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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Dec 13 2011, 11:30 PM

headlightsLarge.jpgAs the compact luxury car market continues its growth in the United States, Acura intends to join the ranks of the Lexus CT200h, Audi A3, BMW 1-series, and Mercedes A-Class.

Based on the Honda Civic, the Acura promises that the ILX will attract younger buyers that find brand name, efficiency, and styling to be most important. Acura have also found that this particular demographic have a preference to the three-box modern sedan styling, and will deliver the ILX as such, even though Acura briefly considered the possibilities of an entry two-box hatchback as well.

Starting under $30,000, Acura engineers also promised there will be enough hardware to differentiate the more upscale ILX from the plain Honda Civic, as we have seen from the Accord and TL or Pilot and MDX. Powertrains for the ILX include a 2.0-liter inline-4, producing from 150 to 160-hp and approximately 145 lb.-ft. of torque. A hybrid will be available with a 1.5-liter engine producing 90-hp and 97 lb.-ft. of torque and an electric motor delivering 23-hp and 78 lb.-ft. of torque. But best of all, a sportier 2.4-liter engine only offered with a six-speed manual gearbox is available for driving enthusiasts. Delivering 201-hp and 170 lb.-ft. of torque in Civic Si form, Acura has yet to answer whether the 2.4 liter will undergo any changes in ILX form.

The ILX will debut at the upcoming Detroit Auto Show and will be available in showrooms by early summer of 2012.

 |  Dec 06 2011, 10:00 PM

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Honda is having a pretty tough year compared to its competitors, with an unsuccessful North American Civic refresh and the floods in Thailand hurting their production. Just how tough has this year been for Honda? They’re the only large automaker to post a US sales decline last month, when total sales jumped 14-percent throughout the industry.

Honda is now looking towards the future however, as competitors continue to cut into their sales with their total market share having dropped to 9-percent in 2011 from 10.5-percent. Honda’s immediate goals to turn it all around is to ramp up production on its new Civic and CR-V that will go on sale this month. They’re also aiming to release plenty of new models within the next two years, hoping to gain back its market share.

Next year’s models will be powered by the new powerplants that Honda showed off at the Tokyo Motor Show, claiming that they’ll lead the industry in fuel efficiency. And despite all the negative press surrounding the new Civic, Honda is optimistic that sales will continue to grow for its number one model.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Dec 02 2011, 8:45 PM

Honda‘s airbag woes grew significantly after they recalled an almost 1 million additional vehicles.

The issue involves airbag pressure in 2001 and 2002 Accords, Civics and Odysseys from 2001 through 2003, CR-Vs from 2002 to 2003 and 2003 Pilots. The recall also affects 2002 and 2003 Acura 3.2 TLs and 2003 3.2 CLs.

The latest development primarily includes vehicles sold in North America. Owners can expect to receive notice soon if their car is included.

The recall started three years ago, so far Honda has recalled 2.8 million vehicles.

 |  Oct 24 2011, 1:00 PM

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With the 2011 SEMA Show just around the corner, we’ve been getting fed tons of teasers and sneak peeks of finished projects that will be making their way to the big aftermarket expo in Las Vegas. But forget teasers, here’s the full reveal of Fox Marketing’s 2012 Honda Civic Si, boasting a wickedly clean widebody and packing over 450-hp thanks to Full-Race’s turbo kit.

The custom widebody and body kit is courtesy of carbodykits.com, while Fox Marketing opted to have the entire body resprayed by BASF’s R-M Ultrasonic Blue Pearl. Handling suspension duties are springs from Road Magnet while SSBC contributed a brake upgrade to the Si Coupe. For wheels, Fox Marketing opted for a custom 20-inch setup from Vossen. CV3 wheels adorn each corner of the project wrapped with Toyo Proxes 4 tires.

On the inside, Yonaka Ronin racing seats found their way inside after being reupholstered with factory Civic Si fabric inserts in the front and the rear. AutoGuide.com will be sure to check out the finished project up close in person starting on November 1st.

GALLERY: Fox Marketing 2012 Honda Civic Si

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See AutoGuide’s complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here

Discuss this story at 9thGenCivic.com

 |  Oct 04 2011, 12:45 PM

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The only natural gas production car to be manufactured and sold in the United States, the all-new 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas will be available at 200 dealers across 38 states beginning on October 18th.

Prices for this one-of-a-kind alternative energy vehicle begins at $26,155. The Civic Natural Gas is powered by a modified version of the same 1.8-liter engine that’s found in the petrol Civics. While the Civic Natural Gas is significantly more efficient than the regular Civic at 27 city and 38 highway, it falls short of the 44 mpg achieved by the Honda Civic Hybrid. Starting at $24,800, the Civic Hybrid is cheaper than the Natural Gas variant as well.

