Honda At The Paris Motor Show
11th September, 2008
Honda's Paris Motor Show stand is packed with models that highlight the brand's current and future commitments to reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles. Paris sees a production and concept world debut and both demonstrate Honda's long-standing passion for and commitment to the environment, which was created some thousands of years ago.
The two major debuts will be for the long awaited Insight Concept, which demonstrates the direction of Honda's latest addition to its petrol electric hybrid line-up, and a restyled Civic Hybrid.
Insight Hybrid Concept
Pride of place on the Honda stand will go to the Insight Concept car, which heralds the return of a dedicated hybrid to the Honda model line-up. The Insight Concept is the start of a new phase of Honda's hybrid strategy, with it showing a glimpse of the first of three new hybrid models that will appear within the next four years. The Insight Concept shows a car which offers a practical and flexible family car that has ample space for both passenger and luggage as well as low emissions and good fuel economy.
A key part of the Insight Concept is to bring hybrid vehicles into a price bracket where a broader range of people can afford them. This strategy is driven by the company's desire to see the wide spread adoption of lower CO2 in order to bring about a meaningful reduction in overall CO2 output. The Insight Concept is the culmination of over 20 years of hybrid development.
Restyled Civic Hybrid
With the influx of new hybrid models due in the Honda line-up, the Civic Hybrid hasn't been pushed aside. The 4-door sedan has been given a restyle. The fuel sipping family car will benefit from cosmetic changes, including tweaked front and rear lights, a more aggressive bumper and a new design of alloy wheel.
i-DTEC Automatic Gearbox
Paris will also see the debut of Honda's new automatic gearbox for the i-DTEC diesel engine. This new gearbox has been developed in response to European customer demands for an automatic option for the 2.2 litre diesel. The new gearbox has been developed exclusively for the i-DTEC turbodiesel, in order to compliment its flexibility and broader spread of torque.
CR-Z Hybrid Sports Concept Model
The Paris stand will also see the CR-Z, a small sports concept car, which shows Honda's future direction of offering small petrol-electric hybrids across a number of niches, in order to broaden their appeal. The CR-Z will form the basis of a new small coupe hybrid that will join the growing Honda hybrid line-up and further broaden the appeal of low CO2 vehicles. The sporty 2+2 uses the split level glass rear window, which has been used through three decades in the CR-X, the original Insight coupe and more recently the Civic 3 and 5 door.
FCX Clarity Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
The French show will also play host to Honda's production fuel cell car, the FCX Clarity, which was delivered to the first customers in the USA at the beginning of August. The FCX Clarity began production in Japan in July and the first lease customers in Honda's home country will receive their cars towards the end of this year.
The presence of the Civic, Insight Concept and CR-Z petrol electric hybrids alongside the FCX Clarity, gives an indication of Honda's vision of the future. The Japanese manufacturer sees the Hydrogen fuel cell as the zero-tailpipe emission solution for automobiles while the hybrid powertrain provides an excellent lower CO2 solution in the medium term, until the FCX Clarity becomes viable as a mass produced vehicle.
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