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    William Maley

    Come 2016, No More Honda Crosstour

    From the not surprising news department; the Honda Crosstour will be saying good-bye. In a statement from American Honda, Executive Vice President John Mendel announced the model's departure after the 2015 model year.
    The Honda Crosstour has never been a big seller. Designed as a comprise between a crossover and station wagon, the model never caught the success that other models such as the Subaru Outback had. In 2014, Honda only moved 11,802 Crosstours, a 29.9 percent drop when compared to 2013.
    "However, the crossover segment has evolved and we believe the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V launching later this spring will create new value for crossover shoppers and play a more significant role as a gateway model for the Honda brand to drive light truck sales growth," said Mendel.
    There is an upside to the Crossover leaving Honda's lineup. The East Liberty Plant in Ohio will now be able to focus on production of the Acura RDX, Honda CR-V, and in 2017, the Acura MDX.
    Source: Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Statement by John Mendel, Executive Vice President, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Re: North American Production Portfolio
    Apr 8, 2015
    Honda's growth strategy in North America is keyed to aligning our product portfolio and related production around the needs of our customers and growth segments in the marketplace. This includes the fortification of our light truck line-up with the recent introduction of a refreshed version of America's best- selling SUV, the CR-V, as well as the all-new 2016 HR-V, a new 2016 Pilot, and the next generation Ridgeline truck, coming to market next year. The strategy also includes strengthening our leading lineup of passenger cars with the introduction this fall of an all-new Civic lineup that will include more variants than ever before, including a new five-door model.
    In order to fulfill this customer-focused strategy, we are making several changes to the lineup of vehicles we build in our auto plants in Ohio. Effective with the 2016 model year, we will discontinue production of the Honda Crosstour at the East Liberty Plant in Ohio, also home to the hot-selling Honda CR-V and Acura RDX models, and transfer production of the Accord Hybrid from the Marysville Auto Plant to the Sayama Plant in Japan.
    The Crosstour, introduced in 2010, served a positive role in helping the Honda brand target crossover buyers. However, the crossover segment has evolved and we believe the all-new 2016 Honda HR-V launching later this spring will create new value for crossover shoppers and play a more significant role as a gateway model for the Honda brand to drive light truck sales growth. This move will allow the East Liberty Plant to focus on meeting demand for the CR-V and a refreshed 2016 Acura RDX and, as announced last month, expand light truck production in early 2017 with the Acura MDX.
    The transfer of the Accord Hybrid from the Marysville Auto Plant (MAP) to Honda's Sayama Plant in Japan, will better optimize our global production capabilities, enabling MAP to focus on its significant role in producing popular models including the Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe and the Acura TLX and ILX performance sedans. ILX production began at MAP in February 2015.
    Honda will continue to evolve its customer-focused product strategy in North America by leveraging the flexibility of its production operations in the region. Last year, more than 97 percent of the Honda and Acura vehicles sold in America were produced in North America.

    William Maley

    Honda will add turbo power to the next Civic

    Honda appears to be the next automaker to join the downsized, turbocharged engine craze. Automotive News reports that the next-generation Civic - possibly arriving as early as this year - will feature a turbocharged four-cylinder as its base engine.
    "Downsized turbocharging will be the base, even for the Civic," said Yoshiharu Yamamoto, global r&d head of Honda.
    The turbocharged engine will be a 1.5L four-cylinder that will deliver the power of a normally-aspirated 2.0 to 2.4L four-cylinder engine with excellent torque and better fuel efficiency according to Yamamoto.
    The new engine is expect to go into production later this year at Honda's Anna, Ohio plant.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

    William Maley

    The Honda CR-Z Says "Good-Bye Hybrid, Hello Turbo"

    The Honda CR-Z hasn't set the sales chart on fire and it has been canned Europe and Australia. The reason is likely the disappointing hybrid powertrain which offers ho-hum performance and economy. But Honda is planning to change that with the next-generation CR-Z.
    Car and Driver reports that the next-generation CR-Z - due out in 2017 - will trade in the Honda Fit platform for the Civic. Honda will slice four inches off the Civic platform for its duties in the CR-Z. Power will come from a detuned version from turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the Civic Type-R.
    The new CR-Z expected to go on sale in 2018.
    Source: Car and Driver

    William Maley

    Honda's CEO announces his departure

    Honda is making some changes to its executive staff with a number of new appointments. The big change is the announcement of current CEO and president Takanobu Ito stepping down in June.
    Ito became the CEO back in 2009 and led the company through a tumultuous period which included the financial crisis, the massive earthquake and tsunami in 2011; and fluctuating currencies. More recently, Ito has received a lot of criticism for flagging quality issues which has led to a number of recalls, along with delays on a number of key products for the company.
    Despite the recent problems Ito has been dealing with, he has also introduced a number of reforms to get the company back on track. Such reforms include the retooling of the r&d division, delegating power and responsibility to six global hubs, and the return of such models of the Acura NSX and Honda Civic Type R.
    Taking Ito's place is Takahiro Hachigo. Hachigo has been with the company since 1982 and has held a number of roles at Honda including the head of the r&d department in the U.S. At the moment, Hachigo is the managing officer at Honda's office in China.
    “We are going forward. I believe this is a good opportunity to revamp our entire operations,” said Ito today at a news conference.
    “In 2015, Honda is ready to make a huge leap forward. To do this, I believe, Honda needs to overcome challenges under a new, younger leader as a team.”
    Now this change will need to ratified by Honda's shareholders, which is expected to happen at June's annual shareholders' meeting.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required), Honda
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Announces New President & CEO
    TOKYO, Japan, February 23, 2015 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (“Honda Motor”) today announced that Takahiro Hachigo, currently the company’s Managing Officer, will become Senior Managing Officer effective in April 2015, and will become President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director in late June 2015. Takanobu Ito, the current President, Chief Operating Officer and Representative Director, will remain on the board and assume the post of Director and Advisor to Honda Motor. This management succession will occur following the final decision of the Honda Motor Board of Directors after the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, scheduled for late June 2015.
    Hachigo joined Honda in 1982, and began his career in its automobile research and development operations, principally as an engineer in the area of chassis design. Hachigo was in charge of developing the first-generation of U.S.-built Odyssey minivan, which was launched in 1999 primarily for the U.S. market. Hachigo went on to assume responsibilities as the person-in-charge of developing the second generation CR-V, Honda’s highly successful compact sport-utility vehicle for the worldwide markets, in 2001.
    From April 2004 to March 2006, Hachigo was stationed in the U.S. as Senior Vice President of Honda R&D Americas, Inc., where he became actively involved in the local development of Honda and Acura automobiles. In April 2006, Hachigo became Operating Officer of Honda R&D Co., Ltd. (“Honda R&D”) and subsequently gaining promotion to Managing Officer in April 2007. After retiring from this position in March 2008, Hachigo became General Manager of Purchasing Division No.2 of Purchasing Operations, Honda Motor, in April and became Operating Officer of Honda Motor in June of the same year. Hachigo then assumed a role in the area of manufacturing as General Manager of Honda’s Suzuka Factory in April 2011. He served as Vice President and Director of Honda Motor Europe Ltd. from April 2012 to March 2013 and also as President and Director, Honda R&D Europe (U.K.) Ltd., from September 2012 to March 2013. In 2013, Hachigo’s responsibilities shifted to China, becoming Vice President of Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. in April, simultaneously becoming Representative of Development, Purchasing and Production (China), Honda Motor, and Vice President of Honda Motor Technology (China) Co., Ltd. In April 2014, Hachigo was promoted to Managing Officer of Honda Motor, a title he currently holds.
    Ito joined Honda in 1978 and began his career in the company’s automobile research and development operations, primarily as a chassis design engineer. Ito was in charge of developing the all-aluminum uni-body frame structure for the highly acclaimed first-generation NSX sports car that went on sale in 1990. In June 2000, he was appointed a member of the Honda Motor Board of Directors, subsequently assuming responsibilities as President and Director of Honda R&D, General Manager of the Suzuka Factory, and most recently, President, Chief Executive Officer and Representative Director of Honda Motor, a title he has held since June 2009.
    During the six years of Ito’s leadership, Honda was able to actively evolve its global manufacturing structure, notably the establishment of automobile plants in Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Indonesia, India and China. Also under Ito’s leadership, Honda succeeded in solidifying its business foundation by enhancing its product development capabilities—from the hugely popular N-series mini-vehicles, to automobile powertrain development as represented by the Earth Dreams Technology, to the establishment of product development structures in each of Honda’s global regional operations. Furthermore, an all-new FCV that Ito has led in an effort to realize a CO2-free automobile, as well as “fun to drive” vehicles including the S660, Civic Type R and NSX models are scheduled to be launched during the fiscal year ending March, 2016. Likewise, Honda’s participation in Formula 1, the pinnacle of automobile racing, and foray into aviation businesses with HondaJet and jet engine will take place during the same period.

