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Newly leaked spy shots show the new "Prius killer" five-door hatchback in action. Honda's new hybrid will debut next April with a sweet price tag and reported MPG of as much as 60 MPG.  (Source: KGP Photography/AutoBlogGreen.com)
Honda is cooking up a hot new hybrid ride with plenty of room and a sweet price tag of approximately $19,000

After becoming the first company to bring a hybrid to the U.S. masses, Honda learned a painful lesson in economics as it saw its pioneering Insight model fail to generate sales and fall to the more popular Toyota Prius.  Since that disappointment, Honda has bided its time and now it is ready to strike back.

Previous reports indicated that Honda might bring back the Insight in 2010.  In the meantime, it has been enjoying rejuvenated sales of its Civic Hybrid and is forging ahead with its fuel cell hybrid efforts with the 74 MPG-equivalent Clarity FCX concept, which has been deployed at last to a fortunate few testers in California.  Slowly leaking plans also indicated that Honda might deploy hybrid versions of the Fit and CR-Z sports coupe next year.

New announcements and inside sources from Honda have at last added some clarity to Honda's hybrid plans.  The five door hatchback, which had been previously been labeled the "new Insight" will indeed launch next year.  The CR-Z hybrid coupe will come in early 2010 and the new Honda Civic hybrid will come in late 2010.  Finally, in 2012 the Fit hybrid will finally arrive.

While the longer waits on the CR-Z and the Fit may disappoint some, the reports on the hatchback prices won't.  Early reports pegged it at around $22,000, but more recent inside sources report the price will be a much lower $19,000.  The vehicle is expected to be a strong performer, beating the Prius in fuel economy, getting 60 MPG on average according to the source.

The new vehicle is currently code named the "New Dedicated Hybrid Vehicle" or simply "small hybrid".  Its true name will be revealed at the 2008 Paris International Auto Show in October.  The inside sources say that the new model will not be an Insight, but will bear a new name.  Photos of near production test vehicles have been leaked and show a great deal of similarity to the Clarity FCX.  The final production version will be unveiled at the 2009 Detroit International Auto Show and the vehicle will launch on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

Honda's latest sales strategy aims to sell 500,000 hybrids a year by 2010, which would equal 10 percent of its projected sales volume.  Honda aims to sell 200,000 of the new hatchback in Japan.  Dick Colliver, executive vice president in charge of sales and marketing for American Honda Motor Co added details on North American targets stating, "We're targeting sales of 100,000 units of this new vehicle in North America."

The new model seems well-positioned as the new Prius, launching in 2010 is expected to be priced even higher than previous models and will have more power, bigger size, and additional luxury features.  However, early reports indicate it may be unable to beat the Honda hatchback's fuel economy, despite the steeper sticker.

Low prices on the new Honda model are thanks in part to a cheaper improved hybrid platform.  The platform uses an affordable nickel metal hydride battery pack.  It also features a smaller, lighter version of the 1.3-liter IMA system found in the current Civic hybrid.  The new vehicle uses many common body parts with the non-hybrid Fit, also lowering costs.  It will be built in Honda's Suzuka plant in Japan, but production may be outsourced to China to lower costs.

Of the 200,000 yearly units Honda plans to produce, after the 100,000 for North American markets, 50,000 will be sold in Europe with the remainder sold in Asia and elsewhere.

Honda's CR-Z is now estimated to carry a slightly steeper price tag -- $25,000 -- while offering unspecified "sporty" performance.  Overall it can be noted that Honda's efforts, while extensive, fall short of Toyota's goal to build a million hybrids a year by 2012.

In the long term Honda is focusing on fuel cell technologies.  While the company realizes commercial applications remain distant, it sees them as the ultimate destination.  Said Mr. Colliver at a conference sponsored by the Center for Automotive Research in Traverse City, Michigan, "For the long term, we continue to see the development of fuel cell vehicles as the ultimate solution.  While this technology is more than a decade away from the mass market, we know it works because we've been advancing it in the real world with real customers.  We know directionally if we can develop the infrastructure to support that car and we can get the volume out of it, it's a true direction we can go for new fuel efficiency as well as reducing greenhouse gasses."

Honda's solutions will soon be going head to head with a new American competitor as well, the Chevy Volt, which is set to debut in 2010, offering a plug-in experience, albeit at a higher price tag.



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Competition
By Narcofis on 8/19/2008 8:45:18 AM , Rating: 5
Competition is a good thing. This might be just like a prius but It will be priced lower. It will push Toyota to come up with better pricing or come up with a different solution.

Only my 2 sense.




RE: Competition
By mircea on 8/19/2008 9:18:12 AM , Rating: 2
How about an M3 for competition. :D You've all seen the Top Gear video about fuel eficienty http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8XDscWleKw&feature...

I know the price range is a bit steeper, but if you drive
around 40 mph you can recoup the money in a cuple of years and save the planet, and you still have the option of accelerating over 40 mph at any time if you so wish.


