Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese car manufacturer, which became the second-largest automobile manufacturer in Japan in 2001. Even more impressively, in 2008 Honda became the third largest car manufacturer in the US, outperforming the American company Chrysler.
Hondo released their very first production car in 1963, the Honda S500 sports car (pictured). At the time of its release the model was extremely impressive and the features on offer meant that it would have been a great Formula 1 racing car. These features included: four carburettors, double overhead camshafts, a needle roller bearing crankshaft and 9,500 rpm, which meant a top speed of 80 miles per hour. As a result, the car proved to be extremely popular.
Part of the company’s success has been down to their flexibility, as they have designed specialised models unique to particular countries and have versatility in their designs to meet the needs of a variety of different drivers. An example of this being the latest Acura TL luxury sedan, which has been primarily produced in North America and is exclusively sold to American drivers.
This flexibility is evident as Honda don’t just make cars – it is also the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world and it also designs garden equipment, marine engines, power generators and even robots. These robots are unparalleled for their design and their use of artificial intelligence, the most successful of these robots being the ASIMO robot (pictured), which was released in 2000.
However, it is cars that have helped to establish the company and make it the global giant that it is today. Some of the most impressive of these vehicles include the Hondo Fit, Insight, CR-V Civic, Accord and Odyssey (pictured).
Honda also has some of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the market; as a result there are 5 Honda models in the EPA’s top ten list of most fuel-efficient cars. These models include: the 2000-2006 Honda Insight, the 1986-87 Honda Civic Coupe HF, the 1994-95 Honda Civic hatchback VX, the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid and the 2010 Honda Insight.
As impressive as these cars have been, Honda is still improving its range with electric, flexible-fuel, hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell models.
The Honda Insight (pictured) is a hybrid model that originally had a fuel economy of 70 miles per US gallon and at the time it was the most fuel-efficient production car in the world. The hybrid technology was then adopted in the Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Accord Hybrid and the Honda CR-Z, which was released earlier this year.
Alternatively, there is the Honda Civic GX which runs on natural gas rather than standard fuel. This source of fuel led to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rating the Civic GX as the cleanest-burning internal combustion engine on the planet. Other alternative fuels, such as hydrous ethanol and E20-E25 gasoline, are also used in some Honda models, for example the Brazilian version of the 2006 Honda Civic and Honda Fit.
Hondo is also continuing its development of hydrogen fuel cell technology, which combines oxygen from the air with hydrogen from a tank to generate electricity. This technology was first used in 2008 in the Hondo FCX Clarity, a vehicle which gave a glimpse of what is yet to come from Honda vehicles.