Honda Highlights Sporty Hybrid Concept, Clarity Fuel Cell Sedan
The Honda CR-Z, a lightweight sports hybrid concept vehicle, and the FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle set to begin limited retail marketing in summer 2008, are bringing some of the most advanced environmental technologies from Honda to the 2008 North American International Auto Show.
Making its North American debut, the CR-Z is a next-generation lightweight sports car concept equipped with Honda’s original gas-electric hybrid system that achieves both clean performance and a high level of torque. The CR-Z stands for "Compact Renaissance Zero" - an expression intended to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars that begins anew from fundamentals. The design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver elevated driving performance while reducing the vehicle’s environmental footprint.
Designed to be futuristic and dynamic, the CR-Z combines powerful performance in a compact form with a futuristic image. For its frontal view, an over-sized grill with a high-performance look is offset by openings on each side that lighten the overall feel. In the rear, tube-shaped rear combination lamps create a powerful presence.
Design details emphasizing the CR-Z’s advanced image include door mirrors that provide high visibility in a stylish form, LED headlights that convey a sharp impression, and jaunty fin-shaped sub-lights. Large 19-inch wheels suggest dynamic driving performance.
The key words for the CR-Z’s interior design are "Hi-tech and Sporty" The goal was to create an all-new sporty interior that fuses the liberating feel of airy spaciousness with an advanced interface that brings out the fun of driving. Mesh material on a simple framework construction is used throughout the interior to convey a light, sophisticated image. In the cockpit, the meter unit conveys the image of advanced technology ensconced in a piece of glass artwork, offering quick recognition and a futuristic and exhilarating appearance. The CR-Z concept vehicle made its world debut at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in November and indicates the styling direction for a second, new hybrid vehicle to be introduced by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. The other future hybrid vehicle, designed to meet the needs of a family and priced below the Civic Hybrid, is planned for introduction in 2009.
The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.
American Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail consumers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008. Full details of the lease program will be set closer to launch, but current plans call for a three-year lease term with a price of $600 per month.
American Honda is also developing a service infrastructure that provides customers with the best balance of convenience and the highest quality of service. When the FCX Clarity requires periodic maintenance, customers will simply schedule a visit with their local Honda dealer. American Honda will transport the vehicle to its fuel cell service facility, located in the greater Los Angeles area, where all required work will be performed. At the completion of the work, the customer will pick up their car from the dealer.
The FCX Clarity utilizes Honda’s V Flow stack in combination with a new compact and efficient lithium ion battery pack and a single hydrogen storage tank to power the vehicle’s electric drive motor. The fuel cell stack operates as the vehicle’s main power source. Hydrogen combines with atmospheric oxygen in the fuel cell stack, where chemical energy from the reaction is converted into electric power used to propel the vehicle. Additional energy captured through regenerative braking and deceleration is stored in the lithium ion battery pack, and used to supplement power from the fuel cell, when needed. The vehicle’s only emission is water. The FCX Clarity’s revolutionary new V Flow platform packages the ultra-compact, lightweight and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack (65 percent smaller than the previous Honda FC stack) in the vehicle’s center tunnel, between the two front seats. Taking advantage of a completely new cell configuration, the vertically-oriented stack achieves an output of 100 kilowatts1 (kW) (versus 86kW in the current Honda FC stack) with a 50 percent increase in output density by volume (67 percent by mass). Its compact size allows for a more spacious interior and more efficient packaging of other powertrain components, which would otherwise be unattainable in a sleek, low-slung sedan. Honda introduced the FCX Clarity at the 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
Honda is a leader in the development of leading-edge technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including advanced gasoline engines, gasoline-electric hybrids, natural gas-powered engines, and hydrogen fuel cells.
Founded in Japan in 1948, Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda’s first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production2 of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. The company has invested more than $9 billion in its North American operations with 14 major manufacturing facilities, employment of more than 35,000 associates, and annual purchases of more than $17.6 billion in parts and materials from suppliers in North America.
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