• Feb 19th 2010 at 6:01PM
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2009 Honda Skydeck Concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

Honda hasn't shared similar success with its various hybrid automobiles as cross-town rival Toyota, despite the fact that the two Japanese automakers introduced their first gasoline/electric models around the same time. The reasons for the sales disparity are many and varied, and at least due in part to the design of Honda Integrated Motor Assist drivetrain, which doesn't quite match the level of sophistication and fuel mileage of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive.

Still, Honda is pushing forward with the next generation of its IMA system, and it will be added to larger, thirstier models within the next three years or so. The last time Honda put a hybrid powertrain in a larger car, the results were more than a little disappointing with the Accord Hybrid failing to meet sales or efficiency expectations. As such, it will be interesting to see how Honda improves the upsized hybrid system and whether it will be enough to compete with the likes of Toyota, Ford and General Motors.

In somewhat related news, Honda is apparently still working on diesel engines, though apparently not for the U.S. market. According to Tomohiko Kawanabe, chief operating officer of automobile research and development at Honda, "If you want to compete in markets like India, and also Europe, (a small diesel engine) is necessary."

[Source: Automotive News – Sub. Req.]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I do not like Honda concepts. ares from http://findrapidlinks.com/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I really can't wait for this hybrid craze to die out and come back when it's you know actually economical (financially more so than environmentally)

      The only step people should be working on is upgrading all forms of infrastructure... particularly the power grid, makes even more sense in this economic slump if you actually want to create jobs.

      Whatever -- I'll take my B.S in Economics and go somewhere else.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Man that thing is freaky looking. When I first saw the seats through the greenhouse, all i could think of was "Space Bacon"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ridiculous move by Honda, yet again.

      The marketplace verdict on IMA has long since come in: It's a failure. To continue pursuing their proprietary method as every other manufacturer focuses on different, more efficient technology is the folly of pride.

      Honda is in decline. It may be hard to see it by the sales of Accords, but it is plain as day.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Paul, obviously not a Honda fan, I suggest you have a wait and see before speaking the failure of everything Honda!

        While blogs are blogs, both positives and negatives, I have never understood blasting something and the company who produces it before it even hits daylight. Give new ideas a chance before jumping on them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @virpilosus: Who do you think the US-owned manufacturers are buying their whybrid technology from?

        @Paul and rickusack: IMA was designed for efficiency, not to pass EPA tests. In the real world, they do far better; whereas in the real world Synergy drive systems do worse than the EPA's figures.

        IMA and Synergy are very similar when taken off the rollers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I could not agree more. Honda's hybrid system is a technological miniature compared to Toyota's or the stuff coming from USA manufacturers...esp. Ford. Honda: "Get a clue and get back to the business you're good at: inexpensive, fun to drive, RELIABLE small cars!"
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring the damn diesels to the U.S. already. I don't want to have to buy a Volkswagen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I second that statement, tho the 2010 Golf TDI looks sweet.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They keep teasing ideas around the sweet Kiwami concept, then build monstrosities like the Pilot, Crosseyed, and CRZZzzzz.
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