Honda’s stand at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show will be home to a couple of European debuts when the doors open next month.
The Civic Wagon concept is a vehicle which the company says strongly hints at the design direction of the final production version. When it joins the rest of the Civic range it will provide a roomier more practical option for potential buyers.
However most eyes will be drawn to the next-generation NSX concept. Which will be showing off its updated interior for the first time in Europe.
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While most of the automotive world’s attention was turned towards the Detroit Auto Show this week, a little further north in Canada, the Montreal Auto Show was taking place. And it was at this venue that Honda chose to unveil their GEAR concept car. Honda say the GEAR is a vehicle which is aimed at younger buyers living in the city.
According to Honda, the designers took inspiration from fixed-gear bicycles. But it’s difficult to see quite how that’s been achieved. Unless it too struggles to keep moving on even mild inclines?
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At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Honda pulled the covers off a new Honda Fit-based small SUV concept. It’s intended to provide an accurate preview of a production model which is due by next year. According to Honda, the unimaginatively named Urban SUV Concept is supposed to be a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient vehicle with, get this, “next-generation connectivity targeting active lifestyle customers”. What they’re really saying is they’ve chucked in a couple of USB ports and some Blueteeth, and are hoping younger buyers will bite.
From the outside the Honda Urban SUV Concept really is a giant lump of bland. It’s not especially ugly, just very dull. It’s almost as if Honda took all the most average design cues from a bunch of other CUVs, and then blended them together to make one truly mediocre motor.
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Honda have just released a rather standard teaser image of their Detroit Auto Show bound concept car. It’s poorly lit, in low resolution, and in profile. Aside from the solitary picture, all Honda have divulged is that the concept is designed to have global appeal, offer a spacious, functional interior, and display a sporty exterior design.
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The Honda S2000 was one of the company’s most characterful vehicles ever. Its high-revving 4-cylinder engine and fantastic chassis made it one of the best driver’s cars out there. Sadly, when it was discontinued in 2009, Honda chose – primarily for budget reasons – not to offer a replacement.
However that doesn’t mean Honda have written-off an S2000 successor permanently, and a Honda-sponsored project at College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit proves just that. Honda asked student designers at CCS to come up with design proposals for an all-new S2000 for the year 2020. This particular design was developed by Michael Mcgee.
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Honda’s latest attempt at a personal mobility device has just hit the internet. Called the UNI-CUB this so-called vehicle is a development of the Honda UX-3 – itself highly unusual. But at least it didn’t look like a motorized chemical toilet.
The Honda UNI-CUB features the company’s proprietary balance control system and the world’s first omni-directional driving wheel system (Honda Omni Traction Drive System) - inspired by robotic technologies developed for Asimo.
These technologies allow the rider to control speed, move in any direction, turn and stop, all simply by shifting his or her weight. Since the rider can freely move forward, backward, side-to-side and diagonally, Honda say the UNI-CUB can easily manoeuvre among and around other people.
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The Honda Concept C is the second concept car Honda revealed at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, the other one being the Honda Concept S. The Honda Concept C is a preview of a mid-range sedan concept which is being developed for the Chinese market. Sadly, like the “S” in the Concept S, Honda’s tragic marketing department have dictated that the “C” should stand for something. They’ve gone with “Cool”, “Challenge” and “China”.
The Honda Concept C was developed through a collaboration between Honda design teams in both Japan and China. The styling is said to be inspired by the shape of traditional Chinese dragons. And while its not the most beautiful front end, it’s refreshing to see some degree of originality come out of China’s automotive sector.
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At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, Honda took the opportunity to unveil two all-new concept vehicles. The Concept S is one of them. The Honda Concept S is a MPV concept, and also a preview of a new vehicle slated for the Chinese market – although it will be sold in other markets later. Honda say the “S” stands for “Stylish”, “Smart” and “Surprise”. Right there is where Honda’s marketing people start to fail. They continue the downward spiral into the depths of BS with the intimation that the Concept S will be “fun to drive” – despite being manufactured in China by the Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd, – not exactly world renowned chassis specialists. The fun presumably comes after a low speed accident when you realise that the doctors will only amputate below the knee.
The Honda Concept S will be on sale in China next year, followed later by a global release. The concept adopts an unspecified hybrid drivetrain. But it’s unclear whether this will make it through to the production model.
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At the 2012 Beijing Auto Show later this April, Honda will present their plan to try and increase their market share in China. A lot of it revolves around boring but for some reason essential stuff like, and I take this from their press release; Brand Communications – and using the sickeningly self-obsessed phrase “A new future will be carved out when Honda takes new actions together with its customers.” Yeah seriously, that’s going to be their tagline in China.
More importantly they will increase their R&D in the country, and they’re considering establishing a permanent design studio based in China. They also plan to increase production capacity within China by opening a second plant in Dongfeng. Motorsports will also play a role in promoting the brand, and as such Honda will compete in some of the races in the China Touring Car Championship (CTCC).
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At the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show Honda unveiled three concept cars, a commuter car, a family car, and a sports car. Obviously the EV-STER is the sports car concept. The Honda EV-STER is a compact vehicle, measuring just 3.5 metres (140 inches) long, 1.5 metres (59 inches) wide and 1.1 metres (43 inches) high.
Powering the Honda EV-STER is an electric motor supplied by a 10kWh lithium-ion battery. But before you start to groan at the thought of yet another electric powered sports car concept which isn’t in the least bit sporty. Absorb the fact the EV-STER can hit 62 mph (100 km/h) in just 5 seconds. The top speed is a bit less impressive at just 100 mph (160 km/h).
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