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    August 2012: Honda


    American Honda Reports August Sales: Total Sales Up 59.5 Percent; Acura Sets Monthly Light Truck Record on Record RDX Sales

    Honda division sales up 57.9 percent, Acura sales up 72.8 percent

    TORRANCE, Calif.

    American Honda today reported August 2012 U.S. sales of 131,321 units, an increase of 59.5 percent compared with August 2011 (an increase of 53.6 percent based on the daily selling rate*). The Honda Division posted August 2012 sales of 115,675 units, an increase of 57.9 percent compared with August 2011. Acura's U.S. August sales of 15,646 units increased 72.8 percent compared with August 2011.

    Honda

    Honda division posts strong August sales of 115,675, best August sales in two years

    • Accord posted its second best sales month of the year at 34,848 units, up 89 percent; Civic sales up 106 percent with 24,897 units sold
    • CR-V continues sales success at 23,877 units, up more than 44 percent
    • Odyssey sales up more than 61 percent from August 2011, with 12,750 units sold in August

    "It's clear that demand for Honda products continues to be strong, and we're on track to post our best yearly sales results in four years," said John Mendel, American Honda executive vice president of sales. "Honda is finishing the summer on a high note, and there's more to come as we build momentum toward the fall launch of the all-new 2013 Accord."

    Acura

    • RDX sets its 4th-consecutive record sales month with 2,926 units, up 156.9 percent compared to August 2011
    • MDX remains the top-selling Acura vehicle with sales of 5,549 units, up 77.5 percent from August 2011
    • The TL was Acura's best-selling sedan with sales of 3,201, up 33.2 percent

    "Acura sales continue to show great upward momentum, led by our strong light truck lineup," said Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura sales. "The all-new 2013 Acura RDX is a hit with buyers thanks to its increased comfort, utility and power, along with class-leading fuel economy."

    *The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 27 days for August 2012 and 26 days for August 2011. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 205 days for 2012 and 204 days for 2011. All other percentages in release are unadjusted; see table for adjusted DSR figures.

