Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Honda to update manufacturing process

According to Japan's Nikkei daily, Honda is set to update their plant manufacturing processes to make lighter vehicles. This is via the use of welding and other techniques, thus saving the weight of mounting bolts and so forth. The first model to benefit from this update is the new N-Box mini-van. Others are expected to follow soon. Apparently the primary target of this updated process will be Honda's overseas assembly plants. The Nikkei report has been summarized and translated into english by the autonews site and the article can be read via the url http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111224/OEM01/312249999/1186.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Hot Import Nights (HIN) debuts in Malaysia

Hot Import Nights (HIN) is a popular car-show featuring compact and tuner import cars in the U.S.A. This show is owned and run by Hot Import Nights (the company) who are located in Orange County, California. In the U.S. HINs are mostly single-night events held in many different cities across the US, ranging from hardcore car enthusiasts cities like Los Angeles, New York (city) to exotic ones such as Honolulu in Hawaii.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cleanest Internal Combustion engined car in the world

TOV member Andrew, who is also a Honda salesperson specialising in 'green cars' made this video to demonstrate how clean the Honda Civic GX is. The whole TOV community agrees that he is a little bit crazy to do the things he did in the video but it certainly demonstrates how much trust and commitment he has to his beliefs.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

300 bookings for Honda CR-Z in Malaysia

As expected, the superb pricing and a unique package has made the Honda CR-Z a hit in Malaysia. Honda Malaysia has announced that they have received 300 bookings for the car, despite widespread knowledge that a more powerful version is in the works. 

It has also been announced by some that the automatic (CVT) version will be launched in March next year. Meanwhile Honda Malaysia has added three colours for the CR-Z.

The CR-Z should be showing up on the road soon.

For the full press release, click on the link below.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The future of Acura

While I wasn't at the Tokyo Motor Show, vtec.net 'chief' Jeff Palmer was there and was part of the contingent who participated in the roundtable discussion with Honda CEO Ito-san, as well as the special preview of future Honda car directions, including test-driving the 'future Accord'. Coverage of these events are now 'the' hot news around automotive publications around the world. Yet when I was chatting with Jeff on the weekend of the TMS, I was surprised to learn that he had already flew back to the U.S. It was for a special event in Las Vegas he told me and today, Jeff published a special article about that event. 

Basically we (TOV) had been part of the very select, exclusive group of media journalists who were invited by Acura (U.S.A.) to a special 'Strategic Briefing' session by Acura where we learned a lot about the future plans of Acura for the U.S. market. While the session was specifically for Acura and the U.S., some of the models revealed in that session are highly likely to make it to the rest of the world as well, either as (newly launched) Acura models or Honda models. 

So if you want to peep into what Honda has for you in the future, read our special article at the link http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1020643

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Latest Update on Thai flood situation from Honda

The press release after the link is Honda's latest update on the flood situation in Thailand. The gist is that Honda have successfully cleared their facilities of flood water and is now in the painful and slow process of recovering the facility to operational status. It will probably take weeks before any of the facility can start again and months for them to recover to fully operational status.

The more important, good news is that Honda's Suzuka and Saitama plant in Japan will be restored to full capacity at the beginning of next week (Dec 5th) while the U.S. and Canada plants (6 in all affected) will restore fully capacity the day after tomorrow (Dec 1st). 

4Gen CR-V to debut in Japan Dec 2nd

Following the U.S launch, the new 4Gen CR-V will debut in the JDM end of this week, on December 2nd 2011. The JDM model features a 2.0l version in addition to the 2.4l version of the U.S. model. This new 2.0l  version comes in FWD and is mated to a CVT/MMT gearbox which is also equipped with a torque converter. For the JDM, the 2.4l version offers 10kW or 20ps higher power and comes with a 5AT.

For Asia, the JDM 2.0l version will form the basis for our model. However, its launch schedule is expected to be delayed and much depends on the progress Honda makes in recovering their research facility at Ayutthaya Thailand.

For more details of the JDM CR-V, read the article at Honda's worldwide website:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

New NSX rumours from Autoten

The japanese website dedicated to 'scoop' information and photos of new cars, autoten.com, has published an article citing Honda CEO Ito-san as saying that the new NSX will be arriving in 2014. Furthermore, autoten.com is reporting that their Honda sources confirmed to them that the car will have a V6 engine delivering 400hp and will use SH-AWD.

For the full autoten article, go to the link below:

Case Study : How accurate are scoops ?

Scoops of information and especially photos of new to be launched cars are the 'in' thing amongst automotive media fighting to be recognized as 'The' media to go to for information nowadays. In Japan, there are even magazines dedicated to scoops only. Amongst these, Mag-X (of Japan) has from my experience been one of the most accurate in terms of rendering of new models. Their rendering of the original 2001 Honda City was so uncanny that my 'friend' told me he personally was shocked at the almost spot-on accuracy of the rendering except for the exaggerated height (which I found out during the actual launch to be true).  Later, Mag-X was also spot on for the previous 8Gen Civic. 

New CR-V launched in the U.S.

