By on April 13, 2017

Honda Clarity NYIAS 2017

Honda primarily uses the Clarity to prove its faith in the future of hydrogen-powered vehicles, but it doesn’t sell very many of the fuel-cell equipped cars — and those that are on the road are limited to the California coast. As one of the few hydrogen offerings in North America, the Clarity has broadened its role to encompass any form of alternative fueling. Wednesday at the 2017 New York Auto Show, Honda shed more light on the hydrogen-free EV variant of the Clarity, as well as its new plug-in hybrid.

That ought to boost Clarity sales to previously unfathomable levels. Honda is setting a U.S. target of 75,000 units over the first four years, a quadrupling of the company’s current electrified vehicle output. However, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to its EV sales goal of two-thirds of all light vehicle deliveries by 2030. 

Honda claims the plug-in hybrid variant should be capable of 42 miles of electric-only driving range and a 330-mile extended range when combined with the 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder. The company wants to be clear that the Clarity plug-in is not an electric with a range-extending generator but a two-motor system that it hopes to roll out to the majority of its lineup in the years to come. While it didn’t name specific models, it indicated that dual-motor propulsion will become the new norm — stopping just shy of claiming that “the H in Honda now officially stands for hybrid.”

In the plug-in variant, electric propulsion comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor coupled to a 17 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Honda says it can achieve full recharge at a 240 volt plug in around 2.5 hours.

The setup sounds very similar to the Hyundai Ionic — a single model with three different options for electrification, and all for under $35,000 — although Honda hasn’t given any specific pricing yet. Both seem to be reaching for the same benchmarks and consumers. Honda even mentioned how the Clarity was implementing sustainable materials in the construction of its interior; that was a central theme in Hyundai’s presentation of the Ionic, too.

While Honda specifically said it wants to focus on hybrids, it is also offering the Clarity Electric as part of an effort to appeal to what it calls “EV purists.” The company estimates an 80-mile change, even with a passenger in all five of the seats. That’s not going to break any records, but it provides a usable range for the daily commute.

The pure EV is powered by 161 hp electric motor drawing from a 25.5 kilowatt-hour battery pack. Full recharge time at 240 volts will be just over 3 hours, but it also features faster DC charging, which can achieve an 80-percent charge in 30 minutes.

[Image: Honda]

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15 Comments on “2017 NYIAS: Honda Builds the Clarity Into a Family...”

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    That blue green color would look nice on a big Cadillac or Lincoln.

  • avatar

    80? That’s the best Honda can do? I hope it’s mostly a platform thing than anything else.

  • avatar

    Bravo Honda! Bravo! You’ve built the perfect EV competitor for the 2013 Nissan Leaf.

  • avatar

    Bastards! How the heck is Clooney going to stand out in his Hydrogen car, when it looks just like any other boring old hybrid? :)

  • avatar

    Wait, so did the Crosstour simply return as the “Civic” hatch?

  • avatar

    An ugly ugly family.

  • avatar

    From the Honda press release:

    “The 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid, launching at dealerships nationwide later this year, is anticipated to earn an all-electric driving range rating of 42 miles, the longest of any midsize plug-in hybrid. For longer trips, the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid can utilize its hyper-efficient 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine to generate electricity and, under certain conditions, to act as a direct power source, resulting in an anticipated overall driving range rating in excess of 330 miles1.

    The vehicle’s electromotive power comes from a 181-horsepower electric motor producing 232 lb.-ft. of torque and drawing power from both the gasoline engine and a 17-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery pack with a recharge time of 2.5 hours at 240 volts. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid is anticipated to earn an EPA fuel economy rating of 105 MPGe1 (miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent) combined, at the top of its class. The Clarity Plug-in Hybrid features three selectable modes – Normal, Econ and Sport – allowing drivers to customize their experience, maximizing efficiency or driving performance. A fourth mode – HV mode – is provided to maintain the battery’s state of charge and can be selected in conjunction with Normal, Econ and Sport driving modes.”

    This release indicates that this version is very similar to the Chevy Volt’s drivetrain, albeit with a bit less range. They claim that it’s a “Mid-Size” vehicle, suggesting that it will improve on the Volt interior volume.

  • avatar

    Talk about a day late and a dollar short – and Hydrogen fuel cells? Really? I can’t believe they’re still effin’ that chicken.

  • avatar

    The pucker sides make it look like it’s trying to hold it in until it can find a restroom.
    New Hondas (and so many others) are overstyled to beyond the point of ugliness. The shark just keeps getting jumped. Audi and VW would be good examples of clean, timeless styling (that’s their strong suit).
    Hey, Honda, relax, keep it simple (to coin a phrase), and focus on your traditionally strong suits: engineering, quality, ergonomics, fuel economy and comfort.

  • avatar

    Hydrogen is such a scam, around 90% of it is made from natural gas.

    I guess I can’t blame car companies for taking advantage of stupid bureaucrats and their subsidies.

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