Honda

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Posted by sonny 03/26/2009 @ 01:11

Tags : honda, cars, leisure, honda motor co., automotive, business

News headlines
Honda to Lower US Incentives on Demand, Output Cuts - Bloomberg
By Makiko Kitamura and Tetsuya Komatsu May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., outselling Chrysler LLC in the US this year, plans to lower incentives after curbing production and forecasting a recovery in demand. The average incentive per vehicle will...
Greater Insight - Chicago Tribune
Honda offered the first hybrid in the US, the Insight, which bowed in December 1999. A 1-liter, 3-cylinder, 67-horsepower gas engine and a nickel-metal-hydride battery pack powered the bullet-shaped, look-at-me gas/electric that shouted reduced...
Pedrosa Takes Le Mans Pole - Cycle News
Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa took his first pole position of the year after time expired in the lone qualifying session for Sunday's French Grand Prix on the famed Le Mans circuit. The session began with the top spot changing hands rapidly and 12 of the...
Honda Said to Hire Banks for First Bonds in 16 Years - Bloomberg
By Takashi Ueno and Makiko Kitamura May 15 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., Japan's second- largest carmaker, hired four banks to help it raise as much as 70 billion yen ($738 million) from its first bonds in 16 years, according to a banker familiar...
Indy 500: Honda Friday practice report - Motorsport.com
Townsend Bell (#8 KV Racing Technology Honda Dallara) fastest driver yet to qualify for the Indianapolis 500: "I'm pretty happy where we are. The car's obviously quick and I'm really excited about getting it in the field tomorrow....
Auto Industry Set to Recover Soon, Honda CEO Says - MotorTrend Magazine
The US auto market is set to improve by year's end, Honda CEO Takeo Fukui has stated to Reuters. "On an annual basis I think this year will be the floor," Fukui said. Fukui expects a gradual increase in demand during the second half of 2009....
Bill Walsh handling Honda - MyWebTimes.com
Walsh noted Honda was one of the few vehicle makes not previously sold by the Bill Walsh Automotive Group. The Honda dealership is near the northwest corner of Route 23 and Interstate 80. The Bill Walsh group now has five dealerships in Ottawa,...
American Honda Now Offering Free Memberships To Honda Riders Club ... - RoadracingWorld.com
Torrance, CA: American Honda introduced today a new membership format for the popular Honda Riders Club of America. Effectively immediately, new Members may join the HRCA free of charge. People holding existing paid membership privileges in the HRCA...
French GP: Honda Gresini motogp Qualifying Recap - Uncomfortable - PaddockTalk
Toni Elias (11th 1'35.431): “I'm really suffering here because I have no strength at all in my arm and no matter how much I try I simply can't push the bike any harder. I've been trying to get behind other riders for a tow and it helps but it's so hard...
Hero Honda to replace Ranbaxy in Indian stock index - Reuters
BSESN by motorcycle maker Hero Honda (HROH.BO) on June 29, the Bombay Stock Exchange said said in a statement on Friday. Japan's Daicchi Sankyo (4568.T) bought a majority stake in Ranbaxy last year. Japan's Honda Motor Corp (7267....

Honda

Honda headquarters building in Japan

Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (本田技研工業株式会社 ,Honda Giken Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha?, Honda Technology Research Institute Company, Limited) listen (help·info) (TYO: 7267 NYSE: HMC) is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan.

The company manufactures automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, scooters, robots, jets and jet engines, ATV, water craft, electrical generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment, and aeronautical and other mobile technologies. Honda's line of luxury cars are branded Acura in North America, Hondura in Honduras and Ben Tian in China. More recently they have ventured into mountain bikes.

Honda is the 6th largest automobile manufacturer in the world as well as the largest engine-maker in the world, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. In August 2008, Honda surpassed Chrysler as the 4th largest automobile manufacturer in the United States. Currently, Honda is the second largest manufacturer in Japan behind Toyota and ahead of Nissan.

Honda is headquartered in 1-1, Minami-Aoyama Nichome, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Their shares trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, as well as exchanges in Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, London, Paris and Switzerland. American Honda Motor Co. is based in Torrance, California. Honda Canada Inc. is headquartered in the Scarborough district of Toronto, Ontario, and is building new corporate headquarters in Markham, Ontario, scheduled to relocate in 2008; their manufacturing division, Honda of Canada Manufacturing, is based in Alliston, Ontario. Honda has also created joint ventures around the world, such as Honda Siel Cars and Hero Honda Motorcycles in India, Guangzhou Honda and Dongfeng Honda in China, and Honda Atlas in Pakistan.

With high fuel prices and a weak US economy in June 2008, Honda has reported a 1% sales increase while its rivals, including the Detroit Big Three and Toyota, have reported double-digit losses. Honda's sales were up almost 20 percent from the same month last year. The Civic and the Accord were in the top five list of sales. Analysts have attributed this to two main factors. First, Honda's product lineup consists of mostly small to mid-size, highly fuel-efficient vehicles. Secondly, over the last ten years, Honda has designed its factories to be flexible, in that they can be easily retooled to produce any Honda model that may be in-demand at the moment.

Honda, Nissan, and Toyota, three of the strongest vehicle companies in the world, were still not immune to the global financial crisis of 2008, as these companies reduced their profitability forecasts. The economic crisis has been spreading to other important players in the vehicle related industries as well.

Honda has a long storied history, starting as a small shop set up by Soichiro Honda.

The 2006 Ridgeline was a reintroduction of the concept of a Uni-Body truck. Earlier examples of this concept are the Subaru Brat and Baja, Volkswagen Rabbit pick-up, and Dodge Rampage/Plymouth Scamp.

Honda increased global production in September 2008 to meet demand for small cars in the U.S. and emerging markets. The company is shuffling U.S. production to keep factories busy and boost car output, while building fewer minivans and sport utility vehicles as light truck sales fall.

Honda has also built a Downhill racing bike, known as the Honda RN-01. Honda has taken on several people to pilot the bike, among them is Greg Minnaar. The team is known as Team G Cross Honda. The key feature of this bike is the gearbox, which replaces the standard Derailleur found on most bikes.

During the 1960s, when it was a small manufacturer, Honda broke out of the Japanese motorcycle market and began exporting to the US. Taking Honda’s story as an archetype of the smaller manufacturer entering a new market already occupied by highly dominant competitors, the story of their market entry, and their subsequent huge success in the US and around the world, has been the subject of some academic controversy. Competing explanations have been advanced to explain Honda’s strategy and the reasons for their success.

The first of these explanations was put forward when, in 1975, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was commissioned by the UK government to write a report explaining why and how the British motorcycle industry had been out-competed by its Japanese competitors. The report concluded that the Japanese firms, including Honda, had sought a very high scale of production (they had made a large number of motorbikes) in order to benefit from economies of scale and learning curve effects. It blamed the decline of the British motorcycle industry on the failure of British managers to invest enough in their businesses to profit from economies of scale and scope.

The second explanation was offered in 1984 by Richard Pascale, who had interviewed the Honda executives responsible for the firm’s entry into the US market. As opposed to the tightly focused strategy of low cost and high scale that BCG accredited to Honda, Pascale found that their entry into the US market was a story of “miscalculation, serendipity, and organizational learning” – in other words, Honda’s success was due to the adaptability and hard work of its staff, rather than any long term strategy. For example, Honda’s initial plan on entering the US was to compete in large motorcycles, around 300 cc. It was only when the team found that the scooters they were using to get themselves around their US base of San Francisco attracted positive interest from consumers that they came up with the idea of selling the Supercub.