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    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Is the Honda Ridgeline a truck or not? Depends on to whom you ask this question. A truck person would say no since the Ridgeline isn’t a body-on-frame vehicle. Instead, it uses a unibody platform from the Honda Pilot. A consumer would say yes because it looks like a truck and has all the attributes you would find on one such as a bed. I spent some time in a Ridgeline over the holidays to see if I could figure out the answer.
      The previous Ridgeline looked like an auto show concept squared-off shape and missing the design cues you would expect on a truck such as a gap between the cab and bed. This put a lot of people off from looking at the Ridgeline. The new model looks more in line with the current crop of midsize trucks as Honda adopted the standard cab and bed design. This includes the gap between the bed and cab, although this is more of a design touch. Stick your hand in the gap and you’ll realize that both parts are connected (thanks unibody construction).
      The front end is where you’ll make your decision as to whether you like the Ridgeline or not. There is an imposing grille with a long chrome bar on top. A set of large headlights sits on either side of the grille. Other design items to take note of are the sculpted hood and front bumper. Personally, I found the front end to a bit over the top. Honda was trying to make the Ridgeline look tough and imposing, but the end result is a look that is trying too hard. 
      At least Honda got the Ridgeline’s bed right. Compared to the last model, Honda added four inches to the overall length of the bed (64 vs. 60 inches). This gives the Ridgeline the longest standard bed in the class. Unlike competitors, you cannot option a longer bed for the Ridgeline. Honda has also fitted some clever ideas for the Ridgeline’s bed. First is the in-bed trunk that offers 7.3 cubic feet of space where you can stow tools or luggage, giving the Ridgeline a significant edge in practicality than its competitors. Second is the dual-action tailgate which allows the tailgate to be opened downward or to the side.
      The recent crop of trucks have been stepping up their game when it comes to interiors and the Ridgeline is no different. The interior is borrowed from the Pilot crossover and brings forth an easy-to-understand control layout and high-quality materials. One item that wasn’t carried over from the Pilot was the push-button transmission selector. Instead, the Ridgeline sticks with a good-ole lever. Thank you, Honda.
      The Ridgeline proved to be a very comfortable pickup truck thanks to supportive leather seats, and power-adjustments for the driver. I took this truck to Northern Michigan and back during the holidays, and I never felt tired or had any soreness afterward. The back seat provides more than enough head and legroom for passengers. The bottom cushion of the back seat can also be folded up to provide a decent amount space for carrying larger items.
      Honda’s infotainment system in the Ridgeline has to be one of the most frustrating systems we have ever come across. The eight-inch system gets off on the wrong foot by using touch-sensitive controls for the volume and other functions that don’t always respond whenever pressed. At least you can use the steering wheel controls for a number of these functions. HondaLink needs a serious revamp in terms of its interface as trying to do simple things is very convoluted. For example, if I want to pick a podcast episode from my iPod, I have to jump through a number of menus to just to get to the listing of the specific show I want to listen to. You can avoid using HondaLink by plugging in your iPhone or Android phone and using CarPlay or Android Auto. 
      All Honda Ridgeline’s come with a 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up with a six-speed automatic. The base RT to the RTL-T has the choice of front or all-wheel drive. The RTL-E and Black Edition only come with all-wheel drive. No other V6 truck in the class can match the performance of the Ridgeline’s V6. Acceleration is strong whether you’re leaving a stoplight or making a pass. The run to 60 mph is said to take around 7 seconds, making this one quick midsize truck. The six-speed automatic delivers fast and smooth shifts.
      All-wheel drive Ridgelines like our tester come with Honda’s Intelligent Variable Torque Management system. This system quickly redistributes the amount of torque going to each wheel to improve handling and traction. AWD models also get the Intelligent Traction Management system which adjusts the settings of the powertrain to help you get through whatever terrain you find yourself in. We put these systems to the test by driving through an unplowed road with deep snow. The Ridgeline was able to make it through without breaking a sweat. That doesn’t make the Ridgeline a truck you want to take on an off-road trail as it only offers 7.9-inches of ground clearance and no low-range.