    William Maley

    Another S2000 Rumor Comes In

    From the 'We Can Dream' file, Auto Express is reporting that Honda is planning to bring back the S2000 nameplate for a new mid-engine coupe. Quite the departure from the front-engine roadster that was the S2000. The model is expected to be the middle of a trio of sports cars from Honda; the top being the NSX and bottom being a small roadster named S660.
    The reborn S2000 is expected to be powered by a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing somewhere in the range of 350 horsepower. There is talk of using a simplified version of the NSX's hybrid powertrain as another option.
    The model is expected to arrive sometime in 2017, two years after the arrival of the NSX.
    Source: Auto Express
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley

    The Honda Insight Reaches the End of the Road

    The tough life of the Honda Insight will come to a close. Bloomberg reports that Honda told dealers back in November to not place any more orders for the model as production would come to a close at the end of the February. This news comes a week after Honda announced sales of the Insight and CR-Z would end Europe.
    The Insight was the first hybrid vehicle to be sold in the U.S. just before the start of the millennium and paved the way for many more vehicles down the road. Honda ended production of the first-generation model in 2006. Three years later, Honda introduced the second-generation Insight. However the new model wasn't able to keep up with the Toyota Prius, which would become the best selling hybrid vehicle ever. At the moment in the U.S., Honda dealers are currently sitting on a 237 day supply of Insights.
    It isn't clear whether or not Honda will replace the Insight or not at this current time.
    Source: Bloomberg
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 11, 2013
    Despite a drop in sales and the announcement that the current model will be heading out of the door next year, Honda still believes in the Ridgeline pickup. Yesterday, the automaker released a teaser shot of the next-generation due out in 2016.
    The new Ridgeline's design looks to be becoming more truck. Oddly, the teaser shot reminds of the new Chevrolet Colorado. We don't know much more than that, but expect the slow drip of information to begin shortly.
    "The next generation Ridgeline will build on Honda's role in creating new value with a new take on advancing form and function in the truck segment. With a clear path forward, Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks," said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    Source: Honda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    All-new Honda Ridgeline Pickup to Debut Within Two Years
    12/10/2013 - TORRANCE, Calif.
    -Design sketch reveals styling direction for Next-Gen Honda truck
    -Current Ridgeline production will end mid-2014
    -Sales of Ridgeline up 29 percent in 2013
    An all-new Honda Ridgeline pickup truck will come to market in less than two years and, today, Honda shared a sketch expressing the new truck's styling direction. Honda also confirmed that production of the current Ridgeline (http://automobiles.honda.com/ridgeline/), built exclusively by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, LLC, in Lincoln, Alabama, will conclude in mid-2014.
    Like the innovative first-generation model that earned 2006 North American Truck of the Year and Motor Trend Truck of the Year honors after its fall 2005 debut, the next-gen Ridgeline is being designed and developed by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. at its Los Angeles and Ohio R&D centers.
    The Honda Ridgeline broke new ground in the American pickup market with its unique design featuring a spacious five-passenger cabin, smooth ride and handling, and half-ton truck capability. The first truck of its kind to be built on a closed-box unibody platform, the Ridgeline introduced innovative new features to the pickup segment, such as its large In-Bed Trunk® and dual-action tailgate.
    "The next generation Ridgeline will build on Honda's role in creating new value with a new take on advancing form and function in the truck segment," said Michael Accavitti, senior vice president of automobile operations for American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "With a clear path forward, Ridgeline will play an even more important role in our future product portfolio and strengthen an already class-leading lineup of light trucks."
    Sales of Ridgeline have enjoyed strong momentum in 2013, strengthened recently by the introduction of a new top-of-the-line Special Edition model for 2014, with sales totaling 16,160 units through the first 11 months of the year, an increase of 29 percent.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    November 19, 2013
    It has been a few years since Honda did a turbocharged four-cylinder engine in one of their vehicles (first-generation Acura RDX), but the company is coming back with turbocharged engines with a vengeance. This morning in Tokyo, Honda introduced three new turbocharged VTEC engines; a 1.0L three-cylinder unit, and two four-cylinder engines displacing 1.5L and 2.0L.
    The new engines utilize direct injection and advanced cooling techniques, such as pistons with cooling galleries to run relatively high compression ratios for turbocharged engines (10.6:1 for the 1.5L and 9.8:1 for the 2.0L).
    Honda said these "engines will be applied on a number of future global models, depending on local market requirements and vehicle characteristics," without saying anything further.
    Will we see any of these engines in the U.S.? We're not quite sure, but we'll let you know if anything changes.
    Source: Honda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    Honda Announces All-New VTEC TURBO Engine Series
    19 November 2013
    Honda has announced the introduction of three all-new VTEC TURBO engines as part of its growing Earth Dreams Technology range. These new engines come in three capacities; 1 litre, 1.5 litre and 2 litre, and will deliver a dynamic performance, as well as class-leading output and fuel economy.
    All three engines will be direct-injection petrol turbos, utilising variable valve motion technology such as Honda’s refined VTEC technology. Together with Honda’s 1.6 litre diesel engine and hybrid technology, these new turbo engines will be applied on a number of future global models, depending on local market requirements and vehicle characteristics.
    Based on a completely new engine structure and utilising its newly developed turbo systems, Honda has downsized its engines and produced a highly efficient 1 litre direct-injection, 3-cyclinder turbo engine as well as a 1.5 litre direct injection, 4-cyclinder turbo engine. Both engines have low friction throughout and are able to achieve class-leading output and environmental performance.
    The first VTEC TURBO set to come to Europe will be the high-output 2 litre, direct injection, 4-cyclinder turbo engine, which will appear in the forthcoming Civic Type R. A highly efficient and highly responsive engine, it will have an output in excess of 280ps and will be EURO 6 compliant.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    November 6, 2013
    The SEMA Show isn't known for the introduction of new models, but Honda decided to change that by introducing the refreshed 2014 Civic Coupe and Civic Si Coupe yesterday.
    The 2014 Civic Coupe gets a more aggressive front end treatment that features a new grille treatment, revised bumper, a new hood, and new fenders. Around back are a new bumper and set of taillights. No mention if the interior of the 2014 model is the same or has been changed.
    For the 2014 Si Coupe, Honda fits a unique bumper to make it stand out and a set of eighteen-inch wheels. Around back is a larger decklid spoiler and new bumper with rear diffuser. The 2.4L i-VTEC engine has been given a bit of massage to eek out another four horsepower and four pound-feet of torque to 205 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque.
    Honda says more details will be revealed at the L.A. Auto Show.

