Tag: vtec

By on March 2, 2016

Thomas' Honda Mobilio sits beside his Chrysler Town & Country in Japan, Image: © 2016 Thomas Kreutzer/The Truth About Cars

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

The Town & Country I worked so hard to import into Japan was supposed to be my wife’s. I had planned to buy whatever I wanted and, although I hadn’t quite decided on what that was going to be, classic Japanese iron was on my mind. The second-generation Toyota Soarer and the ’90s-era Toyota Celica GT-Four were leading candidates. I was having fun considering other options, too.

A second minivan, however, was not among them.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2016

Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype front 3/4, Image: Honda Europe

The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback has bowed in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and will be getting its U.S. welcome at the New York International Auto Show on March 22.

After having images leaked two days ago, the prototype offers a clearer look at what buyers can expect when the 10th generation Civic hatch goes on sale. Just don’t expect the ornate, go-fast trappings of this version to be found on anything approaching a base model.

(Read More…)

By on December 18, 2015

1998 Acura Integra GS-R

I have absolutely no idea how the B&B does it.

WordPress gives me notifications every time someone comments on something I’ve written, and the volume of your posts is overwhelming. Please don’t consider this a criticism — far from it. I appreciate everything the B&B has done to welcome me to these virtual pages over the last eight months, and I try to read and I do appreciate every comment you make.

This week, as I looked at German Hatches of the ’90s, I counted at least ten comments asking why anyone would consider an BMW E36 hatch or a VW Corrado over the contemporary Acura Integra GS-R. Perhaps I’ve been trying to hide my inner Honda/Acura fanboy, but I’ve relented to the wisdom of the TTAC hivemind and went shopping at the temple of VTEC.

(Read More…)

By on October 21, 2015

Honda S2000

Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Honda could do no wrong in enthusiasts’ eyes. Nearly everything was a hit. The CRX, Civic, Prelude, NSX and Integra all handled beautifully, taking well to both motorsport and unwise modification.

Near the turn of the century, however, some folks decreed that Honda had lost its way. The double-wishbone suspension was phased out in most cars, replaced by the space-saving, less-expensive McPherson strut. Honda enthusiasts decided that this change fundamentally altered the character of the cars.

As it turns out, Honda had one last round in the chamber.

(Read More…)

By on September 17, 2015

2016 Honda Civic Sedan Touring

Honda broadcasted Wednesday night its all-new, 10th-generation Civic that’s longer, lower and wider than the current model and looks nothing like the cheap car I drove through college.

The 2016 Honda Civic will sport a 2-liter or 1.5-liter turbocharged engine up front, leather seats in the middle and fastback styling at the rear for a full about-face from its current model. Most models will be mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, although a six-speed manual will be available at the base, LX trim with the naturally aspirated 2-liter mill. Honda will also offer a sportier Civic Si, ahead of a Type R model — which will be the first time that model will be sold in the U.S.

The car is two inches wider, one inch lower and its wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than the outgoing model. Honda didn’t say how much the car would cost when it goes on sale later this year. (Read More…)

By on April 23, 2015

Honda Step WGN 01

Honda revealed the fifth-gen Step WGN for the Japanese market Thursday, which not only features a new flexible tailgate, but the same engine planned for the 2016 Civic.

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2015

1995 Acura Integra VTEC engine

Honda announced Tuesday it would invest $340 million into its Anna, Ohio engine plant to help increase production of its family of fuel-efficient engines.

(Read More…)

By on March 4, 2014

Civic-Type-R-Concept-04

Back in September, I wrote a piece lamenting the death of Honda’s high-perofrmance hallmark, the twin-cam VTEC 4-cylinder engine. It was just the sort of article many of you are fed up with: a lengthy piece filled with flowery prose and Honda fanboy-ism sprinkled with a condescending explanation of the auto industry’s inner workings. Miraculously, it was fairly well-received. But I’ve had a change of heart.

(Read More…)

By on April 2, 2013

For anyone like myself – that is, a car fan who grew up in the 1990s and watched Japan’s sports cars disappear from the American market in one sudden swoop, news that Japan’s once mighty auto industry is being “hollowed out” might come as a shock. The cars that defined my youth – the RX-7s, Supras even the VTEC Honda compacts, are a distant memory. Most of what Japan offers on our shores are aimed at the mainstream, while at home, kei-cars and hybrids dominate the market.

A lot of the criticism leveled at Japan is that their focus on the mainstream market and alternative powertrains is what sparked their auto industry’s current malaise. But this is a superficial and fallacious assumption that supposes that the glut of superb Japanese cars in the 1990s is a baseline for our expectations of what a Japanese auto maker should be building and selling. In fact, it is an aberration that will never occur again.

(Read More…)

By on March 1, 2013

It’s hard to swallow the fact that the above photograph of me perched on the hood of my father’s Integra GS-R, one of the all-time great Acura products, is now nearly 20 years old. I can’t even remember the last time I saw an Integra on the road. Most of those cars have been crashed, stolen, rusted out or some combination of all three. There is nothing remotely close to the three-door VTEC hatchback in Acura’s lineup right now – and if you ask some people, that’s exactly why Acura is in its current predicament.

(Read More…)

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