      The Ridgeline’s payload is towards the top the of class when compared with other midsize crew cab trucks. Front-wheel drive models can haul between 1,447 to 1,565 pounds in the bed. All-wheel drive models have a payload capacity of 1,499 to 1,584 pounds. For towing, the Ridgeline falls a bit short. Front-wheel drive models have a max tow rating of 3,500 lbs, while AWD models are slightly higher at 5,000 lbs. For most people, the Ridgeline will be enough to handle various towing needs. If you need a bit more, then the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are ready to help.
      The EPA rates the Ridgeline AWD at 18 City/25 Highway/21 Combined. My average for the week landed at 23.6 mpg in a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      Previously, we’ve considered GM’s midsize trucks as having the best ride in the class. The Honda Ridgeline now holds that honor. The unibody platform and four-wheel independent suspension setup give the Ridgeline a ride that is almost equal to a passenger sedan. Bumps and other imperfections are smoothed out. The Ridgeline is a decent handling truck as well. There isn’t much body roll and it feels stable when going into a corner. We do wish Honda would make the steering slightly heavier for the Ridgeline.
      The Honda Ridgeline may not meet the true definition of a pickup truck, but it is one in spirit. Yes, the unibody architecture does limit the capabilities of the Ridgeline as it cannot haul or tow heavy items. Nor can it go deep into the wilderness due to decisions made by Honda on the Ridgeline’s off-road capability. But it is in other areas that the Ridgeline begins to stand out such as the clever ideas in the bed, comfortable interior, and a ride that is more in tune with a regular car. They might not be the advantages you would expect in a truck, but they are something that Honda believes will bring in those interested in a pickup minus a lot of the issues that other models have. 
      To put it another way, the Honda Ridgeline is like Festivus from Seinfeld; they’re both for the rest of us.
      Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Ridgeline, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2017
      Make: Honda
      Model: Ridgeline
      Trim: RTL-E
      Engine: 3.5L SOHC 24-valve i-VTEC V6
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 262 @ 4700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 18/25/21
      Curb Weight: 4,515 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Lincoln, Alabama
      Base Price: $41,370
      As Tested Price: $42,270 (Includes $900.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      It has been quite a while since Honda has offered a bonafide performance vehicle in its lineup (S2000 in 2009). So it was great news to hear that Honda would be bringing the next-generation Civic Type R to our shores. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda pulled the curtain back on the production version.
      Honda wanted to make the Civic Type R's intentions clear to everyone. The exterior comes with aggressive bumpers, hood scoop, 20-inch wheels finished in black, carbon-fiber-look body kit, huge rear wing, and center-mounted exhaust makes the Civic Type R the most aggressive Honda ever sold in the U.S. For the interior, Honda has fitted the Type R with a set of sport seats, red accent trim, and a serialized Type R plaque on the center console.
      Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the current Civic Type R. Output for this engine is rated at 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. As we reported a few months ago, the Type R will only come with a six-speed manual. Those wanting an automatic are just plain out of luck. 
      In terms of handling, Honda is fitting their Dual-Axis front-strut setup “to minimize torque steer and maximize sporty handling,” by letting the front wheels steer closer to their centerlines. The Type-R will also come with a limited-slip differential, new adaptive dampers, and larger Brembo brakes.
      Honda says the Civic Type-R will carry a base MSRP in the mid-$30k range when it goes on sale later this spring.
      Source: Honda
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Wait Is Nearly Over: New 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes Global Debut at Geneva Motor Show

