Geneva 2008, Honda has a triple debut
|GENEVA, Switzerland, March 4, 2008– The Geneva International Motor Show sees the World Premiere of the eagerly awaited, all-new European Honda Accord model, and European debuts of the revolutionary zero-emission Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle and the Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car concept.
The Accord zone dominates the Geneva stand, where ten examples of the latest Accord are on display in both saloon and Tourer body styles. The new Accord has an evolutionary appearance with a sportier and sleeker exterior for the saloon and, more noticeably, the Tourer. Also on display is the all-new 2.2 liter i-DTEC diesel, from the Accord's new range of engines. This range also includes revised 2.0 and 2.4 liter petrol engines, and all three new engines will comply with the forthcoming Euro 5 emissions standards.
Headlining the environment zone is the FCX Clarity, a 4-seat saloon fuel cell vehicle which emits no pollution, only clean water vapour. Thanks to the V Flow fuel cell stack, the FCX Clarity has a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance. This landmark car, in the development of fuel cell technology, will be available to lease in the US from this summer and in Japan in the autumn.
The Honda CR-Z concept design study is the basis of a forthcoming global sports hybrid. The CR-Z is a dynamically styled, ecologically conscious concept that allows drivers to enjoy driving while minimising their environmental impact.
Visitors to the stand's competition zone will be treated to the first public viewing of the 2008 Honda RA108 F1 car. Joining the RA108 in the competition zone, is the Honda Civic Type R R3, which is designed to the new FIA Group R3 rally regulations. The eagerly awaited R3 is now available to rally drivers, after a year of intensive and successful testing and competition.
The All-New Honda ACCORD
Aimed squarely at challenging established premium contenders in the D-segment, Honda's all-new Accord saloon and Tourer offer sporty styling, greater refinement and a unique package of safety systems, together with excellent dynamic capabilities and strong environmental credentials in the form of an all Euro 5 emissions compliant engine line-up.
Significantly wider and slightly lower, the styling adopts a more emotional, sporty motif. The ‘sharp-edged' design, with pronounced muscular wheelarches that emphasize the car's wider track, gives the Accord a distinctive, strong stance with a solid, planted feel. The distinctive nose and more flowing lines deliver a tauter, more athletic shape.
The evolution from the previous generation Accord is even more pronounced in the case of the Tourer, where a greater emphasis on load carrying practicality has evolved into a more dynamic expression of its advanced technology, while still retaining a strong degree of versatility and practicality.
Three advanced new engines with some of the lowest emissions in their segment
The new range is one of the first to offer a complete engine line-up that will comply with the forthcoming Euro 5 emissions regulations which aren't due to be introduced until September 2009. The exceptional environmental credentials haven't been achieved at the cost of driving enjoyment, however, and greater frugality is matched by greater performance and flexibility.
Making its debut is Honda's second-generation diesel engine which builds on the outstanding qualities of the award-winning i-CTDi unit to raise the bar in the diesel stakes once again. Its advanced technology and overall capabilities place it firmly at the forefront of diesel development and underpins the Accord's claim to offer one of the strongest combinations of dynamic performance and environmental responsibility in the marketplace.
Like its predecessor, the new i-DTEC engine is compact, lightweight, refined and quiet in operation. It employs the latest piezoelectric multi-stage fuel injection technology, more efficient exhaust gas recirculation and a particulate filter for significantly reduced emissions. At the same time both power and torque levels have been increased for a sportier driving experience. Output is 10 PS greater at 150 PS/110 kW at the same 4,000 rpm, while peak torque is now 350 Nm at 2,000 rpm.
The 2.0-liter i-VTEC offers similar levels of performance to its predecessor - 156 PS at 6,300 rpm - but builds on its class leading fuel economy. Key technological changes include increased diameter intake valves, further optimised valve lift and timing and increased inlet and exhaust air flow volumes.