RE: Competition
By mdogs444 on 8/19/2008 9:25:01 AM , Rating: 4
Who in the hell would buy an M3 so they can drive 40mph for a year to recoup costs?

First, anyone buying a new M3, is not very concerned with the increase in costs of the vehicle - nor are they concerned with its fuel economy. Thats like saying I'm going to buy a Ford Mustang Cobra and drive MPH so i can save fuel.


RE: Competition
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 10:40:38 AM , Rating: 2
Nah you buy a Vette for horsepower and fuel economy.
400 hp and 30mpg highway. :)


RE: Competition
By 67STANG on 8/19/2008 11:51:35 AM , Rating: 4
It's actually 26 highway, not bad for 400hp... unless of course you drive a lot in the city, then you get a whopping 16mpg. For the same price, and almost the same city mileage, you could get a 500hp Mustang GT500.


RE: Competition
By nismotigerwvu on 8/19/2008 12:36:38 PM , Rating: 4
But sadly, the 500HP Mustang has proven itself to be signifcantly slower in every measurable test (0-60, top speed, quarter mile, 5-60, skidpad, lap times....ect ect). Not that your point isn't valid (Mustang lovers will still adore it) but simply clarifying some points. Personally, I'd be happy with an Evo or the new harder edeged STI, but that is simply a matter of taste. I'm foaming at the mouth here just thinking about a 60 MPG daily driver that won't break the bank and allow me to hold on to my 300ZX TT.


RE: Competition
By silversound on 8/19/2008 12:41:27 PM , Rating: 2
Try to compare BMW to Corvette or mustang? U gotta be kidding me, I will rather get a 335i coupe, up to 28mpg; look nice and girls dig it! Cmon, its just a domestic Ford or chevy..


RE: Competition
By theoflow on 8/19/2008 1:36:15 PM , Rating: 5
I think the point of the Top Gear test was to show that it is not the car that gets better gas mileage but the person behind the wheel. Clarkson is also very anti-prius, but that is because he can't deal with the people who drive them and what they represent. He isn't anti-hybrid though, since it seems that he enjoys the Lexus hybrids very much.

Anyone who buys a Vette or 335i can take comfort that they MIGHT get 25+ mpg, but only if they stay on the highway and go about speed limit. And we know people who buy those cars just don't do that. A bunch of my co-workers have the same mentality when they buy a hybrid for the gas mileage but really want to take advantage of the HOV lane.

I don't know why the Mustang came up in this conversation. That car is just awful in most of the trim levels.


RE: Competition
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 3:56:54 PM , Rating: 2
My dad's 02 Trans Am WS6 6-speed is rated at 27 mpg highway. It gets 27 mpg highway at 80mph. 10 mph or more faster than any highway or interstate speed limit I know of.

Have talked to plenty of 6-speed Vette owners who're getting 29, 30, 31, or 32 mpg on the highway at 70-80 mph.


RE: Competition
By Rob94hawk on 8/22/2008 9:45:56 PM , Rating: 2
My 1994 Pontiac LT1 Firehawk gets ~30mph, bright red, t-tops. All my girlfriends wanted to drive me in my car...er...drive my car.

BMW's are for people with low self esteem.


RE: Competition
By ummduh on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Competition
By Regs on 8/19/2008 11:12:41 PM , Rating: 2
What are the problems with the Mustang or Cobra? I'm not trying to rhetorical, just an honest question.

Too much weight, not enough traction, clunky transmission, too high off the ground? What's the rated horse power to the wheel compared to the vette? (Unlike horsepower from the crank which means nothing)

I imagine the handling wouldn't come close to a corvette either.


RE: Competition
By Samus on 8/20/2008 4:04:26 AM , Rating: 3
All these batteries for these hybrids leave a larger carbon footprint than my 18MPG Mustang will leave in 10 years.

Good job at 'going green' Honda. You should have ignored Toyota's foolish profits at the expense of the environment and nailed them with your diesel plans. I for one don't doubt you could make a remarkable diesel engine. You've never made an engine with a fault in my book.


RE: Competition
By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 8:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
[Honda]never made an engine with a fault in my book.

Ever had a mid 90's Accord with a V6?

Bad bad.


RE: Competition
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 3:58:50 PM , Rating: 2
I don't buy a car for girls to dig. I buy a car to have fun. I'd rather have a fast car than a pretty car. If I was fixing up a car I'd spend money on the engine long before I'd spend money on paint. I'd primer that b*tch until every planned performance mod has been done. Looks are secondary.


RE: Competition
By KCjoker on 8/19/2008 6:59:53 PM , Rating: 2
Rather have domestic myself, plus the Mustang is much cheaper. However of the 3 I'd easily go for the Vette.


RE: Competition
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 3:54:32 PM , Rating: 2
The guy at my office who's got a brand spanking new one with a 6 speed is getting 30. Many Chevy's get better than advertised mileage.