With apologies for the delay notification, we (TOV) have complete coverage of the launch of the new 4Gen CR-V at the Auto Angeles Motor Show in the U.S. Along with this launch, we have now published 3 articles which we have been putting on hold due to the embargo imposed by Honda before the launch.

Briefly, the new 4Gen CR-V is more of an evolution of the outgoing 3Gen model. The single engine variant continues to be the 2.4l K24 DOHC i-VTEC engine now giving 185hp and 163lbft (about 22.4kgm) of torque. This is 5hp higher than the old model. The transmission continues to be a 5AT only. The model comes with either FWD or real-time 4WD (called real time ALL Wheel Drive by AHM). 

Our coverage of this FMC is spread out over 4 articles, according to the links below:
1. Honda press release of the new 4Gen CR-V 
Embargo'ed articles now published includes:
2. Photo gallery of the new 4Gen CR-V
3. Exclusive ! TOV Video for the 'walkaround' and demonstration of new features

4. Exclusive ! TOV Video for 'First-Drive' impressions

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photos of production CR-V

Famous scoopers Brenda Priddy & Co. has now caught photos of actual production version of the new 4Gen CR-V which the Autoblog website has purchased and published. The photos were taken during the pre-launch media drive event, which was also attended by TOV. However, details from that event are under embargo which is why TOV hasn't published anything about it. This new 4Gen CR-V will be launched in the U.S. next week at the L.A. Auto Show. As confirmed at the TOV forums earlier, it will go on sale on December this year. The photo above was taken from the autoblog website. For more photos and the autoblog story, the link to go to is : http://www.autoblog.com/photos/2012-honda-cr-v-spy-shots-2/med/#photo-4600879/

Update on Impact of flooding to Honda in Thailand

Honda has just provided an update on the situation in Thailand concerning the current flood situation. Read the official press release after the link.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Small Sports EV Concept car the new Honda Beat ?

Of the many concept vehicles Honda has announced will be at this year's Tokyo Motor Show, the 'Small Sports EV' concept car most caught my eye. In recent times there has been persistent rumours, especially from japanese car magazines, about Honda possibly reviving their iconic 'BEAT' convertible sporty coupe of the 90s. The Honda Beat was a small 2-seater is MR configuration and powered by a 60ps engine. The tiny 660cc engine screams to 8,500rpm ! 

Honda Displays at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show

November 10, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced its lineup of production and concept-model automobiles, motorcycles, power products, and other highlights for its display at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011, which will take place at Tokyo Big Sight from Saturday, December 3 through Sunday, December 11, 2011.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The beginning : New small model details revealed by Honda

A few months ago, there were reports that Honda has announced the introduction of 3 new models in the 'Kei' (mini/super-mini) segment. At their JDM cum corporate website, the first of these new models are now showing up as a teaser. 

Confirmed : Honda CR-V to be launched ON SCHEDULE in Decemeber for the U.S.A.

At our TOV forums, there are now confirmations from dealers that their stocks of the new 4G CR-V are en-route. This directly confirms that for the U.S. at least, the launch of the new CR-V will be on schedule, in the month of December (next month). 

What about Asia ? The flood situation in Thailand is definitely affecting all asian models. Initially it was revealed that there will be an MMC for the City next month and the new 9G Civic and 4G CR-V will debut in Asia early next year.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

EXCLUSIVE : Higher performance CR-Z in the works !

Ever since the CR-Z was launched, hardcore Honda enthusiasts have been incessantly pointing out how another higher performance variant to complement the current 124ps variant should be Honda's most logical step forward for this model. Everyone agrees that this model is very attractive and has lots of potential and that Honda just needs to fully develop it. More fuel was put into the fire recently when a few magazines from Europe, principally Auto Express U.K. published articles quoting the CR-Z LPL Norio Tomobe-san as saying he indeed had wanted a higher performance version all along and that he is in fact working on one. 

And so, at the launch of the CR-Z for Malaysia, where Tomobe-san himself was seated at the media press conference, guess what would be the one question I was dying to ask ? (no prizes here !)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Honda CR-Z selling for RM115k !

My internet connection failed right on the day of the CR-Z launch, preventing me from putting up timely updates about the event. With service restored today, I can finally get on with my coverage of the CR-Z for Malaysia.

Honda Malaysia has put the selling price of the CR-Z at an astonishing RM115k, OTR. This is really an incredible price ! To be honest, early last week I SMS'ed some 'friends' with questions about the selling price. Obviously they won't be able to tell me the price outright so I carefully worded my questions, by comparing with existing models. The model I chose was the Civic 2.0l. My 'friends' responded with some hints which suggests to me that the CR-Z will be cheaper than the Civic 2.0l. I stopped at that, not wanting to over-push the 'generousity' of my friends. This is why I posted saying that I believe the CR-Z will sell below RM130k (the price range of the Civic 2.0l). I had honestly expected it to be around RM125k, with a best case of between RM119 to RM121k. But Honda Malaysia outdid themselves and surprised even me, by putting the price at RM115k.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

More thoughts on the Honda CR-Z for Malaysia/ASEAN

Its barely a day to the official launch of the CR-Z here in Malaysia. So, what can Honda enthusiasts expect from this car ?