The most recent school of thought on Honda’s strategy was put forward by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad in 1989. Creating the concept of core competencies with Honda as an example, they argued that Honda’s success was due to its focus on leadership in the technology of internal combustion engines. For example, the high power-to-weight ratio engines Honda produced for its racing bikes provided technology and expertise which was transferable into mopeds.

Honda's entry into the US motorcycle market during the 1960s is used as a case study for teaching introductory strategy at business schools worldwide.

Its first entrance into the pickup segment, the lightduty Ridgeline, won Truck of the Year from Motor Trend magazine in 2006 (also in 2006, the redesigned Civic won Car of the Year from the magazine, giving Honda a rare double win of Motor Trend honors).

It created the first luxury Japanese car (1985 Legend) and motorcycle (2006 Gold Wing bikes) equipped with an airbag, as well as the first mid-size pickup truck with independent rear suspension (2006 Ridgeline).

Honda is the largest engine maker in the world. Honda has a number of firsts in many categories, including the first engine to meet the 1970 US Clean Air Act (1975 CVCC).

ASIMO is the part of Honda's Research & Development robotics program. It is the eleventh in a line of successive builds starting in 1986 with Honda E0 moving through the ensuing Honda E series and the Honda P series. Weighing 54 kilograms and standing 130 centimeters tall, ASIMO resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack, and can walk on two feet in a manner resembling human locomotion, at up to 6 km/h (3.7 mph). ASIMO is the world's only humanoid robot able to ascend and descend stairs independently. However, human motions such as climbing stairs are difficult to mimic with a machine, which ASIMO has demonstrated by taking two plunges off a staircase.

Honda's robot ASIMO (see below) as an R&D project brings together expertise to create a robot that walks, dances and navigates steps.

Honda has also pioneered new technology in its HA-420 HondaJet that allows new levels of reduced drag, increased aerodynamics and fuel efficiency thus reducing operating costs.

Honda has been active in motorsports.

Honda entered Formula One as a constructor for the first time in the 1964 season at the German Grand Prix with Ronnie Bucknum at the wheel. 1965 saw the addition of Richie Ginther to the team, who scored Honda's first point at the Belgian Grand Prix, and Honda's first win at the Mexican Grand Prix. 1967 saw their next win at the Italian Grand Prix with John Surtees as their driver. In 1968, Jo Schlesser was killed in a Honda RA302 at the French Grand Prix. This racing tragedy, coupled with their commercial difficulties selling automobiles in the United States, prompted Honda to withdraw from all international motorsport that year.

After a learning year in 1965, Honda-powered Brabhams dominated the 1966 French Formula Two championship in the hands of Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme. As there was no European Championship that season, this was the top F2 championship that year. In the early 1980s Honda returned to F2, supplying engines to Ron Tauranac's Ralt team. Tauranac had designed the Brabham cars for their earlier involvement. They were again extremely successful. In a related exercise, John Judd's Engine Developments company produced a turbo "Brabham-Honda" engine for use in IndyCar racing. It won only one race, in 1988 for Bobby Rahal at Pocono.

Honda returned to Formula One in 1983, initially with another Formula Two partner, the Spirit team, before switching abruptly to Williams in 1984. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Honda powered cars won six consecutive Formula One Constructors Championships. WilliamsF1 won the crown in 1986 and 1987. Honda switched allegiance again in 1988. New partners Team McLaren won the title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. Honda withdrew from Formula One at the end of 1992, although the related Mugen-Honda company maintained a presence up to the end of 1999, winning four races with Ligier and Jordan Grand Prix.

Honda debuted in the CART IndyCar World Series as a works supplier in 1994. The engines were far from competitive at first, but after development, the company powered six consecutive drivers championships. In 2003, Honda transferred its effort to the rival IRL IndyCar Series. In 2004, Honda-powered cars overwhelmingly dominated the IndyCar Series, winning 14 of 16 IndyCar races, including the Indianapolis 500, and claimed the IndyCar Series Manufacturers' Championship, Drivers' Championship and Rookie of the Year titles. In 2006, Honda became the sole engine supplier for the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500. In the 2006 Indianapolis 500, for the first time in Indianapolis 500 history, the race was run without a single engine problem.

During 1998, Honda considered returning to Formula One with their own team. The project was aborted after the death of its technical director, Harvey Postlethwaite. Honda instead came back as an official engine supplier to British American Racing (BAR) and Jordan Grand Prix. Honda bought a stake in the BAR team in 2004 before buying the team outright at the end of 2005, becoming a constructor for the first time since the 1960s. Honda won the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix with driver Jenson Button.

It was announced on 5 December 2008 that Honda would be exiting Formula One with immediate effect due to the 2008 global economic crisis. The team was sold to former team principal Ross Brawn and renamed Brawn GP.

Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) was formed in 1982 by Richard Hynda. The company combines participation in motorcycle races throughout the world with the development of high potential racing machines. Its racing activities are an important source for the creation of leading edge technologies used in the development of Honda motorcycles. HRC also contributes to the advancement of motorcycle sports through a range of activities that include sales of production racing motorcycles, support for satellite teams, and rider education programs.

Soichiro Honda, being a race driver himself, could not stay out of international motorsport. In 1959, Honda entered five motorcycles into the Isle of Man TT race, the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. While always having powerful engines, it took until 1961 for Honda to tune their chassis well enough to allow Mike Hailwood to claim their first Grand Prix victories in the 125 and 250 cc classes. Hailwood would later pick up their first senior TT wins in 1966 and 1967. Honda's race bikes were known for their "sleek & stylish design" and exotic engine configurations, such as the 5-cylinder, 22,000 rpm, 125 cc bike and their 6-cylinder 250 cc and 380 cc bikes.

1979 saw Honda return to Grand Prix motorcycle racing with their exotic, monocoque-framed, four-stroke NR500. The NR500 featured elongated cylinders each with 8 valves and with connecting rods in pairs, in an attempt to comply with the FIM rules which limited engines to four cylinders. Honda engineered the elongated cylinders in an effort to provide the valve area of an 8-cylinder engine, hoping their four-stroke bike would be able to compete against the now dominant two-stroke racers. Unfortunately, it seemed Honda tried to accomplish too much at one time and the experiment failed. For the 1982 season, Honda debuted their first two stroke race bike, the NS500 and in 1983, Honda won their first 500 cc Grand Prix World Championship with Freddie Spencer. Since then, Honda has become a dominant marque in motorcycle Grand Prix racing, winning a plethora of top level titles with riders such as Valentino Rossi and Mick Doohan.

In motocross, Honda has claimed 6 motocross world championships. In the World Enduro Championship, Honda has captured six titles, most recently with Stefan Merriman in 2003 and with Mika Ahola in 2007 and 2008.

Toyota and Honda have already said they've halved the incremental cost of electric hybrids and see cost parity in the future (even without incentives) .