    Source: Honda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2014 Honda Civic Coupe Ignites Opening Day of 2013 SEMA Show
    - 2014 Civic Coupe features sportier exterior styling
    - 2014 Civic Si boosts fun-to-drive performance with more horsepower
    - Launch of Honda Performance Development Street Performance Accessory lineup beginning with CR-Z
    - 133-mph Honda "Mean Mower" joins stock and modified cars and motorcycles on display
    A significantly updated 2014 Honda Civic Coupe made its world debut today at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, offering a first look at new exterior styling updates to America's best-selling1 compact car. Honda also announced that the performance-oriented Civic Si will benefit from increased power and larger wheels and tires, making both the two- and four-door varieties even more fun to drive.
    Honda also surprised performance enthusiasts by announcing plans to begin sales of street-oriented performance parts developed by Honda Performance Development, Inc. (HPD), Honda's U.S.-based race engineering company, starting with a full range of performance accessories for the CR-Z sport hybrid coupe that go on-sale at Honda dealerships today. A power-boosting CR-Z supercharger package will follow in the spring of 2014. In the longer term, HPD engineers are also investigating other models and platforms in order to expand Honda's street performance product line.
    "With the further advancement of the 2014 Civic Coupe and Si models and an exciting path forward for performance parts drawing on our racing experience we are making a statement about our commitment to the fun to drive character of the Honda brand", said John Mendel, executive vice president auto sales for American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
    The 2014 Civic Coupe and Coupe Si
    Following a major refresh of Civic Sedan styling for 2013, Honda turns its attention to the Civic Coupe and Coupe Si, implementing a host of exterior design changes that include a more aggressive grille, hood, front fenders and headlight design. Additional Coupe exterior changes include new taillight lenses, sportier front and rear bumpers, new side mirrors and new wheel designs.
    The Civic Si Coupe benefits from the same styling enhancements as the standard Civic Coupe but adds Si-exclusive design cues, including a unique lower front bumper garnish, larger rear decklid spoiler, a distinctive front spoiler and sporty rear air diffuser. The Civic Si Sedan picks up on these same cues, and both the Si Coupe and Si Sedan get larger, 18-inch (+1 inch) wheels and tires with new wheel designs.
    The performance-tuned Civic Si Coupe and Si Sedan also get a retuned exhaust system that helps boost peak output to 205 horsepower2 (+4 horsepower) and 174 lb-ft of torque3 (+4 ft-lb).
    More details about the full 2014 Civic lineup will be made available at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 20, 2013
    Honda is hard at work on the next-generation Civic Type R which will pack a 2.0L turbo-four with 276 horsepower going to the front wheels. But don't expect to see this hot Civic coming to our shores anytime soon. Part of the reason comes from the Civic sold in the U.S. and the one sold elsewhere is very different. The other part comes from the Civic being seen as a econo-box and launching a high-performance and somewhat costly Civic seems like a bad idea.
    Now at this point, I'm sure you're wondering why I'm telling you about this vehicle that will never appear in the U.S. Well according to CarSales.com.au, the next-generation CR-Z will utilize the same platform as the new Type R.
    According to an unnamed source, the CR-Z will use a shortened wheelbase and a somewhat soften suspension setup from the Type R. Power will come fromdirect-injected and turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine teamed with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. Total output is around 221 horsepower. This is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
    We're not sure if we fully buy this as there is one source to this story and the details are a bit sketchy. We'll be sure to keep an eye on this and let you know if there are any updates.
    Source: CarSales.com.au
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 15, 2013
    About three years ago, Honda said there would not be a next-generation Ridgeline arriving in 2011. Since then, there has been murmurs and speculation that the Ridgeline would be heading into the great parking lot into the sky. Honda has been on the offensive with the CEO of American Honda saying the Ridgeline was a key part of the lineup. Now, industry sources tell Wards Auto that the Ridgeline is heading out... sort of.
    The sources say the production of the current Ridgeline will end next September at Honda's Lincoln, AL plant. Two years later, the next Ridgeline will be introduced. This is somewhat of a surprise since early reports had the current Ridgeline lasting till 2016.
    “(While) we don't comment on future product decisions, Ridgeline continues to be an important part of our lineup and we're pleased with Ridgeline sales, up 24% year-on-year and 32% in June,” said Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade when asked about the Ridgeline.
    Source: Wards Auto
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    By William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    January 11, 2013
    Honda could be joining Volkswagen and Ford with sharing platforms for a number of vehicles to reduce costs and increase sales.
    According to The Nikkei, Honda is looking at using a common platform for the Accord, Civic, and CR-V. The three models would share 40 to 50% parts when the next generation models would arrive from 2015 to 2017. Currently, the Civic and CR-V share around 20% of parts and neither model shares with the Accord.
    Honda is also planning to increase global sales, setting a goal of 6 million vehicles by 2016.
    Source: Fox Business
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    December 12, 2012
    Honda has issued a recall for 871,000 vehicles due to an issue where a vehicle may roll away after the key has been removed form the ignition. 92% of the effected vehicles (about 807,000) are in the U.S. The Honda vehicles in question are,
    2003 - 2005 Acura MDX: 230,000 vehicles
    2003 - 2004 Honda Odyssey: 318,000 vehicles
    2003 - 2004 Honda Pilot: 259,000
    Honda Vehicles Outside The U.S.: 64,000

    Honda in a statement says the problem pertains to the ignition interlock which can become damaged or worn. This can allow the key to be removed from the ignition when the car is started or if the transmission has been shifted into any gear.
    "If the transmission is not in park and the parking brake is not set, the vehicle could roll away and a crash could occur," Honda said in a statement.
    NHTSA opened a investigation into the issue after receiving 43 complaints about Honda and Acura vehicles rolling away. Some of the complaints say their vehicles hit parked cars, fences, trees, mailboxes and in some cases, caused bodily harm.
    Source: Reuters via The Chicago Tribune
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Drew Dowdell
    December 11, 2012
    Drew Dowdell
    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com
    The next big automotive fad appears to be little. Honda is working on an Urban Utility Vehicle concept, based on a sub-compact platform, to be shown in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show in January. They released this teaser sketch at a press conference today.
    This is a relatively new segment currently only occupied by the Mini-Countryman. Buick is set to release their new Encore in February, and we recently got word that Mazda is working on a CX-3 in the same vein.
    Expect similar announcements from other brands in the near future.
    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @cheersngears