And having 500 hp means nothing if you can't keep it on the ground. The base Mustang GT can't keep its tires planted. What makes you think adding 200 hp helped the situation?


RE: Competition
By 67STANG on 8/19/2008 5:45:24 PM , Rating: 1
Actually 500hp is quite easy to stick in the GT500, if you have set of drag radials and the 6speed instead of the Auto. It's the 600hp KR that has issues...


RE: Competition
By Oregonian2 on 8/19/2008 1:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Well... my old '69 Cadillac Calais had 375 HP in a 472 engine. Few HP there. Not good for turning quick (chuckle), but sure could go straight really really well (which a lot of folk didn't realize). Economy not so good (as well as taking premium leaded) maybe 14~15 around town and 20~21 on the freeway w/AC running full blast. Perhaps "a bit" more comfy than those other mentioned cars as well. Wish I still had it (and it still ran on unleaded somehow). Sigh... :-)


RE: Competition
By Cullinaire on 8/19/2008 9:18:36 PM , Rating: 2
Gotta love those land barges.


RE: Competition
By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 8:45:38 AM , Rating: 2
Especially the ones with the 'jacuzzi trunk' modification.


RE: Competition
By Oregonian2 on 8/20/2008 1:42:51 PM , Rating: 2
P.S. - My off-the-farm roomie in college told me how folk in the countryside would have little vroom-the-engine racing challenges on the backroads. Someone he knew did that to one of these "land barges". The "land barge" blew them away and left them in the dust. As I said, they didn't turn very quickly -- but they went straight very well (and very quickly -- the pedal wasn't an acceleration pedal, it was a speed pedal because you'd go to a high speed about as fast as one could depress the pedal (albeit it'd be using a gallon a second doing so when barrels three/four opened up). Also note these were the years when the totality of air pollution equipment on the car was a PCV-valve. Nothin' else (engine power was reduced tremendously the next model year when crud was started to be added).


RE: Competition
By Fnoob on 8/19/2008 9:37:49 PM , Rating: 1
The M3's efficiency is all about getting 100+HP/L not 100mpg. If there is a way to do both, I have no doubt BMW will do it.


RE: Competition
By stepone on 8/20/2008 6:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
Doesn't the Mustang have a live rear axel?

You US types don't seem to worry about cornering/handling/ride so much...


RE: Competition
By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 8:43:17 AM , Rating: 2
Yes the Mustang has a live rear axle, so no we don't care about cornering.... WTF that has to do with my comment about the BMW M3 is beyond me. Why it was rated down, fn dunno. I blame liberals.


RE: Competition
By mdogs444 on 8/20/2008 8:48:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I blame liberals.

Me too. And why not? Its so easy.


RE: Competition
By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 8:56:29 AM , Rating: 2
They are the root of all evil, see:

http://www.navycs.com/blogs/2007/10/19/blame-the-v...

They took my pie!


RE: Competition
By s12033722 on 8/20/2008 12:17:12 PM , Rating: 2
Compare the BMWs to the Vette, not the Mustang. The Mustang is intended to be cheap muscle for the masses - and it is cheap. The Vette is a refined sports car that is in the price ranges of the import sport/luxury cars and is both extremely nimble and very fast.


RE: Competition
By Spuke on 8/20/2008 3:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You US types don't seem to worry about cornering/handling/ride so much...
Conering? What's that?


RE: Competition
By BruceLeet on 8/22/2008 2:59:28 PM , Rating: 2
Alright this "competition, prices gooood, consumers wiiiin" is being taken a bit too far with this car bit, CPUs GPUs etc alright. But come on, its getting old hearing that "announcement" in threads.


RE: Competition
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 8/26/2008 8:06:59 AM , Rating: 2
Honda never bided its time. It tried to create a "performance" hybrid, which was a dismal failure. So now it will do a real mileage hybrid and copy the Prius body design curve for curve. It is good to see them trying to undercut Toyota on price, though, since Honda's are always more expensive and they NEVER have any good sales. Their sales people are pr*@X2! Now if they would just steal the CarMax Toyota model, I might buy one someday.


Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By meewok on 8/19/2008 1:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
I've been looking into hybrids and I've been trying to weigh the actual cost/benefit from an ecological perspective. I've done just a bit of googling and haven't really found too much about this.

Again, I've been focused on the impact to the environment, not necessarily end-user costs. If someone can point me to some good information about this, it would be great. My question:

1) What are the relative ecological costs when comparing:
  a) reduced emissions of the vehicle and reduced petroleum consumption
    VERSUS
  b) battery production cost and battery recycling costs (these factories need to be built and running, too)

I'm somewhat torn because I don't have enough information. I imagine that there's no silver bullet and there must be some tradeoffs with regards to this, especially if manufacturers are looking to sell 500k/year by 2010...

I've only found this:
http://www.hybridcars.com/faq.html#battery
but feel that the perspective may be a little skewed.

Anyone?

Thanks...