The 2.4-liter engine is more powerful, delivering 200 PS at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 233 Nm at 4,500 rpm - up from 190 PS and 223 Nm. Behind the figures are a compression ratio increased from 10.5 to 11.0:1, larger diameter valves, revised valve timing, and reduced exhaust system pressures.
6-speed manual/5-speed automatic
All three engines are matched to a 6-speed manual transmission, while both petrol engines have the option of a 5-speed automatic.
Manual models feature a ‘Shift Indicator Light' or SIL which appears in the center of the rev counter. ‘UP' or ‘DOWN' are displayed to advise the driver of the optimum point (in terms of best fuel economy) at which to change gear; Honda tests have demonstrated fuel savings of as much as 5 per cent simply by following these commands.
The 5-speed automatic transmission now has a straight ‘P R N D S' gate: using the steering wheel paddles in S mode provides a sequential shift mode, allowing manual shifting and gear hold.
Agile, secure handling
Enthusiastic drivers will also appreciate the new Accord's greater agility. A lowered center of gravity, a wider track and the all-new front double wishbone and rear multilink suspension with variable rate dampers, plus greater body rigidity mean that the Accord more readily reacts to driver input. Handling is more responsive and confidence-inspiring and body roll is much reduced.
Speed sensitive electric power steering is standard on all models and the new axial system features a high output, low inertia brushless motor which provides excellent steering feel at higher speeds for a sense of stability and confidence. A quicker steering ratio has also been adopted in keeping with the Accord's more agile chassis characteristics.
A comprehensive safety package
Complementing an armoury of passive safety features is an outstanding array of dynamic systems delivering even greater security. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is standard across the range and is designed to assist the driver in maintaining control during cornering, acceleration and sudden manoeuvres by applying braking to the right or left hand wheels as necessary and modulating the engine torque output as required.
Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
The new Accord also features an innovative system in which the capabilities of both VSA and the car's Electric Power Steering are brought to bear. Called Motion Adaptive EPS, it detects instability in slippery conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction.
The input is barely noticeable and control of the steering remains with the driver at all times. But this supporting steering torque is enough to prompt the driver to act intuitively and the driver's reaction as a result is enough to regain stability or to shorten braking distances, allowing control to be maintained.
Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS) optional across the range
Optionally available on Executive grade on 2.2 i-DTEC and 2.4 i-VTEC is Honda's Advanced Driving Assist System (ADAS), a suite of three ground-breaking technologies that raise safety to a new level. The first of these is the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) which uses a camera to detect the car deviating from a traffic lane and provides steering torque when necessary, thereby reducing the burden of motorway driving while at the same time enhancing safety.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses a millimetre-wave radar to maintain a consistent distance to a vehicle directly in front, for more relaxed, less tiring driving.
The third ADAS system is the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) which monitors the following distance and closing rate between the Accord and the car directly in front of it, warning the driver when a collision is likely and helping reduce impact when a collision becomes unavoidable.
These systems complement the Accord's passive safety features which include front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, dual stage front airbags, driver and front passenger side airbags, full length curtain airbags and ISOFIX fittings and tether anchor points for secure childseat fixture on all models. There are also front seat active headrests which are triggered when the occupant is pushed into the seat in the event of a rear impact, so causing a rigid plate to activate a link to the headrest which pushes it forward to support the head.
Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure
Progressively introduced throughout the Honda range, the Accord's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure provides significantly enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions.
A front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways - and away from the passenger compartment. This is particularly important where a frontal collision occurs between vehicles of differing heights, weights or frame construction.
To achieve top level, side impact safety, Honda's engineers have increased the side section of the frame and chosen different material specifications to provide the desired level of stiffness and strength for critical areas, without adding unnecessary weight.
The new Accord also incorporates many of the pedestrian-protection design features already familiar from recent Honda models, including windscreen wiper pivots designed to break away on impact, energy absorbing front wing mounts and bonnet hinges alongside an unobstructed area beneath the bonnet allowing greater space for deformation.