Honda Motor Company Ltd. announced that it has three hybrid vehicles in the works, including a new small hybrid scheduled for introduction in early 2009. Since Honda discontinued its two-seat Insight hybrid in 2006, the company has been known to be planning a new dedicated hybrid vehicle, the new Honda Insight. According to Honda, the new vehicle will sell for less than the Prius and will be the most affordable hybrid to date and will be offered as a 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback. Honda expects to sell 200,000 of the vehicles each year, with half of those sales in the United States . The launch in the U.S. market is on April 2009 .

Honda is also planning to introduce a hybrid version of its Fit , as well as another unique small hybrid vehicle based on the CR-Z sports car concept that it introduced at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

Honda has presented a seated electric scooter (Honda Moped-EV). It uses a nickel hydrogen battery to store 360 watt-hours of energy .

In Takanezawa, Japan, on June 16, 2008, Honda Motors produced the first assembly-line FCX Clarity. More efficient than a hybrid vehicle, the FCX Clarity combines hydrogen and oxygen from ordinary air to make electricity. The vehicle does not emit any pollutants and its only byproducts are heat and water. The FCX Clarity also has an advantage over hybrids in that it does not require a rechargeable battery and the use of electricity. The lack of hydrogen filling stations throughout developed countries will keep production volumes low.

Honda's official slogan is "The Power of Dreams". They have never used this slogan to sell their products. Mr. Honda's belief is that well built products will sell themselves. Many of Honda's most remarkable advertising campaigns have been released for the UK market, and have not been broadcast in North America except on the internet.

In 2003, Honda released its Cog advertisement in the UK and on the Internet. To make the ad, the engineers at Honda constructed a Rube Goldberg Machine made entirely out of car parts from the Honda Accord. To the despair of the engineers at Honda, all the parts were taken from two of only six hand assembled pre-production models of the Accord. The ad depicted a single cog which sets off a chain of events that ends with the Honda Accord moving and Garrison Keillor speaking the tagline, "Isn't it nice when things just... work?" It took 606 takes to get it perfect.

In 2004, they produced the Hate Something advert, usually immediately followed by a shortened version of the 2005/2006 Impossible Dream advert.

In 2006, Honda released its Choir advertisement, for the UK and the internet. This featured a 60-person choir who sang the car noises as film of the Honda Civic are shown.

In December 2005, Honda released The Impossible Dream a two-minute panoramic advertisement filmed in New Zealand, Japan and Argentina which illustrates the founder's dream to build performance vehicles. While singing The Impossible Dream (The Quest), a man reaches for his racing helmet, leaves his trailer on a minibike, then rides a succession of vintage Honda vehicles: a motorcycle, then a car, then a powerboat, then goes over a waterfall only to reappear piloting a hot air balloon, with Garrison Keillor saying "I couldn't have put it better myself" as the song ends. The song is from the 1960s musical "Man Of La Mancha", sung by Andy Williams.

In Australia, Honda advertised heavily during most motor racing telecasts, and were the official sponsor of the 2006 FIA Formula 1 telecast on broadcaster channel "Ten". In fact, they were the only manufacturer involved in the 2006 Indy Racing League season. In a series of adverts promoting the history of Honda's racing heritage, Honda claimed they "built" cars that won 72 Formula 1 Grand Prix. Skeptics have accused Honda of a somewhat liberal interpretation of it racing history, saying that nearly all those victories were claimed by Honda powered (engined) machines, with the cars themselves designed and built by Lotus F1, Williams F1 and McLaren F1 teams respectively. However, former and current staff of the McLaren F1 team have repeatedly proclaimed that Honda contributed more than just engines and provided various chassis, tooling and aerodynamic parts as well as funding. Ayrton Senna, arguably the greatest F1 driver of all time, repeatedly stated that Honda probably played the most significant role in his three world championships. He had immense respect for founder, Soichiro Honda and had a good relationship with Nobuhiko Kawamoto, the chairman of Honda at that time. Senna once called Honda "the greatest company in the world". Nevertheless, the majority of victories attributed to Honda in the advertisements were won by Formula 1 cars which were neither built nor designed by Honda, and have little or no connection with Honda's current F1 operations.

For the last several years in the United States, during model close-out sales for the current year before the start of the new model year, Honda's advertising has featured an animated character known simply as Mr. Opportunity, voiced by Rob Paulsen. The casual looking man talks about various deals offered by Honda and ends with the phrase "I'm Mr. Opportunity, and I'm knockin'", followed by him then him "knocking" on the television screen or "thumping" the speaker at the end of radio ads. Also, commercials for Honda's international hatchback, the Jazz, are parodies of well-known pop culture images such as Tetris and Thomas The Tank Engine.

As part of their marketing campaign, Honda is an official partner and sponsor of Major League Soccer.

In late 2006 Honda released an ad with ASIMO exploring a museum, looking at the exhibits with almost child-like wonderment (spreading out its arms in the aerospace exhibit, waving hello to an astronaut suit that resembles him, etc.), while Garrison Keillor ruminates on progress. It concludes with the tagline: "More forwards please".

Honda also sponsored ITV's coverage of Formula One in the UK for 2007. However they have announced they will not continue in 2008 due to the sponsorship price requested by ITV being too high.

In May 2007, focuses on their strengths in racing and the use of the Red H badge — a symbol of what is termed as "Hondamentalism". The campaign highlights the lengths that Honda engineers go to in order to get the most out of an engine, whether it is for bikes, cars, powerboats — even lawnmowers. Honda released its Hondamentalism campaign. In the TV spot, Garrison Keillor says, "An engineer once said to build something great is like swimming in honey", while Honda engineers in white suits walk and run towards a great light, battling strong winds and flying debris, holding on to anything that will keep them from being blown away. Finally one of the engineers walks towards a red light, his hand outstretched. A web address is shown for the Hondamentalism website. The digital campaign aims to show how visitors to the site share many of the Hondamentalist characteristics.

The following year, at the beginning of 2008, Honda release it's latest advert - the Problem Playground. The advert outlines Honda's environmental responsibility, demonstrating a hybrid engine, more efficient solar panels and the FCX Clarity, a hydrogen powered car. The 90 second advert features large scale puzzles, involving Rubik's cubes, large shapes and a 3-dimensional puzzle.

On 29 May 2008, Honda - in partnership with Channel 4 - broadcast a live advertisement. It showed skydivers jumping from an aeroplane over Spain and forming the letters H, O, N, D and A in mid-air. This live advertisement is generally agreed to be the first of its kind on British television. The advert lasted three minutes.

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Honda NSX

1991-2001 Honda NSX

The Honda NSX (branded as the Acura NSX in North America and Hong Kong) is a sports car produced between 1990 and 2005 by the Japanese automaker Honda. It used a rear mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and was powered by an all-aluminum V6 gasoline engine featuring Honda's "variable valve timing and lift electronic control" (VTEC) system.

In 1984 Honda commissioned Pininfarina to design the HP-X (Honda Pininfarina Xperimental), which had a mid-mounted 2.0 L V6 configuration. The production NSX was designed by a team led by Chief Designer Ken Okuyama and Executive Chief Engineer Shigeru Uehara, who was also in charge of the S2000 project. At its first public appearances as the NS-X at the Chicago Auto Show in February 1989, and at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1989 sports car enthusiasts were astonished by its pronounced cockpit forward attitude. The bodywork design had been specifically researched by Okuyuma and Uehara after studying the 360 degree visibility inside an F-16 fighter jet cockpit. In North America, the NSX was branded as an Acura in 1991.

