Not so long ago, my colleague told you that he wanted the Honda E to be marketed in North America. Although this friendly city would be quite comfortable in the major urban centers of the continent, its arrival on our roads is not likely to happen soon. On the other hand, as Automotive News has learned, the manufacturer is preparing a strategy tailored to the needs of North America – and the rest of the world – like other players in the industry. Honda is currently working on a platform dedicated to electric propulsion that would be developed to accommodate larger vehicles such as SUVs or even sedans, two formats more compatible with the tastes of our neighbors south of the border.
A has even learned that this platform would be rear-wheel drive (because of the electric motor housed at this location), just like the small Honda E that will be distributed in Europe and Japan. However, to meet the needs of Nordic consumers, the all-wheel drive will also be part of the formula, with an electric motor added to the front. “This new architecture is designed for a smooth and highly efficient ride […] We believe this platform will meet the needs of customers who like our compact and mid-size models,” said Yuma Matsuo, Honda’s general manager for vehicle indoor car cover.
This new platform will also have to be more flexible than the one used for the small Honda E. In addition to being able to accommodate more batteries on board (for a greater autonomy between the refills), this one will have to be compatible with the batteries of Panasonic and CATL , unlike the Honda E which is exclusively equipped with Panasonic units. This flexibility will allow engineers to vary the number of batteries mounted on board, depending on the needs of the vehicle being developed. We should learn a little more about this overall electric strategy in the coming months, Honda has already indicated that it wants two thirds of its global electrified alignment by 2025, with a stated goal to sell 15% of its vehicles with a fully electric engine by 2030.
A raised family at Ford?
The automaker Ford has already indicated its intentions to transform its North American roster, a decision that will eventually eliminate all “cars” range Dearborn … except the Mustang of course! On the European side, traditional models are still on the agenda, but according to an article on the British website AutoCAD, a reshuffle is currently being considered. Indeed, the website reports that the Monde sedan and the Galaxy and S-Max crossovers could disappear in favor of a single crossover inspired by a certain Subaru Outback. The publication speculates even on the arrival of this future family model that would be planned for 2021. And although this raised family is called to transform the European alignment of the brand, the model could also cross the Atlantic Ocean for a North American marketing.
At this level, the addition of such a variant would be quite logical, given the success of the Subaru wagon in the United States and Canada. As the Auto car article mentions, the Subaru Outback is not as popular in Europe, but with the growing popularity of anything called “utility” on the European side, the commercial potential of such a vehicle is undeniable. The new model would be based on the platform of the most recent Focus, an architecture that is likely to be used in many ways in the future, at least for aging models of the brand. It is too early to talk about the power trains envisioned for this utility wagon, but one can already expect a turbo diesel engine (for Europe) and a 4-cylinder gasoline engine as another option. It would not be inappropriate to think that an electrified variant is also in the plans. This is not the first time that a Dearborn rumor has been heard about the arrival of a high-legged Ford Fusion (or Monde) family. Finally, maybe the Ford range will eventually find a semblance of a car with this potential family within a few years.
An Acura NSX Type R in Tokyo
Since its return on the scene, the Acura NSX (Honda NSX elsewhere in the world) has not broken a sales record. We can even say that the Japanese exotic is shunned by the public, facing the German, British and Italian sizes. Yet the presence of an excellent twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 engine combined with three electric motors makes the supercharger a tempting proposition, especially in this era where electrified vehicles are gaining popularity. No matter how successful this is, Forbes magazine may have just lit a sliver of hope … for purists at least!
Indeed, the publication claims that the Honda manufacturer (the NSX will continue to wear the Acura badge at home) will finally unveil a Type R variant of the NSX, a livery that will obviously be more extreme than the “basic model”. Forbes advances a power of 650 horses (a significant gain compared to 573 hp of the current model). Given the reputation of the crest, one can also expect a bodywork remodeled in aerodynamic appendages, a braking system and even a stiffer suspension for the days spent burning rubber at the track. The publication also raises the question about the architecture of this future NSX Type R. Will it keep its four-wheel drive or will it be simplified by abandoning this solution to the benefit of only two driving wheels? The question is worth asking and if this rumor is true, we should know the answer to the Tokyo Salon next October, the Japanese exhibition that seems the perfect place to unveil such a machine of war.
Acura to launch flagship sedan at Pebble Beach
The luxurious wing of Honda has already seen better days, that’s for sure, but since the return of the exotic NSX and the renaissance of the small RDX, the future of the brand looks a little rosier with a new leadership focused on driving pleasure. And it seems that brand strategists have not completed their adrenaline injection, according to the US magazine Car and Driver. Indeed, the publication learned that Acura will unveil a concept vehicle very close to the production model at the next Pebble Beach Elegance Competition in August. The sedan would draw heavily on the Acura Precision prototype unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2016, a sedan that also ushered in the brand’s new design, also known as Precision Crafted Performance. And if we rely on the grand prototype of 2016 – and according to the US magazine – this future model would take the form of a sedan-coupe with enhanced performance, an element that is not necessarily part of the technical sheet of the great RLX for example.
Car and Driver was also able to take a look at model vehicles expected in a year or two. Of the many, the MDX utility and the TLX sedan, which could potentially be unveiled by the end of the year or next year, were also dressed in the sharper design of the brand found on the recent RDX. The article also mentions Acura’s desire to market a TLX Type S, the manufacturer that has repeatedly reiterated its desire to bring the performance badge back into its lineup. And the sports sedan would be the first of the group to inherit the performance treatment. But that’s not all, since Car and Driver also learned that the manufacturer was currently studying the possibility of bringing the ZDX back in the near future. Recall that the first version of this coupe SUV had not reached the sales targets against a BMW X6 that was selling pretty well. The project does not seem to have been approved yet, even though this type of model is popular nowadays.