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TOV Forums > General Talk > > Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)

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KaizenDo
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The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-09-2018 11:31
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Currently I'm writing a blog for my Facebeook group of japanese brand car imports to the EU and right now i'm covering Honda Hybrid development.

As you all know well, the first mass produced Honda Hybrid was the Insight in 1999. But during my search, i found references to an earlier prototype Design and the original IMA layout, which was presented during the Tokyo Motor Show 1997



https://world.honda.com/motorshow/Tokyo/1997/auto/j-vx_0/j-vx_0.html
https://global.honda/newsroom/worldnews/1997/c971015.html
https://global.honda/newsroom/worldnews/1997/c970919a.html

Now i see a connection to the later CR-Z and why Honda build it.

owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 02:49
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And none of those things really panned out.

It wasn't that enjoyable to drive (relative to other competing sports cars).

It wasn't that efficient (was at best, barely 20-30% more efficient than my Si, which was NOT optimized solely for efficiency and was a LOT more fun).

They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.

sadlerau
Profile for sadlerau
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 03:52
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owequitit wrote:
They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.


"failed miserably" may be somewhat an exaggeration. It has failed on a sales front unquestionably, but that was an obvious outcome to many, myself included, if Honda did not vigorously pursue an aggressive marketing strategy - success in F1, success in GT3 with the NSX and sharp pricing on the showroom floor [until the NSX's cache warranted a higher price, at best a very LONG term endeavour].

Something else which I didn't appreciate, that holds the NSX back is - sound. I believe that great lease deals are not the only reason that Audi are selling so many R8s, that V10 has real acoustic presence as well. Sadly, all of the aftermarket systems available to try and enhance the NSX's acoustics just make it sound like a truck, in my opinion. Perhaps they sound better in "real life"? I bloody well hope so.

Finally if you wanted proof that the engineer's and product developers at Honda really go missing sometimes, their spiel included the words "driving joy" with a vehicle that has a CVT for a transmission..............doh.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 04:57
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Don't forget the Dualnote/DN-X!

http://hondaoldies.de/Korbmacher-Archiv/Honda/Prototypen/Dualnote/dualnote.htm

That never came to much, either. Oh, hang on...


CarPhreakD
Profile for CarPhreakD
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 09:59
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owequitit wrote:
And none of those things really panned out.

It wasn't that enjoyable to drive (relative to other competing sports cars).

It wasn't that efficient (was at best, barely 20-30% more efficient than my Si, which was NOT optimized solely for efficiency and was a LOT more fun).

They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.



The problem with the CRZ was that it was using a spectacularly crappy hybrid powertrain system (IMA). The power output would have been fine in Japan for example, but does not work at all in North America. The IMA lineup of vehicles were always problematic and were never competitive in performance, which is why it was disappointing that the CRZ came out the way it did. Honda spent so much money and time on the body and platform but didn't do anything about the engine.

The car really deserved an i-MMD type powertrain, or even a force inducted IMA system. It had neither, so it was a tough sell. It was a "bold" move for Honda to try to introduce a hybrid sports car, but the execution fell so short that it probably soured the concept for the world instead. Same for the Insight that came out around the same time. Not the best products to come out during Takeo Fukui's tenure.

BG
Profile for BG
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 11:38
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Surely the I-dcd would've been a more suitable system if they'd have carried on with the CR-Z.
CarPhreakD
Profile for CarPhreakD
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 11:40
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BG wrote:
Surely the I-dcd would've been a more suitable system if they'd have carried on with the CR-Z.


Sure, when it's not being recalled 6 times in a row.

JeffX
Profile for JeffX
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 11:50
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sadlerau wrote:
owequitit wrote:
They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.


"failed miserably" may be somewhat an exaggeration. It has failed on a sales front unquestionably, but that was an obvious outcome to many, myself included, if Honda did not vigorously pursue an aggressive marketing strategy - success in F1, success in GT3 with the NSX and sharp pricing on the showroom floor [until the NSX's cache warranted a higher price, at best a very LONG term endeavour].

Something else which I didn't appreciate, that holds the NSX back is - sound. I believe that great lease deals are not the only reason that Audi are selling so many R8s, that V10 has real acoustic presence as well. Sadly, all of the aftermarket systems available to try and enhance the NSX's acoustics just make it sound like a truck, in my opinion. Perhaps they sound better in "real life"? I bloody well hope so.