To start off, the CR-Z have not and will never be called a 'sports-car' or even a 'sports coupe', certainly not by Honda enthusiasts. And I think it make no pretensions to be one either. After some initial wishy-washy-ness, Honda now calls it a 'sporty coupe'. Actually in terms of overall design, the CR-Z feels every inch a sports coupe. Feedback, even from fussy Honda enthusiasts have been universally positive regarding this aspect of the car. It feels and looks great and sporty, both exterior and interior.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thoughts regarding the Honda CR-Z in Malaysia/ASEAN

With the launch of the Honda CR-Z now almost upon us here in Malaysia, my thoughts have been wondering along the lines of considering what kind of buyers would be interested in this rather unique sporty coupe and what would be the cars they will be cross-shopping against.

First of all, thanks to the dominance of the U.S. on the internet, the widely held assumption is that the CR-Z is a 2-seater coupe. This is most probably not the case for our units here. The Honda CR-Z launched here will be imported CBU from Japan, as is all CR-Zs sold across the world. But it will be a RHD version and it will most probably be a 2+2, i.e. the ability to seat 4, or maybe even 5 persons (at a rather tight squeeze for the back passengers). The unit on display at the KLIMS last year was a 2+2, though perhaps not many people will have noticed since it wasn't easily accessible. 

Those who have booked the CR-Z (as I understand, quite a few already) will probably know and those who are interested should also be aware of this. It is like the case of the original CR-X, on which the CR-Z is supposedly the spiritual successor (thought subjected to some controversy). The CR-X was a 2-seater in the U.S. and a 2+2 everywhere else.

Price-wise, understandably Honda Malaysia cannot give me any indications at all. But if we use the JDM pricing, where the Insight starts at around 2 million yen while the CR-Z starts at 2.2 to 2.3 million yen, then a 'purata' estimation suggests that it should be around 15 to 20% higher in price. Given that the Insight starts at around RM100k, that suggests maybe a best price of around RM120k ? Highly unlikely I would think, due to the logistical and economical reasons. 

The biggest problem with a niche model like the CR-Z is precisely that it is 'niche'. Honda Malaysia has been very 'brave' for insisting that they must have a niche model in its line-up while many countries here in ASEAN doesn't even bother. A niche model, is by definition very low in sales volume. While models like even the Freed or Jazz may be measured in terms of sales volumes of hundreds or even thousands a month, the FD2 Civic Type-R last time for e.g. was measured in terms of 60 units a year in sales volume, i.e. single-digit sales figure per month. Anyone who knows how it is like to do business will know that this kind of (extremely low) sales volume drives costs of sales up tremendously. The issue is with warranty, maintenance of spare parts inventory, recovery of expenses incurred in sales (advertisement, P.R. cost, etc), and all sorts of other things. As a consumer, it is very easy for us to state that we are not bothered and that it is the responsibility of the manufacturer, but in the end, every car maker exists to make a profit. They need profit to continue to even exist. 

Given this, my own personal estimate is that there is a chance CR-Z will be launched at a selling price above RM130k, perhaps between the price of the Civic 2.0l and the most basic Accord variant. 

But this is only one part of the picture. 

My personal opinion, based on my own opinions of the Malaysian car marketplace is that selling the CR-Z, given its current specification, at above RM130k is going to be a certain recipe for disaster, effectively ensuring the CR-Z will never sell here. 

So in the end, my personal hope is that Honda Malaysia will launch the CR-Z, very soon, at a selling price closer to that of the Civic 2.0l. Who knows, maybe they might pull off another 'FD2R' with the CR-Z and go below RM130k, cheaper than the Civic 2.0l ? I feel this is not very likely but I thought the same for the FD2R last time too so no matter how unlikely it may be, I think there is always hope !

I will continue with more thoughts in follow-up posts over the next few days.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Freed Hybrid variants go on sale in Japan

TOKYO, Japan, October 27, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced it would begin sales of the all-new Freed Hybrid minivan and Freed Spike Hybrid tall wagon at dealerships across Japan on October 28, 2011. Like all models in the acclaimed Freed series, these new hybrids offer a spacious, comfortable interior and a large cargo area in a compact body. Both models will combine a smooth ride with outstanding fuel economy and affordable price, as with any Honda hybrid vehicle. The refreshed Freed and Freed Spike gasoline-engine models will also become available on October 28. Furthermore, Honda will launch a new range of Freed special-needs vehicles on November 25, including a wheelchair-accessible model with a newly developed electric winch, a side lift-up seat model, and a passenger lift-up seat model.

For the public news release, go to the Honda worldwide website at the link below:

Honda Insight MMC and new 1.5l 'Insight Exclusive' variant goes on sale in Japan

TOKYO, Japan, October 27, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. introduced the newly refreshed Insight hybrid model, a popular model known for its exceptional environmental performance and affordable price. In addition, the new Insight Exclusive model featuring a 1.5-liter engine has joined the Insight lineup. Honda will begin sales of both models at dealerships across Japan on November 11.