Honda explained in their press release that the Civic Natural Gas significantly reduces operating costs and fuel costs, as natural gas at gas stations have historically cost approximately 30 percent less per gallon than gasoline. Furthermore, as the Civic Natural Gas’ engine produces almost zero smog-forming emissions and is the cleanest internal-combustion engine certified by EPA (Tier-II, Bin-2, ILEV certification), it earned a state-issued decal that allows for single-occupant access on the HOV lane in multiple states including California. While it is more expensive than the Honda Civic Hybrid, owning a Civic Natural Gas sure has its perks.

GALLERY: Honda Civic Natural Gas

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Read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic review here

 |  Aug 03 2011, 8:45 AM

Being the savvy multinational corporation Honda is, it has to take its knocks with some tact. And with its reputation marred by Consumer Reports’ dragging of the 2012 Honda Civic through the muck, it’s no surprise that Honda has issued a statement claiming that they “fundamentally disagree” with the magazine’s review.

Both Honda and Consumer Reports, of course, have valuable reputations in the minds of consumers. And so, “they are definitely finding fault with someone they have shown a lot of love in the past,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for Honda North America.

Mendel picks apart the CR review and finds that “Consumer Reports’ own testing found that Civic’s smooth and efficient powertrain returned “…an impressive 30 mpg overall on regular fuel and 47 mpg on the highway. Only one other compact car the magazine tested did better.” In addition, “as noted in Consumer Reports findings, the Civic excels with a long list of important safety features that are standard on all trim levels.”

Rival publication Motor Trend, “which knows a thing or two about ride and handling,” picked Civic 2nd among eight compact cars in a recent comparison test. This, Mendel says, is proof that the Civic is still a player in the already-competitive small car market. “However, we disagree with Motor Trend as well—we think there is no better compact car than Civic.” Hey now, don’t get greedy!

Lastly, Mendel notes that CR only reviewed one model of the Civic, the LX sedan, while there are six different models across three trim levels. While this could be construed as a fair point, we doubt that some of the Civic’s greater shortcomings could be drastically improved with the ticking of an options box.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic review or hit the jump to watch the video:

Continue Reading…

 |  Jul 25 2011, 5:00 PM

American consumers are buying more four-cylinder vehicles than ever before. According to research by IHS Automotive, 43 percent of all new cars delivered in the U.S in the first half of 2011, were powered by four-cylinders. In 2005, 43 percent of all new cars in the U.S were powered by sixes. The remaining 57 percent of cars sold in the US  this year were six, eight and twelve cylinder engines.

Just a few years ago when gas was cheaper, four cylinders were destined the domain of economy cars. By contrast, one of every three new cars was powered by a V8 in 2005, but in 2011, that figure fell to one of every six vehicles.

While fuel efficiency is a top priority when consumers buy new cars, that’s only part of the story. As technology improves, four cylinder engines are cheaper, more reliable, and more powerful then ever before. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder in a compact Ford Contour in 1999 produced 120-hp getting 19/28 city/highway mpg. By contrast, the 2011 Ford Focus 160-hp and gets as much as 40 mpg on the highway.

 |  Jul 12 2011, 12:00 PM

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Honda, which is currently the only manufacturer in the United States selling a dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle, might see a significant spike in demand for the Civic GX model. The reason? Honda has announced that the Civic Natural Gas will qualify for the White Clean Air Vehicle decals in California, which will allow access to the HOV lane through January 2015. Those who had Yellow Clean Air Vehicle decals (including the ever-popular Prius) had them expire earlier this month on July 1st, 2011.

The HOV decals have been influential towards the purchases of more fuel-efficient vehicles in California, with solo driver access to the HOV lane. With traffic as bad as it is in Southern California, used cars with yellow decals were even sold at a premium. Now Honda’s Civic GX will retain that luxury all the way through 2015.

Honda’s 2012 Civic CNG has a fuel economy rating of 27/38/31 for city, highway and combined respectively. The CNG includes Honda’s ECO Assist technology and Honda claims owning a CNG is about 30-percent less in cost than a traditional gasoline cost.

Honda has also announced that sales for the CNG have tripled for the first half of the year compared to the same period last year.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic review

 |  Jun 07 2011, 3:04 PM

The all-new Hyundai Elantra Coupe will debut this fall at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, with Hyundai is hoping this new coupe will eat into Honda Civic Coupe sales.

