• Mar 29th 2008 at 11:01AM
  • 38

Click on the image for more shots of the Honda FCX Clarity

Honda's upcoming dedicated hybrid model is expected to debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, and a recent interview with Honda CEO Takeo Fukui revealed that the car will look similar to its hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity. Although many upcoming hybrid models use lithium ion batteries (including the Chevy Volt and Honda's own FCX), Honda plans to stick with the tried-and-true nickel metal hydride technology for its new machine along with an engine derived from the Civic's, though smaller, lighter and with newly programmed electronics. Also like the Civic and Accord, the new hybrid model will use the same nameplate the world over; what that nameplate will be remains a mystery. Insight, anyone?

Expected to be priced below the Civic Hybrid, Honda hopes to sell 200,000 of its new hybrid model per year. We expect that the new machine will start an epic battle between Honda and Toyota for supremacy in the entry-level hybrid market, much as they already duke it out in the midsize sedan range with the Accord and Camry. Consumers only stand to benefit from the competition, so we look forward to more information as it becomes available.

[Sources: Hybrid Cars, Automotive News (sub. req'd), AutoblogGreen]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      And the American auto companies can't make a hybrid this nice because ?????

      How about something that looks this good and gets 80 MPG with a full plug-in diesel-electric hybrid. People would be willing to bay a nice premium for such a world beater!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Because they are sure that any minute now that gas will drop down below $2/gal and we will run out and buy SUVs again.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How is an entirely new model less expensive than an existing Civic Hybrid, for which development costs are shared with the gasoline engined variant sold in greater numbers?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Honda just better hope they can market this car right and we all know that Honda isn't the best at marketing their cars. Though, they have been better the last few years after they "FAILED" horribly with the Accord Hybrid.

      All they need to do is make sure the car outperforms the Prius.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They seem to never position their vehicles correctly in the market.

        By the way, when you put a word in caps and surround it in quotes: does that mean you're being ironic?

        • 7 Years Ago

        No, not ironic. Honda really screwed the pooch big time with the Accord. Many buyers complained that the mileage wasn't living up to the flawed EPA numbers (this was before the revamping of the numbers). Could also have been the dealerships where also making false claims.

        The technology works but unfortunately people wanted prius like mileage for their V6 hybrid Accords
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Accord hybrid did not scream"hybrid" or "green"! It looked like the standard model. That is why it failed.
        This new model with the Clarity styling will be a success if every model is a hybrid in this body style.

        The Chevy Volt will be a success for the same reason. It will probably be successful more because of styling than the new concept of the drivetrain.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It looks to me like the name of their new Hybrid car was hiding in plain sight all along just like the look of it. I would hazard a guess that they might call it the Clarity (minus the FCX which obviously denotes a fuel cell version).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why do all of these "eco-friendly" cars have to be so homely looking? I know aerodynamics plays a big part in the design of these things, but, can't they give them a little more personallity than a melted jelly bean?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mostly...no. Adding creases or ridges doesn't help, but headlight shape is ok. Actually, MB did a concept in 2005, called the Bionic, modeled after the Boxfish. Its drag is Cd .19. The Prius is .26, the Insight .25, the EV1 .195. The Boxfish is extremely aerodynamic at Cd .06 (close to a water droplet .04)

        The Bionic was boxy, so it had plenty of room. The styling is quite different from a Jellybean.

        • 7 Years Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I saw one of these in Torrance, CA, yesterday and it is definitely a heard-turner--looks as good in person as it does in photos. And cheaper than the insipid Civic hybird? I see a hit here.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Civic hybrid > you
      • 7 Years Ago
      If it is a hatchback and has a manual tranny, I might be interested. Otherwise I don't care.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I had not clicked through to the ABGreen article that states they're using an updated IMA setup, so you're right it could have a manual just as easily. I thought if they were bothering with a new dedicated hybrid model they might reach a little farther than IMA. If this new dedicated model is significantly more successful than the Civic Hybrid without being significantly more efficient, it'll lend credence to those (like me) who think a lot of people buy a Prius because it "looks" green.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd rate a manual as "highly unlikely." As much as I like manual transmissions, they're just not the most efficient pairing with a hybrid drivetrain. The CVT plus planetary "power split" in Hybrid Synergy Drive allows that seamless transition between drive modes.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Hybrid Synergy Drive is Toyotas solution. Honda has an electric motor bolted to the gas engine and can run any kind of transmission from that.

        The Honda Insight got much better gas mileage with the manual transmission than the CVT. Though the manual also had lean burn mode.

        Though I agree, manual not likely in North America, but that is more due to consumer interest (lack of).

        My preference would be that they take one of these light weight, aero bodies, low resitance tires etc and sell it without the hybrid. It would still get great gas mileage, be cheaper and less complicated.
      • 7 Years Ago

      Re: "The amount of pollution created in the production of one new car is immense, equating to the pollution of over 600,000 miles of driving."

      You seem to be repeating the old canard that manufacturing a car uses more energy than driving one. There are several good references on life cycle analysis of automobiles and the ones I've seen are fairly consistent. One that I remember concluded that manufacturing an automobile uses about 10% of the lifetime energy usage. The gasoline consumed in driving is about 80%, consumables (i.e. oil, anti-freeze, tires, etc.) is about 5% and what was termed overhead the remaining 5%. The latter included the energy used to build and operate car dealerships, insurance companies, etc.

      The analysis was based on a mid-90's Taurus over ten years and 100,000 miles. That said, I agree it is cheaper to run a car into the ground since the biggest cost of operating an automobile is depreciation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Personally, I like the styling of the FCX Clarity. The exterior is everything the Prius dreams it was and the interior is pure Acura. I wish that it was available in more markets so I'd be able to check it out.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The question is how has Honda, who is definitely a Tier One, top-shelf manufacturer, so failed at producing a competitive hybrid. Their Accord, Civic and Insight offerings have been virtual failures compared to the Prius.
      This has intrigued me considering I have owned 2 Honda's that were the best vehicles I have ever owned. And we have owned numerous manufacturers offerings.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The Accord and Civic hybrids aren't visually Hybrid enough. They don't scream Hybrid to everyone within sight.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Honda Accord Hybrid failed because it was a bad concept: a performance hybrid. In the real world it got about 25mpg, about 2 more than the regular V6 accord.

        The Insight failed, because it was a very ugly two seater. On top of that Honda didn't market it at all, it was merely there to claim the mileage record, they didn't want to sell many, because it was made out of Aluminum and they lost a lot with each sold.

        Civic Hybrid. Doesn't touch the Prius in Gas mileage, doesn't move that far beyond regular civic in Gas mileage.

        I think it is simplistic to suggest people buy a Prius to look green. They buy a Prius because it gets the best gas mileage and is a decent practical car.

      • 7 Years Ago
      iSpec brings up an interesting point regarding the failures of all Honda hybrids. In the posts, its clear most people hate the Prius looks. But to me its the homely looks that actually make the car successful.

      The psychology of the Prius owner must include the 'wanting to look green' attitude, right or wrong. If Toyota ever made a gas only prius, it would be considered a "Fake Prius", not a normal car. But I'm with many that a simple Gas engine car that's well built and gets 40mpg on the highway should be the perferred choice for most americans. Oh by the way the Corolla comes close (38mpg) -- but looks too normal for the greenies.

      I'm personally waiting for a plug-in hybrid. With my commute of 3.5mi each way, I'll need to fill up once a month at most.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This badly needs a rear window wiper.
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