      Mar 7, 2017
      First Type R-badged Honda available in the U.S. goes on sale late spring Most powerful, quickest, fastest and most agile Civic ever 2.0-liter i-VTEC® DI TURBO: 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque Major chassis and suspension upgrades for track-ready performance GENEVA – Honda today took the wraps off one of the most anticipated models in its history with the unveiling of the production 2017 Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show. The long-awaited Civic Type R, slated to go on sale in the U.S. in late spring with an MSRP in the mid-$30k range, is the first ever Type R-badged Honda to be sold on American soil. The Type R will feature a high performance 2.0-liter turbocharged powertrain, substantially upgraded body and chassis, and other track-ready, Nürburgring-tuned and tested performance components. The 2017 Civic Type R will make its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 12, 2017.
      "The fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America, the Type R caps off the incredible success story of our 10th generation Civic lineup," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president & general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're happy to inform our U.S. enthusiasts that the long wait for the forbidden fruit of Honda Type R performance is nearly over!"
      The new Civic Type R, sharing the body style of the 5-door hatchback variant of the tenth-generation global Honda Civic platform, will be powered by a U.S.-built 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged i-VTEC in-line 4-cylinder engine with peak ratings of 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The engine will be mated exclusively to a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching capability – employing automatic throttle blips for smoother shifts and power delivery. A new single-mass flywheel reduces clutch inertia by 25 percent versus the previous (European) Type R and a lower final gear ratio is employed to improve acceleration response.
      The Civic Type R chassis builds on the major upgrades undertaken for the 10th-generation Civic makeover with model-exclusive spring, damper and bushing settings, a new Dual-Axis front suspension setup with aluminum lower arms and steering knuckles for improved at-the-limit cornering and reduced torque steer; a new four-wheel Adaptive Suspension System with three-chamber dampers; a retuned and adaptive dual-pinion electric power steering system with variable gear ratio; and a helical limited-slip front differential. Mounted to the suspension are 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels shod with 245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires. Decisive stopping power comes from Brembo 4-pot aluminum calipers squeezing 350mm (13.8-inch) cross-drilled rotors at the front. The rear braking system features solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors.
      The Type R's scalpel-sharp responses are further enhanced by a body more rigid than the substantially improved Civic Hatchback on which it's based – with a 38 percent increase in torsional rigidity and 45 percent gain in bending rigidity versus the previous Civic Type R – enhancing steering response and cornering stability while mitigating body vibration and cabin noise. The improvements are made possible by the application of structural adhesive throughout the body. Ultra-high strength steel is used for 14 percent of the body structure, and the Type R has an aluminum hood, contributing to a 16 kg (35 lb) reduction in body weight versus the previous Type R, and a 7 kg (15 lb) reduction versus the base 2017 Civic Hatchback.
      The 2017 Civic Type R is designed to reward the driver in all driving conditions, on the track and on the street, and features three driving modes: Comfort, Sport (default) and +R.  The driver selectable modes adjust steering and throttle response, transmission rev-matching, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and the Adaptive Damper System. Utilizing new, three-chamber dampers, individual stroke sensors and three vehicle-G sensors, the new damper system offers a wider range of variability for ride comfort and dynamic handling response.
      The 2017 Civic Type R will launch this spring in a single, premium-contented Touring trim. A 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface with embedded Honda Navigation system has both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility; and should the driver ever tire of hearing the Type R growl, a 540-watt, 12-speaker audio system with SiriusXM 2.0, HD Radio and Pandora compatibility is also provided as standard.
      Additional interior Type R features include heavily bolstered sports seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift boot, aluminum shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, red Type R driver's meter and serialized Type R plate on the center console.
      The Civic Type R will be manufactured by Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing in Swindon, England, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine made by Honda of America Mfg. at its Anna, Ohio engine plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing specifics and additional details on the 2017 Civic Type R will be provided closer to launch.
      Specifications and Features Overview