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    November 20, 2012
    The Honda CR-Z tries to blend sportiness and hybrid efficiency. However, it doesn't do so well on either one and has been a poor seller. Through October, Honda has only sold 3,705 CR-Zs (down 64.7% year over year in sales). Still Honda still believes in the CR-Z and has made some changes for the 2013 model year.
    Outside, the CR-Z gets a reworked front fascia, new wheels, and a rear diffuser. Other outside changes include two new paint colors and and optional LED daytime running lights. Honda has also made small changes inside with new trim, redesigned door panels and new standard features like a rearview camera and Bluetooth.
    The biggest change deals with the battery. Honda changed out nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack for a lithium-ion pack. The switch helps bump horsepower and torque to 130 and up to 140 (increases of 8 HP and 12 lb-ft). Fuel economy has also increased a little bit, with the manual getting 31 City and 38 Highway, while CVT-equipped cars get 36 City and 39 Highway.
    Other drivetrain changes include a reworked manual transmission with a larger clutch and lower final drive ratio, and a new Plus Sport System that gives the system an extra boost of acceleration under certain conditions.
    Pricing for the 2013 CR-Z starts at $19,975* for the base model and $21,655* for the CR-Z EX (pricing doesn't include $790 destination charge). The new CR-Z arrives at Honda dealers this week.
    Source: Honda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    2013 Honda CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe Gets Performance Enhancements, Fresh Styling and Host of Feature Upgrades
    The only manual-transmission hybrid for sale in the U.S. adds more horsepower and value to its efficient, fun-to-drive appeal
    11/19/2012 - TORRANCE, Calif.
    The 2013 Honda CR-Z goes on sale November 21, 2012, with a host of powertrain, styling and feature upgrades adding to its sleek appeal and sporty handling. More power from an all-new Lithium-Ion battery pack improves performance while also improving the CR-Z's already impressive EPA mpg ratings. Styling upgrades include revised interior trim along with a new front fascia, a new finish for the 16-inch alloy wheels, an aerodynamically functional new rear diffuser and two new exterior colors – Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic.
    Standard features on all 2013 Honda CR-Z models include Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control. To give drivers even more access to the CR-Z's performance capabilities, the 2013 Honda CR-Z is also equipped with a new Plus Sport System, which allows additional on-demand electric boost via a steering wheel-mounted "S+" button.
    With a starting MSRP of $19,9751, two CR-Z models are offered for 2013, including the well-equipped base CR-Z and the feature-rich CR-Z EX. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment and an automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available. The up-level CR-Z EX adds Auto-On/Off High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD Premium Audio System with seven speakers including subwoofer, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more. The CR-Z EX is also available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 with FM traffic and voice recognition, Pandora® Interface and an SMS text messaging function.
    The improved horsepower and torque on the 2013 Honda CR-Z does not come with a fuel-economy penalty, as the new, more powerful Lithium-Ion battery pack helps boost EPA-rated fuel economy figures by 1 mpg city for CVT equipped models, and 1 mpg highway for CR-Z models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
    Summary of Changes for 2013
    -Revised front fascia styling
    -New 16-inch alloy wheel finish
    -New rear diffuser
    -New Lithium-Ion battery pack
    -Increased horsepower and torque
    -New Plus Sport System
    -Revised interior trim
    -Available two-tone combi (black/red) seats
    -StandardExpanded View Driver's Mirror
    -Standard Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
    -Standard Bluetooth® Audio
    -Standardrearview camera
    -Available Pandora® Interface and SMS text message function
    -Available LED daytime running lights (DRL)
    -New Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic exterior colors
    Powertrain
    The CR-Z hybrid powertrain is a unique variation of Honda's original IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) technology, which debuted on the 2000 Honda Insight, the first hybrid vehicle available for sale in North America. The system in the CR-Z utilizes a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system's DC brushless electric motor.
    The hybrid CR-Z's electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that recharges the new Lithium-Ion battery pack. The gasoline engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops to improve efficiency. When starting on steep inclines from a stop with the manual transmission, hill start assist temporarily prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards during the moment between releasing the brake, depressing the throttle and releasing the clutch.
    For 2013, assist from the electric motor has jumped from 10 kW to 15 kW, thanks to the new higher voltage (144-volt) Lithium-Ion battery pack. The CR-Z now delivers a combined peak output of 130 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque (127 lb-ft. on CVT-equipped models), a gain of eight horsepower and 12 lb-ft of torque (4 lb-ft on CVT equipped models). Manual-transmission versions also receive both a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio.
    Even with better performance, EPA fuel economy3 ratings for the 2013 Honda CR-Z have improved. On CVT-equipped models, the EPA city/hwy/combined rating is up 1 mpg city to 36/39/37 mpg, while models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission see an EPA mpg rating of 31/38/34, a gain of 1 mpg highway. The CR-Z is also rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) in states that adhere to California Air Resource Board (CARB) ZEV standards (EPA Tier 2, Bin 2 in all states).
    To help drivers make use of this improved performance, a new Plus Sport System is standard on the 2013 Honda CR-Z. If the battery is more than 50 percent charged and the CR-Z is traveling over 19 mph, the driver can activate this feature using the "S+" button on the steering wheel. When activated and the accelerator is pressed, electric boost begins, delivering increased acceleration for up to five seconds. A flashing gauge on the dashboard indicates when the Plus Sport System is active. The Plus Sport System can be used in Econ, Normal or Sport modes.
    Enhanced 3-Mode Drive System
    Activated via three backlit buttons to the left of the steering wheel, the CR-Z's 3-mode drive system allows the driver to choose among three individual performance modes:
    -Sport mode enhances engine throttle responsiveness, electric power steering effort and the electric motor power assist.
    -Normal mode standardizes steering, engine response, motor assist and air conditioning settings.
    -Econ mode can increase the potential for enhanced fuel efficiency by optimizing throttle angle for smooth acceleration, lower engine rpm and limiting power and torque by approximately 4-percent (except at wide-open throttle). It can also reduce the air conditioning's overall load on the engine and modify the cruise control to operate more efficiently.
    Body
    The CR-Z's "one-motion" exterior wedge shape begins at its low-slung hood to form a broad forward stance, with its side profile's deeply inset beltline adding a dynamic element. For 2013, a new front fascia and mesh grille help widen the presence of the CR-Z, and this effect is increased by the new "floating" lower front spoiler lip. New brighter chrome plating on the headlight assemblies tinged with blue clearcoat hint at the CR-Z's hybrid powertrain. The new rear diffuser mimics the floating lip of the front spoiler while also improving aerodynamic performance, and the lower portion of the tail lights receive the same blue clearcoat treatment. Exterior colors include Crystal Black Pearl, Milano Red, North Shore Blue Pearl, Premium White Pearl, new Passion Berry Pearl (exclusive to the Honda CR-Z), and new Polished Metal Metallic.
    Chassis
    The CR-Z's front MacPherson strut and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension are tuned to provide a sporty driving experience. All 2013 CR-Z models are equipped with new darker-tinged 16x6-inch aluminum wheels with finished spoke tips and 195/55R-16 tires, while accessory 17x7 alloy wheels with 205/45R-17 tires are available. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) uses ventilated front discs and solid rear discs. The low vehicle height, short wheelbase and placement of the battery and other hybrid components beneath the rear cargo area further contribute to a low center of gravity and responsive, sporty handling. Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering enhances steering performance and improves efficiency.
    Interior
    A high-tech appearance and intuitive controls define the CR-Z's newly revised interior. For 2013, interior changes include new metallic trim on the door pulls and latches, center console, speaker grilles and lower steering-wheel spokes. The inner door panel has been redesigned to provide easier access to the storage space, with the horizontal bar on the speaker housing eliminated, and a bottle holder added to the pocket. The door-pad trim has also been upgraded with a new, more upscale lamination. For 2013, CR-Z EX and Navi trims will provide an all-new black and red interior trim combination that adds new two-toned combi seats, and colored accents to the door panels and floor mats.
    The CR-Z's ultra-modern instrument panel gauges illuminate with a 3-dimensional blue color theme resulting in a multi-layered appearance. The upper portion of the dashboard extends toward the driver to provide a wraparound cockpit environment. Premium sport-oriented seats are designed to provide firm lateral support along with everyday driving comfort. A mid-ship console behind the front seats optimizes cargo space, and a hard-shell separator can be closed to create additional hidden storage.
    The CR-Z features a 6-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with an auxiliary input jack for connection to a portable audio player, and all models include a USB audio interface4 for connecting an iPod®5 or other compatible audio device. Other audio features include speed-sensitive volume control and CD/MP3 text readout. The radio data system shows supplemental programming information from participating radio stations while also offering search-by-genre capability (not available on the CR-Z EX with navigation). Now standard, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and a rearview camera further expand the CR-Z's appeal.
    A Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™2 is available on the CR-Z EX model and features a 6.5-inch screen and rearview camera display. For 2013, CR-Z EX Navi models add FM traffic, Pandora® and an SMS text messaging function. The navigation system database includes more than 7-million points of interest and integrates the audio system, while the voice recognition feature is capable of inputting numbers, street names and cities, in addition to more than 600 commands.
    Safety
    The CR-Z demonstrates a commitment to safety in its design and construction. The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure helps protect vehicle occupants in a frontal collision. Additional safety technologies include: standard dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; standard front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system (ABS); a tire pressure monitoring system; and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle.
    The Honda CR-Z earned a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 4-star Overall Vehicle Score in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests.
    Warranty
    The 2013 Honda CR-Z is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion limited warranty, as well as a 15-year/150,000-mile emissions warranty when the vehicle is registered and normally operated in California and certain states that have adopted California Zero-Emission Vehicle regulations.
    Connect with Honda:
    For consumers: http://automobiles.honda.com/cr-z/
    YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Honda
    Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda/
    Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Honda/posts
    1 MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
    2 The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ is available on the CR-Z EX in the United States, except Alaska. Please see your Honda dealer for details.
    3 Based on 2013 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
    4 The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. Please see your Honda dealer for details.
    5 iPod not included. Compatible devices include fifth-generation iPods and later and iPod Nano.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    October 23, 2012
    "For your dealership to take full advantage of the refreshed Civic and the marketing we will have supporting it you must greatly increase the turn rate on our 2012 Civics. With the unprecedented enhancements we have made to the current Civic after its first year in its cycle you will want to have little to no Civics on hand at arrival time of this refreshed 2013 model. The changes made to the 2013 model will make the outgoing 2012 Civic a difficult model sell when they are side to side. I strongly encourage you to discuss your Civic inventory situation with your district manager today, and set up a sell down strategy that will reduce your total remaining model year 2012 Civics by a minimum of 60% before December 1, 2012. I cannot stress enough, sell down of your 2012 Civics is critical to the 2013 Civic launch and the success of inventory balance at your dealership."
    This excerpt is from a letter by David Hendley, Assistant Vice President of Honda National Sales that was given to Autoblog by an anonymous tipster.
    Hendley's letter also gives some hints as to what to expect in the 2013 Civic. The 2013 Civic will address the 2012 Civic's interior by having "upgrades and improvements to bring more sophistication and quality to its appearance." Outside, the 2013 Civic will get "dramatic improvements to the exterior styling that moves Civic into a more premium sporty direction."
    The 2013 Honda Civic goes on sale on November 29, 2012.
    Source: Autoblog
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 14, 2012
    Honda has dropped a teaser image for the refreshed CR-Z that will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show later in the month.
    The teaser shot shows Honda has made a few design changes to the front end. There's a strip of LED lighting running under the HID headlights and new grille insert.
    The big changes are underneath the hood. Honda says the CR-Z will receive power increases for the gas engine and its electric motor. Honda is staying quiet on how much more power the CR-Z will, though it does say the power increase will not effect fuel economy or emissions.
    Source: Honda
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 10, 2012
    Last week, Honda announced the new 2013 Accord. Today, the company has released pricing on the sedan and coupe models. The Accord sedan starts at $21,680 (excludes $790 destination charge), while the Coupe starts at $23,350 (excludes $790 destination charge). That gets you Honda's new EarthDreams 2.4L four-cylinder producing 185 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque and a six-speed manual. The CVT will add $800 to the bottom line.
    Want a V6 model? The Accord V6 Sedan starts at $30,070, while the coupe starts at $30,350 (both excluding $790 destination charge). The V6 produces 278 HP and goes through either a CVT (sedan and coupe) or a six-speed manual (coupe).
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2

