Acura Launches Dedicated Financial Services

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In April of 2009, American Honda Finance Corp. (AHFC) launched an Acura-branded financial services to better satisfy the needs of Acura dealers and customers. The creation of Acura Financial Services (AFS) marks a major milestone in Acura history.

Honda releases details for European-spec Insight hybrid

The production Honda Insight hybrid vehicle made its world debut last week at the Detroit Auto Show but the car on display was the version designed specifically for sale in North America. Honda has now released full details and images for its European-spec Insight hybrid, revealing that its average fuel-economy will come in at 53.4mpg (4.4L/100km) for the mixed cycle. In contrast, the EPA fuel-economy rating for U.S.-spec models is 40mpg in the city and 43mpg on the highway. No independent testing of the European model has been conducted as yet. Europe will be a very important market for the new hybrid, so much so that Honda even designed the car as a five-door hatch.
2008 Honda Insight hybrid concept

Honda officially cancels S2000

Earlier this month word of Honda's decision to cancel its Honda/Acura V8 program, the CR-Z convertible and the next-generation S2000 emerged, but today Honda has officially announced that the 2009 S2000 will be the last. Produced for a full decade, from 1999 (as a 2000 model year car) through 2009, the S2000 has finally reached the end of its road. Along the way it received minor suspension and appearance updates, a slightly larger engine and other refinements, but it lived that decade in largely the same form it was created. Honda hadn't originally intended the S2000 to extend much beyond its introduction, however.
2009 Honda S2000 CR

Honda F1 Race Car - Video

Date with a Spanish fly: In sunny southern Spain, our man learns to brake with his left foot, clutch with his thumb, and generally drive a wicked Honda Grand Prix car with his heart in his throat.


Keep Reading: Honda F1 Race Car - Video

Honda S2000 Dead After 2009 - Car News

Despite its canyon-carving prowess and prominent cult following, Honda plans to cease production of the S2000 roadster at the end of 2009. Originally positioned as a limited-edition party favor for the automaker’s 50th anniversary in 1998, the high-revving, rear-wheel-drive two-seater soldiered on for nine years (debuting in 1999 as a 2000 model) due to consumer demand, garnering four appearances on our 10Best list in the process.

Honda has yet to say if a replacement is planned, but the sad truth is the company is feeling the global economic pinch like every other manufacturer and is rapidly realigning its future lineup and production capacity. Honda says sales of the S2000 in the U.S. sank to 2538 last year, down from 4302 in 2007, with only 72 deliveries made in December. Overall, just 110,000 of the cars—nearly all of which were built on the same production line in Japan as the NSX sports car and original Insight hybrid—found homes worldwide over the years, with more than 65,000 making their way to the U.S.

Honda marks the end of the S2000 with new 'Ultimate Edition'

Just days ago Honda confirmed that its 2009 model-year S2000 would be the last of the line of the stylish sports cars, and today the company announced that it would mark the event with the release of a special ‘Ultimate Edition’ model. Set to make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, the new S2000 Ultimate Edition will go on sale in Europe this March but unfortunately there are no plans to bring it Stateside. As the name suggests, the Honda S2000 Ultimate Edition will be the last version before global production of the model ceases altogether at the end of June.
2009 Honda S2000 Ultimate Edition

Honda looking to price 2010 Insight Hybrid under $20k, may build it in the U.S.

Honda has started selling its 2010 Insight Hybrid in Japan with prices starting at 1.8 million yen ($20,052 USD). The Japanese automaker is looking to keep pricing of the U.S. bound Insight right under $20,000 and is supposedly considering building the hybrid in the U.S. if sales hit a target of 100,000 units annually.

According to Honda’s Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo, both goals will be tough for the company but must be necessary to compete with its rival - the Toyota Prius. Honda hopes to sell 100,000 of the Honda Insight Hybrid in the U.S. and 200,000 units worldwide, reports Automotive News.

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid will go on sale in the U.S. in April 2009. Power will come from a 1.3L SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a CVT transmission. Coupled with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid technology that allows the Insight to return an EPA rated fuel-economy of 40/43 mpg (city/highway).