      Powertrain Engine Type
      L-4 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC turbocharged engine with dual valve timing control
      Horsepower
      306 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
      Torque
      295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
      Transmission
      6-speed manual transmission
      Chassis
      Drivetrain
      Front wheel drive with limited slip differential
      Steering
      Dual pinion electric power steering with variable ratio and active steering
      Suspension
      Dual axis front strut suspension and independent multilink rear suspension with adaptive damper system
      Brakes
      Front Brembo aluminum four piston calipers with drilled 350mm (13.8-inch) rotor brakes. Rear brakes feature solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors
      Wheels
      20-inch aluminum alloy wheels
      Tires
      245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires
      Driving Modes
      Three-mode driving dynamics control with Comfort, Sport (default) and “+R” modes adjust dampers, steering, throttle response, transmission (rev matching), VSA (vehicle stability assist) and traction control systems Body
      Increased body stiffness over current Civic Hatchback and previous generation Type R Exterior
      LED headlights, fog lights, brake lights and turn signals Interior
      High-bolstered sport seats with red/black suede-effect fabric Leather wrapped steering wheel Leather wrapped shift knob Sport/racing pedals Illuminated visors Features
      Display Audio with Navi Dual Auto HVAC XM and HD Radio 12 speaker 540-watt premium audio system Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It has been quite a while since Honda has offered a bonafide performance vehicle in its lineup (S2000 in 2009). So it was great news to hear that Honda would be bringing the next-generation Civic Type R to our shores. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Honda pulled the curtain back on the production version.
      Honda wanted to make the Civic Type R's intentions clear to everyone. The exterior comes with aggressive bumpers, hood scoop, 20-inch wheels finished in black, carbon-fiber-look body kit, huge rear wing, and center-mounted exhaust makes the Civic Type R the most aggressive Honda ever sold in the U.S. For the interior, Honda has fitted the Type R with a set of sport seats, red accent trim, and a serialized Type R plaque on the center console.
      Power comes from a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder found in the current Civic Type R. Output for this engine is rated at 306 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. As we reported a few months ago, the Type R will only come with a six-speed manual. Those wanting an automatic are just plain out of luck. 
      In terms of handling, Honda is fitting their Dual-Axis front-strut setup “to minimize torque steer and maximize sporty handling,” by letting the front wheels steer closer to their centerlines. The Type-R will also come with a limited-slip differential, new adaptive dampers, and larger Brembo brakes.
      Honda says the Civic Type-R will carry a base MSRP in the mid-$30k range when it goes on sale later this spring.
      Source: Honda
      Press Release is on Page 2


