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.