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Print 38 comment(s) - last by YashBudini.. on Dec 2 at 2:57 AM

Honda's latest EV concept is a two-seat roadster

Honda is a company that loves to tease us with relatively cool concepts, then dump blandness on the masses when it comes to production vehicles. The company has killed off true sporty cars (Prelude, Integra, and RSX) and outright sports cars (NSX and S2000) in the past decade. What we are now left with are the Civic Si and CR-Z (at least in the United States).
 
With all of this carnage in its wake, we have to look at Honda's latest concept with a cautious eye. The company today unveiled its new EV-STER roadster concept at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show. The roadster is fully electric and features a 10 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that's good for 100 miles.

 
The rear-wheel drive concept -- in theory -- is capable of reaching 37 mph in 5.0 seconds. Given this odd choice of acceleration numbers, we'll have to assume that its 0-60 mph time is rather dreadful. And for those looking to blast down the highway at triple-digit speeds while thumbing your nose at the law, you'll be held back by a top speed of "only" 99 mph.
 
Although Honda hasn't given an official curb weight for the EV-STER, it says that it makes extensive use of carbon fiber to keep weight down to improve performance and battery range.
 

We still have faith that Honda will return to its glory days (the 1990s) and bring some lovin' to car enthusiasts, but we won't be holding our breath for too long. But then again, archrival Toyota did answer the call

Source: Honda



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RE: Honda is Dead
By Reclaimer77 on 11/30/2011 12:43:09 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A WRX does 265 hp and starts from $26k. No matter how good the handling on the BRZ (and it *will* be better than the WRX), that's a hard sell right there.


Well no matter which you pick, Subaru still get's the money :)

However I'm not sure I agree with your assertion that horsepower is the main determining factor here. The WRX does not have mass appeal. The STI especially has what I've heard termed as "juvenile styling". I own an Impreza and love it, but we're a relatively small group. The BRZ can be the vehicle that takes Subaru fanship out of AutoCross obscurity and parking lot races, and into the mainstream.

You're forgetting that, of course, there will be a BRZ STI version from Subaru. We KNOW that any "STI" monicker vehicle will have a turbocharger. So we can expect something in the range of 260+ HP. That's more than enough power for such a well balanced and beautiful vehicle.

Sorry but for my money, there's no way a lame Hyundai Genesis stacks up to a Subaru BRZ STI.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/30/2011 1:07:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sorry but for my money, there's no way a lame Hyundai Genesis stacks up to a Subaru BRZ STI.


Agreed there. The 86/BRZ weigh a little under 2,700 pounds in NA form. The lightest Genesis Coupe weighs 3,300 pounds. A BRZ STI would probably still come in well under 3,000 pounds and would likely murder a Genesis Coupe on a track.

My only beef with the cars is what's up with the stance/ride height? The cars look jacked up from the factory on the 17" wheels. Also, they're using the same low-rolling resistance tires that are found on high-end Prius hybrids. WTF?

If I were to get one, the first think I'd do would be to lower it an inch and put on some 18" wheels/tires. Anything over that would look absolutely ridiculous on that car (and would likely be pointless anyway).


RE: Honda is Dead
By steven975 on 11/30/2011 1:32:32 PM , Rating: 2
No No No...

More unsprung weight!!?! 18 inch wheels will hurt every performance category. Every single one.

And, Subaru's suspension engineers spent hundreds/thousands of man-hour on the suspension tuning, and your first though is to swap out the springs (a crucial component...and you won't even do the shocks) with a $130 cost? LOL.

This clown-ish wheels from the factory thing is depressing. Ideally, you want to run the smallest wheels possible...ones that will fit over the brakes and be wide enough to mount an appropriate-width tire.

Really, this car should have 16inch wheels, 17 max. I know I'm part of the older minority now, but big wheels are rice.

You do realize that the original NSX rocked 15" rims, and the S2000 16", right? I just was forced into upgrading my S2000 to the later-spec 17 inch rims, only because the 16s were too narrow for the added power.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/30/2011 1:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
My first thought was to swap out the wheels because the actual "body" looks heavy with a 17" wheel/tire package at that ride height.