2009 Honda FCX Clarity - Road Test

Where’s the best place to meet Jamie Lee Curtis? Why, at the bustling corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Federal Avenue near hippy-dippy Santa Monica, California, where you can’t toss a watermelon without hitting a Toyota Prius.

Jamie Lee will be the one in the merlot-colored Honda, gliding up to one of those rarest of things, a commercial hydrogen fuel pump. Stand there, enjoying the company of the loitering beach bums for a day or three, and you’re all but guaranteed to see her roll in, low on juice, her FCX Clarity shaped like an Australian lungfish and whining like a tomcat being scalped.

On the Santa Monica smugness scale, the Clarity mops the floor with the Prius. It stores hydrogen at a liquefied 5000 psi, plumbs it through a Honda-designed fuel cell with air to make electricity, leaving water as the sole tailpipe effluent. The only powertrain noise is the lynx-like yowl of the fuel cell’s air compressor, plus the tap-tap of Henry Cavendish, the 18th-century discoverer of hydrogen, doing I-told-you-so jigs in his grave.

2010 Honda Insight Hybrid off to a good start in Japan

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid is seeing strong demand in its home market of Japan. The 1.89 million yen ($21,000 USD) went on sale in Japan on Feb. 6 and has already received more than 5,000 orders.

“This is so much better than expected. The Insight is priced below 2 million yen, and is energy efficient. We believe consumers like these aspects,” said Honda spokeswoman Natsuno Asanuma.

The 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid will make its U.S. and European debut in March. Honda plans on pricing the U.S. spec Insight right around $19,000, cheaper than the Civic Hybrid.

Powered by a 1.3 SOHC i-VTEC engine mated to a CVT transmission and Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid technology, the Insight Hybrid returns an estimated 40/43 mpg (city/highway). It has a driving range of more than 400 miles on a full tank.

Honda F1 Race Car - Sport

The definition of “total imposter” is a 47-year-old magazine editor dressed in a Nomex race suit, attempting to look completely at ease while strolling through a Formula 1 factory—in this case, Honda’s, in Brackley, England, 70 miles northwest of London. Honda had been gracious (and foolish) enough to put me in the driver’s seat of its 2007 F1 race car (the RA107), one of just six built. No one at Honda I talk to will even hint at what it cost.

First off, they must get me fitted into a car that has the potential to pull more than 4 g under braking and through corners. Even in a fast street car, the driver has to brace himself while cornering hard to counteract the tendency of the body to move to the outside of the car due to centripetal force. In an F1 car, being held in place is additionally important because there’s as much as four times the force pushing on the driver’s body.

Honda’s build operations manager is Peter Hodgkinson, and the moment he sees the visiting stroller, who stands five feet seven inches and weighs 150 pounds, he says, “You’re about the right size.” Still, it’s a struggle getting in. The driver must step on top of the seat, maneuver gingerly to avoid hitting the winglets and mirrors, and then, standing there, carefully slide down. The seat I’m using was made for one-time Honda test driver James Rossiter, a 25-year-old Brit who’s five foot seven and maybe 10 pounds lighter than me. It’s a tight fit. With some minor but time-consuming adjustments to the length of the seatbelts, the placement of the pedals and the steering wheel, and the amount of padding under my thighs and behind my shoulders, I’m relatively comfortable—if feeling like a chicken trussed up for the oven is comfy.

Honda earns top rating on 2009 Consumer Reports top picks, Detroit 3 at the bottom

Honda has earned Consumer Reports’ top rating for the third straight year. Consumer Reports’ said that Honda makes “the best all-around vehicles for the American drivers.” Honda was followed by Subaru, Toyota and Mazda. Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Volkswagen and BMW tied for fifth place.

How did our American automakers rank? Consumer Reports said that FoMoCo and GM vehicles improved from last year but continue to rank with Chrysler “at the back of the class.” The publication said that no Chrysler, Dodge or Jeep vehicle made the “recommended” list. In fact they were all rated “poor performing products” with “sinking reliability results.”

But if you’re still looking to buy America, Consumer Reports said that the Ford Flex, F-150, Chevy Malibu and the Cadillac CTS “rank near the top of their classes.”

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