Respected Japanese Formula One driver Satoru Nakajima was involved with Honda in the NSX's early on track development at Suzuka race circuit, where he performed many endurance distance duties related to chassis tuning; but Brazilian Formula One World Champion Ayrton Senna, for whom Honda themselves had powered all three of his world championship winning Formula One race cars before his death in 1994, was considered Honda's main innovator in convincing the company to stiffen the NSX chassis further after testing the car at Honda's Suzuka GP circuit in Japan.

American Bobby Rahal also participated in the car's development. Senna was given an NSX by Honda, although details of this car and its fate are unclear.

Honda's breakthrough engineering in the NSX was a major contributor to the design of the McLaren F1 as mentioned in an interview with McLaren F1 designer Gordon Murray (translated from original Japanese into English). "The moment I drove the NSX, all the benchmark cars—Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini—I had been using as references in the development of my car vanished from my mind. Of course the car we would create, the McLaren F1, needed to be faster than the NSX, but the NSX's ride quality and handling would become our new design target." The NSX was also the world's first all-aluminum and aluminum monocoque chassis production car, and was also marketed as the "Everyday Supercar" thanks in part to its ease of use, quality and reliability. Murray himself remained an NSX owner for 7 years.

Upon its release in 1990, the NSX was a design concept well ahead of its time. At only 1,170 mm (46 in) in height (only 141.3 mm (5.56 in) taller than the legendary Ford GT40), the car showcased Honda's cutting edge racing pedigree and technology at a time when the company were literally making history while totally dominating Formula One motor racing. The Japanese car maker's race track innovations and competitive history were further exemplified on the road by the NSX's ultra-rigid, ultra-light all aluminum monocoque chassis, all aluminum suspension, boasting the world's first production car with titanium connecting rods, with forged pistons and ultra high-revving capabilities — the redline was at a lofty 8,000 rpm - all traits usually associated with track and race engineered motor cars.

Aside from its unique 23-step paint process, including an aircraft type chromate coating designed for chemically protecting the aluminum bodywork and a waterborne paint for the base coat to achieve a clearer, more vivid top color and a smoother surface finish, today the NSX is still considered by owners of the marque as one of the most reliable exotic cars ever manufactured with many examples exceeding 100,000 miles (160,000 km) without serious notable reliability issues or having suffered manufacturer recalls.

The car's strong chassis rigidity and cornering/handling capabilities were the results of Ayrton Senna's direct input with NSX's chief engineers while testing the NSX prototype car at Honda's Suzuka Circuit during its final development stages. The NSX was initially assembled at the purpose-built Takanezawa R&D Plant in Tochigi from 1989 to early 2004, when it was moved to Suzuka Plant for the remainder of its production life. The cars were assembled by approximately 200 of Honda's best and most experienced personnel, a team of hand-picked staff employed from various other Honda facilities to run the NSX operation. After studying their main competitors such as Ferrari, Lamborghini and Porsche, Honda engineers designed the NSX in search of the perfect balance between usable power and reliability and thus produced a powerful naturally aspirated VTEC engine suitable for the extreme demands of both road and track.

One of the first magazine articles show the lightweight 3.0L 270 bhp (200 kW) NSX producing a best 0-60 mp/h time of 5.03 seconds and 13.47 seconds for the quarter mile.

Also on a Ferrari 348 to NSX comparison, a 0-60 mph time of 5.2 seconds was recorded for the 1991 NSX.

Wheels magazine Australia awarded the Honda NSX the 1991 Car of the Year award, and the Acura-badged car was Automobile Magazine's Automobile of the Year that same year.

Despite the original NSX ceasing production in 2005, the marque still has a strong base of fans and supporters worldwide with owners clubs flourishing in Asia, the USA and across Europe. International motoring authors like Andrew Frankel (AutoCar & Motor) Russell Bulgin (Car) Mark Hales (Fast Lane) Gianni Marin (Gente Motore) and Bernd Ostmann (AutoMotor Und Sport) have not only lent their name to the NSX in print but publicly praised the technology and innovation of Honda's NSX and in the BBC book NSX - Hondas Super Sports Car (ISBN 0 9517751 0 3) describe the vehicle as worthy of the title supercar.

Even in original NA1 form because of the NSX's specially designed lightweight all aluminum construction, on trial the car was visibly faster than the Ferrari 348 straight-line acceleration. Post-1997 3.2 L North American Acura examples are known to achieve a 13.3 second quarter-mile time (1997-2005 model year NSX-T; the 149 lb (68 kg) lighter Zanardi Edition NSX is closer to 13.2 seconds ), while the Japanese NSX-R (2002+) is known to perform a 12.9 second quarter-mile time. This ability is a result of the high 8,000 rpm redline, flat power curve, short gear ratios, light weight and mid-engine layout, along with the light power increase.

While the NSX always was intended to be a world-class sports car, engineers had made some compromises in order to strike a suitable balance between raw performance and daily driveability. For those NSX customers seeking a no-compromise racing experience, Honda decided in 1992 to produce a version of the NSX specifically modified for superior on-track performance at the expense of customary creature comforts. Thus, the NSX Type R (or NSX-R) was born. Honda chose to use its moniker of Type-R to designate the NSX-R's race-oriented design.

Honda engineers started with a base NSX coupe and embarked on an aggressive program of weight reduction. Sound deadening, the audio system and the entire air conditioning system were removed. The power leather seats were replaced with lightweight carbon fiber racing seats manufactured for Honda by Recaro. The stock alloy wheels were replaced with forged aluminum wheels produced by Enkei, which reduced the car's unsprung weight. The stock leather shift knob was replaced with a sculpted titanium piece. Overall, Honda managed to remove approximately 120 kg (265 lb) of weight, giving the NSX-R a final weight of 1,230 kg (2,712 lb).

Turning to the suspension, it was well known by 1992 that the NSX, due to its mid-engine layout and rear-end link travel, was susceptible to a sudden oversteer condition during certain cornering maneuvers. While this condition rarely occurred during spirited street driving, it was much more prevalent on race tracks where speeds were much higher. To address the problem and improve the NSX-R's cornering stability at the limit, Honda replaced the entire suspension with completely new springs and dampers.

The stock NSX has a rear bias in its spring rates, where the rear springs are stiffer than the front. On hard deceleration upon corner entry, the softer front springs allow weight transfer to the front wheels, increasing front grip and thus improving steering response. However, the weight transfer also takes weight off of the rear wheels, causing them to lose grip. The net result is a tendency toward oversteer, as the rear wheels are more likely to break traction and cause a fishtail (drift) or spin. For the NSX-R, Honda reversed the spring bias, placing stiffer springs on the front suspension. This had the effect of preventing weight transfer to the front suspension under hard braking. This way, the rear tires would remain firmly set when entering the corner. Of course, by keeping weight off of the front wheels, front grip was reduced and the change therefore had the negative effect of increasing the understeer tendency of the car. This change required better driver skill to manage. Overall, the NSX-R uses much stiffer springs than the stock NSX (F 3.0 kg/mm -- R 4.0 kg/mm for the NSX versus F 8.0 kg/mm -- R 5.7 kg/mm for the NSX-R).