Read the Honda news release on Honda's worldwide website at the link below :

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Photos of flooded Honda factory in Thailand

TOVA reader/support 'Fish-Chan' posted some photos of the flooded HAT (Honda Automobile Thailand) factory on our TOV forums board. I thought those photos would be of interest to all Honda fans so I decided to publish them here. 

'Fish-Chan' did not indicate from where he sourced the photos from but I am sure once he reads this post, he will explain. In the meantime, many thanks to him for the photos as I am sure many Honda fans would be very curious on the extent of the impact the flood in Thailand has on a very unlucky Honda. First the great Tohoku earthquake in March, and now this great Thailand flood in October, both disasters inside a year.

The photos can be viewed after the jump, by clicking on the link below.

Honda Malaysia plant temporary shutdown

Honda Malaysia halts production and sources parts suppliers

Petaling Jaya, 25th October 2011 – Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd (“Honda Malaysia” or the “Company”) announces that it will halt production in Pagoh Plant, Melaka from today onward due to parts shortage caused by the floods in Thailand. The floods have caused a huge number of factories in the supply chain to shut down, which include Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. and other major suppliers who supply parts to Honda Malaysia. The Company has been actively accessing the situation and its parts suppliers’ recovery. Honda Malaysia is also studying the feasibility of sourcing parts from other countries until its suppliers’ production in Thailand returns to normal.

“We announce with regret that we have to temporary halt production in Pagoh Plant, in Melaka due to parts shortage. We apologize for the delay of delivery and we appreciate the understanding of our customers. We are doing all we that can within our capacity to recover the production here in Malaysia as soon as possible,” said Mr. Yoichiro Ueno, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia.

“The good news is that all our CBU models such as Insight, Stream and Freed are not affected, except for Jazz that is imported from Thailand, which we have sufficient stock to fulfill the current market demand,” he added.

Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has recently donated 100 million baht (RM10 million) to Thai Red Cross Society to help flood victims in Thailand. Honda Malaysia will keep its customers informed of the plant’s progress and it looks forward to bringing good news to the customers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

CONFIRMED DATE for Honda CR-Z launch

It is "double-confirmed" now. The Honda CR-Z is coming to Malaysia, to be launched almost right at the start of next month, barely two weeks away. Based on past track record, the information from the TOVA reader says that what will be launched will be the 6MT version, with the CVT version still under consideration and this info should be accurate. With the Malaysian government extending tax exemption for hybrid vehicles for another year until end of next year, this means that the CR-Z promises to probably be the most affordable sports coupe sold in Malaysia.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flood in Thailand : Official Honda Malaysia statement

Honda Malaysia informs effects of plant suspension in Thailand

Petaling Jaya, 13th September 2011 – Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (“HATC”, Ayutthaya plant) is forced to halt production due to severe floods that are hitting Thailand now. Honda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (“Honda Malaysia” or “the Company”) today informs its customers of the effect of the shutdown on Malaysia’s plant.

“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the flood victims in Thailand and we hope that the country would make prompt recovery from the damages imposed by the natural disaster,” said Mr. Yoichiro Ueno, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia.

The suspension of HATC’s plant production in Ayutthaya area has an inevitable impact on Honda Malaysia’s production as HATC, along with its suppliers in the same region whose operations are also suspended, provides considerable number of parts for the Malaysian CKD (complete knocked down) models namely City, Civic, Accord and CR-V.

Since this Monday, Honda Malaysia has reduced its output in Melaka to prolong the production using on-hand stock. “We regret that there will be delay in product delivery as the production in our plant slows down due to the suspension of parts supply. Currently, the delivery timing for all our CBU (complete built-up) units are not affected,” Mr. Yoichiro added.

“At the time of statement, the HATC remains flooded and it is unapproachable. This is making it difficult for us to estimate the time of recovery. However, we will assess the situation closely on a daily basis and hope for the best though we foresee the recovery may take longer than we originally expected. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding and support and we will continue to provide the best products and services despite the challenging situation the company is facing.”

Monday, October 17, 2011

Honda CR-Z coming to Malaysia !!

EXACTLY as told to me by a TOVA Honda-Fan reader recently, Honda Malaysia have just announced that they will be launching the CR-Z here in November this year (2011). Thus the reader was 100% accurate right to the launching date !! This means that all his other information are highly likely to be correct as well. Thanks !

The official press release from Honda Malaysia is below.


Petaling Jaya, 17 October 2011 – Honda Malaysia Sdn Bhd today announced that the award-winning Honda CR-Z will be introduced to the Malaysian market in early November 2011. Malaysia will be the first country in Southeast Asia to launch the Honda CR-Z. “We are pleased that the government has decided to extend the full exemption of import duty and excise duty until December 2013 as announced recently in the Budget 2012. The launch of the CR-Z is timely to support the government’s effort to promote green technology and ensure sustainable development of the nation,” said Mr. Yoichiro Ueno, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia.

Due to the overwhelming response of the Honda Insight after its launched last year, Honda Malaysia decided to bring in another hybrid vehicle to offer Malaysians more hybrid vehicle options.