The main reason for the move to larger wheels is the fact that auto manufacturers have been jacking up the beltline of vehicles for years to adhere to increasingly stringent side-impact crash regulations (and to take a hit from high-riding trucks/crossovers).

More visual body mass from body bottom to the beltline means you need larger wheels to distract the eye.

Back when cars like the Integra and NSX where in their prime, Honda was all about low beltlines, and small 15" and 16" wheels looked about perfect because there as plenty of glass to go around.

Also, I thought that the original NSX used 15" front, 16" rear? I think by the time it was retired, it was on 17" wheels all around.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Reclaimer77 on 11/30/2011 3:24:06 PM , Rating: 2
Well I agree with you Brandon about the looks, but I don't think the solution is to throw 18's" on it. The answer for that is a "ground effects" body trim kit. They were all the rage when I used to be into modding cars, not sure about today, but I think there would be something available.

quote:
The main reason for the move to larger wheels is the fact that auto manufacturers have been jacking up the beltline of vehicles for years to adhere to increasingly stringent side-impact crash regulations


Hmm is that the reason? I always assumed the biggest advantage to larger wheel sizes was that they average the road surface over a larger area so small bumps and potholes are not so noticeable. Also larger wheels help with fuel economy because the lighter the wheel, the less is the kinetic energy of the wheel at a given speed and so the more of the work of the engine is used to drive the car forward. But the larger the diameter, the less revolutions are needed to maintain a given speed.

It's a big balancing act for engineers to choose between ride quality, performance, economy and suspension geometry. I've seen a lot of people who went against the engineers and did things their way, with horrible results.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 11/30/2011 3:59:54 PM , Rating: 3
I thought that it was the opposite when it comes to larger wheels with regards to ride quality? Larger tires typically have shorter sidewalls which contribute to a harsher ride. A thicker sidewall generally absorbs more road harshness.

As for ground effects, KILL ME NOW! Good gawd I hate ground effects with a passion :)


RE: Honda is Dead
By JediJeb on 12/1/2011 10:57:13 AM , Rating: 3
I think this is true. I saw a piece recently where the reviewer hated the larger wheels because they are more easily damaged by potholes since they typically have shorter sidewalls.


RE: Honda is Dead
By YashBudini on 12/2/2011 2:57:18 AM , Rating: 2
The wheels were damaged more easily because the tires had less sidewall height. You see 35 series tires out there and the road surface is like 2 inches away from the rim. Add to that lower series tires support less weight for a given size, a fancy way of saying they bottom out easier.


RE: Honda is Dead
By YashBudini on 12/2/2011 2:52:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Larger tires typically have shorter sidewalls which contribute to a harsher ride.

The lower the series number (smaller the sidewall) the more ride harshness, but also faster steering response. Overall diameter is not really not that much of a factor. Sidewall flex is what's being addressed. The series number is the fraction measurement with regards to the tires tread width. A 50 series tires has a sidewall that is .50 of the tread width.

Now that ABS is common one is forced to maintain the overall wheel and tire diameter to within .5 inches of the original spec to perform properly. This is why you'll see 45 series tires on 17 inch rims, with an option of 35 series tires and 18 inch rims, sometimes with the smallest of tread width increases, depending on the numbers.

I went from a 205/65/15 to a 215/55/16. The OD was extremely close. But for a few years I had more fun riding on 225/50/16's, which looked downright massive compared to stock.

Prior to ABS you could do whatever you wanted, if the overall diameter increased or decreased you lived with it, along with the results.

quote:
Good gawd I hate ground effects

I'm not sure what's worse, that or color coordinating the car so that R2D2 looks right at home riding in it.


