Instead of hosting the world debut of the production version of its hydrogen fuel cell sedan at the LA Auto Show this coming week, Honda decided to debut the vehicle in Japan today. And, it's not the production version that was shown off, it was an evolved concept. And, instead of coming in 2015, as previously stated, the car is now scheduled to drop in March 2016 in Japan, followed by releases in Europe and the US.

Honda gave no reason for the delayed arrival of the new fuel cell vehicle.

Honda gave no reason for the delayed arrival of the new fuel cell vehicle, the spiritual successor to the FCX Clarity, but we will ask company representatives about this at the LA show this week. Honda did say it will make an announcement about hydrogen infrastructure in California at the show. That's not as exciting as a new vehicle, but sometimes you have to talk about the egg before you get to eat the chicken.

So, for now, let's see what we've got with this new concept. The front end of the spaceship-y five-seater looks mostly unchanged, based on the one image Honda has released thus far. The main difference comes at the rear wheel covers, which made the back wheels all but invisible in the original concept and have been toned down here. Lines along the side of the vehicle have all been made more production-like to flow better into the new covers, as well. And there's a more obvious A-pillar, which arcs gracefully to the back end. The shape looks identical to last year's version, but now it's in white instead of basically invisible black, as you can see in the gallery below.

Honda is still proud of the next-generation powertrain in the concept. The fuel cell stack and motor remains packaged entirely in the front trunk area. The specs mentioned in the press release – a power output of "more than 100kW," power density of 3.1kW/L and a refueling time of three-to-five minutes at a 70 MPa-pressure station – are the same as they were last year. Feel free to read more in the press release below. {C}
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Honda FCV Concept Makes World Debut in Japan

Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of the next-generation zero emissions Honda fuel cell vehicle

Next-generation Honda FCV intends to provide significant gains in real-world performance, cost reduction, efficiency, packaging and appeal, including more than 300-mile driving range

TOKYO, Nov. 17, 2014 – The Honda FCV Concept, Honda's fuel cell vehicle concept, made its world debut today in Japan. The Honda FCV Concept showcases the styling evolution of Honda's fuel-cell vehicle anticipated to launch in Japan by March of 2016, followed by U.S. and Europe.

As the next progression in Honda's dynamic FCV styling, the Honda FCV Concept features a low and wide aerodynamic body with clean character lines. The interior strives to achieve harmony between man and machine by taking advantage of new powertrain packaging efficiencies delivering even greater passenger space than its predecessor, the FCX Clarity, including seating for up to five people.

In an effort to support the wider introduction of fuel cell vehicles, Honda will make an announcement at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show about its commitment to help expand and accelerate California's public hydrogen refueling station network.

Next Generation Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle

Honda's next generation fuel cell vehicle launching in 2016 applies a fuel-cell powertrain that fits completely within the front engine compartment of the vehicle, allowing for efficiencies in cabin space as well as flexibility in the potential application of fuel cell technology to multiple vehicle models in the future. Significant technological advancements to the fuel-cell stack have yielded more than 100kW of power output. The power density is now 3.1kW/L, an increase of 60 percent, with the stack size

reduced 33-percent compared to the Honda FCX Clarity. The next generation Honda FCV is targeted to deliver a driving range of more than 300 miles with a quick refueling time of about three to five minutes at a pressure of 70 MPa.

Honda Fuel-Cell Vehicle Leadership

Honda has led the industry for nearly two decades in the development and deployment of fuel-cell technology through extensive real-world testing, including the first government fleet deployment and retail customer leasing program. Since the introduction of its first generation fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX, in 2002, Honda has made significant technological advancements in fuel-cell vehicle operation in both hot and sub-freezing weather while meeting customer expectations and safety regulations.

Honda has deployed vehicles in the U.S. and Japan, including the FCX Clarity, which was named the 2009 World Green Car. Honda has delivered these vehicles to individual retail consumers in the U.S. and collected valuable feedback concerning real- world use of both fuel cell vehicles and public hydrogen stations.

Honda's current fuel cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity, launched in July 2008 and was quickly heralded as a technological breakthrough in the areas of design, packaging and efficiency. As the world's first dedicated platform fuel-cell vehicle, the FCX Clarity features a striking silhouette and a low-slung cabin. With the V-flow fuel cell stack positioned in the center tunnel of the vehicle and the electric motor located down low in the front of the vehicle, Honda was able to maintain the Clarity's futuristic styling while allowing for 240 miles of driving range.

In the effort to speed the advance of a refueling infrastructure outside of California, in May 2013, American Honda joined the public-private partnership H2USA, which brings together automakers, government agencies, hydrogen suppliers, and the hydrogen and fuel-cell industries to coordinate research and identify cost-effective solutions to deploy infrastructure that can deliver affordable, clean hydrogen fuel in the United States.

In June 2013, Honda entered into a long-term collaborative agreement with General Motors to co-develop the next-generation of fuel-cell systems and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 timeframe. The collaboration expects to succeed by sharing technological expertise, economies of scale and other benefits.

Honda Fuel Cell Vehicle Firsts:

The original FCX became the first EPA- and CARB-certified fuel-cell vehicle in July 2002. The FCX also was the world's first production fuel-cell vehicle, introduced to the U.S. and Japan in December 2002.

Additional highlights include:

The Honda FCX was the first fuel-cell vehicle to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures (2003).

The FCX was the first fuel cell vehicle leased to an individual customer (July 2005).

Honda was the first manufacturer to build and produce a dedicated fuel cell vehicle

(FCX Clarity) on a production line specifically made for fuel-cell vehicles (2008).

Honda was the first manufacturer to create a fuel-cell vehicle dealer network (2008).

Honda Environmental Leadership

Based on its vision of "Blue Skies for our Children," Honda is taking a portfolio approach to reducing the environmental impact of its products, advancing fuel efficiency, low emissions and fun-to-drive performance with new powertrain technologies from its Earth Dreams TechnologyTM lineup, which includes more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions and advanced electromotive technologies. Honda's alternative-fuel vehicle lineup includes the Civic Hybrid, the CR-Z hybrid sport coupe and the Accord Hybrid, the most fuel-efficient 5-passenger sedan in America, as well as the Accord Plug-In Hybrid and the Civic Natural Gas, the only dedicated natural gas-powered passenger car available from a major automaker in America.

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