The Honda CR-Z was named 2010/ 2011 Car of the Year (COTY) in Japan and won the 2010 Japan Industrial Design Promotion Organisation (JIDPO) Good Design Award. The revolutionary hybrid vehicle is environmentally responsible and at the same time, fun to drive. Since it went on sale in February 2010 in Japan, the Honda CR-Z has been well received with close to 34,000 units sold worldwide as at end December 2010.

More information on the launch of Honda CR-Z will be released in due time.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Honda Freed and Freed Spike Hybrids

Concurrently, Honda has also announced hybrid versions of the Honda Freed and Freed Spike for Japan. The base Freed and Freed Spike uses a 1.5l SOHC i-VTEC engine and the new hybrid variants will also be using a 1.5l engine, i-VTEC with IMA. Again no other details are available at this moment in time. The relevant url is at


New 1.5l Insight variant for Japan

In their domestic website at www.honda.co.jp, Honda has announced a new variant for the Honda Insight for Japan. This new 'exclusive' or 'premium' variant will be carrying the larger 1.5l i-VTEC IMA engine. There are no official details yet so it is not clear whether the engine will be the one from the Honda Civic Hybrid or the Honda CR-Z. On the relevant page, there is a photo of the tachometer showing a redline at almost 6,000rpm which suggests the former as more likely, though it is not confirmed if the photo is for the new 1.5l variant. There are no indications if the battery will remain the NiMH type or the new LiOn type. Note that the new 9Gen Civic has not been launched in Japan and currently there is no Civic in its line-up. So the HCH and its detail is from the U.S./Canada version.

The url for the announcement of this new variant is :

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Full Technical Review of the Honda Brio

Well no, not done by me but this is an official Honda article where the designers of the Honda Brio talks about the design objectives and salient points for the interior and exterior of the Honda Brio. The article can be read at http://world.honda.com/design/designers-talk/brio/exterior/. At the bottom of the page is the link to the page on interior design.

Honda Brio launched in India

The Honda Brio, Honda's 'energetic and cheerful' mini-car was launched in India on September 27 2011. The Brio was actually developed following Honda’s extensive market surveys in India on people’s driving needs and lifestyles. The Brio is powered by a four cylinder 1.2-liter i-VTEC engine that delivers maximum output of 88 PS @ 6000 rpm and Torque of 109 Nm (11.2 kg-m) @ 4600 rpm, while giving an excellent fuel economy of 18.4 km/l, as per test data. Brio is available in India with only a 5-speed manual transmission. Honda's article on the launch is available at http://world.honda.com/news/2011/4110927Brio-India/?r=. 

This launch suggests that the Brio might possibly be making its way across Asia in the near future.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New INTERIOR spy shots of 4Gen CR-V !

China's China Car Times, published spy photos of the new 4Gen CR-V, the photos picked up and then re-published (with full credits given) by Australia's caradvice.com.au website. These shots are the first known proper shots of the interior of the new CR-V in very high detail. More importantly for asian Honda fans, these photos are also indicative of the asian market CR-V which is expected to debut starting from early next year (2012).

The interior photos reveals a general evolution of the current CR-V. A close up photo of the dashboard with a tacho that redlines at 6,600rpm, same as the current generation, suggests that the R20A engine will continue to be used in the new CR-V. The center mounted gearshift layout is retained and the steering wheel continues to be devoid of paddles so the CR-V will continue on without a sequential manual shift override option (which can be useful on certain occasions, when the CR-V is fully loaded). Interestingly there is a 'START' button feature.

The australian website link is http://www.caradvice.com.au/132257/2012-honda-cr-v-interior-and-exterior-spy-shots/. The photo above is taken from the website.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

4Gen CR-V Concept Public Debut

The new 4Gen Honda CR-V Concept made its public debut at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, California U.S.A. The actual model will debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November this year and will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of this year. Thereafter it should start showing up in the rest of the world. For ASEAN, it is supposed to be launched somewhere in the 2nd quarter of next year (2012), probably the latter part of the quarter. Along with the concept, Honda has talked about a more fuel efficient (but not new) engine plus reduced body weight. Honda has also provided a video for the concept and the press photos plus this video can be seen at our news and rumours section.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New 4Gen CR-V fully revealed !

A very sharp eye'ed reader and a very net-savvy TOV 'head' led us to the discovery of pictures of the new 4Gen CR-V on an european patent website. Apparently Honda has filed patents in Europe for the 4Gen CR-V and thanks to a lead from TOV reader Frank Opperman, TOV 'head' Jeff Palmer found computer generated 3D diagrams of the 4Gen CR-V on the website.

These diagrams more or less shows exactly how the new CR-V will look like. The computer graphic above is one of the diagrams and there are five more, from all angles of the car, available at our news and rumours article here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spy photos of a brand new Acura model !!