Premium interior with carefully selected materials and outstanding fit and finish
The sporty feel of the cockpit is reflected in a fascia design characterised by a strong feeling of personal space for both the driver and front passenger. Distinctive silver trim sweeps inwards across the fascia from either side before continuing down into the center console. Stylish and highly supportive front seats have larger bolsters while a new internal structure is designed to reduce any transmission of vibration.
Black with silver trim, the sporty three spoke steering wheel holds a complete suite of controls - including audio, cruise control and mobile telephone control. It is fully adjustable for reach and rake, with an extra 10 degrees of tilt adjustment compared to the previous Accord.
The new Accord features ‘floating' backlit instruments and contained within the center of the speedometer face is an LCD multi-information display showing a variety of information - controls positioned on the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the display through multiple screens of information.
A new feature is a service reminder that presents the driver with either the distance or days remaining to a required service, with an enlarged warning symbol appearing when the due date is imminent.
Storage space includes two center console side pockets; a lidded storage area to side of the steering wheel; large front door pockets able to hold bottles and maps; bottle holders in the rear door panels, and a large center console box. Rather than a fold-down pocket design, the large glovebox now has an independent lid and is subdivided with a tissue box compartment as well as space secured for a manual. The lid of the center console box doubles up as an armrest and is slide-adjustable by 89 mm. Two cupholders are provided in the center console, while rear seat passengers have access to a further two contained in the center armrest, revealed when it is folded down.
Comprehensive equipment availability
The Accord's comprehensive specification includes power windows all round, those in the front with auto up and down and an obstruction detection device; auto lights and wipers on Sport and Executive models; dual-zone automatic climate control and, on higher grade models, rear seat vents with a feed to the center console storage box to enable drinks to be cooled or warmed.
Entry level Accords are equipped with a radio/single CD player with built-in 30W 4 channel amp and six speakers. Higher grade models have a premium audio system with 6 CD changer unit located in the center console, a separate high power amp delivering 45W x 8 channels and no fewer than 10 speakers.
Fifth generation and later iPods can now be played via the USB docking point located in the center console storage box, where an auxiliary jack point and power outlet can also be found.
The advanced satellite navigation system - standard on Executive grade and optional on other models - now boasts an 8-inch screen, RDS, voice recognition in five languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) and covers most European countries including for the first time Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
At 467 liters (VDA), the saloon's luggage capacity is best in class measured against other premium contenders. The boot loading height is also a convenient 678 mm, down 80 mm. Further practicality is provided by highly visible and easily reached rear seat release catches located just within the upper edge of the boot opening.
Despite its dynamic styling, the Tourer's luggage capacity at 406 liters (VDA), with all seats in place, is one of the best in the sport wagon category. In practical terms, that is sufficient to comfortably accomodate four 46 inch golf bags or four large suitcases. Larger loads can be carried with the rear seats folded, and in this configuration the Tourer is able to transport a mountain bike, without the need to remove the bike's wheels first.
To open up the Tourer's luggage area, the one-motion rear seats can be readily collapsed in a single action to create a virtually flat load space with flush, clean sides.
Set within the rear half of the load area is an underfloor storage space which is a useful 250 mm deep and adds 53 liters to the Accord Tourer's overall load space. On either side are two smaller compartments accessed by means of their own covers.
The highly practical, retractable tonneau cover features a large, easy-to-grip handle, and large guides on either side of the luggage area into which it can be quickly and easily slotted.
Like its predecessor, the new Accord Tourer is available with a power operated tailgate, which can be operated via the key fob or via a switch located in the tailgate's lower edge.
All Becomes Clear At Geneva - Honda FCX Clarity Makes European Debut
Geneva sees the European debut of the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, which emits no pollution, only clean water vapour. The FCX Clarity will be available to lease in the US from this summer and in Japan in the Autumn
The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emission, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on and entirely new V flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful V Flow fuel cell stack. The latest FCX features tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency and boasts a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle due to limitations of the size of the fuell cell stack. The FCX Clarity is a significant landmark as Honda continues building the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.
