This is a really interesting article that Automobilemag.com did based on a sit-down that Honda CEO Takanobu Ito had with American journalists.
- Honda wants more sporty cars some time in the future. While Ito didn’t give any specifics or lay out any plans for sportier cars, he did say that he wants them in Honda’s future. This leads me to the next point (which is actually point number five in the original article, but I think my way makes more sense).
- Honda wants to appeal to younger buyers. It seems like this goes hand-in-hand with wanting sportier cars. Ito points out that young people buy cars that are interesting and that perhaps Honda had gotten a little complacent in design. My solution: start offering sportier cars and the younger buyers will line up because, while young buyers want sporty and interesting, they also have high expectation of dependability (probably because most young people don’t even know how to check their oil anymore, but that’s a different topic entirely).
- Honda will use dual-clutch and continuously variable transmissions. “Honda maintains that CVTs are generally the better solution for all-out fuel economy, but recognizes that dual-clutch transmissions are much more fun to drive and sporty. Cars that are designed only with fuel economy in mind will continue to use CVTs, but premium and sportier vehicles will get dual-clutch setups.”
- The driver is still in charge. I loved this point by Ito. We are getting into a car-driving age where our cars can tell us a lot of stuff and can do a lot of stuff for us (ie parallel park, keep a consistent speed, etc), but Ito wants driver’s to see all these features as “assists” and not “controls” because, he said, the car needs to “respect
- the driver’s will as much as possible.” Amen to that.
- Downsized turbocharged engines are on the way. Here’s what the article said: “Honda has already confirmed that the next Civic Type R will use a 2.0-liter turbo-four engine based on that of the Civic WTCC race car. After that, Honda will begin offering more downsized turbocharged engines in future products. The move comes a fair bit after most other automakers switched from V-6 engines to turbo four-cylinders, due to the fact that Honda is only just starting to tinker with direct fuel injection. First of all, the main key is that we are successful in developing direct injection engines,” said Ito. “By adopting turbocharging systems, we get can have an engine with better fuel efficiency as well as better performance.
Check out the whole article here.