      The Wait Is Nearly Over: New 2017 Honda Civic Type R Makes Global Debut at Geneva Motor Show

      Mar 7, 2017
      First Type R-badged Honda available in the U.S. goes on sale late spring Most powerful, quickest, fastest and most agile Civic ever 2.0-liter i-VTEC® DI TURBO: 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque Major chassis and suspension upgrades for track-ready performance GENEVA – Honda today took the wraps off one of the most anticipated models in its history with the unveiling of the production 2017 Civic Type R at the Geneva Motor Show. The long-awaited Civic Type R, slated to go on sale in the U.S. in late spring with an MSRP in the mid-$30k range, is the first ever Type R-badged Honda to be sold on American soil. The Type R will feature a high performance 2.0-liter turbocharged powertrain, substantially upgraded body and chassis, and other track-ready, Nürburgring-tuned and tested performance components. The 2017 Civic Type R will make its U.S. debut at the New York International Auto Show on April 12, 2017.
      "The fastest, most powerful Honda ever sold in America, the Type R caps off the incredible success story of our 10th generation Civic lineup," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president & general manager of the Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "We're happy to inform our U.S. enthusiasts that the long wait for the forbidden fruit of Honda Type R performance is nearly over!"
      The new Civic Type R, sharing the body style of the 5-door hatchback variant of the tenth-generation global Honda Civic platform, will be powered by a U.S.-built 2.0-liter DOHC, direct-injected and turbocharged i-VTEC in-line 4-cylinder engine with peak ratings of 306 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb.-ft. of torque from 2,500 to 4,500 rpm. The engine will be mated exclusively to a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission with rev matching capability – employing automatic throttle blips for smoother shifts and power delivery. A new single-mass flywheel reduces clutch inertia by 25 percent versus the previous (European) Type R and a lower final gear ratio is employed to improve acceleration response.
      The Civic Type R chassis builds on the major upgrades undertaken for the 10th-generation Civic makeover with model-exclusive spring, damper and bushing settings, a new Dual-Axis front suspension setup with aluminum lower arms and steering knuckles for improved at-the-limit cornering and reduced torque steer; a new four-wheel Adaptive Suspension System with three-chamber dampers; a retuned and adaptive dual-pinion electric power steering system with variable gear ratio; and a helical limited-slip front differential. Mounted to the suspension are 20-inch aluminum alloy wheels shod with 245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires. Decisive stopping power comes from Brembo 4-pot aluminum calipers squeezing 350mm (13.8-inch) cross-drilled rotors at the front. The rear braking system features solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors.
      The Type R's scalpel-sharp responses are further enhanced by a body more rigid than the substantially improved Civic Hatchback on which it's based – with a 38 percent increase in torsional rigidity and 45 percent gain in bending rigidity versus the previous Civic Type R – enhancing steering response and cornering stability while mitigating body vibration and cabin noise. The improvements are made possible by the application of structural adhesive throughout the body. Ultra-high strength steel is used for 14 percent of the body structure, and the Type R has an aluminum hood, contributing to a 16 kg (35 lb) reduction in body weight versus the previous Type R, and a 7 kg (15 lb) reduction versus the base 2017 Civic Hatchback.
      The 2017 Civic Type R is designed to reward the driver in all driving conditions, on the track and on the street, and features three driving modes: Comfort, Sport (default) and +R.  The driver selectable modes adjust steering and throttle response, transmission rev-matching, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and the Adaptive Damper System. Utilizing new, three-chamber dampers, individual stroke sensors and three vehicle-G sensors, the new damper system offers a wider range of variability for ride comfort and dynamic handling response.
      The 2017 Civic Type R will launch this spring in a single, premium-contented Touring trim. A 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface with embedded Honda Navigation system has both Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility; and should the driver ever tire of hearing the Type R growl, a 540-watt, 12-speaker audio system with SiriusXM 2.0, HD Radio and Pandora compatibility is also provided as standard.
      Additional interior Type R features include heavily bolstered sports seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift boot, aluminum shift knob, aluminum sport pedals, red Type R driver's meter and serialized Type R plate on the center console.
      The Civic Type R will be manufactured by Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing in Swindon, England, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged engine made by Honda of America Mfg. at its Anna, Ohio engine plant using domestic and globally sourced parts. Pricing specifics and additional details on the 2017 Civic Type R will be provided closer to launch.
      Specifications and Features Overview