And meanwhile in our own U.S./Canada site (Temple Of VTEC), the excitement and attention are currently all focussed on spy-shots we just procured of the much awaited brand new Acura model, which has been called the 'sub-TSX' thus far. The photos are of a car shrouded in a flowery camouflage pattern which Honda has recently taken up (first seen in the new Euro Civic when it was being road tested) but the basic design can still be seen. According to people with connections, Honda has been extremely tight-lipped on any details about this car so nothing is known about engine or transmission specs. Brenda Priddy, from whom we bought the spy-shots from says sources are inclining to this as being the revival of the RSX (known as the Integra outside of the U.S.) which if true would be very exciting. The spy shots are of a four-door sedan but talks are that a coupe and a convertible version are also in the works.

Acura has been pursueing a rather erratic course lately in an attempt to establish itself as a credible entity apart from the Honda namebrand in the U.S., so it is uncertain if this new model will show up outside of the U.S. or not. There are a number of Acura models like the RDX, Ridgeline, ZDX, etc which are exclusively U.S. only (and the yanks often complains about how Honda keeps models to within Japan only. Pity those of us in the rest of the world ! Hahahah !!)

Our new and rumours article, with the rest of the photos (four in total) is located here -> http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1003309

Best spy-shots of CR-V yet

From both autoblog.com and the carscoop blog comes the best spy photos of the soon to be launched 4Gen CR-V yet seen by Honda enthusiasts. The bonus is both these sites are presenting different photos, with autoblog.com giving us 12 photos and the carscoop 9, making it a total of 21 very clear, closeup photos of the brand new CR-V !

The CR-V is one of Honda's most successful and most popular models so a lot of attention is being paid to this FMC. Being a global model, this means spy-photos of the car anywhere will be applicable to everywhere in the world, with only engine, drivetrain and trim differences. So if you are interested in the CR-V and is split between the current one and waiting for the new one, these photos should be of great interest to you.

The relevant sites to go are :
1. Autoblog.com CR-V spy-photos
2. Carscoop blog CR-V spy-photos

Note : the photo above is taken from the carscoop blog

Monday, September 19, 2011

New engine for US CR-V

Information from the Automotive News website is supporting rumours of a new engine to debut with the new 4Gen CR-V for the US market. This new engine is given the code 'K25' by the AN website which goes on to quote a specification of 201hp at 5,500rpm and a max torque of 170lbft (about 23kgm). Transmission is widely expected to remain unchanged with the current 5AT. The relevant news and rumours article in our site regarding this rumour is at http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=1002394. The graphic above is taken from the AN website.

Note that this engine is unlikely to make it to Asia, given that we don't even have a K24 CR-V over here in most parts of the region. It is likely that the new 4Gen CR-V for Asia will continue to use the R20A engine though it is not known if it will retain the current i-VTEC implementation (to reduce pumping loss through the intake mainfold) or a revised one like the R18A on the new 9Gen USDM Civic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Revisions for Honda Insight

At the same (Frankfurt Motor) show, Honda also showed a slightly revised Honda Insight. Honda says the revised Insight produced a much lower 96g/km of CO2, the first Honda hybrid to achieve this. Honda has been reported as saying the gain is from a series of enhancements, which include reduced engine friction, changes to the CVT transmission and to the air conditioning that benefits from a new cold storage system. Other changes are to the exterior (front grill, bumpers, etc), improved interior, and also an addition of two new interior colours. Two new exterior colours are also available. More significant changes are improvements to rear visibility and rear passenger headroom has also been adjusted. Revisions have been made to the engine and suspension for an overall improvement to ride comfort and stability.

TOVA notes : When Honda Malaysia launched the Insight late last year, I was told by the LPL that the rear headroom for our units have already been increased by 20mm. Now this revision for Europe also mentions an 'adjustment' to the rear headroom so I wonder if they are the same or has the revision now given even more than 20mm extra headroom over the original Insight. Interestingly, the Malaysian units are supposed to also feature revisions to the suspension for better ride, compared to initial version and this Frankfurt Motor Show revision talks about the same thing. I am wondering if this revised Insight is the same as the one we have already been enjoying.

Latest Update (Sep 16 2011) : When I enquired with Honda Malaysia, I was told that the Malaysia (and thus ASEAN) Insights do not feature the updates above. Unfortunately (and expectedly so) they are unable to inform me when Malaysian Insights will receive these updates. Do note that this does not in any way invalidate your purchase or interest in the current Insight as it is indeed a very good car especially given the very good price.

New 9Gen EURO Civic launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Honda launched the new 9Gen EURO Civic at the just started 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Offered only in 5-door hatchback form, Honda says the car will reach showrooms early next year. The new 9Gen EURO Civic is offered with 3 engine choices; 1.4 i-VTEC, 1.8 i-VTEC, and 2.2 i-DTEC (diesel), delivering max powers of 100ps, 142ps and 150ps respectively. Here are some links for you to check the car out:

Announcement at world.honda.com
Frankfurt Motor Show preview at world.honda.com
Official press photos at Temple Of VTEC

Monday, September 12, 2011

4G CR-V expected to debut in the U.S. in November

From posting in our TOV forums by Honda dealers in the U.S., it is generally believed that the new 4th Gen CR-V will debut in the U.S. as a 2012 model somewhere in November perhaps latest December of this year. What prompted several dealers to believe the launch is impending is the online order database called MOVE and the fact that orders are accepted only up to around November of this year. Another well connected Honda salesperson posted about his frustration getting advance info on the new CR-V, noting that except for features like USB, Bluetooth and iMid, he has been unable to get any indication of engine or transmission specs, something he could get hints about for other models.