The basic powertrain will likely come from the sedan which is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder producing 148-hp and 131 lb-ft of torque. Hyundai is also likely to create a high performance Elantra R-Spec in 2012. This coupe will likely be powered by the same 208-hp turbocharged engine already confirmed for the high-performance version of the Hyundai Veloster. Transmission choices for the Veloster include an optional duel-clutch automatic transmission for its naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine, so this will likely be the choice for the R-Spec Elantra.

Fuel economy will likely be around 29 MPG city and 40 MPG highway regardless of transmission, trim level and wheel size. The Elantra sedan is offered in two trim levels including GLS and Limited. Coupe equipment will likely be similar to the sedans offerings.

[Source: Edmunds Inside Line]

 |  May 26 2011, 1:29 PM

 

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North American Honda production will return to normal in August, earlier than expected, the company announced in a statement today.

The Japanese automaker has accelerated their recovery following the March 11th earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Every Honda model will resume regualar production in August, except the 2012 Civic. The company expects full production of the Civic to resume in the fall.

When the supply of parts from Japan improves, production will ramp up on a step-by-step, plant-by-plant, and model-by-model basis. Models including the 4-cylinder Accord, CR-V and Acura RDX, as well as all V-6 models including the Accord, Accord Crosstour, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, and the Acura TL, MDX and ZDX will return to 100 percent production.

“The light at the end of the tunnel is glowing brighter for us, represented by this significant improvement in our production situation,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “Throughout this crisis, Honda has been fighting to achieve a speedy recovery, while maintaining a focus on our longer-term plans for continued growth in sales and production in order to meet the growing needs of our customers.”

Honda, which employs 13,400 in Ohio, said in a statement that it has managed to avoid any layoffs in any of its 14 plants in North America during the parts shortage.

[Source: Honda Press/ Columbus Dispatch]

 |  May 25 2011, 2:23 PM

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Celebrating the 10th year anniversary of its Honda Civic Tour, Honda has announced that this year’s event will be headlined by blink-182 and My Chemical Romance. For those that have been following the Honda Civic Tour throughout its years will know that blink-182 was also the headline band for the first ever Honda Civic Tour in 2001. This year they’ll be joined by My Chemical Romance as they trek through 40-plus stops starting on August 5th, 2011.

Those that are members of the blink-182 and My Chemical Romance fan clubs will have access to purchase tickets before the general public on June 6th. Public ticket sales will be available on June 10th at both Ticketmaster.com and LiveNation.com.

The tour will be perfect timing for Honda to celebrate the release of its ninth generation (2012) Civic with a blink-182 customized Si Coupe on display at all the events. My Chemical Romance will also have their CBR250R motorcycle on display. Unfortunately Honda didn’t disclose any word that the Civic will be given away this year.

GALLERY: 2011 Honda Civic Tour

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Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Si Review

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Review

 |  May 03 2011, 7:47 AM

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Every time a new version of a car is introduced sales are expected to spike. That, however, is not the case with the all-new 2012 Honda Civic with American Honda Motor Co. sales boss John Mendel warning dealers in a memo that supply will be “severely restricted, with limited availability of certain models.”

Due to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the document sent to dealers states that production of the new car will, “be at significantly reduced levels at least during the summer months.” As a result, some industry experts are predicting that instead of the usual spike for a new model, Civic sales could drop below the 2010 figure of 260,000 units.

“With an all-new and improved model, Honda of course targeted to sell more,” says Christina Ra, Manager Honda Public Relations. Unwilling to speculate on exactly how much the restricted supply could damage sales of the Civic, Ra did admit that, “Obviously, if a customer really needs to make a purchase, wants the Civic and can’t get it… there are choices that must be made on the customer’s part.”

While serious problem for any car in any year, this could hamper momentum on the new Civic and hurt its long term success in an increasingly competitive market. Hyundai’s new Elantra is off to a strong start and while Honda used to be able to count on a lack of competition from domestic automakers, both Ford’s new Focus and the new Chevy Cruze are both credible threats in the marketplace.

With supply limited due to production, and not demand, the imbalance between dealer inventories and customer buying habits could cause prices to rise. Ra was unwilling to comment on how dealers will react to the admitted imbalance between supply and demand, instead commenting that as independent entities they would be left to govern themselves.

No indication was given on if availability of particular Civic models could be more affected by the shortage.

The good news, says Ra, is that, “there is a tangible end in sight,” with Honda’s goal of normalizing production by the end of the year.

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Review

Discuss this and more at 9thGenCivic.com

 |  Apr 27 2011, 8:05 PM

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With the new 2012 Honda Civic lineup having just been announced at the New York Auto Show, it’s natural for Honda lovers to scratch their heads and wonder where the hatchback variant is. Or better yet, where the Si hatchback version is.