RE: Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By Suntan on 8/19/2008 1:35:02 PM , Rating: 5
You really want to help the environment? Don’t bother with a new hybrid, there’s a better solution.

Go buy yourself a 3 or 4 year old ULEV Civic or brand new ULEV Fit (if you must have a new car) for about $14000.

Now, take the roughly $10,000 left over from getting a Prius and go buy two 8-10 year old LEV Civics. Next *GIVE* the two civics away to the first two single mothers you see driving their children around in 70’s era Cutlass Supremes (or equivalent) because they can’t afford to get another vehicle. Take the Cutlasses in exchange and have them crushed.

The result of eliminating just the CO that those two old cars are currently emitting will do more for the planet than anything buying a new Prius will ever do in 300,000 miles of driving. To say nothing of the gas that the old clunkers use and the CO2 that they emit. Also, buying 3 used cars does not consume the energy needed to build another Prius.

It doesn’t give you the Enviro-Snob badge like the little blue stripe on the “Hybrid Synergy Drive” label stuck to the back of a Prius does, but it helps the world out much, much more.

-Suntan


By theoflow on 8/19/2008 1:39:42 PM , Rating: 5
That is one brilliant idea man. Seriously.


RE: Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By jskirwin on 8/19/2008 2:48:26 PM , Rating: 5
I second that. Brilliant idea.


RE: Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By Suntan on 8/19/2008 3:03:08 PM , Rating: 3
Thanks, I thought that one up over a couple of beers and a blooming onion at Outback with some buddies while we were giving one of our buds a ribbing because his wife really wanted to buy a hybrid to help the environment. He agreed that it made a lot more sense… …however they just recently bought a Civic hybrid. Just goes to show it’s not all about Mother Earth.

-Suntan


By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 4:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
Snob power FTW!

Now if only we could harness it into an energy source....


RE: Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By theoflow on 8/19/2008 10:52:25 PM , Rating: 2
I think this actual shows the power that trumps all.

The shrieking tone of the nagging wife!!!


By BarkHumbug on 8/20/2008 8:51:42 AM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the low WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) of giving away not one, but two cars to some single moms... ;) Might have some explaining to do after that little trick.


By Spuke on 8/19/2008 4:15:42 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! That's an awesome idea!!


RE: Out of curiosity... (hybrids in general)
By meewok on 8/19/2008 7:15:38 PM , Rating: 2
Nice... The greatest ideas come over beer and bloomin' onions.

So my thoughts, while along the same lines, were not so extreme. I'm in the "not sold on hybrids" category and was questioning if hybrids, or electric vehicles for that matter, are THAT much better for the environment as people assume and that the marketing people try to make us believe.

I don't want us to be in the year 2020 dealing with battery disposal issues or whatever new/unseen issues that may arise from mass production. I basically want to understand more about the real impacts of the tradeoffs we are making in terms of alternative energy sources. I just don't have enough information.


By Spuke on 8/20/2008 3:51:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just don't have enough information.
And likely you won't get much until after a mistake is made. Then it will be all over the place and a$$holes will be coming out of the woodwork screaming I told you so.


By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
That is an idea that's past it's time. I'm not sure of the exact year per model but those old Oldsmobiles became far more environmentally friendly about 22 years ago. That single mom who can't afford anything today is not driving a 23+ year old gas guzzler around, she'd have some small early 90's or newer car.

Count how many 70's Cutlasses you see in the next week. I used to own one back in the day, a bit souped up at that, so I tend to remember them and I haven't seen a single one in well over a month. Maybe they're sitting mostly unused in the poorer urban areas but mostly not being driven because they'd have fallen to pieces by now if driven much at this age.


By kenyee on 8/19/2008 11:28:13 AM , Rating: 2
If it costs less than the Prius but requires new batteries twice as much, is this going to be worth it? :-P
We need more info before saying how good this thing is...




By pauldovi on 8/19/2008 12:27:05 PM , Rating: 5
NiMH lasts longer and is more "durable" than Lithium Ion.


By Penti on 8/19/2008 2:57:08 PM , Rating: 2
Plus the Li-ion battery in the coming Volt will cost almost as much as a whole Prius. Yet it's still smaller. (In kWh.)


By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 9:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
Sometimes smaller and lighter matter :

http://www.gizmag.com/the-electraflyer-c-plug-n-fl...

I soooo want one.


By Spuke on 8/20/2008 3:53:15 PM , Rating: 2
I read the Volt battery pack costs $10k.


Plug-in is the key
By Delegator on 8/19/2008 10:05:49 AM , Rating: 3
I would hope that anybody planning to beat the Prius will add plug-in technology as a supplement to the hybrid power train. That would be a big win, as the energy efficiency of running on batteries for 40 miles is about 2-3x that of the hybrid (and much more than internal combustion on its own). For many people like myself (with a 15-17 mile commute to work), this would allow us to use the batteries for 90% of our day to day driving, which would result in much lower fuel costs and emissions.