The US launch date of November-December 2011 for the new 4Gen CR-V do jive with the insider info given to Tova-Honda-Fan by one of our readers, that the 4G CR-V will probably launch here around the 2nd quarter time frame of next year. It also tallies with the subtle body and unspoken verbal language from my 'friends' when I last talked to them about this new CR-V for Malaysia and ASEAN in general.

Note that the photo above is an official photo supplied by AHM for the 'concept' 4Gen CR-V which is believed to be very close to the actual production model.

Update : latest posts in the TOV forums supports the suggestion of a December launch date for the US 4Gen '2012' CR-V. The main debate now centers on the engine and transmission specifications.

Honda Brio spied in Malaysia

The popular malaysian automobile blog managed by paultan has published photos taken of a blue colour Honda Brio taken by its readers. The Brio was caught on camera twice by PT's readers and submitted for publication on the site. One set of shots was with the car on a trailer and the other, parked somewhere in an area called Brickfields and the reader saying that it looked as if it was in some sort of shooting most likely for an advertisement. The actual photos are available on the PT section dedicated to spyshots which can be reached by following this link. Note the photo above was taken from the internet.

Unfortunately I do not have any indications whether the Brio will be launched in Malaysia or not. The last time I met up with some 'friends', one of them told me there might be a nice surprise in store for Honda fans in Malaysia at the end of this year. With a recent contribution by a Tova-Honda-Fan reader that the CR-Z is supposed to be launched end of this year, I think that 'surprise' would be the CR-Z and not the Brio. It fits too as Honda Malaysia knows I am an enthusiast who would be more excited by the CR-Z than something like the Brio.

I know Honda Malaysia is eager to add to their line-up but with their assembly plant in Melaka almost at full capacity, it is unlikely it can take on the assembly of another new model. With the experience of the Jazz and Freed, importing a non-hybrid model as a CBU (completely built up) unit even from an ASEAN country is highly unlikely to be conducive to pricing which would be critical in the ASEAN market for a mini-car like the Brio. What, if anything Honda Malaysia does with the Brio would be something interesting to look out for in the coming months.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Insider Info on the Avengers Movie Acura ?

A TOV forumer wrote this little titbit in our forums about the Acura that Robert Downey Jr drove to the shooting set of the Avenger's movie.

According to my info it will be front engined again. Or, better explained, it will be (a) modified version of (the) original HSV, with (a) hybrid powertrain. (There's also a) rumored MR car based on (a) reversed FF platform (that will) hopefully (be) coming, (something) like a smaller (i.e.) Boxster sized "affordable" Honda, a while later. 

While I won't reveal his nick, what I can say is that he do have some contacts with 'certain' members inside Honda, So here's to hoping his info comes true !

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three new Honda mini-car models by 2012

According to reuters who quoted Japan's Nikkei, Honda is planning to launch three new mini-car models within the short future. One model will debut at the end of this year in December with another two due in 2012. Minicars or 'Kei-cars' in Japan are those with engines up to 660cc and they get special exemptions making them very popular in Japan. They are also very popular in many other countries in Asia. The new model for December is claimed to sport a 660cc engine and delivers up to 25km/l fuel economy. It is claimed that Honda plans for Kei-car sales to increase to 43% of their total annual sales, up from the current 24%.

For more details and the whole report, the link to go to is http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/05/honda-idUSL3E7K501Q20110905

TOVA's view: there have been many extremely intriguing Kei-cars from Honda in the past but almost all limited for JDM sales only. Models like the Honda Z Turbo which sports a 60ps 660cc turbo-charged engine on a 4WD platform and the current Honda Life Turbo are just the right models to bring back a much needed spark of life to Honda. In the Honda Malaysia marketing office car-park in PJ, there used to be a Honda Life parked there long term. I personally saw and touched the car though my friends then was unable to let me test drive it because it wasn't registered. The car was brought in as part of a study to launch the Life for sale in Malaysia. Eventually it seems government regulations was one of the main reason why the plan was cancelled. It is no coincidence that none of the big japanese makers have a kei-car to challenge the Perodua MyVi and Proton Savvy at the moment. Hopefully things will change soon and perhaps the Honda Brio might be the first Honda Kei-car to be launched here in Malaysia. It needs to show up in Thailand first of all though.

Acura (Honda) puts a concept car in the Avengers movie

New Acura supercar to debut soon ?
Find out by reading the rest of this post, after the jump...