Honda also increased the final drive ratio by adding a 4.235:1 ring and pinion gear in place of the 4.06:1 stock unit, which moved the NSX-R's shifts further into the power band at the expense of top end performance.

The lightest of all NSX variants at 1,230 kg (2,712 lb), the First-Gen NSX-R is capable of blistering track performance, though the ride can be jarring and noisy due to the stiff spring rates and lack of sound insulation.

Beginning in 1992 Honda produced a limited number of 483 NSX-R variants exclusively for the Japanese domestic market (JDM). Air conditioning and the stereo system were available for a hefty premium as optional items. Production ended in 1995.

In 1995 the NSX-T with a targa top roof was released in Japan as a special order option. In North America, the NSX-T replaced the standard coupe entirely as the only trim available, with the notable exceptions of the Zanardi Edition NSX in 1999 and a handful of special ordered post-1997/pre-2002 3.2 liter coupes. The removable roof reduced the chassis rigidity of the NSX and added about 100 pounds (45 kg) of structural reinforcements. In addition to this major change, the suspensions have also been softened to improve ride, comfort, and tire wear, at the expense of ultimate handling. The suspension redesign was also intended to reduce the sudden-oversteer problems that plagued most mid-engined vehicles. All roofs were now body-colored instead of black, although in Japan the two-tone black roof/body color was still available as an optional feature. Finally available in the manual transmission version NSX was electric power steering, previously found in the automatic version exclusively.

1997 brought the biggest changes to the performance of the current generation NSX for the Japanese domestic versions and abroad. For 1997 engine displacement increased from 3.0 L to 3.2 L. This new 3.2 L C32B engine gave it slightly more rated power: from 277 PS (204 kW; 273 hp) to 280 PS (206 kW; 276 hp) while torque increased from 285 N·m (210 lb·ft) to 305 N·m (225 lb·ft) (manual transmission only). The 4-speed automatic model still used the 3.0 L engine and power output. Another big change was the adoption of the 6-speed manual transmission. The combination of slightly-increased power and torque, 6-speed manual gearbox, and optimized gear ratio produced improved straight-line acceleration. The new NSX rang up better numbers than the power and torque improvements may suggest over previous model NSXs. 0-60 mph time dropped from 5.4 seconds to as low as 5.0 seconds for the NSX-S Zero. Other notable changes include a brake rotor size increase from 12 in (300 mm) to 13 inches (330 mm) — which necessitated larger wheels and tires, a new aluminum alloy to further reduce weight and increase rigidity, and a transponder in the key.

Along with the engine enlargement in 1997, Japan exclusively received the NSX type S (NSX-S) and NSX type S Zero (NSX-S-Zero), weighing in at 1,320 kg (2,900 lb) and 1,280 kg (2,800 lb) respectively. Both had a stiffer suspension than the normal NSX.

Unlike the standard Type S, the S-Zero does not offer Air Conditioning, navigation, and stereo system as an option. The suspension is stiffer than the standard Type S by using the NA1 Type R (1992 to 1995) suspension. The Best Motoring did a sub 12.4x second 1/4 mile, which is quite a remarkable achievement when compared to cars such as the Ferrari F355 and Porsche 996 Turbo. Changes were also made to the interior's manual transmission boot shifter, replacing the original material from leather to mesh to save approx .28 grams.

Produced exclusively for the United States, the Alex Zanardi Edition NSX was introduced in 1999 to commemorate Alex Zanardi's two back-to-back CART Champ Car championship wins for Honda / Acura in 1997 and 1998. Only fifty-one examples were built, and they were available only in New Formula Red to reflect the color of the Champ Car Zanardi drove for Chip Ganassi Racing.

The Zanardi Edition was similar to the Japanese market NSX Type S. Visible differences between the Zanardi Edition and the Type S were the Zanardi's left-hand drive, black leather and suede seats with red stitching, airbag-equipped Acura steering wheel, and a brushed-aluminum plaque with an engraved Acura logo, Zanardi's signature, and a serial number on the rear bulkhead.

Zanardi Number 0 was a press car that also appeared in auto shows across the country. In a handling test in Road and Track's June 1999 issue, this Zanardi NSX placed second against the Dodge Viper GTS-R, Lotus Esprit, Porsche 911 Carrera 4, Ferrari F355 Spider, and Chevrolet Corvette C5 Coupe. The car was also featured in Car and Driver's July 1999 issue before being sold to a private individual.

Zanardi Number 1 belongs to Zanardi himself and was not given a North American VIN. The car is rumored to have been modified by Honda with hand-activated throttle, braking, and shifting mechanisms to accommodate Zanardi's paraplegia resulting from his Lausitzring crash in 2001.

Zanardi numbers 2 through 50 were sold to the general public through dealers.

The original NSX body design received only minor modifications from Honda in the new millennium when in 2002 the original pop-up headlamps were replaced with fixed xenon HID headlamp units (see photo from LA Autoshow 2003) along with slightly wider rear tires to complement a revised suspension.

The fixed roof NSX was dropped in 2002. The NSX was now made available in a number of exterior colors with either a matching or black interior to provide a number of possible color combinations. A 4-speed automatic transmission with manual-type shift option also became available.

A second iteration of the NSX-R was released in 2002, again exclusively in Japan. As with the first NSX-R, weight reduction was the primary focus for performance enhancement. Instead of developing the stock 2002+ T-Top, Honda chose to go back to the pre-2002 fixed-roof coupe, due to its lighter weight and more rigid construction. Carbon fiber was used to a large extent throughout the body components to reduce weight, including a larger, more aggressive rear spoiler, vented hood and deck lid. The rear spoiler was said to be the largest one-piece carbon-fiber spoiler in production cars. Additionally, the original NSX-R weight reduction techniques were repeated, including deletion of the audio system, sound insulation and air conditioning. A single-pane rear divider was again used, as were carbon-kevlar racing seats manufactured for Honda by Recaro. Finally, larger yet lighter wheels resulted in a total weight reduction of almost 100 kg (220 lb) to 1,270 kg (2,800 lb).

The 3.2L DOHC V6 engine received special attention as well. Each NSX-R engine was hand assembled by a skilled technician using techniques normally reserved for racing programs. Components of the rotating assembly (pistons, rods and crank) were precision weighed and matched so that all components fell within a very small tolerance of weight differential. Then, the entire rotating assembly was balanced to a level of accuracy ten times that of a typical NSX engine. This balancing and blueprinting process significantly reduced parasitic loss of power due to inertial imbalance, resulting in a more powerful, free-revving powerplant with excellent throttle response. Officially, Honda maintains that the power output of the Second-Gen NSX-R engine is 290 bhp (220 kW), which is identical to the stock NSX. The automotive press, however, has long speculated that the true output of the engine is as much as 320 bhp (240 kW), and that other, unpublished enhancements were made.

To complement the revised powerplant, Honda increased the final drive ratio by adding a 4.235:1 ring and pinion gear in place of the 4.06:1 stock unit. This had the effect of increasing the torque at the axles at the expense of a lower maximum speed in each gear. Honda also, in an effort to improve clutch engagement and smoothness, replaced the stock 1-disc clutch unit with a dual disc setup similar to those found in 1991-1996 NSX years.