RE: Plug-in is the key
By Doormat on 8/19/2008 10:53:18 AM , Rating: 3
The problem is that the electric motors in the Prius (and probably the new Honda Hybrid) cant power the car much past 25-30 MPH on batteries alone.


RE: Plug-in is the key
By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:37:47 PM , Rating: 2
... and they're still batteries - more frequent deeper discharge cycles means you have to spend several thousand on a new battery pack a lot sooner and the old pack has to be disposed of.


Are we stuck with this shape?
By Fnoob on 8/19/2008 9:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
As FIT mentioned, this thing looks exactly like a Prius. I can see some logic to it - if you like the looks of the Prius why not get the Honda that's cheaper? But I think there is more to this shape than just copying a success story. I have heard from several Prius owners who are fellow mountainbikers that when they stuff their bike in the back and leave the rear hatch even slightly popped open, their mileage turns to crap. They have repeated this test several times with the same result. Apparently "that shape" is aerodynamically key to its mileage figures. Dunno why, seems like something a bit sleeker and sexier could perform even better. Personally, I think it's a fugly, cheese wedge looking thing, but to each his own.




a
By Retrospect on 8/20/2008 8:28:17 AM , Rating: 2
Why does the shape of it looks like Toyota?




Insight a failure?
By boogle on 8/20/2008 9:35:55 AM , Rating: 2
As far as I know, the Insight was a proof-of-concept car that wasn't meant to be sold in large numbers. It was built in the same low-volume factory as the NSX that usually spits out prototypes or niche vehicles not intended to sell in large numbers. Every Insight made was sold. I wouldn't really call it a failure.




Prius killer maybe
By FITCamaro on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Prius killer maybe
By killerroach on 8/19/2008 8:36:13 AM , Rating: 3
Quick perusal of Yahoo! Autos lists the invoice price for a base 2008 Honda Civic sedan at $13,842, with an MSRP of $15,010. $19,000 it's not, but $4,000 is a far smaller "hybrid premium" than we are used to seeing in the market.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By omnicronx on 8/19/2008 9:53:09 AM , Rating: 2
Honda will be ok, they will probably just move the civic down in a price a bit, and make the sales back by lowering the price on the Acura 1.6 , which is basically civic. This way there will still be two separate markets for the same pricepoint.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 10:44:03 AM , Rating: 1
My point was why spend $4000 less when $4000 more gets you double the fuel economy. I'm sure the Civic is nicer but typically Civic buyers are those looking for high fuel economy at a relatively cheap price. To me though the Civic's place is definitely questioned by this car. If I was looking for a high fuel economy car, I'd spend the extra $4000 for double the mileage.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By RussianSensation on 8/19/2008 11:56:08 AM , Rating: 5
You make a solid point. But sometimes it's important to do some number crunching to really see if the "hydrid" car is worth the extra dough for fuel economy savings. For example, why is Prius so successful?

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/Compar...

"You could save $8,425 right now by buying a $15,420 Honda Fit instead of the $23,845 Toyota Prius. For the purposes of this particular comparison, we input 1,250 miles of driving per month (the same 15,000 miles per year as above), a price of $4.49 per gallon of gas (typical for Santa Monica, California), this 2008 Toyota Prius and a 2008 Honda Fit for the trade-in sale value.

It takes 189 months or more than 15 years to break even on fuel. And that's well beyond the battery-swap schedule. As the tool notes, "You will not save any money by trading in your current vehicle for the fuel-efficient vehicle you have selected."

Most people who buy Priuses also want to feel good about "saving" the environment. So you can't really make a logical argument when someone's buying decisions are based on emotional attachment to an idea.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By Leomania on 8/19/2008 1:19:56 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Most people who buy Priuses also want to feel good about "saving" the environment. So you can't really make a logical argument when someone's buying decisions are based on emotional attachment to an idea.

I'll go along with that. But there are other factors that people consider when buying a a hybrid (I'm one of them):

o Unknown future cost of gasoline
o Reduced dependence upon foreign oil
o Be an early adopter, help speed better value hybrids/EVs to market
o Get a HOV permit (carpool lane access)

I gave up my 70K mile Audi A6 (which I really loved driving) to make the switch, and it was truly for all the reasons listed above in addition to environmental concerns. I had already taken a bath on the depreciation of the Audi and it was nowhere near end of life, so I really paid a price to make the switch. I also put PV solar on my roof seven years ago for similar reasons; my break-even point is still years out on that.

By purely economical arguments, I'm a damned fool. Maybe I am anyway. But hopefully in some small manner I've helped bring the cost of technology down incrementally faster so others who are driven by the bottom line can have access to cheaper energy/transportation.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By ZmaxDP on 8/19/2008 3:33:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'll give you a round of applause even if no one else has. Way to go!


RE: Prius killer maybe
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 4:10:47 PM , Rating: 3
I won't give you a round applause but I will say that you made a decision that works well for you and as long as you see value in it, who am I to argue?