    2013 Honda Accord Adds Thousands of Dollars in New Standard Features
    with an MSRP Starting Under $22,000


    Pricing for all-new Accord remains consistent with outgoing model


    TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 10, 2012 – The dynamic all-new 2013 Honda Accord Sedan will debut at U.S. dealers nationwide on September 19, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) ranging from $21,680 for the well-equipped Accord LX to $33,430 for the luxurious Accord Touring model, plus a destination and handling charge of $790 per vehicle. The Accord Coupe will go on sale October 15 with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) starting at $23,350 for the sporty LX-S model plus a destination and handling charge1.
    The all-new Accord adds thousands of dollars worth of standard features and technologies with average pricing across the sedan lineup increasing by less than $300. The price of the most popular Accord LX (4-cylinder) trim is up by only $200.
    The 2013 Honda Accord has been fully redesigned from the ground up to deliver new levels of refinement, sophistication, fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance in the midsize segment. Every new Accord is equipped with alloy wheels, and standard features now also include a rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, USB/iPod® integration, Pandora® internet radio compatibility, SMS text message function, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.
    “The 2013 Accord excels in all areas with sophisticated design, a luxurious interior, world-class dynamic performance, class-leading standard features and legendary Honda quality, all at a tremendous value for the customer,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales, American Honda Motor Co. Inc., “2012 is the year of the midsize sedan, and the new Accord will once again solidify Honda’s position at the head of the pack.”
    New to the Accord Sedan lineup for 2013 are the Sport and Touring models. The Accord Sport targets younger buyers with the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels, fog lights,10-way power driver’s seats, a decklid spoiler, dual chrome exhaust finishers, paddle shifters (on CVT models), a stiffer tower strut bar and exclusive suspension and steering tuning. Positioned between the Accord LX and Accord EX, the Sport model is equipped with the 2.4-liter direct-injected all-aluminum VTEC® engine paired to either a 6-speed manual or Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The Sport model is value priced with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $23,390 plus a destination and handling charge1.
    The luxurious and technology-packed Accord Touring is equipped with a powerful V-6 engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. Equipped with Honda’s first application of LED headlights and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), the Accord Touring sedan is priced with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $33,430 plus a destination and handling charge1.
    The 2013 Accord lineup is powered by a wide array of new Earth Dreams™ powertrains, which includes the first U.S. application of Honda’s next-generation 2.4-liter direct-injected VTEC 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will also offer a more powerful and efficient Earth Dreams VTEC V-6. Three transmissions are available, including the first-ever application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models, a six-speed automatic on V-6 models, and 6-speed manual transmissions on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models and the 3.5-liter V-6 Coupe.
    The 2013 Accord successfully balances fun-to-drive performance with fuel efficiency. Accord Sedan 4-cylinder models paired to the CVT earn an impressive 27/36/30 mpg2 city/highway/combined EPA fuel economy ratings (an increase of 3/2/3 mpg compared to the previous model) and the V-6 models achieve class-leading EPA fuel economy ratings of 21/34/25 city/highway/combined mpg2 (an increase of 1/4/1 compared to the previous model) making it the most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicle in the V-6 midsize sedan class.
    Other new Accord technologies include the first application of the all-new cloud-based HondaLink™ system featuring Aha™, which lets drivers put away their smartphones and still stay connected to the people, music and social media they love. Also debuting on the 2013 Accord is Honda LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera integrated with the passenger-side mirror and the vehicle’s 8-inch color display to provide for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. LaneWatch is standard equipment on EX and above versions of the Sedan, and EX-L versions of the Coupe.
    Celebrating 30 years of Accord production in the United States, the all-new 2013 Honda represents the expanding capabilities of Honda in North America. The Accord is produced by Honda of America Mfg. Inc. in Marysville, Ohio, using domestic and globally sourced parts. Its engines are produced at Honda plants in Anna, Ohio and the transmissions are produced at Russells Point, Ohio, and in Tallapoosa, Georgia. The Marysville Auto Plant earned a Silver Plant Quality Award from J.D. Power and Associates in its 2012 Initial Quality Study.
    The 2013 Honda Accord is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile Corrosion Limited Warranty.
    2013 Accord Sedan Pricing:
    Model
    Transmission
    Pricing
    EPA ratings2
    city/highway/combined
    4-cylinder models
    Accord LX
    6-speed MT
    $21,680
    24/34/28
    CVT
    $22,480
    27/36/30
    Accord Sport
    6-speed MT
    $23,390
    24/34/28
    CVT
    $24,190
    26/35/29
    Accord EX
    6-speed MT
    $24,605
    24/34/28
    CVT
    $25,405
    27/36/30
    Accord EX-L
    CVT
    $27,995
    27/36/30
    Accord EX-L with Navi
    CVT
    $29,995
    27/36/30
    V-6 models
    Accord EX-L V-6
    6-speed AT
    $30,070
    21/34/25
    Accord EX-L Navi V-6
    6-speed AT
    $32,070
    21/34/25
    Accord Touring V-6
    6-speed AT
    $33,430
    21/34/25
    2013 Accord Coupe Pricing:
    Model
    Transmission
    Pricing
    EPA ratings2
    city/highway/combined
    4-cylinder models
    Accord LX-S
    6-speed MT
    $23,350
    24/34/28
    CVT
    $24,200
    26/35/29
    Accord EX
    6-speed MT
    $25,025
    24/34/28
    CVT
    $25,875
    26/35/29
    Accord EX-L
    CVT
    $28,070
    26/35/29
    Accord EX-L Navi
    CVT
    $30,070
    26/35/29
    V-6 models
    Accord EX-L V-6
    6-speed MT
    $30,350
    18/28/22
    6-speed AT
    $30,350
    21/32/25
    Accord EX-L Navi V-6
    6-speed MT
    $32,350
    18/28/22
    6-speed AT
    $32,350
    21/32/25

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    September 5, 2012
    Last month, Honda unveiled the ninth-generation Accord sedan and coupe. At the time, Honda only talked about the design and that more information would come out in the fall. Well, fall has arrived and Honda has spilled more details on the new Accord.
    Starting with the powertrains, most Accords will come equipped with Honda's EarthDreams 2.4L direct-injected four-cylinder producing 185 HP and 181 lb-ft of torque. If you get the Accord Sport, the power jumps to 189 HP and 182 lb-ft of torque. Transmissions will be either a six-speed manual or a CVT. Honda says the four-cylinder with the CVT will get fuel economy numbers of 27 City/36 Highway.
    A new 3.5L V6 is also available producing 278 HP and 252 lb-ft of torque. The V6 sedan will only be available with a six-speed automatic with steering-wheel paddles. The coupe has the choice between the automatic or a six-speed manual. Fuel economy for the V6 is 21 City/34 Highway.
    Other mechanical changes include electric power steering and a new strut front suspension.
    Inside the Accord, the dash trades the stacked layout for a single wraparound piece with fewer center controls. Standard equipment on all models include dual-zone climate control, a touch screen audio system with Pandora radio and Bluetooth, rearview camera, tilting-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, automatic headlights, and active noise canceling. Move up the trims and you can get a moonroof, power seats, a navigation system, keyless access with push-button start and heated leather seats.
    Safety features on the new Accord include side airbags, antilock brakes, and electronic stability control. Optional is a forward-collision warning which alerts drivers when they're about to hit something and LaneWatch which uses a camera on the side of the car to display what's in your blind spot on the screen.
    The new Accord sedan will go on sale later on in the month, with the coupe following along a month after. Pricing hasn't been announced.

    But that's not all!

    Also today, Honda introduced the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The plug-in marks a shift for Honda as this model abandons the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) and uses a downsized version of the 2.4L four-cylinder, 124-kW electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack. Honda estimates total output to be 196 HP and 226 lb-ft of torque. Electric-only range is expected to be about 15 miles, while total range is expected to be over 500 miles.
    Recharging time for the lithium-ion battery can take up to an hour on 240V outlet or three hours on 120V outlet.
    The plug-in hybrid differs from the normal Accord due to a new front grille treatment, aerodynamic alloy wheels, blue-tinted headlights, and hybrid badges.
    Inside, the Accord Plug-In comes fully loaded and has the requisite charge, power, and efficiency gauges and screens.
    The Accord Plug-In Hybrid goes on sale early next year. There also will be a conventional Accord Hybrid coming next summer.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press release for the Accord sedan and coupe are on Page 3
    Press release for the Accord Plug-In is on Page 4
    All-New 2013 Honda Accord Brings Remarkable Levels of Luxury, Agility, Efficiency and Sophistication to Midsize Segment’s Legendary Nameplate



    Ninth-generation Accord offers all-new direct-injected powertrain, class-leading safety innovations and upcoming plug-in hybrid model


    TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 – Honda today announced the all-new 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe, a storied nameplate that will once again redefine sophistication, efficiency and driving joy in the midsize class. Completely redesigned for 2013, the all-new Honda Accord provides a host of powertrain, engineering, electronic and safety firsts combined with Honda’s trademark visibility and smart design.
    Better, not bigger, the completely new Honda Accord lineup includes Sedan and Coupe models powered by 4-cylinder, V-6 and hybrid powertrains, teamed to manual, automatic and continuously variable transmission (CVT) options. The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan goes on sale September 19, 2012, with the Coupe to follow on October 15, 2012. An all-new, two-motor 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan is scheduled to debut in early 2013, followed by a conventional hybrid based on the same powertrain architecture in the summer of 2013.
    Using the most high-strength steel in the model’s history, the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe bodies combine sophisticated and athletic styling with remarkable aerodynamic streamlining. Revised Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structures improve frontal crash safety, making the all-new Accord one of few midsize offerings expected to excel in the upcoming small-overlap frontal barrier crash test.
    All-new Earth Dreams™ powertrains include the first U.S. application of Honda’s next-generation 2.4-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder engine. The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe will also offer a more powerful and efficient V-6, and in early 2013, an all-new two-motor 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will debut. Four transmissions are available, including the first-ever application of a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models, a six-speed automatic on V-6 models, and unique 6-speed manual transmissions on 2.4-liter 4-cylinder models and the 3.5-liter V-6 Coupe. Fuel efficiency is the best ever for an Accord in the EPA Midsize class, with 4-cylinder models earning up to an EPA 36 mpg highway rating1 and V-6 models getting up to an EPA 34 mpg highway rating.1
    Other new Accord technologies include the first application of the all-new cloud-based HondaLink™ system, which lets drivers put away their smartphones and still stay connected to the people, music and social media they love. Also debuting on the 2013 Accord is the exclusive available Honda LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, which uses a camera system mounted on the passenger mirror for an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. The all-new 2013 Honda Accord also receives a rearview camera and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror as standard equipment.
    New Accord Technology
    Honda’s first use of direct injection (DI) in North America contributes to the 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine’s excellent fuel efficiency and low emissions.
    A new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), available with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, contributes to the Accord’s improved fuel efficiency. Honda’s unique G-Design Shift logic creates a connected feel and provides a more immediate acceleration response than conventional automatics or other CVT designs.
    New MacPherson-strut front suspension improves ride and handling qualities, while also reducing interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The new lighter aluminum and steel front subframe also uses a proprietary Honda friction-stir welding process.
    Three features highly coveted by consumers are now standard on every new Accord: Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, USB/iPod® integration and rearview camera. No other manufacturer provides this level of standard equipment. Honda’s Expanded View Driver's Mirror is also now standard equipment on every Accord.
    All Accord models feature standard Econ button with Eco Assist™
    Included on Accord EX, EX-L and Touring Sedan models and EX-L Coupe, Honda LaneWatch™ Blind Spot Display provides an expanded rear view of the passenger side roadway through the intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID).
    All-new Smart Entry & Push Button Start included on Accord EX, EX-L and Touring models.
    Included on EX-L and Touring Sedan and EX-L Coupe models, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) alerts the driver when a potential collision with another vehicle ahead is detected.
    Included on Accord EX-L and Touring models, Lane Departure Warning (LDW) alerts the driver when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use.
    New SmartVent™ side airbags mitigate the risk of excessive airbag deployment force while eliminating the need for the prior Accord’s Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS). SmartVent also allows improved heating of the passenger seatback on EX-L and Touring models.
    The Accord Touring Sedan offers Honda’s first light emitting diode (LED) projector headlights for improved visibility. In addition, LED daytime running lights (DRLs) are found on V-6 powered models, while LED brake lights come on all EX-L and Touring models.
    Exclusive to the Touring Sedan, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a desired speed and a distance interval behind the vehicle ahead.
    The all-new available HondaLink™ connected-car system allows owners to put their smartphones away and still stay connected to their favorite digital content.

    Model Lineup
    The 2013 Honda Accord Sedan will be available in six model choices, including an all-new top-spec Touring trim (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6, and Touring), with the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan arriving early in 2013. The striking 2013 Honda Accord Coupe will be available in four model choices (LX-S, EX, EX-L and EX-L V6).
    The 2013 Accord Sedan is available in nine exterior colors, including four metallic and five pearl colors. All-new colors include Champagne Frost Pearl, Hematite Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl. The 2013 Accord Coupe is available in seven exterior colors, including two metallic, five pearl and one solid color. All-new colors include Modern Steel Metallic, Still Night Pearl, Tiger Eye Pearl and White Orchid Pearl.
    Powertrain
    As in previous generations, two gasoline engines are available on the 2013 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe. These include a new Earth Dreams™ 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with Honda’s first use of direct injection in North America, and an Earth Dreams™ 3.5-liter V-6 with revised VTEC + VCM functions. The base 185-horsepower (hp) 4-cylinder engine is coupled to a choice of an efficient new continuously variable transmission (CVT), or a new fun-to-shift 6-speed manual transmission on selected models. The Accord Sport Sedan model provides a 189-horsepower version of the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Meanwhile, Accord V-6 models feature a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic or, in the V-6 Coupe, a 6-speed manual transmission.
    In early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid will debut Honda’s new 2.0-liter 4-cylinder two-motor plug-in hybrid system. Available in the Sedan only, this system operates continuously through three modes – all-electric, gasoline-electric and direct-drive – to maximize fuel efficiency.
    Body
    Crisply styled and aerodynamically efficient, the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe body designs are the most sophisticated in Accord history. The 2013 Accord unit-body uses 55.8-percent high-tensile steel, more than in any previous Accord. In addition, 17.2-percent of the steel is now grade 780, 980 and 1,500 – extremely high grades that have never before been used in any Accord. This contributes to higher body rigidity and reduced weight, which directly benefits ride and handling, interior quietness, performance and efficiency and long-term durability.
    With its contoured body-sides, the Sedan’s exterior design is sleek, bold and decisive, while the Coupe’s design is rakish, taut and athletic. Extensive use of under-covers improve aerodynamics for increased fuel efficiency, while other advances include available LED headlights, DRLs and brake lights, mirror-mounted turn signals, and the standard Expanded View Driver’s Mirror that increases the driver’s field of vision by 4.2 degrees.
    Chassis
    Literally every aspect of the Accord’s chassis was reviewed or redesigned to create the best possible driving experience. Altogether, the highly rigid unit-body, refined suspension technology and advanced electronics define the 2013 Accord chassis as the most capable in model history. The new Accord is quieter and more responsive on city streets, smoother and more composed on the highway, and even more faithful to the driver’s wishes on winding roads.
    New features for Accord include a MacPherson strut front suspension, a steel and aluminum front subframe and electric power steering (EPS). Standard Active Noise Control (ANC) and Active Sound Control (ASC) on both 4-cylinder and V-6 models counteract engine noise, particularly at high rpm.
    The lightweight MacPherson strut front suspension improves ride and handling qualities while also reducing interior noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). The new aluminum and steel front subframe reduces weight and, in conjunction with the new independent multi-link rear suspension, further reduces NVH. Careful aerodynamic tailoring of the underbody and suspension systems provides additional noise reductions.
    The new EPS setup uses an electric motor to assist the rack-and-pinion steering rather than the hydraulic assist of the previous Accord. The result is reduced steering effort and fuel consumption, with improved precision, feel and stability.
    Alloy wheels are now standard across the Accord model range, and range in size from 16 to 18 inches. Four-wheel disc brakes are also standard, as is Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) with Brake Assist, a 4-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Hill start assist is also now standard on the Accord.
    Interior
    A completely new interior provides a level of luxury and craftsmanship never before seen in the Accord. Available in Black, Gray and Ivory cloth or leather, the interior combines welcoming comfort with an impressive range of available technologies. Standard features include redesigned seating, dual-zone automatic climate control and simplified controls and instrumentation.
    Compared to the prior edition, both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe offer spacious accommodations for five passengers, and a roomy trunk with a flatter load floor for greater utility. Although the Accord's length has decreased over three inches and the wheelbase is almost an inch shorter, key interior dimensions grow. Rear legroom increases over an inch, both front and rear shoulder room increase, and trunk space is up over a cubic foot. Altogether, the interior is remarkably quiet, stylish and upscale, with high-quality materials, exemplary fit and finish, and advanced seating comfort and ergonomics.
    Contemporary onboard electronics help the Accord driver seamlessly interface with the latest generation of compatible personal mobile electronics. Standard features on all Accords include a bright, full-color 8-inch (diagonal) “intelligent” Multi-Information Display (i-MID), Bluetooth®2 HandsFreeLink® phone interface, Pandora® internet radio interface and an SMS text messaging feature. A new available Audio with touchscreen display and the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition and FM Traffic is also available.
    The 2013 Accord is also the first Honda product to offer available HondaLink™ technology, which works with the owner’s compatible smartphone to connect the Accord with music and media resources such as Aha™ by Harman, internet apps, roadside assistance and more. Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) are also available.
    Safety
    The 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe offer the greatest range of active and passive safety features in Honda history. Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) is standard on all Accord models, and available new technologies include Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
    Collision safety engineering includes the updated Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, which improves occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions, and the most extensive use of high-strength steel in Accord history. The Accord’s impact-absorbing front body design can even help attenuate energy in the event of a frontal collision with a pedestrian.
    Passive-safety features include six airbags, including dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags. New SmartVent™ side airbags reduce the risk of excessive airbag deployment force and eliminate the need for the Accord’s previous Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS).
    Based on internal testing, both the 2013 Accord Sedan and Coupe are expected to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 5-star ratings in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests3.
    Manufacturing
    Celebrating 30 years of Accord production in the United States, the all-new 2013 Honda represents the expanding capabilities of Honda in North America. Virtually every aspect of the Accord was developed, tested and finalized by Honda associates throughout California and Ohio. The Accord is produced4 in Ohio by Honda of America Mfg. Inc. using domestic and globally sourced parts.