Honda engineers then turned to the suspension, which was tuned specifically for road-course handling. A thicker front sway bar with hardened bushings was added, along with two aluminum braces to stiffen the front chassis. Unlike the stock NSX, which has stiffer rear springs, the NSX-R uses stiffer front springs, which prevent weight transfer to the front suspension on deceleration and corner entry. Spring rates for front and rear overall (F 10.4kg/mm / R 8.3kg/mm) are significantly stiffer than stock (F 3.5kg/mm / R 4.0kg/mm). Matching Showa dampers with external fluid reservoirs were added to compensate for the stiffer springs.

To complement the suspension adjustments, Honda re-worked the aerodynamic shape of the NSX. Engineers added under-body panels and air fences in the front along with a small rear diffuser to produce balanced "negative lift" or downforce. To improve front downforce, Honda removed the spare tire and added a carbon fiber duct behind the radiator, which directed airflow into the vented carbon fiber hood, providing a flow path for radiator air to pass over the top of the car. The sum result of these subtle aerodynamic changes and suspension adjustments is that the second generation NSX-R is easier to drive on a road course. The car is stable, with less tendency to over-rotate, ultimately improving corner speeds and lowering overall lap times compared to a stock NSX.

The result of Honda's NSX-R effort was a vehicle that could challenge the latest sports car models on the track, despite having a base design that was more than 15 years old. For example, noted Japanese race and test driver Motoharu Kurosawa piloted a 2003 NSX-R around the legendary Nurburgring road course in 7:56, a time equal to a Ferrari F360 Challenge Stradale. The NSX-R accomplished this feat despite being out-powered by the Ferrari by nearly 100 bhp (75 kW) and weighing almost 100 kg (220 lb) more than the track-oriented Ferrari (at 1180kg).

Despite these impressive feats and performance, the NSX-R was generally discarded by the automotive press as "too little too late" for the already struggling NSX brand. Criticism was leveled at Honda for failing to completely re-design the NSX. Indeed, critics charged that Honda had simply recycled the existing NSX with some weight reduction and a few clever aerodynamic tweaks. Many questioned why Honda would go to such lengths to merely tweak a failing product, including, famously, adding a mesh shift boot to save 10 grams of weight, when they could have instead increased engine displacement or added a V8. Whatever the validity of the criticism, the NSX-R failed to re-ignite market interest in the NSX, which by 2003 was viewed as over-priced and under-powered. Still, the Second-Gen NSX-R remains a holy grail for Honda/Acura enthusiasts, and is the ultimate expression of Honda's performance vision for its mid-engined sports car.

After the release of the Second-Gen NSX-R, Honda developed a more agile, more responsive, and quicker limited edition NSX-R called the NSX-R GT. The NSX-R GT was created by Honda solely to comply with the Super GT production-based race car homologation requirements. As JGTC rules required at least five production cars for any race car version to compete, the NSX-R GT was limited to a production run of only five cars.

The differences between the Second-Gen NSX-R and the NSX-R GT are not fully known. One clear difference is the addition of a non-functional snorkel attached to the roof of the car. In the JGTC NSX race cars however, this snorkel is fully functional, feeding outside air to an individual throttle body intake plenum. The NSX-R GT also has a lowered suspension and widened body. More aggressive aerodynamic components such as an extended front spoiler lip and large rear diffuser are used as well. It also is speculated that the NSX-R GT incorporates more weight savings over the NSX-R.

Powerplant changes are less obvious. Honda never advertised what, if any, changes were made to the 3.2L DOHC V6 for the NSX-R GT. At least one of the cars, owned by Spoon Sports, is known to be turbocharged, with an approximate output of 420 bhp (310 kW). Though, it is unclear if the turbo system was installed by Honda at the factory or added by Spoon at a later time.

For several years after its release, the NSX-R GT was something of a unicorn. No one had actually seen one, and the scant images released by Honda appeared to be re-touched photos of a standard NSX-R. Some wondered whether the NSX-R GT existed at all. Speculation largely ceased in 2008, when Spoon, a Japanese performance tuner long associated with Honda, provided its NSX-R GT for a track comparison to the Mine's R-35 GT-R.

The second iteration NSX-S, sold exclusively in Japan, continues with the face-lifted NSX keeping the weight at 1,320 kg (2,900 lb).

By 2005, with the original Honda design rapidly heading for its 20th anniversary NSX unit sales amounted to only a few hundred motorcars per year worldwide. Honda deemed continuation of the NSX was not economically viable, considering the very high cost of manufacturing the NSX along with the company's growing interest in producing a new front engined V10 model.

In 1991, the NSX was a technological marvel but today it is considered more a landmark to their earlier F1 racing successes. By 2005 however Ferrari had gone from the 348 (the NSX's original target) through the F355, F360 and to the F430. So too, Lamborghini now offered its Gallardo in mid-V10 trim and Porsche had continuously improved its 911 marque to previously unseen levels of performance. During the NSX's lifetime, Chevrolet produced the C5 and C6 Corvette and Dodge rolled out the thunderous V10 Viper, all at a lower cost than the NSX. Yet, Honda still had taken the rigid corporate position of leaving the NSX in virtually original trim, leaving its customers to justify paying over $90,000.

By July 2005, Honda officially announced that it would cease manufacturing NSX and transfer its research and development efforts to the search for its successor. The last US production NSX was sold in Spokane, Washington in the summer of 2006. It was originally supposed to be put in Honda's museum, but was not.

In December 2007, American Honda CEO, Tetsuo Iwamura, confirmed a new NSX powered by a V10 engine would make its introduction into the market by 2010. The new sports car would be based on the Acura Advanced Sports Car Concept introduced at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. With Honda CEO, Takeo Fukui, challenging the developers to make the vehicle faster than its rivals, prototypes of the vehicle were seen testing on the Nürburgring in June 2008. On December 17, 2008, Fukui announced during a speech about Honda's revised financial forecast that, due to poor economic conditions, all plans for a next-generation NSX have been canceled.

Since the beginning of the NSX's production, the car has been used as a safety car at the Suzuka circuit, even for the Japanese Grand Prix in its early years of production, and is still used at the circuit. The car is also used for the same role at Twin Ring Motegi, the other circuit owned by Honda.

The NSX made three appearances at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 1994, 1995 and 1996.

Three Honda NSXs were entered in the 1994 24 Hours of Le Mans. Cars numbers 46, 47 and 48 were prepared and run by team Kremer Racing Honda, with Team Kunimitsu assisting and driving the number 47 car. All were in the GT2 class, and all completed the race, but placed 14th, 16th and 18th.

Three Honda NSXs were entered in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans. Honda's factory team brought two turbocharged NSXs which were entered in the GT1 class numbered 46 and 47. Car 46 finished but was not classified for failing to complete 70% of the distance of the race winner. Car 47 did not finish due to clutch and gearbox failure. The third NSX, number 84, was prepared as a naturally aspirated car and run by Team Kunimitsu Honda in the GT2 class. This NSX, driven by Keiichi Tsuchiya, Akira Iida, and Kunimitsu Takahashi, placed 8th overall and first in the GT2 class after completing 275 laps. This NSX was featured in the game Gran Turismo.

For the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans, only the Team Kunimitsu Honda NSX returned with the same drivers. It completed 305 laps to finish in the 16th position overall, and third in the GT2 class.