How the FCX Clarity got its name
Honda chose this name to express the idea that the company is creating a fuel cell vehicle that will offer a clear solution to the challenges of the future, helping society achieve sustainable mobility.
How the FCX Clarity works
The FCX Clarity utilises a V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle's electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle's main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy is also generated through the capture of kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration (regenerative braking), which is stored along with surplus energy from the fuel cell in the lithium ion battery pack, and is used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle's only emission is water vapour.
V Flow FC Stack
The V Flow FC Stack features an entirely new cell structure that achieves a higher output of 100kW, smaller size and lower weight, with a 50% improvement in output density by volume, and a 67% increase in output density by mass, compared to the previous Honda FC stack.
Improved Startup Capability at Low Temperatures
Improved water drainage due to the V Flow cell structure facilitates better output immediately after startup. The reduced coolant volume and single-box design made possible by the wave flow-channel separators results in heat mass 40% lower than previous stacks. As a result, startup is now possible at temperatures as low as -30° C.
V Flow Fuel Cell Platform
The FCX Clarity's revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful V Flow fuel cell stack in the vehicle's center tunnel, between the two front seats. The compact size of the new V Flow FC Stack allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan.
FCX Clarity Design
More than just a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity portrays Honda's vision of the future of automobile design and performance freed from the constraints of conventional powertrain technologies. The FCX Clarity's four-door sedan platform features a short-nose body and spacious cabin with comfortable accommodation for four people and their luggage. Major powertrain components - including the electric motor, fuel cell stack, battery pack and hydrogen tank - have been made more compact are distributed throughout the vehicle to further optimise space, comfort and total vehicle performance.
Advanced Materials and Components
In keeping with its theme as an environmentally-advanced automobile, the FCX Clarity features seat upholstery and door linings made from Honda Bio-Fabric - a newly-developed, plant-based material that offers CO2 reductions as an alternative to traditional interior materials, along with outstanding durability and resistance to wear, stretching, and damage from sunlight.
Designed to appeal to forward-thinking customers seeking the ultimate in zero-emissions, alternative-fuel vehicle performance, the FCX Clarity is also equipped with a full compliment of advanced safety, comfort and convenience features. These features consist of a state-of-the-art navigation system with hydrogen station locations, a rear view camera, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), a premium sound system, climate controlled seats and Bluetooth® connectivity.
Other improvements, such as shift-by-wire, electric power steering (EPS), and a newly designed instrument panel with easy-to-read display of hydrogen fuel consumption, further improve its customer appeal and ease of operation.
The FCX Clarity's only emission is water vapour. CO2 emissions related to the production of hydrogen vary by source; however, well-to-wheel CO2 emissions using hydrogen reformed from natural gas - the most widely used method of production today - are less than half that of a conventional petrol vehicle. With the production of hydrogen from water by electrolysis, CO2 emissions can be further reduced and ultimately approach zero if the electricity is generated from sustainable sources, such as solar, wind, hydro or wave power.
In the area of solar technology, Honda has developed its own solar cells, with half the CO2 emissions in the production stage compared to conventional crystalline silicon cells; and has begun mass-production and retail sales of this technology in Japan for both commercial and residential use. These panels are also used to generate electricity for the Torrance R&D refuelling station.
Fuel Cell Leadership
For forty years Honda has worked hard to reduce the environmental impact of the automobile, including efforts to reduce emissions, boost fuel efficiency and, now, many industry-leading efforts to advance the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle - a technology and fuel that Honda believes may hold the ultimate promise for a clean and sustainable transportation future. Honda's pioneering achievements in this area include the first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first lease of a fuel cell vehicle (2002); the first fuel cell vehicle to receive an EPA fuel economy rating (2002); the first cold-weather customer (2004); the first and still only individual retail customers (2005, 2007).
Honda FCX Clarity Main Specifications*
CR-Z Concept To Make European Debut at Geneva
The Geneva Motor Show sees the European debut of the ‘Futuristic and Dynamic' CR-Z design research study.