Finally if you wanted proof that the engineer's and product developers at Honda really go missing sometimes, their spiel included the words "driving joy" with a vehicle that has a CVT for a transmission..............doh.



yeah once you're in a certain realm of performance - a tenth or two here and there is nearly imperceptible, especially when you can rarely exploit said performance on public roads. So while the NSX may be somewhat quicker than the 458 and the R8 V10+ that were the bogeys, from an aural perspective it doesn't hold a candle to the glorious sounds that the Ferrari and (Lamborghini) engines develop.

KaizenDo
Profile for KaizenDo
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 14:53
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From the researches I've done so far from my blog, I can see the Honda perspective and what they tried to do. With the IMA they always seen the engine as the major key component and the electric motor as kind of supercharger to create torque. For japanese standards, it was probably enough.

Toyota on the other hand build only 2 atkinson engines (1.5L / 1.8L) for most vehicles, made them as efficient as possible, and then build and much stronger electric hardware around it, making sure that it was supplied all the time with their power-split approach.

The i-DCD was kind of an evolution of the IMA System, which then first time used an Atkinson-engine and a stronger electric motor. They used the dual clutch to decouple the engine from the electric motor in case the combustion enine was not needed - by that time Nissan already had developed and patented an hybrid system with two clutches and CVT transmission - i guess that's why Honda went DCT.

The i-MMD, while I haven't driven it yet, IMHO is the best solution on the market. It works as serial hybrid in downtown low speed drive and as parallel hybrid on the highways.

TonyEX
Profile for TonyEX
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 19:09
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KaizenDo wrote:
From the researches I've done so far from my blog, I can see the Honda perspective and what they tried to do. With the IMA they always seen the engine as the major key component and the electric motor as kind of supercharger to create torque. For japanese standards, it was probably enough.

Toyota on the other hand build only 2 atkinson engines (1.5L / 1.8L) for most vehicles, made them as efficient as possible, and then build and much stronger electric hardware around it, making sure that it was supplied all the time with their power-split approach.

The i-DCD was kind of an evolution of the IMA System, which then first time used an Atkinson-engine and a stronger electric motor. They used the dual clutch to decouple the engine from the electric motor in case the combustion enine was not needed - by that time Nissan already had developed and patented an hybrid system with two clutches and CVT transmission - i guess that's why Honda went DCT.

The i-MMD, while I haven't driven it yet, IMHO is the best solution on the market. It works as serial hybrid in downtown low speed drive and as parallel hybrid on the highways.



Take the iMMD.

Remove the ICE.

Replace it with a Hindenburg Fuel Cell.

The future.. never mind all the crap you hear from the BEV crowd.

Potenza
Profile for Potenza
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 19:52
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CarPhreakD wrote:
Honda spent so much money and time on the body and platform but didn't do anything about the engine.

I wouldn't even say the platform, because it was essentially just an Insight plank. As for the engine, they did upgrade it to a 1.5 from the other IMA's 1.3.

That said, they essentially gave us a CR-Z DX. Whereas the CR-X also came with an excellent HF for the eco drivers and an excellent Si for the performance drivers. Honda mistakenly (and a bit lazily) thought that the IMA - particularly with its 3 "modes" - was a substitute for those 3 models. But instead it disappointed both the power drivers and the eco drivers, leaving only the buyers who would opt for the CRX DX.

A bit ironic that they were determined to make it hybrid-only, yet it's the hybrid powertrain that was its downfall. The original ZE1 Insight was far more authentic in the sense that it had just one mission and did that superbly. The powertrain in the CR-Z meant that it did no one thing particularly well.

Potenza
Profile for Potenza
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-10-2018 19:59
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KaizenDo, also check out the similar Honda GRX concept.

They had one parked at Honda headquarters in Torrance when I visited back in 2006 I believe.


owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-11-2018 00:53
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sadlerau wrote:
owequitit wrote:
They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.


"failed miserably" may be somewhat an exaggeration. It has failed on a sales front unquestionably, but that was an obvious outcome to many, myself included, if Honda did not vigorously pursue an aggressive marketing strategy - success in F1, success in GT3 with the NSX and sharp pricing on the showroom floor [until the NSX's cache warranted a higher price, at best a very LONG term endeavour].

Something else which I didn't appreciate, that holds the NSX back is - sound. I believe that great lease deals are not the only reason that Audi are selling so many R8s, that V10 has real acoustic presence as well. Sadly, all of the aftermarket systems available to try and enhance the NSX's acoustics just make it sound like a truck, in my opinion. Perhaps they sound better in "real life"? I bloody well hope so.

