[home][rumors and news][model release matrix][tov motorsports][desktop calendar][exhaust notes][tov forums][links][search][sponsors][garage][login]

Tire Rack Upgrade Garage
 Search for a Dealer:
 Canadian Flag US Flag
 Honda Acura
 ZIP  
Acura
There are currently no active Acura promotions
Honda
There are currently no active Honda promotions
2021 Honda Civic Sedan On Sale Now
More.......................
New Flagship: MDX Prototype Previews Most Premium and Performance-Focused SUV in Acura History
More.......................
Honda announces 2021 Accord updates, including wireless CarPlay/Android Auto support
More.......................
Acura follows up on MDX tease with new interior preview photos
More.......................
Honda releases photos and details of 2021 Ridgeline MMC
More.......................
American Honda reports September 2020 sales
More.......................
Honda quitting F1 (again) effective after the 2021 season
More.......................
Next-Generation Acura MDX Prototype Set to Debut Oct. 14
More.......................
TLX --> Re: 2nd Generation TLX Reviews
Join Discussion......
Accord --> Re: 2018 Accord- Catastrophic engine failure
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: The Battery isn't the Future!!!!!!!
Join Discussion......
Today's Reading Links --> Re: Hyundai/ Kia's costly engine "issues" totaled $5 billion
Join Discussion......
Accord --> Re: 2018 Accord- Catastrophic engine failure
Join Discussion......
CL and TL (2nd generation) --> Re: 2000 TL 33,000+ miles, time capsule for sale
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: F1 - 2020 Portugese Grand Prix
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: Indycar Finale--Dixon & Honda win season titles.
Join Discussion......
Classifieds: Buy & Sell --> Re: Vintage original 38k mile Texas 1980 Accord 4-dr 5-speed
Join Discussion......
Repair and Maintenance --> Re: New transmission mount for the Vigor
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Honda Civic is the perfect size?
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: Honda: The Early Years
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: MotoGP 2020 (spoilers)
Join Discussion......
Professional Motorsports --> Re: 24hrs of Spa (NSX)
Join Discussion......
General Talk --> Re: I don't want a CTR
Join Discussion......
Jump to:
article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories FCX
Create Date August 14, 2003 21:51
Last Update August 15, 2003 09:53
First Drive

We were busy setting up our camera gear for the highly anticipated Concept TL debut when we were approached by one of our friends at Honda PR. "How would you like to drive an FCX?", he asked. Sure, it's not a lusty supercar, but hell, you're not gonna find a fuel cell vehicle at your airport car rental agency any time soon. We lunged at the opportunity to drive it.

So we make our way out to the apron in front of Jacob Javitz Convention Center, and Honda has a little tent set up with a couple of FCXs parked in front of it (keep in mind there are only like 5 in existence in the WHOLE WORLD). Tuan and I grab the keys to one of them and jump in with one of the FCX engineers. Tuan's first behind the wheel, and the engineer tells him to put the key in, turn it, and wait for the car to "boot up". It takes a second or twelve to get the fuel cell operational, but it's really no big deal. You hear a slight whine as a pump of some sort starts the whole hydrogen to electricity process.

Then, it's all systems go. We put it in D, and begin whirring away, just like the Jetsons. If the FCX looks familiar, it's because it's based heavily upon the Honda EV+, which was a purely battery operated vehicle. For the most part, it is an EV+, with the addition of a Ballard fuel cell, providing a range of just over 100miles. Forget about all the rocket science involved, and you're left with a smooth, uneventful driving experience.


Off the line, the car launches pretty smartly, considering its mass (nearly 4000 lbs!). From there, it pulls smoothly and linearly right up to traffic speeds. We had no trouble squirting in and out of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan traffic, even catching a few cabbies offguard as we cracked them off the line and merged effortlessly in front of them. Also impressive is the roll-on performance of the FCX, as "throttle" response is instantaneous, and the car doesn't hesitate to tack 10 or even 20 mph onto the pace, just for the asking.

After learning of the sheer mass of the FCX, I marveled at the relatively puny 15" alloy wheels and how well they dealt with the buckled and cratered surfaces that double as Manhattan streets. Seriously, the car absorbed even the most serious heaves with little drama. In a vehicle weighing so much, I would have expected the delicate wheels to fracture.

It might be hard to believe, but in our first lap around Manhattan in the FCX, we even engaged in the world's first(?) fuel cell drag race. Unfortunately I have to report that TOV's driver of the moment (hint: it wasn't me!) was slow on the tree, and despite the fact we had one fewer passenger than the opposing FCX, we lost in a 1/16th mile sprint for the crosswalk. Somewhere, I have video evidence. I'm sure the spectacle of two whirring shoe-shaped vehicles going at it has Hollywood executives placing calls right this minute.

The key point to take away from all is that if the technology to distribute hydrogen effectively can catch up, Honda has proven that a hydrogen powered vehicle is a very viable alternative for environmentally friendly transportation, especially in urban settings.


It's not all perfected just yet, however. The engineer who accompanied us on our ride mentioned that he was thankful for the warm weather on that particular New York day (it was around 70F). Apparently the fuel cells don't operate very efficiently below about 45-50F, so given the fact that it was April in New York, there was understandable concern on their behalf. This also explains why the only FCXs that have been delivered to the "public" have all been in Southern California. Of course, the FCX uses Ballard's proprietary fuel cell technology, and it's no secret that Honda is working on their own technology, with certain designs on overcoming these limitations. But for now, the only thing that's demonstrable is Ballard's "black box" system, and until the world figures out a way to make hydrogen as ubiquitous as gasoline, we're all probably a long ways off from driving something from the Jetson's age.
[Next Page]

reader's comments
Click Here to Submit Your Comments

Viewing Threshold (What is this?)

[fancy] [flat] [simple]
Subject Thread Originator Replies Last Post
  Future shape of fuel cell cars?
TonyEX 7
  Reaction Time ;-)
gilbert 1
  WOW, check out those guages!!!
Shabaaz 3
  Honda's Fuel Cells
Atomic Frog 1
Jump to:
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX - Details and Cutaways
Read Article....................
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX Advance
Read Article....................
Photo Gallery: 2021 Acura TLX A-Spec
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: 2020 Chicago Auto Show
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: Honda and Acura at 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show
Read Article....................
TOV Photo Gallery: Other vehicles of 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show
Read Article....................
Contact TOV | Submit Your Article | Submit Your Link | Advertise | TOV Shop | Events | Our Sponsors | TOV Archives
Copyright © 2020 Velocitech Inc. All information contained herein remains the property of Velocitech Inc.
The Temple of VTEC is not affiliated with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. TOV Policies and Guidelines - Credits - Privacy Policy
29