RE: Prius killer maybe
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 4:06:22 PM , Rating: 1
Three of your points are valid for you. Not for me. I don't live in an area with HOV lanes. I don't drive far enough to care.

Being an earlier adopter is nothing to be proud of. It just means you paid more for something. And on hybrids it means you paid more for something that both a lot of people don't want and that a lot of people may never get. It's not like being an early adopter for HD-DVD or Blu-ray where eventually people will make the switch.

100% electric cars will never become the norm. Because they don't have the range at reasonable costs. And hybrids will likely be displaced in favor of fuel cells.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By Motley on 8/19/2008 4:59:20 PM , Rating: 4
Being an early adopter is also a very good way of "voting" with your wallet to help bring about new ideas that you believe in.

That and never say never. Although you may argue that 100% electric cars don't have the range or costs you are looking for today, both of those improve year after year.

And while hybrids don't yet have enough benefits for me to switch yet, I realize that it is probably only a matter of time before I do buy either a hybrid or 100% electric car. I may also have another car for vacations/weekends, but for the majority of my weekly driving can be and probably would be better served by an electric once the prices drop, and people like the guy above are helping to make it happen.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 6:43:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'll buy all electric or hybrid when the price drops enough where I can get a used one for less than $10k AND they start looking like normal cars AND they get 70 mpg on the hybrid or 400 miles on an electric charge with a 10 minute recharge AND battery replacements cost no more than a used gas engine (~$400).

If none of the above happens, then I'll stick to gas or diesel.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:45:12 PM , Rating: 2
Never say never. You've ignored 3 possible shifts in the future:

1) Battery technology breakthroughs
2) *Gas* stations that swap a modularized pack for a fully charged one, or can charge it sufficiently for most people's travels in little more than the time it takes to buy regular gas.
3) Electric cars powered by an external power source like a power rail. Remember our roads were built upon the idea of use by ICE vehicles. It doesn't have to always be that way. Adding power rails certainly wouldn't be cheap but when I drive through my town I am reminded of all the little projects like planting trees in the middle of roads which all adds up. The economy may have sufficient funds in it for such a project, we'd just have to change our values and reallocate spending. Like we did when the interstate system was built.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By IndyJaws on 8/20/2008 12:07:24 AM , Rating: 2
But do they take in account the $3000 tax credit you get when buying the Fit vs. the Prius? Too many people have purchased the Prius to allow the tax credit; however, I'm sure that Fit buyers will still get the $3k. That will make a huge difference between the two vehicles.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By tastyratz on 8/19/2008 8:37:38 AM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt they plan to do away with their biggest seller over all these years. The civic has been moving to a slightly more sporty appearance lately and this will be an economical driver. I wouldn't be surprised if the civic outclassed this with handling and acceleration in a more premium layout.
At 19k I am sure this thing is pretty bare bones for what it is.
Not everyone is comfortable with hybrids yet as well since they are new technology. Fuel economy is also very important these days, but not the only deciding factor in a vehicle.
This will just help flesh out their product line to a broader audience. I for one look forward to seeing how they implement it.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 9:06:04 AM , Rating: 1
People have no sense of humor anymore. Probably why they're so bitter over the "destruction" of the environment.

I think the Middle East is a perfect example of what happens when there's no comedy. Let's not join them shall we?


RE: Prius killer maybe
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 11:24:09 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
People have no sense of humor anymore. Probably why they're so bitter over the "destruction" of the environment
You didn't deserve the rate down for an obvious joke. You even said it in another thread and didn't get rated down there. Someone else even recognized the comedian you got it from.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By boogle on 8/20/2008 9:47:33 AM , Rating: 2
Rating on DT is like a lottery. The same post on different pages can get both -1 and 5. I've given up trying to find logic to it and just accept that the rating system's sole purpose is to stop prolific spammers who consistently get -1. Any value other than -1 and 2 usually means you got 'lucky' or 'unlucky'.

Lets also not forget the people who have vendettas against others and always rate them down. Or vice versa, the people who always rate some people's posts up. Tbh the system needs to track the ratings people give, and any obvious patterns should just be voided.

Rating shouldn't be just because the person agrees / disagrees with you - but made a good valid point. 'Hybrid sucks' should get rated down but 'Hybrid sucks because it uses poisonous chemicles, isn't more efficient than a highly efficient petrol engine, blah blah, here's my sources' should get rated up (even if you don't agree). IMO of course.


RE: Prius killer maybe
By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:48:32 PM , Rating: 2
Rating should just disappear, because of the reasons you mentioned as well as that the rating disappears anyway if someone replies. If they don't even have something to say or a counter-argument, what is their rating really worth? Instead it should just be a "report spam or trolling" button. Besides, when I see a collapsed -1 rated post I tend to expand and read it anyway if someone has replied to it.


Gross
By Alias1431 on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Gross
By Alexstarfire on 8/19/2008 8:12:55 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the car maybe... the price... that's in Honda's favor.

