AutoGuide News Blog
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.
Ask AutoGuide No. 42
Apparently family values matter. Conservative politicians tap-dance around these issues, pundits prognosticate about their demise and segments of the driving population make them a central issue when it’s time to purchase a new vehicle. Not surprisingly they play a starring role in this week’s installment of Ask AutoGuide.
Congratulations, you’re all grown up! At this point in life you’ve probably made it through college with more than an associate’s degree in the field of interpretive dance; you’ve more than likely claimed a life partner that’s the opposite gender and of breeding age and, consequently, you’ve manufactured a genetic replica or two. You’re going places, and you need a suitable vehicle for this exciting new lifestyle.
When you go and build a race car out of a mundane minivan, there are some opportunities you absolutely have to take advantage of – like going to McDonald’s.
Big News in the Big Apple
Winter’s icy stranglehold on the northern hemisphere has finally been broken. After months of gray skies and freezing weather spring is finally in the air. Automakers are responding to the warmth and sun by emerging from product hibernation. Companies located in places ranging from South Korea to the United Kingdom have unveiled a bumper-crop of new hardware ranging from sensible to insane. Here are the Top 10 reveals from the 2013 New York International Auto Show.
Maybe you’ve been in this situation: stuck on the side of a road, a punctured tire needing to be changed out for the spare one in the trunk. You have a pair of options, do you choose to change the tire yourself, or do you call for roadside assistance. Both options can take a while to get you back on the road, especially if you’ve never changed a tire yourself before. And even if you have, sometimes it can take some serious elbow grease.
Honda manufacturing of Alabama is entering the One Lap of America endurance race again this year, running in an Odyssey minivan that pumps out 523 hp.
The race covers 10 states and eight race tracks over a period of seven days, and consists of all types of racing events including straight line time trials, banked oval track timed laps, road course segements and more.
The Honda Odyssey would not be the first choice for most racers, but the engineers at Honda Alabama decided to have some fun with the typical family vehicle and added some pep to the kid carrier. A stock Odyssey runs with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 266 hp, while this race version uses a turbocharger and modified version of the same engine to provide 523 hp.
[Source: Birmingham News]
Not only did the Japanese automaker known best for its efficient all-wheel drives take the top spot, but did so while the previous champion fell by several points over last year’s ratings.
The victory, then, is due not only to an improved Subaru line, but also to declining quality on Honda’s part. According to Consumer Reports, Subaru’s overall standing improved after all their vehicles met or exceeded average reliability ratings, something that saw a boost with improvements to the Impreza WRX models. At the same time, the Honda Odyssey and Civic both fell short of their predecessors, costing the company points in their standings.
In fact, Honda didn’t even take second place this year — Mazda managed to win that spot with similarly improved models.
Honda loyalists may bemoan the latest results, but at least Toyota stoics can take solace in the fact their perennial list-finalist still won five of the top 10 picks.
Finally it’s also worth mentioning that despite coming in last place, Chrysler improved eight points this year, compared to Subaru’s two-point climb to victory.
In celebration of the smaller company emerging victorious, click through our gallery of the pugnacious Impreza WRX below.
GALLERY: 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX
Honda is issuing a recall for 2008-2009 Odyssey minivans which will start around March 13th, for problems involving the gas-filled struts used to raise and support the rear liftgate of the vehicle.
This affects Odysseys equipped with the power liftgate system, for a total of 45,747 affected minivans. The flaw can result in a leak of the pressurized gas resulting in reduced strut performance. In other words, your liftgate might not stay up when you think it will, ultimately causing bodily harm. The Japanese automaker will replace both power liftgate gas struts free of charge. Concerned owners can contact Honda at (800) 999-1009.
As the North American economy slowly turns towards the better, automotive manufacturers with plants within the United States looks to make some big changes in order to meet their new increased levels of demand. Honda is now looking to spend $84 million towards hiring 100 more workers and expanding the production of their light trucks and engines at a plant in Alabama.
Currently the Lincoln, Alabama plant produces around 300,000 vehicles and engines yearly, but Honda anticipates by 2013 that its production will be increased to 340,000. Currently the plant employs 4,000 people to help meet demands that have increased 10-percent this year through October.
The plant is currently responsible for making Odyssey minivans, Pilot sport-utility vehicles and Ridgeline pickups along with the six-cylinder engines they utilize under the hood. Honda is also looking to shift production of their Acura MDX SUV to this factory.
[Source: Automotive News]