RE: Honda is Dead
By NINaudio on 12/1/2011 1:25:54 PM , Rating: 2
In general you don't increase the overall diameter of the wheel/tire combo because it will throw off your speedometer. Also, larger wheels are heavier and increase unsprung weight as someone mentioned above. This usually has a negative effect on handling, ride, fuel consumption, etc. And it is definitely easier to damage larger rims on potholes, especially in winter. I don't have anything crazy in terms of big wheels on my car (245/45/17) and I've busted a couple of tires and bent a rim or two on the lovely roads here in the tri-state area. One of those times the guy behind me had 19's on his Altima and some rubber band wheels. He hit the same pothole I did. I had one flat tire. He had two and a bent rim.

There are a lot of good reputable companies out there who will probably be selling good coilover setups for this car. I would lower it myself as well. I hate the 4x4 look on some cars out there today. IMO though, going to bigger wheels with the same wheel gap makes most cars look worse.


RE: Honda is Dead
By YashBudini on 12/2/2011 2:27:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The main reason for the move to larger wheels is the fact that auto manufacturers have been jacking up the beltline of vehicles for years to adhere to increasingly stringent side-impact crash regulations (and to take a hit from high-riding trucks/crossovers).

1. The reason for larger wheels is suppose to be for accommodating larger brake rotors. Brake swept area is a crucial factor in braking performance, for maintaining brake control without lockup.

2. Larger wheels are placed on cars because customers go wow. Demand for them has caused economies of scale to kick in, making them acceptable to be OEM in terms of both price and volume.

quote:
the actual "body" looks heavy with a 17" wheel/tire package at that ride height.

You believe engineers think like this?

quote:
auto manufacturers have been jacking up the beltline of vehicles for years to adhere to increasingly stringent side-impact crash regulations

Ever try to see anything out the driver's window in a Ford Taurus? Soon vehicles will need little mirrors like they put on school buses and post office trucks. But this is 2011, so we'll probably need cameras to see anything other than straight ahead.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Spuke on 11/30/2011 1:46:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
More unsprung weight!!?! 18 inch wheels will hurt every performance category. Every single one.
One could just choose a lighter weight wheel to gain some of that back but, unless you're looking to gain a tenth on your lap times, a slightly larger wheel/tire package makes absolutely no difference in the real world. Now springs on the other hand will murder your handling. In my experience, unless you've got some track experience or you're a suspension engineer, do NOT do a spring "upgrade". Buy proper coilovers and have your car corner balanced. Even then, you could still mess up the factory handling. I typically go with whatever setup the racers use.


RE: Honda is Dead
By YashBudini on 12/2/2011 2:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
More unsprung weight!!?! 18 inch wheels will hurt every performance category. Every single one.

While that's usually true it need not always be true. Going steel to aluminum is a factor, even going from cast to forged aluminum is a factor. You want to lower the reciprocating weight, which frankly includes tire weight as well.

Please, we have enough "thinkers" who deal only with black and white around here.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Voldenuit on 11/30/2011 3:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
The buying public that's looking for a RWD coupe will be cross-shopping things like Camaros, Mustangs and yes, the Genesis Coupe.

For them, the horsepower figure is very important because they see 300 hp on a V6 Mustang or 270 hp on the Gen Coupe and automatically think it's better. And because these shoppers won't be taking their cars on track days or even driving on roads with corners (this is America we're talking about, after all), they could be right (for them).

The BRZ has many strengths, but I don't think it has the right formula for mass market appeal (nor do I think this is what Toyota/Subaru was aiming for - they wanted a purist drift car to appeal to a purist niche). Then again, I could be wrong - the Scion tC has no strengths to speak of and was wildly popular a few years back.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Reclaimer77 on 11/30/2011 3:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
I think people look at the Genesis because of it's price, NOT because it's RWD lol.

The BRZ looks gorgeous and will be an all around better performer. As well as WAY more enjoyable to drive than a boat like the Camaro.


RE: Honda is Dead
By Spuke on 11/30/2011 5:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The buying public that's looking for a RWD coupe will be cross-shopping things like Camaros, Mustangs and yes, the Genesis Coupe.
Camaros and Mustangs maybe not but most definitely the Genesis Coupe.


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