      Powertrain Engine Type
      L-4 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC turbocharged engine with dual valve timing control
      Horsepower
      306 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
      Torque
      295 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500-4,500 rpm
      Transmission
      6-speed manual transmission
      Chassis
      Drivetrain
      Front wheel drive with limited slip differential
      Steering
      Dual pinion electric power steering with variable ratio and active steering
      Suspension
      Dual axis front strut suspension and independent multilink rear suspension with adaptive damper system
      Brakes
      Front Brembo aluminum four piston calipers with drilled 350mm (13.8-inch) rotor brakes. Rear brakes feature solid 305mm (12-inch) rotors
      Wheels
      20-inch aluminum alloy wheels
      Tires
      245/30R 20 Continental ContiSportContact 6 performance tires
      Driving Modes
      Three-mode driving dynamics control with Comfort, Sport (default) and “+R” modes adjust dampers, steering, throttle response, transmission (rev matching), VSA (vehicle stability assist) and traction control systems Body
      Increased body stiffness over current Civic Hatchback and previous generation Type R Exterior
      LED headlights, fog lights, brake lights and turn signals Interior
      High-bolstered sport seats with red/black suede-effect fabric Leather wrapped steering wheel Leather wrapped shift knob Sport/racing pedals Illuminated visors Features
      Display Audio with Navi Dual Auto HVAC XM and HD Radio 12 speaker 540-watt premium audio system Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™
    • By William Maley
      It is now official. This morning, PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for 2.2 billion euros (about $2.3 billion). The deal is comprised of a 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion) payment for Opel and Vauxhall, along with a stake in Opel's financing arm. This makes PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe.
      “It gives us the opportunity to become a real European champion. Our plan is to build a common future for Opel and Vauxhall and fix the existing issues,” said PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares.
      Those existing issues include Opel and Vauxhall never breaking even for GM. Over the past two decades, Opel and Vauxhall have lost almost $20 billion. In 2016, the division was projected to break even, but the complications of Great Britain leaving the EU meant they posted a loss of $257 million.
      "The way I look at this is positioning Opel-Vauxhall to be incredibly successful in the future," said GM CEO Mary Barra when asked by a reporter if she was relieved about the sale of Opel and Vauxhall. 
      "General Motors doesn't have to be relieved. They can be proud of giving Opel-Vauxhall a better future," said Tavares.
      PSA Group is aiming to make Opel and Vauxhall profitable once again, with operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 and 6 percent by 2026. These targets will be reached by joint cost savings of 1.7 billion euros (about $1.8 billion) by spreading the costs of developing new vehicles and sharing purchasing costs.
      General Motors won't be fully cutting its ties with Opel and Vauxhall for the time being. GM has allowed PSA Group to license technology rights to keep selling current models (including the upcoming Insignia) until they transition onto PSA platforms. According to Reuters, the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will be the first PSA developed model. GM will also collaborate with PSA on various projects such as hydrogen fuel cells. Finally, GM will pay PSA 3 billion euros ($3.18 billion) to settle transferred pension obligations.
      But there are still a number of unanswered questions with this deal. The big one deals with job cuts and plant closures. With this deal, PSA group will add roughly 38,000 workers and 10 production facilities. Some analysts believe that PSA Group will close two to three plants within the next five years, with the possibility of those closures taking place in Great Britain due to Brexit. Taveres has said that the automaker would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.
      “We don’t need to shut down plants,” said Tavares.
      Second is what will happen for Buick and Holden when models they share with Opel transition to PSA platforms. Both Buick and Holden will be getting the next-generation Insignia as the Regal and Commodore. Buick also gets the Opel Mokka to sell as the Encore, while Holden sells the Astra compact.
      Finally, there is the question about PSA Group's plans to re-enter the U.S. How does the purchase of Opel and Vauxhall affect their plans?
      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors, PSA Group
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Opel/Vauxhall to join PSA Group
      Establishes PSA Group as #2 in Europe. This strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide Joint venture in auto financing with BNP Paribas to support development of Opel/Vauxhall brands €2.2 Bn transaction advances GM’s transformation and unlocks shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation Detroit and Paris – General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively.
      With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, which generated revenue of €17.7 Bn in 20161, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe, with a 17% market share2.
      Creates sound European foundation for PSA to support its worldwide profitable growth
      “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. “We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”
      “We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.
      Advances GM’s Transformation and Unlocks Value
      “We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
      “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.
      “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects,” Ms. Barra concluded.
      Strengthens Each Company for the Long Term
      The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. Annual synergies of €1.7 Bn are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround. Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin3 of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow4 by 2020.
      PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.
      The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders. It will strengthen GM’s core business, support its continued deployment of resources to higher-return opportunities including in advanced technologies driving the future, and unlock significant value for shareholders.
      By immediately improving EBIT-adjusted, EBIT-adjusted margins and adjusted automotive free cash flow and de-risking the balance sheet, the transaction will enable GM to lower the cash balance requirement under its capital allocation framework by $2 Bn, which it intends to use to accelerate share repurchases, subject to market conditions.
      GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.
      Additional Information
      Terms of the Agreement
      Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations will be acquired by PSA for €1.3 Bn. GM Financial’s European operations will be jointly acquired by PSA and BNP Paribas for 0.8 times their pro forma book value at the closing of the transaction, or approximately €0.9 Bn.
      The transaction has a total value of €2.2 Bn, for Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and 100% of GM Financial’s European operations.
      The transaction value for PSA, including Opel/Vauxhall and 50% of GM Financial’s European operations, will be €1.8 Bn.
      In connection with this transaction, GM or its affiliates will subscribe warrants for €0.65 Bn. These warrants have a nine-year maturity and are exercisable at any time in whole or in part commencing 5 years after the issue date, with a strike price of €1. Based on a reference price of €17.34 for the PSA share5 , the warrants correspond to 39.7 MM shares of PSA, or 4.2% of its fully diluted share capital6. GM will not have governance or voting rights with respect to PSA and has agreed to sell the PSA shares received upon exercise of the warrants within 35 days after exercise.
      The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering center in Torino, Italy.
      Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.
      In connection with the transaction, GM will take a primarily non-cash special charge of $4.0-4.5 Bn.
      Ongoing Pension Fund Commitments
      All of Opel/Vauxhall’s European and U.K. pension plans, funded and unfunded, with the exception of the German Actives Plan and selected smaller plans will remain with GM. The obligations with respect to the German Actives Plan and these smaller plans of Opel/Vauxhall will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA €3.0 Bn for full settlement of transferred pension obligations.
      Closing Conditions
      The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and reorganizations, and is expected to close before the end of 2017.
      Warrants
      The issuance of the warrants is subject to the vote of shareholders at PSA’s General Meeting of May 10th, 2017. The three main shareholders of PSA (the French State, the Peugeot family and DongFeng) representing in aggregate 36.6% of the share capital and 51.5%7 of the voting rights of PSA have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolution related to the issuance of the warrants to GM. In the event the warrant issuance reserved to GM and its affiliates is not approved by PSA’s General Meeting, PSA will settle the €0.65 Bn in cash over five years.

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