Japanese Car Scoop magazine and website claims new HRV is coming

Website autoten just published a report saying that Honda plans to revive the HR-V as a sub-compact sized UV (Utility Vehicle) slotting in below the CR-V. The photo above is taken from the autoten website and it seems is scanned from the latest issue of the japanese car-scoop magazine Mag-X. More details at the autoten website at this link : http://autoten.com/2011/05/31/honda-to-revive-hr-v-in-2014to-be-upsize-and-slot-below-cr-v/

TOVA's view. From past experience, Mag-X can be quite accurate with their scoop news. I remember back in the early 2000s just before the Honda City was launched in ASEAN. At that time, no-one outside Honda knew what will be launched, just that it is a new model specially designed for ASEAN. A friend from Honda (now in another company) hinted to me to buy the latest issue of Mag-X because he just saw their artist's rendition and it was very accurate. And it was indeed true. Mag-X was also accurate with the 8Gen Civic before it was launched worldwide. Therefore to me this report is a worthwhile read to Honda fans.

Monday, September 5, 2011

'Product Updates' for certain years of Civic, City and Jazz

Honda Malaysia has announced a product update (what used to be called 'recall') for certain years of Civic, City and Jazz. The Civic update involves the power steering, a common complaint amongst Civic owners. The City/Jazz update concerns the power window switch which can short-circuit when exposed to rain. This trivial power window switch issue was played up to a huge hooh-hah by some media in Europe last year. Read the Honda press release after the jump. Other countries in Asia should get similar update notices soon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interesting Q&A with AHM

In our TOV/TOVA forums board, member CB77 posted a Q&A with the AHM's VP of sales John Mendel. While the Q&A is done with an executive of the U.S. Honda office, many of the questions, and thus the answers as well, relates to concerns and interests worldwide. So, with permission from CB77, I publish the Q&A here for the benefit of TOV/TOVA readers outside of the U.S. Just bear in mind this is specific to the U.S. market but has some applicability to the rest of the world as well. Read the Q&A after the jump.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New model information ?

In response to a recent post I made here with regards to new model information, a TOVA reader with the nickname of 'lee' posted a comment listing information about new model launch dates for Malaysia. I decided to delete the comment and post his info into a proper post for the benefit of all readers.

Lee's original comment and information are as follows:

hi buddy,
these are confirm information (inside source)
CRZ 1.5(M) ~ November 2011
CRZ 1.5 (CVT) ~ To be advised
City MMC ~ December 2011
Civic (9th Gen) ~ Feb 2012
CRV 2.0 (4th Gen) ~ Q2 2012

I left out his contact detail to protect him (just in case).

A huge thanks to "lee" for this info, which I believe to be quite accurate based on what I know.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


We (Temple of Vtec) has published two videos of a new 4Gen CR-V being tested on public roads in America. They are published in our news and rumours section, in two separate articles. To watch the videos, please visit our news and runours page at http://www.vtec.net/news/. They are also currently highlighted on our main page at http://www.vtec.net.

According to one very credible TOV forumer, the CR-V will be launched in four months time in the U.S. For Asia, expect it to debut in Thailand somewhere in the 2nd half of next year, 2012. Malaysia will have the new CR-V by 2013 and maybe possibly even by end of 2012.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

4Gen Honda CR-V Concept revealed !

It's here, Honda has officially unveiled their new 4th generation CR-V concept, to be shown at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, California, in September. The press release for this concept is available at Honda's 'worldwide' website at http://world.honda.com/news/2011/4110725CR-V-Concept/?r=m . There's not much useful information, if any at all, at the press release though - as expected. This new 4Gen CR-V will go on sale at the end of this year in the U.S. (and presumeably Canada) market. The rest of the world should follow very soon. For Asia, expect it to debut around late to end of next year (2012).

Monday, July 25, 2011

Honda Stream 'Product Update'

If you have heard talks about a 'recall' exercise for the Honda Stream, you can check the details and FACTS about it in the official Honda Malaysia press release after the jump.

Some information related to new models for Asia

With Honda recovering fast from the effects of the March earthquake in Japan and production and thus supply of units coming back to normal by next month, perhaps it is a good time to review what I -believe- is the status for the various models in the line-up for Asia.

Read more after the jump

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Next (4G) CR-V Spy-shots at TOV

 We have published new spy-shots of the new 4th generation USDM CR-V on our main news and rumour section. Visit http://www.vtec.net/news/news-item?news_item_id=991215 to see the photos, three in total, and discuss with TOV forumers about the car.

As the CR-V is a global model, expect the asian version to be very similar in overall design. However while the USDM CR-V uses the 2.4l engine, expect the asian version to continue to use an R20A. The new 1.8l Civic's R18A now no longer utilize the special i-VTEC which reduces pumping loss for light throttle positions, so there is a high possibility the R20A will follow the same development. If so, it should give the new 4G CR-V better performance at low speeds which at the moment is slightly lacking, especially at move-off from stationary. For asia, it is again expected that only the 4WD version will be available, again mated to the 5AT.

Based on history, if the USDM CR-V is launched this year, then the asian version should be launched next year, probably 2nd half of next year.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Too Fast for their own good !

Disqualification in racing is a well known phenomenon. Disqualification happens when a racing team breaks the rules, either in the car design or during racing. But nowadays it seems that simply being too good (too fast) can also gets one disqualified. Team OakTek, a rally team from the U.K. has been barred from racing in their selected class in the U.K, Formula-1000 Rally Club events. And that is because the Honda Insight 1 they are racing is simply too fast for the rest of the field. Read the whole article from Autoweek in the link below::