    All-New 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid SedanMelds Power, Luxury and Efficiency with Electric-Only Driving Mode



    Honda’s first plug-in hybrid combines extensive standard features



    and estimated driving range over 500 miles


    TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 5, 2012 – The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will provide the athleticism and craftsmanship of the all-new Accord platform, charged with a remarkable dose of hybrid efficiency and electric torque. Set to go on sale in early 2013, the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) Sedan will offer premium technology, exceptional cabin space, the ability to run in an all-electric mode for 10 to 15 miles1 and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles.
    The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan features one of four efficient new powertrains for the all-new Accord. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid will also serve as the basis for a conventional hybrid version of the Accord Sedan, which will join the Honda Accord lineup in the summer of 2013.
    The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by Honda’s first two-motor hybrid system, and uses a new Earth DreamsTM 2.0-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine producing 137 horsepower, teamed with a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor. Electric driving is supported by a 6.7 kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, and total system output is 196 horsepower.
    To maximize driving efficiency, the uniquely designed two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord PHEV powertrain to move seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Fuel efficiency for the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid is expected to exceed 100 MPG-e, and it’s also expected to receive an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
    Beyond its function as a full-electric vehicle, owners of the 2014 Accord PHEV will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the plug-in Accord to their own commute. In its default upon start-up, the Accord PHEV acts as a pure electric vehicle and will continue on in full-electric mode until battery capacity necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds or under high demand for acceleration, the gasoline engine can kick in to provide additional power.
    In “HV” mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending motor power between gasoline and electric to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level. In “HV Charge” mode, the Accord PHEV blends gasoline and electric power while also augmenting the battery charge level.
    The 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid Sedan will feature an electric servo braking system similar to the setup on the Honda Fit EV, which allows for exceptionally natural brake pedal feel, while extending the range over which the regenerative braking can take place. In addition to its efficient powertrain, the Accord PHEV features remarkably swift charging times. The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet, and in less than one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2” charger. The free HondaLink™ EV smartphone application will allow owners to easily monitor the charging state of the Accord PHEV.
    Based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will feature three exterior color choices, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic exterior color choice. The Accord PHEV will also feature a weight-saving aluminum hood, 17-inch forged alloy wheels, a unique front bumper along with enhanced underbody aerodynamic treatments.
    A host of visibility technologies are standard on the 2014 Accord PHEV, including a rearview camera, an expanded-view driver’s mirror, Honda’s new LaneWatch™ blind-spot display, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), and LED mirror-mounted turn indicators.
    Standard Features
    The Accord PHEV is available in a single highly equipped trim level, based on the standard features of the premium Accord Touring model. Standard Accord PHEV features include:
    Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
    USB/iPod® connectivity
    Dual-zone automatic climate control
    Pandora® internet radio compatibility
    Smart Start and Smart Entry
    Honda LaneWatch™
    Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition2
    Multi-view rearview camera
    HondaLink™ EV telematics system
    Heated front seats
    Auto-dimming rearview mirror
    Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    Driver’s 10-way power seat with 2-position memory
    HomeLink®
    Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)
    Audio with touchscreen interface
    Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
    Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
    Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
    Bio-Fabric seating surfaces
    Expanded-view driver’s mirror
    LED mirror-mounted turn signals
    LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
    LED headlights
    Fog lights
    Chrome-plated door handles
    Decklid spoiler

    Powertrain
    The Earth Dreams technology used on the Accord PHEV includes an i-VTEC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled with a two-motor hybrid drive system. The hybrid system features a 124-kW electric motor powered by a 6.7-kWh Li-Ion battery pack. The gasoline engine produces a maximum 137 horsepower (hp) at 6200 rpm. In conjunction with the two-motor hybrid-drive system, the total power output peaks at 196 hp, which surpasses the Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid, Chevrolet Volt and projected output of the Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. The EarthDreams engine horsepower alone surpasses the total gas-electric output of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid.
    Although not finalized at press time, anticipated fuel economy ratings for the 2014 Accord PHEV are expected to exceed 100 MPG-e1 in full-electric mode, provide a 10- to 15-mile1 EV driving range and a calculated1 total driving range over 500 miles. When in gasoline-only mode, it is expected to return one of the top EPA fuel economy ratings among mid-size sedans, and is also expected to earn an Enhanced AT-PZEV rating from the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
    The two-motor hybrid system in the 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid allows power from the gasoline engine to flow directly to the front wheels, power the generator to supply electrical propulsion or even charge the battery pack. The Accord PHEV hybrid system moves seamlessly and automatically through its three powertrain states to maximize performance, efficiency and range.
    From a low-charge indicator point3, recharge time for the Li-Ion battery pack when plugged into a standard 120-volt wall outlet is less than three hours, among the fastest in the Accord PHEV’s class. And when plugged into a Level-2, 240-volt charger the recharge time is less than one hour – the quickest in the class. This is about half the required charge time of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid. The battery pack is mounted above the rear suspension, which helps maintain interior and trunk space and provides protection for the battery pack in a collision.
    Body
    The Accord body received further improvements in weight reduction, aerodynamic efficiency and rolling resistance in its transformation to Accord PHEV. All are designed to help Accord PHEV drivers maximize their driving range from every watt of electrical energy and every gallon of gasoline. Weight reduction features include:
    All-aluminum front subframe
    17-inch forged aluminum wheels
    Aluminum brake pedal
    Aluminum hood
    Aluminum rear bumper beam
    Puncture repair kit (in place of gasoline-engine Accord’s spare wheel and tire)

    Aerodynamic advancements include:
    Powertrain undercover
    Cabin floor undercovers
    Rear decklid spoiler
    Aerodynamic wheel covers

    Reductions in rolling resistance include:
    Low rolling-resistance tires
    Low-friction wheel bearings

    Chassis
    The Accord PHEV chassis begins with the core engineering of the Accord Sedan, but then adds an all-aluminum front subframe (replacing the steel and aluminum version on the gasoline-engine Accord). The Accord PHEV uses proprietary 17-inch forged-aluminum wheels with a special low-aero drag design, fitted with 225/50-17 tires.
    As with the gasoline-engine Accord models, the Accord PHEV uses an electric power steering (EPS) system that automatically adjusts the amount of steering assist for conditions. The EPS system is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and it operates consistently whether the vehicle is using electricity, gasoline, or both.
    The Accord PHEV features a braking system similar to the system in the Honda Fit EV, which provides fully electronic control of the hydraulic brake system. This system results in an improvement in regenerative braking efficiency compared to a hydraulic booster system used in other hybrids.
    Interior
    Sophisticated and contemporary, the redesigned 2013 Accord Sedan interior serves as the ideal basis for the 2014 Accord PHEV interior. Like the Fit EV, the Accord PHEV features a next-gen Honda Bio Fabric seat material, a new fabric that offers conventional softness and durability, but with reduced manufacturing environmental impact. The interior features several brighter trim accents and is available in gray to compliment the choice of three exterior colors.
    With the Accord PHEV’s free and convenient HondaLink™ EV smartphone app, owners can remotely schedule charging of the Li-Ion battery pack (taking advantage of “off-peak” electricity rates), monitor the state of charge, and even pre-warm or pre-cool the vehicle’s interior while charging before they drive. This suite of capabilities is similar to those offered on the new 2013 Fit EV. HondaLink EV features include:
    Charge scheduling
    Charge status
    Charge complete notification
    Drive range display
    Charge station locator
    HVAC pre-conditioning