The CR-Z demonstrates that an environmentally responsible hybrid vehicle, can also deliver a dynamic driving experience. While thouroughly pursuing the reduction of weight, CR-Z features a dynamic yet sharp exterior design that makes people want to get in and drive.
The front aspect of the design is dominated by an over-sized grille flanked by sharp edged slots to feed air to the front brakes. The aggressive grille is complimented by the slimline but penetratingly bright LED headlamps and driving lights set into the leading edge of the splitter. From the side the CR-Z's sportiness is accentuated with a rakish profile and large 19-inch five spoke alloys, wrapped in low profile, semi-slick tyres. Finally the rear of the concept stands out, with its near horizontal rear window leading to an abbreviated Kamm-tail style and finishing with a vertical glass panel. The CR-Z uses minimalist LED lights and a center exit exhaust pipe to show the forward thinking nature of the concept.
The interior of the CR-Z focuses predominantly on the driver, with minimalist information displays and buttons. The mesh theme of the seats is carried over to the dashboard contrasting strongly with the glass and Perspex finish of the remaining dashboard and center console. The ambience is enhanced by the glass roof, which floods the interior with light.
In addition to Civic Hybrid, Honda will introduce a new dedicated hybrid vehicle in 2009. The new dedicated hybrid vehicle will be equipped with a newly developed lightweight and compact IMA (integrated motor assist) system and offered at a more affordable price level base on Honda's efforts to significantly reduce cost. The worldwide sales plan for this vehicle is approximately 200,000 units annually.
A new sports hybrid, based on the CR-Z, will be sold globally. With this enhanced hybrid product lineup, Honda envisions that hybrid models will account for approximately 10% of Honda's global automobile sales by around 2010.
NEW CAR, NEW CHALLENGE
The Honda Racing F1 Team's RA108 and new-look livery
At the launch of the new Honda RA108 on the 29 January, 2008, Honda laid out its plans for 2008 and the longer-term, reaffirming its commitment to the sport and underlining the determination of a revitalised team to realise its ambitions. The team's 2008 challenge sees a substantial evolution in three key areas, the most fundamental of which is a directional step change in the car design philosophy. The entire process from concept to launch has been re-evaluated. The new car is a considered response to the challenges of 2007, benefiting from the combined resources of the Honda Racing F1 Team's three bases in Brackley and Bracknell in the UK and the Honda R&D center at Tochigi in Japan.
The RA108 is also the product of a strengthened engineering team, combining the depth of experience of the existing resource with new and wide-ranging expertise in key areas under the leadership of new Team Principal Ross Brawn. In turn the team will benefit from the continuity provided by the race driver pairing of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello for a third successive season. Combined with the development talents of Test and Reserve Driver Alex Wurz, Honda will field the most experienced driver line-up on the Formula One grid.
The launch of the RA108 and its livery also saw the introduction of the team's earthdreams programme. earthdreams is the evolution of the award winning myearthdream concept launched in 2007 and represents the next stage of Honda's long term commitment to harnessing the passion of Formula One and its partners to provide support and investment for good causes through a unique cause related marketing initiative.
RA108 TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
For more information please visit www.HondaRacingF1.com/media
Honda's Geneva Stand
In addition to the Accord display, FCX Clarity and CR-Z debuts, the Honda stand will have a plethora of current Honda production and competition models displayed.
The competition zone will feature the 2008 RA108 Honda F1 car along with the 1967 RA300 Honda F1 car. Supporting the F1 machines is Honda's newly developed Civic Type R R3 rally car, which has been built to meet the latest FIA Group R3 homologation regulations.
Honda Accessories will have an exciting display of all of the latest clothing, equipment and vehicle accessories to complete the look of the car or its owner.
Honda will also be displaying cars from its current range including the Civic 5-door, Civic Type R and Type S, FR-V, CR-V, S2000, Jazz and Legend.