For use in the Super GT, formerly the All Japan GTC and JGTC, the NSX has been highly modified (as allowed by series technical regulations) with chassis development by Dome, engine development by Mugen, for Honda.

Externally the NSX shape has developed race by race, season to season to the demands of increasing aerodynamic downforce within the regulations. The most notable change is the position of the V6 engine, which is mounted longitudinally instead of transversely as per the roadcar. Similar to the setup used in modern Lamborghinis, the gearbox is located in the center tunnel under the cockpit and is connected to the rear differential by a driveshaft. Engines can either be turbocharged or naturally aspirated, depending on the class and on the rules.

The NSX continues to be used as the works Honda car in the GT500 class, even though it is no longer in production.

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Honda Racing F1

Restored 1965 Honda RA272, the first Japanese car to win in Formula One. The car is painted in the racing colors of Japan.

Honda Racing F1 Team was a Formula One (F1) team run by Japanese car manufacturer Honda, from 1964 to 1968 and from 2006 to 2008. Honda's involvement in F1 began with the 1964 season; their withdrawal in 1968 was precipitated by the death of Honda driver Jo Schlesser during the 1968 French Grand Prix. They returned in 1983 as an engine supplier, a role that ended in 1992. They returned again in 2000, providing engines for British American Racing (BAR), and by the end of 2005 BAR had been bought out and Honda Racing was re-established.

It was announced on December 5, 2008 that Honda would be exiting Formula One with immediate effect due to the current economic crisis and were looking to sell the team. On February 27 2009 it was announced that the team had been secured with a management buy-out led by team principal Ross Brawn.

Honda entered Formula One Grand Prix racing in 1964, just four years after producing their first road car. They began development of the RA271 in 1962 and startled the European-dominated Formula One garages with their all-Japanese factory team (except for American drivers Ronnie Bucknum and Richie Ginther). More startling was the fact that Honda built their own engine and chassis, something only Ferrari and BRM - of the other teams still running in 1962 - had previously done.

In only their second year of competition, Honda reached the coveted top step of the podium with Ginther's win in the RA272 at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. For the new 3.0L rules from 1966, Honda introduced the Honda RA273. Although the RA273's engine was a well-designed, ~360bhp V12, the car was let down by a relatively heavy and unwieldy in-house chassis. Honda returned to the winner's circle in 1967 with the new Honda RA300, driven by John Surtees. This won the 1967 Italian Grand Prix in only its first F1 race. The RA300 chassis was partly designed by Lola in the UK, and this resulted in the car being nicknamed the Hondola by the motoring press. This was the last competitive car that Honda produced for F1 in the 1960s.

The following year's Honda RA301 only reached the podium twice. The team's new Honda RA302 appeared in only a single race at Rouen-Les-Essarts, lasting only a few laps before its fiery crash resulted in the death of driver Jo Schlesser. The death prompted Honda to withdraw from F1 at the end of the 1968 Formula One season.

Honda returned to Formula One in 1983 as an engine supplier for Spirit and stayed in the sport for a decade, at various times teaming with Lotus, McLaren, Tyrrell and Williams. Honda engines were considered the ticket to Grand Prix glory due to their power, reliability, and winning track record. Honda supplied its engines to six constructor champions, as well as five driver championships (3 by Senna, 1 by Piquet, and another by Prost), before dropping out of the sport again. Honda-powered cars had won 71 Grands Prix, by the end of the 1992 season.

From 1993 to 1998, Honda's only presence in F1 was as an engine supplier through its associates Mugen Motorsports, who supplied engines to Footwork, Lotus, Ligier, Prost and Jordan. Mugen-powered cars had won 4 Grands Prix by the end of the 1999 season. In 1998, Honda was seriously considering entry in Formula One as a constructor, going as far as producing an engine and hiring Harvey Postlethwaite as technical director and designer. A test car, RA099, designed by Postlethwaite and built by Dallara, was made and tested during 1999, driven by Jos Verstappen. The team impressed at test sessions, beating some more experienced and better financed teams, even if they were mostly in the midfield. At a test of this car, Postlethwaite suffered a fatal heart attack, the project was later shelved and Honda decided to merely recommit as a full works engine supplier to BAR, starting in 2000.

Honda returned yet again in 2000, providing engines for BAR. They also supplied engines to Jordan Grand Prix for 2001 and 2002. This would lead to a battle for the right to use the Honda engines in the long term. In 2003, despite their better showing in the previous 2 seasons, Honda dropped Jordan Grand Prix. In mid-November 2004 Honda purchased 45% of the BAR team from British American Tobacco (BAT, the founder and owner of BAR) following BAR's best season, when they were able to achieve second place in the 2004 Formula One season, a year dominated by Michael Schumacher and Ferrari.

In September 2005 Honda purchased the remaining 55% share of BAR to become the sole owner. BAT continued as title sponsor with the Lucky Strike brand in 2006, but withdrew from Formula 1 for 2007. It was decided that the team would race under the name Honda Racing F1 Team from 2006.

Despite showing promise pre-season (with the RA806 being considered one of the most powerful of the new V8 engines), Honda demonstrated fairly mediocre performance at the start of the 2006 season despite a pole position at Australia. Prior to their win at Hungary, they had only accumulated a single podium finish, a third place from Jenson Button at Malaysia. The main reason for lack of form (the team was expecting to challenge for the championship) was down to reliability, with the team dropping out of contention for race victories many times. Pit-stop problems also hampered the team early on, in one case effectively ruining Jenson Button's chances for a good result and possible podium at Imola. Rubens Barrichello did not have a good season for the team, down to the fact that he had to get used to the new brakes and traction control, after moving from a very successful six year stint at Ferrari. Nevertheless Rubens had out-qualified his team-mate in the final four races.

Honda had a particularly poor showing at the British Grand Prix in 2006. In particular, Jenson Button was eliminated after the first portion of qualifying after the team failed to get him out for a second run. This resulted in his qualifying 19th. He then retired with an oil leak. In light of this poor form, it was announced that Geoff Willis would be adopting a factory-based role to concentrate on aerodynamics. Following the appointment of Senior Technical Director Shuhei Nakamoto over Willis' head and Mariano Alperin-Bruvera as Chief Aerodynamicist Willis' position appeared difficult, and reports indicated that he left the team.

At the Hungaroring, fortunes changed. Barrichello and Button qualified third and fourth, though Button had to drop ten places, following an engine change. In an incident-packed race, Jenson came from fourteenth on the grid to win his first race, with Barrichello finishing fourth. After this win, the team's performance went up noticeably, displaying consistency (if not overall performance) arguably better than championship leaders Ferrari and Renault. Button scored as many points as championship runner up Michael Schumacher in the last third of the season. Both drivers earned points finishes in almost all the remaining races (with the exception of Barrichello's 12th place finish in Japan), with the season ending high note with Button's 3rd place finish in the Brazil - less than a second behind 2nd place Fernando Alonso - after having to start from 14th on the grid.

On November 15, 2006, it was announced that long time BAR Honda and Honda test driver, Anthony Davidson would be heading to Super Aguri F1 to race alongside Takuma Sato. He was replaced by ex-Red Bull racer Christian Klien for the 2007 season.