    Safety
    Like the all-new Accord, the new Accord PHEV offers a greater range of standard active and passive safety features than any other vehicle in Honda history. These include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). The Accord PHEV also has an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) to audibly warn pedestrians when it is approaching in EV Drive mode. Based on internal testing, the 2014 Accord PHEV is expected to earn a TOP SAFETY PICK rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 5-Star ratings in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests.
    Manufacturing
    The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid Sedan will be built in Sayama, Japan.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    August 12, 2012
    Honda is looking towards America to help out with the development of future vehicles. Honda cites two reasons for this move. One is due to the rising Japanese Yen which is making the price of development much higher. Also, Honda is under growing pressure from other automaker including Nissan and Hyundai with their new vehicles.
    "Our U.S. r&d team is taking the next step in our growth toward an even larger responsibility for meeting the needs of our customers in North America," said Honda's North American R&D chief Erik Berkman at an a summit in Traverse City, Michigan.
    Honda's North America r&d will be taking over taking over the next-generation Civic and will be the lead on the Acura NSX.
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Drew Dowdell
    August 8, 2012
    Drew Dowdell
    Managing Editor - CheersandGears.com
    Honda today release pictures of the re-sculpted 2013 Honda Accord sedan and Coupe. As one of their perennial best sellers, Honda did not stray too far from the formula that has kept them near or at the top of the mid-size family car segment for years. The overall look of the next Accord isn't much of a surprise since it is so close to the barely disguised concept-as-a-production-car Accord shown at the Detroit Auto Show last January.
    Honda has repackaged the Accord to allow for more room on the interior while being slightly smaller outside. Further information on power trains will be released later in 2012, but we expect the 2013 Honda Accord to be available with a new 2.4 liter 4-cylinder and an all new 3.5 liter V6 with cylinder deactivation. Both will come with direct injection and stop-start technology. Transmissions will be a CVT and a new 6-speed automatic respectively. We are also expecting the eventual return of the Accord Hybrid, this time using an all-new 2-mode system with plug-in capability replacing Honda's IMA.
    Aside from the familiar LX and EX trims, Honda is introducing "Sport" and "Touring" designations on the Accord with Sport sitting between the LX and EX 4-cylinder models and Touring being the top trim available.

    Drew Dowdell is Managing Editor of CheersandGears.com and can be reached at Drew.Dowdell@CheersandGears.com or on Twitter as @Cheersngears

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 20, 2012
    Honda has revealed their new HondaLink infotainment system which will be appearing in the 2013 Accord and Fit EV.
    As we reported last month, HondaLink will use will feature Aha Radio, a cloud-based digital content service that uses data from a smartphone to provide a variety of music, news, podcasts, other traditional audio content, and reading of facebook and twitter updates. (Because everyone wants to hear an update on someone's relationship status or what they're for lunch today. (Steps off soapbox))
    Also, HondaLink will provide Pandora Internet Radio and voice-to-text messaging that was first introduced on the 2012 CR-V.
    There is another version of HondaLink called HondaLink EV that will allow the driver to check driving range and locate EV charging stations, as well as remotely initiate charging, view the state of charge and activate the air-conditioning and heater. HondaLink EV will be on the Fit EV and the upcoming Accord Plug-In Hybrid.
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.
    Press Release is on Page 2
    New Cloud-Based HondaLink™ Connected Car System Helps Drivers Put Away Their Phones While Maintaining Intuitive Access to Their Favorite Media
    HondaLink™ provides first-ever OEM application of Aha™, delivering robust digital content via preset smartphone app
    July 18, 2012
    TORRANCE
    Honda today unveiled HondaLink™, a new in-vehicle connectivity system that will debut this fall on the all-new, ninth-generation 2013 Honda Accord. Featuring the first automotive OEM application of Aha™ by Harman, HondaLink will provide a personalized experience connecting drivers to thousands of cloud-based news, information and entertainment feeds from around the world, using an intuitive, audio-system based interface.
    "HondaLink will enable customers to put away their phone and still stay connected to the people, music and media they love," said Vicki Poponi, assistant vice president of product planning for American Honda. "By creating an intuitive and customizable user interface, HondaLink allows drivers to access digital content as easily as choosing a radio station."
    Honda's intuitive new HondaLink smartphone application allows owners to preset content on their phone. Once in the car, consumers can enjoy personalized content accessible via voice recognition, steering-wheel mounted controls and in-dash audio system controls. With a tethered smartphone serving as a conduit to a wealth of cloud-based media, HondaLink creates a unique, connected driving experience.
    "Honda's strategy is about leveraging the cloud to bring a wealth of new information and services to Honda owners," said Charles Koch, American Honda manager of new business development. "This is the next evolution of the connected car and the connected customer."
    Through the Aha service, for example, HondaLink users can listen to Facebook and Twitter audio newsfeeds, podcasts from NPR, location-based personalized restaurant listings from Yelp!, and access internet music services such as Slacker. The service is free and instantly accessible from the cloud.
    Aha delivers a user-friendly experience requiring infrequent smartphone software updates, with in-vehicle content and channel access updating simply and automatically throughout the vehicle life. And content available from HondaLink will grow as the system continues to expand its services for Honda owners. HondaLink will also incorporate Pandora internet radio and voice-to-text SMS text services with pre-programmed responses, which Honda introduced on the 2012 CR-V.
    HondaLink EV
    The HondaLink family also includes HondaLink EV, specifically designed for the all-new Fit EV all-electric vehicle and the upcoming Accord Plug-In Hybrid. Owners of these electric vehicles will have access to unique applications designed specifically to maintain connectivity to their vehicle. The HondaLink EV application will allow the user to remotely view the state of charge, initiate charging, and activate the air conditioning and heater to pre-condition the vehicle while connected to the grid to maximize battery range on start-up. HondaLink EV will launch with the Fit EV, which will be available for lease in California and Oregon beginning on July 20, 2012.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    July 2, 2012
    While most automakers like Ford, Toyota, and General Motors have been putting a larger focus on infotainment systems, Honda has been playing it safe.
    Compared to the current crop of infotainment systems, Honda's system shows its age. The navigation and audio sources are somewhat severely dated. That will be changing for 2013.
    Wired's Autopia reports that Honda is readying a new infotainment system called Hondalink that will first appear in the Fit EV, due out sometime in July. After the Fit EV, HondaLink will be in the new 2013 Accord. Honda representatives say they don't know if the system will utilize a cellular modem or work through a smartphone. This is due to Honda moving many of its connected services away from satellite data.
    Honda's first move of connected services was at this year's Consumer Electronics Show, where Honda announced its partnership with Aha Radio. Aha Radio allows owners of Android and iOS devices to access thousands of streaming audio feeds that can be played on the head unit.
    Source: Autopia
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    June 28, 2012
    If you were only to read the headlines about Honda, you might be wondering why a good amount of people are complaining. So far in 2012, Honda sales are up, has excellent relations with their suppliers, won this year’s Indy 500, and many other good stories that many a company wish they had.
    However, those in the know see that Honda lost the magic that it once had during the eighties and nineties with its core group of fans. Honda has also began to realize this very fact and is taking some drastic steps to fix it.
    For the first time in Honda’s history, they have promoted an American, Erik Berkman, to the position of North American Research and Development chief.
    "What we expect him to do is, through this good knowledge and experience, fulfill his dream of making North America strong," said Tetsuo Iwamura, Executive Vice President of Honda North America.
    Making Honda strong in North America will not be an easy feat. Berkman has to balance building cars that have the magic of old Honda vehicles while keeping keeping the brand profitable. Honda is the only automaker not to post an annual loss, despite a recession and the bad reviews on their cars.
    However, Berkman has the reputation to possibly pull this off. A 30 year veteran of Honda, he has worked on the 1999 Honda Odyssey and 2001 Acura CL, his team designed the multiple-Indy 500-winning engine, and Berkman was the head of the 2004 Acura TL: a car that he had to fight for, and one that turn out for the best. In 2004, the TL was the best selling in its class.
    Berkman’s first order of business is the Civic. The new Civic has been panned by the press and caused Honda to move up the refresh to this year. Berkman says the refreshed Civic will bring a few “tweaks” including upgraded interior materials and revised driving dynamics.
    Berkman’s ultimate goal for Honda is this: "We want everybody to fall over and go: There it is again. There's that Honda we used to praise."
    Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    William Maley
    William Maley
    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com
    June 22, 2012
    Spy photographers strike once again, this time getting shots of the new Accord Sedan and Coupe while undergoing some hot weather testing.
    Lets begin with the Accord coupe. The coupe mule caught in these pictures is almost identical to the concept shown at NAIAS in January. The front end features a wraparound grille and LED-infused headlights. There’s a noticeable character line running from front fender to the door handle.
    Next is the sedan which appears to be somewhat daring for Honda. Like the Coupe, the Sedan has a noticeable character line running down the doors. Also, the Accord sedan gets a more raked windshield and a extended roofline.
    And to top it all off, spy shots of the Accord’s interior have appeared. The big change is with the Accord’s center stack. Honda has realized that having a mess of buttons isn’t the best of ideas and has cut back on the amount and organized the buttons in a way to make it easier to find what you need. Also, the new Accord is taking some notes from the CR-V with its instrument cluster. The next accord will drop the pair of dials (speedometer and tachometer) and go towards a center speedometer with a with a digital display in its center. Left of the speedometer is the tachometer, while on the other side could be a fuel gauge.
    Source: Automotive.com, Motor Trend
    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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