Apparently right now it’s only available in the brilliant minds of Photoshoppers worldwide. Neal McDaniel over at the Temple of VTEC whipped up his own Civic Si Hatchback Concept rendering that has many of us wondering if Honda will make it a reality. Though we feel it shares one too many lines with the CR-Z hybrid, the idea of a Civic Si hatchback from the 2012 Civic lineup is appealing.

For the rendering, Neal wanted to point out several of the modifications he did: true “One Motion” design, shortened front and rear overhangs, tinted headlights with clear corners, revised a-pillar garnish with kink, lowered ride height, 18-inch wheels, cleaner rocker panels, a slightly lowered roof line, extended rear passenger windows, slightly wider stance, more orange in color and factory tint.

[Source: Temple of VTEC]

Click here to read AutoGuide’s 2012 Honda Civic Si Review

Discuss the 2012 Honda Civic at 9thGenCivic.com

 |  Nov 23 2010, 8:51 PM

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Some people just have all the luck. Jim Morgan from Manchester, England is the lucky winner of Honda‘s Mugen Civic Type-R Concept giveaway. This is the concept that got the limited edition Type R Mugen production car underway – of which just 20 were made for a retail price of around $100,000.

So what’s the price tag on the Concept? Priceless, especially now that Morgan is the only one in the world with it.

The giveaway was part of Honda’s participation in the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and Morgan also got the opportunity to meet Honda’s BTCC drivers and a tour through Mugen’s facilities in Northampton. Morgan was the sole winner picked out of over 24,000 entries.

Now let’s hope he’ll actually keep and cherish this work of art. We hope we don’t see it on eBay anytime soon.

[Source: Topspeed]

 |  Aug 19 2010, 8:09 PM

If you’ve ever performed an engine swap you probably have your fair share of funny or scary stories to share. Recently we ran across this video, and despite it probably being staged, it’s still funny mostly because we can relate. Anyone that has ever taken apart a car always anticipates the worst and well, this video is probably the worst.

It looks like these guys were swapping in a new motor in a Honda Civic, which these days has become pretty easy and straightforward. But as the guy unbolts the last engine mount bolts, the motor drops and along with it goes the front bumper, headlights and everything else imaginable in that vicinity. It’s clearly staged since no one would be unbolting headlights or even a front bumper for an engine swap, but we gotta love the end tag line stating that cherry pickers are for wimps anyway.

Video after the break.

[Source: FailBlog]

Continue Reading…

 |  Jan 14 2010, 10:27 PM

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It has been over a decade since North America was introduced to Honda’s infamous Integra Type-R. At the 2010 Tokyo Auto Salon, Honda is showing off two versions of its tuned Civic Type-R; one in hatchback form and another in sedan form. The white paint scheme with red badging that has become synonymous with the Type-R was prevalent in addition to Sports Modulo products on the sedan. For those that have been kept in the dark, Modulo is the new custom brand name of Honda Access Corporation, manufacturer of Honda aftermarket products.

As for the hatchback, it was designed and built specifically for the European market, but after receiving such rave reviews (especially from the buff books in the U.K. like TopGear, EVO and CAR) Honda has decided to offer the three-door in its home market. Powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder it makes 198-hp at 7500 rpm and 142 ft-lbs of torque at 5600 rpm. With a curb weight of just under 2,800 lbs, a firm suspension and Honda’s typical driving dynamics, the Civic Type-R is sure to prove popular.

GALLERY: Honda Civic Type-R Euro

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GALLERY: Honda Civic Tye-R Sports Modulo

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Mugen Planning RR-Version of Euro-Spec Civic Type-R

Overhaul will include 237hp upgrade and the removal of the rear seats

 |  Jun 12 2009, 2:59 PM

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Honda’s odd-looking Euro-spec Civic Type-R hatchback is about to get the Mugen treatment. With the success of the Honda Civic Mugen RR sedan, the Japanese Honda-tuner wants to take on the latest Type-R, adding power, dropping weight and making an already amazing package that much better.

Mugen isn’t releasing any hard and fast facts yet, but the car is expected to rely heavily on the Mugen RR sedan, so we should expect to see the 2.0-liter engine upped to 237hp at 8000 rpm and 160 ft-lbs of torque at a lofty 7000 rpm.

The light-weight 18-inch forged alloy wheels, Brembo brakes and amazing Recaro seats will also be a part of the package. And as for those rear seats, they’ll be tossed entirely for maximum weight savings.

The real trick will be if Mugen can design an aero kit that not only works (we have no doubt of that), but which can actually make the car look good.

EVO magazine estimates the price to be in the £35,000-range – which equates to roughly $58,000.

GALLERY: Civic Mugen RR Sedan

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[Source: EVO]