With tobacco sponsorship in F1 in full decline, 2007 also saw the end of British American Tobacco's sponsorship of Honda, allowing the team to choose a livery that better suited their corporate image. Unveiled on 26 February 2007, the RA107 car featured the bare minimum of corporate advertising (advertising required by the FIA), instead focusing on Honda's environmental desires, with a livery depicting the planet Earth against the black background of space. On the rear wing was the web address of environmental awareness website myearthdream.com. This site was launched February 27, 2007, immediately after the official launch of the 2007 car. Reactions to the new Honda livery were mixed, with Greenpeace accusing the team of being hypocritical, given how polluting F1 is.

The team's form in pre-season testing was patchy, and Jenson Button urged the squad to improve. The RA-107's sheer lack of pace was evident at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 18, with Button and Barrichello qualifying 14th and 17th respectively (well behind the 'satellite' Super Aguri team, whose car is effectively an update of last year's Honda, the RA-106). Barrichello finished the race in 11th place, with Button in 15th after receiving a drive-through penalty for speeding in the pit lane. The team also failed to score points in the four subsequent races, their best finish being 10th in Spain and Monaco, scored both times by Rubens Barrichello. Honda finally scored a point in the French Grand Prix, courtesy of Button's eighth place finish.

From July 2007, recognising the aerodynamic problems within the car, Honda began to recruit a new team from across the Formula 1 paddock. Chief aerodynamicist Loic Bigois and assistant Francois Martinet were signed from WilliamsF1; Jörg Zander and John Owen from BMW Sauber either later in 2007 or early in 2008.

On July 19, 2007, it was announced that Barrichello and Button would continue the factory effort as teammates into 2008. On November 12 2007, autosport.com confirmed that former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn was to join Honda as team principal. Nick Fry remained with the team as Chief Executive. On the 10th January 2008, it was announced that Alexander Wurz had signed as test driver for the 2008 Formula One Season. On 29 January 2008, Honda launched their 2008 race car. The "Earth Car" had a slightly different livery from its 2007 counterpart, with only part of the car containing the earth picture, and the rest with Honda's classic white paint. Button, Barrichello and Wurz were present at the launch.

Honda had another disappointing year, and by mid-season they had switched development to the 2009 season, where new regulations come into play. Despite this, Barichello managed a podium in the wet British Grand Prix with an inspired choice to full wet weather tyres at the right moment.

The team continued until the end of the 2008 season, when Honda again exited the sport, unwilling to continue the Brackley-based team's $300 million budget and staff of 700 during an extended period of global economic crisis. Nick Fry and other Honda F1 senior team management "intend to make every effort possible to secure the future of the team"; they have received assurances that "Honda will provide the necessary support to complete the Honda RA109, the team's 2009 F1 contender and believe they "can still have a very successful 2009 season if a new owner can be found." Many possible new owners have been linked to the team, including Prodrive boss David Richards and Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim . It is also rumoured that the team will enter the 2009 season with backing from driver Bruno Senna's personal sponsors and Honda itself. Senna would be joined by Jenson Button and the team would use Mercedes-Benz engines.

On the 18 February, it was confirmed that Virgin Group had made a bid to buy the team. However, the team was eventually saved by a management buy-out led by Honda Racing team principal Ross Brawn. On the 25 February, the team's attorney registered the domains 'brawnracing.com' and 'brawnracing.co.uk', hinting at the possibility that the team might race under a new name. Rubens Barrichello was confirmed as Jenson Button's teammate for the 2009 season on March 2.

On the 6 March, Honda Motor Company announced that the Formula One team was sold to Ross Brawn and formed a new team, Brawn GP.

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Honda EV Plus

1997-1999 Honda EV Plus 02.jpg

The Honda EV Plus was the first battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non lead acid batteries. About 340 or so EV Plus models were produced and released. The EV Plus was taken out of production in 1999 when Honda announced the release of its first hybrid electric vehicle, the Honda Insight. The EV Plus was made to meet California Air Resources Board requirements for zero-emission vehicles, the same as General Motors' new EV1, and to serve as a test bed for the pancake-style motor later used in Honda hybrids.

The EV Plus featured on-board conductive charging with the Avcon connector, passive battery balancing, regenerative braking, AC/heat-pump climate control, HID headlights, 4 seats, and electrically heated windshield. As with virtually all vehicles, range was affected by driving style: rapid acceleration, high speeds, and fast stops lowered the range. Careful driving would give it a range of over 100 miles (160 km). The EV came with a 12 V battery for running normal 12 volt accessories.

The EV Plus was listed with an MSRP of $53,000, but Honda never allowed them to be sold, instead offering the cars on a 3-year, lease-only program. Honda allowed some customers to extend their EV Plus lease for a few years. At the end of the leases, all EV Plus cars were taken back by Honda and decommissioned.

At the end of the lease program all Honda EV Plus models were taken back and most were crushed and shredded into pieces. The chassis for the EV Plus was used as the base for some of Honda's hydrogen fuel cell car prototypes.

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Honda F.C.

logo

Honda F.C. (ホンダFC ,Honda Efu Shī?) are a Japanese football (soccer) club based in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture. They play in the Japan Football League.

The club was founded as Honda Motor Hamamatsu Soccer Club in 1971. They were promoted to the Japan Soccer League Division 2 in 1975 and to the JSL Division 1 in 1981. They stayed there until the conclusion of the league in 1992.

In early 90's, the club considered the possibilities of turning professional and participating in J. League. They sought the merger with their sister club Honda Motor Sayama F.C. and Urawa was chosen as a possible hometown. However, they failed to persuade the owner Honda Motor who insisted they should abide by their principle to concentrate on their core business that was automobile manufacturing.

As a result of this decision, many players left the club. They played in the newly formed Japan Football League (former) Division 1 in 1992 and finished 9th out of 10. They were relegated to Division 2 where they won the championship in 1993. The 2 divisions of the JFL were merged in 1994 and the club joined the league.

In 1996, they won the championship in the JFL. Around that time, the club made the second effort to be a professional club. They acquired associate membership in J. League under new name Acute Hamamatsu but the inadequate stadium and insufficient local support (the closest professional club is Júbilo Iwata, formerly part of Yamaha Motor Corporation), forced them to give it up. Iwata was a common derby foe in the JSL and their fixtures were known as Tenryu-side Derby (天竜川決戦).

In 1999, the JFL was reorganised as the new JFL. They have been playing in the league since its inception.

Honda F.C. does not intend to be promoted to the J. League due to the mandatory loss of corporate backing, although they have been always considered as one of the JFL title contenders. They provide a big hurdle for those independent sides (such as Gainare Tottori or F.C. Ryūkyū) who wish to gain promotion. In order to achieve this goal, these teams need to finish in the top four in the league. Honda perennially occupying one of these spots makes their challenge even more difficult. Supporters of these clubs have dubbed Honda F.C. as J's Gatekeeper (the Gatekeeper of J. League) with respect and some resentment.

Honda F.C., having played in the old Japan Soccer League in the past but never contending for the title, has in 2007 given some J1 teams a run for their money in the Emperor's Cup, reaching the quarterfinals after disposing of former champions Kashiwa Reysol and top contenders Nagoya Grampus. They were nevertheless defeated by J1 champions Kashima Antlers on December 22. The 2008 cup did not go well for them, as they were eliminated by Sagan Tosu 4-0 in the third round, but they still won the JFL championship.

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Source : Wikipedia