Finally if you wanted proof that the engineer's and product developers at Honda really go missing sometimes, their spiel included the words "driving joy" with a vehicle that has a CVT for a transmission..............doh.



I was speaking about the sales front, and IMO, the hybridization did more harm to the reception than good. But that is just my opinion. Weight is the enemy on cars like this and the NSX is a bit of a porker. As has been mentioned, you can pretty much equal the performance for similar money (or even exceed it) and get a much more visceral experience. Porsche learned quickly from the first NSX, as did Ferrari, and it appears their lessons were effective.

owequitit
Profile for owequitit
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-11-2018 00:59
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CarPhreakD wrote:
owequitit wrote:
And none of those things really panned out.

It wasn't that enjoyable to drive (relative to other competing sports cars).

It wasn't that efficient (was at best, barely 20-30% more efficient than my Si, which was NOT optimized solely for efficiency and was a LOT more fun).

They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.



The problem with the CRZ was that it was using a spectacularly crappy hybrid powertrain system (IMA). The power output would have been fine in Japan for example, but does not work at all in North America. The IMA lineup of vehicles were always problematic and were never competitive in performance, which is why it was disappointing that the CRZ came out the way it did. Honda spent so much money and time on the body and platform but didn't do anything about the engine.

The car really deserved an i-MMD type powertrain, or even a force inducted IMA system. It had neither, so it was a tough sell. It was a "bold" move for Honda to try to introduce a hybrid sports car, but the execution fell so short that it probably soured the concept for the world instead. Same for the Insight that came out around the same time. Not the best products to come out during Takeo Fukui's tenure.



I'm not sure about the plank either, as I am pretty sure they just chopped up a Fit and used that.

And you are correct. The powertrain killed the thing. I didn't think the chassis was that bad to be honest, but the powertrain killed any pretense of "sport" the car may have had. It really was a clear demonstration of just how far off the plot Honda had gotten because it really showed that all they cared about was maximizing product and using as little resources as possible. Pretty bad for a "flagship" product that supposed to redefine the company.

Nick GravesX
Profile for Nick GravesX
Re: The source of Honda's hybrid developement: a sports car :)    (Score: 1, Normal) 10-11-2018 04:36
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owequitit wrote:
CarPhreakD wrote:
owequitit wrote:
And none of those things really panned out.

It wasn't that enjoyable to drive (relative to other competing sports cars).

It wasn't that efficient (was at best, barely 20-30% more efficient than my Si, which was NOT optimized solely for efficiency and was a LOT more fun).

They did bet on it as their future, but it failed miserably, and is arguably failing miserably with the NSX too, even though, IMO, that is a highly credible sports car.



The problem with the CRZ was that it was using a spectacularly crappy hybrid powertrain system (IMA). The power output would have been fine in Japan for example, but does not work at all in North America. The IMA lineup of vehicles were always problematic and were never competitive in performance, which is why it was disappointing that the CRZ came out the way it did. Honda spent so much money and time on the body and platform but didn't do anything about the engine.

The car really deserved an i-MMD type powertrain, or even a force inducted IMA system. It had neither, so it was a tough sell. It was a "bold" move for Honda to try to introduce a hybrid sports car, but the execution fell so short that it probably soured the concept for the world instead. Same for the Insight that came out around the same time. Not the best products to come out during Takeo Fukui's tenure.



I'm not sure about the plank either, as I am pretty sure they just chopped up a Fit and used that.

And you are correct. The powertrain killed the thing. I didn't think the chassis was that bad to be honest, but the powertrain killed any pretense of "sport" the car may have had. It really was a clear demonstration of just how far off the plot Honda had gotten because it really showed that all they cared about was maximizing product and using as little resources as possible. Pretty bad for a "flagship" product that supposed to redefine the company.



Yes, it was the Fit plank. The installation of a couple of chassis braces was apparently responsible for the improved dynamics. Having done the same to my S2000, I can believe that.

The Fit plank also forced the high scuttle, resulting in a poor driving position and terrible visibility. I think it was Shawn who said that even after installing a snail, it was that which limited the car's potential.

And yes, the IMA powertrain was rough and feeble as it was, but it was the state of Honda's art at the time and only adequate for a Japanese Fit.

Overall, it must've seemed like great idea at the time, but the result was a CWOT.



 
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