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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.
There’s plenty of new cars heading to dealerships in the coming months, and AutoGuide is first to review them.
The 2015 Honda Fit, the 2015 Hyundai Genesis sedan and the 2015 Cadillac Escalade all usher in new generations for the popular models… but how do they stack up against their predecessors and against the competition? This past week, AutoGuide‘s most watched videos were reviews on all three vehicles, as we take a look to see if newer is indeed better.
Watch the videos below and subscribe to the AutoGuide YouTube channel here.
Honda has just introduced the third generation 2015 Fit for the American market. Set to go on sale this spring, Honda promises this new Fit will continue to offer great interior space and fuel efficiency while retaining the fun-to-drive reputation this little hatchback has earned over the years.
After lowering the lease price of its Fit EV, Honda acknowledges that it grossly underestimated the demand that might create.
Honda has begun construction on its $800 million plant in Mexico, where the Japanese automaker will begin production of the Fit sub-compact starting in 2014. The new facility in Mexico is part of Honda’s ongoing plan to grow its operations in North America.
The new Honda de Mexico plant will be in Celaya and will have an annual capacity of 200,000 units with 3,200 employees. The Honda Fit models produced from the facility will mainly be for the U.S. and Canadian markets but will also be exported to other regions.
The plant will be 5.66 million-square meters in total size and is 210 miles from two existing Honda plants in El Salto, Jalisco which currently build automobiles, motorcycles, and auto parts. This new plant will mark the eighth auto plant for Honda in North America and will increase total automobile production (in North America) from 1.63 million units to 1.87 million units in spring 2014. Once Fit production begins in Mexico, four of its global models will be produced in North America.
Honda has announced it will be importing Fit models to the Canadian market from China, and it appears that all Canadian Fits will come from China for at least the next couple of years.
For the ninth month in a row, the top-selling car in Japan is the Toyota Prius, helping hybrids make up more than 20-percent of all auto sales in Japan.
In February, Toyota sold 35,875 Prius hybrids, while the Honda Fit came in second place with 24,973 units sold. That’s quite the gap, especially considering third place was the new Toyota Aqua (Prius c in America – read our review here) that sold 21,951.
Hybrid models are now making up nearly half of Toyota total sales in Japan while Honda announced that 60-percent of their Fit sales are hybrid variants. Rounding off the top five was the Honda Freed in fourth place (13,293 sold) and the Toyota Vitz in fifth (11,288 sold). Over 40-percent of the Honda Freed sales are also hybrids.
The more interesting news is the fact that the Aqua hybrid production isn’t even keeping up with demand. The Japanese automaker originally planned to build 12,000 Aquas per month but now overwhelming demand has customers waiting almost six months for their vehicle if they placed their orders today.
The Sports Car Club of America’s B-Spec class is growing in popularity as enthusiasts enjoy a relatively inexpensive entry into amateur racing while automakers are discovering B-Spec to be a great platform for grassroots motorsport marketing. Honda, one of the early adopters to B-Spec racing, is committed to the series and hopes to gain even more fans.
Honda Performance Development, HPD General Manager Marc Sours said, “A cornerstone of our grassroots motorsports marketing initiative has been to establish a connection between Honda’s passenger cars and the racing cars that evolve from these models. The B-Spec category provides a relatively low-cost means for the prospective racer to enter the sport, and the Honda FIt offers a natural point of entry. These are inexpensive, great-handling cars that should provide both excellent competition and help grow the sport at the entry level.”
Continuing its support, Honda has announced a new line of “manufacturer-approved suspension components” for the Honda Fit that will be available via HPD on February 1, 2012. The suspension components kit includes coil-over shocks, front and rear race springs, cat-back exhaust, performance front brake pads, camber bolts, braided stainless brake lines, an air filter, and an A/C delete belt.
Despite the thorough list of performance parts in the kit, Honda fit owners and racers will still need to be responsible for a competition roll cage, racing seats, harness and other safety equipment.
[Source: Inside Line]
Honda took the first major step in its Honda Electric Vehicle Demonstration Program by delivering the first 2013 Fit EV to the city of Torrance, California.
The program will set up the retail market launch of the Fit EV to customers in California and Oregon starting this summer. Over the past year, the city of Torrance and Honda has been working together to gather input from local residents about potential recharging station locations and held numerous public awareness events with the Fit EV. The city of Torrance will also receive a Honda plug-in hybrid for additional testing at a later date.
“This is an exciting day as we take another important step toward Honda’s comprehensive vision for reducing CO2 emissions while at the same time advancing our relationship with the city of Torrance,” said Steve Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda. “Honda has a long history with electric vehicles starting with the introduction of our first battery-electric car, the EV Plus, nearly 15 years ago. With Honda’s extensive experience and the real-world feedback from the city of Torrance, we will be even more prepared for the further customer adoption of electric vehicles.”
The Honda Fit EV will have a 123 city-mile per charge (76-mile range combined adjusted city/highway), powered by a 20-kWh lithium-ion battery and 92 kW coaxial electric motor. The Fit EV can be fully recharged in as little as three hours when connected to a 240-volt circuit.
Honda will also be testing the Fit EV with Google and Stanford University in order to receive real-world feedback on the new electric vehicle.
The Honda Fit EV just made its World Debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show and we want to take this opportunity to tell Nissan that it needs to watch its mirrors. Promising a range close to the Leaf Leaf (123 miles vs 138 for the Leaf), and a price of just $36,625, the new Fit EV offers virtually all of the benefits of the Nissan, but with a platform that has already proven to be versatile and fun.
Honda will initially offer the Fit EV on three-year lease plans for around $399/month and plans to find around 1,100 takers in those first three years. We don’t think that is an unrealistic expectation at all. The electric Fit joins natural gas, fuel cell and hybrids in the Honda lineup, making it one of the most diverse lineups in terms of alternative energy sources.
Honda will begin leasing the Fit EV to customers in select California and Oregon markets next summer, and will expand to six East Coast markets in early 2013.
Gallery: 2013 Honda Fit FV
Honda‘s Japan-only Honda Fit Shuttle just got a whole lot more exciting and sporty thanks to Honda’s cohorts at Mugen. The Fit Shuttle is taller and longer than the Honda Fit we’re used to here in North America, making it more practical but arguably not as appealing to hip youngsters. Fortunately Mugen’s rendition of Honda’s Fit Shuttle puts the sport and fun back into the Fit.
Transforming the Fit Shuttle’s exterior entirely is Mugen’s aerodynamic kit that comes with a front bumper (with optional LED fog lights), a Mugen grille with illuminated “Hybrid” logo, a pair of new side skirts, a rear skirt and a roof spoiler. Optional accessories include carbon fiber mirror caps and a choice of 15- or 16-inch Mugen wheels.
For the interior, Mugen will outfit the Fit Shuttle with a door sign light, carbon rearview mirror cover and two-tone floor mats.
Performance-wise, Mugen offers a sport exhaust system for the Fit Shuttle, a suspension kit to give the Shuttle a lower stance and better handling capabilities, high-performance brakes and sport air filters.
No pricing was announced on any of these accessories.
GALLERY: Mugen Honda Fit Shuttle