Why do they keep adding sh!t to the Prius to make it more expensive? It started off good... but seems to be going downhill from my perspective.


RE: Gross
By paydirt on 8/19/2008 8:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
Why? Because the Prius is sold out nationwide, so they can get away with charging more or adding stuff to make it more expensive. It will remain this way until there is more competition from the likes of Honda and GM.


RE: Gross
By Chris Peredun on 8/19/2008 8:24:52 AM , Rating: 2
Now, now, give them some credit - everything forward of the A-pillar looks like it was stolen from a B5.5 Passat.


RE: Gross
By Hare on 8/19/2008 2:11:03 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, my thoughts exactly. Actually Passat is bigger, but Polo -05 maybe? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_Polo


RE: Gross
By RussianSensation on 8/19/2008 8:50:11 AM , Rating: 2
The days of the Honda Prelude, Honda S2000 and the Acura NSX are long gone. In the last 5 years Honda hasn't made 1 good looking vehicle. And based on the new TSX, MDX and TL we have nothing to get excited about on the side of their Acura brand either.

But then Honda isn't about looks or cars to get excited about. They are about building reliable cars with low depreciation, while providing great fuel economy. If you are looking to buy a Honda because you want to a buy a great looking car or a car that is fun to drive, that would be like you looking to buy Soul Calibur IV and then complaining that it doesn't have a storyline.


RE: Gross
By mdogs444 on 8/19/2008 9:06:24 AM , Rating: 2
I beg to differ. In fact, I love my 2007 Honda Accord EX V-6 coupe. Looks sporty, has a nice interior with the soft leather and navigation. Also is pretty quick with a 244hp V-6, with traction stability control.

Its also fairly fast. I think I read somewhere that the Accord coupe V-6 and the Mazdaspeed 6 were the only two cars in their class with 0-60 times of around 5.9 sec.


RE: Gross
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 9:08:37 AM , Rating: 2
The Civic is a pretty good looking vehicle. Of course Honda also has one of the biggest eyesores of all time in their product line (Element). I don't think the Accord looks terrible either.


RE: Gross
By mdogs444 on 8/19/2008 9:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty pissed I bought an 07 instead of waiting for the 08's. That new accord coupe looks pretty sick - much better than the Altima Coupe and G6 IMO.


RE: Gross
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 10:46:33 AM , Rating: 3
I like the look of the new Malibu. And its pretty nice inside as well. Unfortunately no manual though. American's need to get off this automatic kick. Burn the calories by pushing in the clutch. It's not like they're heavy clutches like my old Camaro's. Got a freakin workout pushing that thing in.


RE: Gross
By Fnoob on 8/20/2008 9:17:11 AM , Rating: 2
I've got the new Malibu as a company car and no complaints (its free, duh). It's a huge improvement over the previous model.


RE: Gross
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 10:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
Oh and I'm pondering trading my car in and getting a used 05 GTO. 400 hp 6-speed = fun. Depends on a few things though.


RE: Gross
By Noya on 8/19/2008 11:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
You gotta love the bomb that was the new GTO. What are they down to now, $15k?


RE: Gross
By Regs on 8/19/2008 11:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
I've seen a few in NJ. More so than I did 5 years ago. Can't imagine why because they suck gas and you'll likely end up with 120 weekly gas bills. Their made for one thing and that's speed in short distances. I think a 250-300HP car that gets 19/24 reasonable but those GTO's I don't understand.

I parked my Mazda next to a GTO the other day at the store and low and behold, the driver was no older than 20. The one thing that came to mind is, "kid, wait a few more years, you'll understand".


RE: Gross
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 11:32:19 AM , Rating: 2
The Accord Coupe is pretty nice and the V6 is pretty quick too especially with the 6 speed manual. My wife likes the Altima Coupe better.


RE: Gross
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 3:04:03 PM , Rating: 3
Women should be assigned cars based on several factors. Frequency of mood swings. Amount of makeup worn. Number of text messages sent per minute. And other factors.

The higher a woman rates in these fields, the smaller the car she gets.

:)


RE: Gross
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 4:37:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The higher a woman rates in these fields, the smaller the car she gets.
Well, she does like the MINI too. :)


RE: Gross
By Spuke on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Gross
By rockbyter on 8/19/2008 1:53:52 PM , Rating: 1
Did anyone else notice that in the bottom picture, the white car has the same lines as the taped up mock car? What car is that and why didn't someone take pictures. Its not something we haven't seen on the road already except for the hatch conversion that companies glue on to cars already.


RE: Gross
By mindless1 on 8/22/2008 5:50:38 PM , Rating: 2
I think that was the point, to put fake pieces on to make it resemble something else for the time being.


RE: Gross
By Alias1431 on 8/19/2008 6:34:43 PM , Rating: 1
Awww, negitive one? I understand this isn't what the final car will look like, but damn. This is Honda, not Hyundai. Surely they can do better.


