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Honda

Honda Making New Dedicated Hybrid to Fight Toyota Prius

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2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell Car, rear

With the Honda Insight and CR-Z models receiving the axe, Honda no longer has a fully-dedicated hybrid model to fight the Toyota Prius. However, that will soon change.

The Japanese automaker is serious about electrifying its lineup, as evidenced by the revised Accord Hybrid, Clarity Fuel Cell and the Clarity Electric and Clarity Plug-in hybrid models, and had confirmed that a new dedicated hybrid will be added to the lineup sometime in 2018.

In fact, as part of its Electrification Initiative, Honda will significantly expand the number of electrified models in its lineup. More than half of all new models launching in 2018 and 2019 will be electrified, and this includes a hybrid version of the Ridgeline light pickup truck.

The company has the ambitious goal of halving its total CO2 emissions from 2000 levels by 2050. It wants two-thirds of all sales to come from electrified models by 2030.

Let’s hope the dedicated hybrid model at least fares better than the Insight did against the seemingly indomitable Prius.

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Crossovers

2020 Honda CR-V Gets Hybrid Version, Other Upgrades

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2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, front angle

The CR-V hybrid marks the Japanese automaker’s foray into the electrified SUV segment.

The Honda CR-V has received some major updates for its 2020 model year, most notable of which is the introduction of the 2020 CR-V Hybrid.

The CR-V hybrid represents Honda’s first electrified SUV. It is powered by a variation of the Accord Hybrid’s two-motor hybrid powertrain, combining two electric motors with a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine to produce 212 horsepower, which is higher than the non-hybrid CR-V.

The system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission and is said to deliver 50 percent better fuel economy than the standard CR-V.

Front wheel drive is the default setup, but if all-wheel drive is a must, the CR-V Hybrid can send power from the electric motor to the rear wheels.

As for the rest of the 2020 CR-V lineup, the sole engine is now the 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 190 horsepower. Buyers have the option of front- or all-wheel drive.

Honda’s designers made the front fascia of all models more aggressive with a pronounced grille, slapped on some new wheels, and added three new colors: Sonic Gray Pearl, Radiant Red Metallic, and Aegean Blue Metallic (CR-V hybrid only).

Inside, the center console bin has been redesigned, the gear selector now features Honda’s push button system, and CR-V Touring trims now come standard with Qi-compatible wireless cell phone charging. The Honda Sensing driver-assistance and safety suite has been made standard across the lineup.

The non-hybrid 2020 Honda CR-V goes on sale in fall 2019, while the electrified edition arrives in early 2020.

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Hatchbacks

2020 Honda E Is A Small Electric Car With 137-Mile Range

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New Honda e electric car

It’s no Porsche Taycan, but it’s certainly perkier and a lot more affordable.

Honda has officially unveiled the production version of the Honda E electric car.

The Honda E was previously previewed by near-production prototype, so there is nothing surprising about its performance figures and the way it looks. Engineers gave it an electric motor (136-hp or 152-hp) that powers the rear wheels, which together with a 50:50 weight balance, should make it a fun little car to drive around in town.

When equipped with the more powerful 152-hp electric motor, the E can reach 62 mph in about eight seconds. It can travel up to 137 miles (220 km) on a single charge, and its 35.5-kWh battery can be recharged up to 80 percent capacity in only 30 minutes when plugged into a fast charger, providing juice for roughly 110 miles (177 km).

New Honda e electric car, interior

Inside, driver and passengers are treated to a minimalistic interior dominated by an intelligent interface with a dual 12.3-inch touchscreen display. A pair of six-inch screens provide a view of the side of the vehicle, thanks to the utilization of Honda’s Side Camera Mirror System instead of traditional side mirrors.

The highlight of the infotainment system is the Honda Personal Assistant application, which uses “unique contextual understanding to create natural conversations and provide access to a range of online services.” All you have to do say “OK Honda” and tell the car what you want to know.

The online ordering book for the Honda E is open for buyers in the UK, Germany, France, and Norway. Are you interested in getting one?

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Coupe

2020 Honda Civic Si Gets Styling Updates, More Standard Tech

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2020 Honda Civic Si Coupe, cockpit

For just a little bit more money, you get a slightly different design, more standard kit, and more responsive acceleration.

As with the rest of the Civic lineup, Honda has given the Civic Si sedan and coupe some styling and performance upgrades for the 2020 model year.

Starting with styling, the 2020 Civic Si gets a revised front bumper that now features gloss black trim, a body-color crossbar and new LED fog lights.The grille has also been updated and is flanked by headlights with multi-element LED lamps that deliver a wider and longer light beam.

The rear has a new lower bumper treatment that matches the new front design, while the four corner wells are filled with with new matte black 18-inch wheels.

Inside, driver and passenger are treated to red accents on the seat bottom and seat back, and a new red trim on the instrument panel. All Civic Si models now come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive systems, including new automatic high beams.

The 2020 Civic Si is powered by the same turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine as the previous model, with a six-speed manual transmission channeling 205 horsepower to the front wheels. The only big change under the hood is a 6-percent shorter final-drive ratio, which Honda says gives the car improved acceleration feel.

The 2020 Honda Civic Si coupe and sedan are both priced at $25,930 in the United States, including destination fees. The only option are summer tires, which cost an extra $200.

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