Problem with hybrids
By pauldovi on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Problem with hybrids
By Leomania on 8/19/2008 12:57:38 PM , Rating: 1
I find your lack of information disturbing. Next time, perhaps you might try a simple Google search before posting:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=taxi+prius+mi...

For those who'd just like the basics of what you'll find, there are many acocunts of the Pruis used as a taxi going multi-hundred thousand miles (over 300K in several reports). Of course, taxi drivers baby their cars, so this is a poor indication of how a maniacal end-user would fare in their own Prius.

Read about this fleet of Prius' in Australia, and how they use half the gas and cost half as much to maintain as what they used before. Two out of 32 have needed traction battery replacements; that's 30 that have not needed it. As of the writing of the article, they had eight more Prius' on order. Yeah, disposable cars, these are.

http://www.caradvice.com.au/14639/toyota-prius-the...

My 2005 Prius has 55K miles on it and has had precisely zero issues. Regular maintenance every 5K, and that's it. A small drop in mileage when I changed tires (my bad). I see this car going easily as long as my 1986 Accord, which I sold (working well) at 215K miles.


RE: Problem with hybrids
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 4:45:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
My 2005 Prius has 55K miles on it and has had precisely zero issues.
How does 55k miles compare with 300k? My car has 36k miles and has had no issues as well. What does that have to do with how a car will fare at 300k miles?


You Get What You Pay For
By Machinegear on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: You Get What You Pay For
By 325hhee on 8/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: You Get What You Pay For
By Machinegear on 8/19/2008 6:10:40 PM , Rating: 1
If you would have read the article you would have noticed that to save on manufacturing costs, Honda (yes, a Japanese company) was going to outsource part of their manufacturing to China. Since you are long in the stupid department and short in comprehension I will elaborate further.

Companies in general outsource to China to take advantage of extremely low wage scales. Low skilled workers earning a respectively low wage typically produce low quality products. Hence, "you get what you pay for." There is no free lunch here. Sorry. Honda isn't making a great car on the cheap folks. Dream on. They are in the game to make a profit and Honda is making a cheap car; albeit a hybrid.

I am also a proud China basher. I believe in freedom for all man and China doesn't. That makes China a target of ill tidings from me. I am sorry for you, your blind support for such a decrepit culture and the companies (like Honda) who take advantage of them.


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By mdogs444 on 8/19/2008 6:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am sorry for you, your blind support for such a decrepit culture and the companies (like Honda) who take advantage of them.


And I assume all those parts in the computer that you're currently typing on were NOT made in China, right?


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By Spuke on 8/19/2008 6:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And I assume all those parts in the computer that you're currently typing on were NOT made in China, right?
Ha!


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By Ringold on 8/20/2008 1:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Low skilled workers earning a respectively low wage typically produce low quality products. Hence, "you get what you pay for."


I do believe the American auto makers have proven the part I put in bold irrelevant. High-paid unionized labor is quite capable of producing low-quality crap. ;)

quote:
That makes China a target of ill tidings from me. I am sorry for you, your blind support for such a decrepit culture and the companies (like Honda) who take advantage of them.


You're mixing your politics and your economics, and in the crossfire are the Chinese people. If companies and governments listened to such bitching, and didn't do business in China, then China would not have managed to reduce poverty by 400 million in the last couple decades. What is more important, your starry-eyed ideology or real-world improvements?

I'll take it a step further and say these non-Chinese people protesting on behalf of the Chinese need to find something better to concern themselves with in life. Preferably something that actually involves them. Even if China became a nice, open, hippy "democracy," the wage differential would mean the same outcome as we see presently, assuming their (excellent) economic policies were maintained, which had lead to huge average wage gains over the last several years. Indeed, what democratic nation has ever managed such an economic miracle as China, except perhaps the nice performance of Ireland? If what you care about is the well being of the people, then I would say perhaps we have no right be looking down our noses. At Africa, yes. China, not so much.


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By Drexial on 8/19/2008 10:27:23 AM , Rating: 2
For a little bit more constructive argument. What about Honda hasn't been reliable? They are pretty much spot on with Toyota. Only Honda offers a little bit mroe ecconomy in their lines. There is no reason to doubt it that it will be a well built car. Honda has a history in Hybrids, so its not like its a new technology. I feel that this will be a stable platform.

However I do agree that its a complete rip-off of the Prius.


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 10:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
Typical Honda's are built in China either. If you think the quality won't go down, you're kidding yourself.


RE: You Get What You Pay For
By 325hhee on 8/19/2008 11:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
Honda's a built anywhere and everywhere, they have a few plants in the US as well, just like Toyota's, Fords, etc. All auto makers have plants through out the world. And Toyotas aren't the best built cars either. They have their fair shares of lemons.

Then again, I don't own either, I have my Jeep 4 door, as much as I'd love to have a hybrid, for camping, they'd get creamed driving on dirt, rocks, and mountains. And yes, I know my car is not made in China, it's made in the US, and well, it has it's own fair share of hiccups.


"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation














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