Thursday, September 29, 2011

Full Technical Review of the Honda Brio

Well no, not done by me but this is an official Honda article where the designers of the Honda Brio talks about the design objectives and salient points for the interior and exterior of the Honda Brio. The article can be read at At the bottom of the page is the link to the page on interior design.

Honda Brio launched in India

The Honda Brio, Honda's 'energetic and cheerful' mini-car was launched in India on September 27 2011. The Brio was actually developed following Honda’s extensive market surveys in India on people’s driving needs and lifestyles. The Brio is powered by a four cylinder 1.2-liter i-VTEC engine that delivers maximum output of 88 PS @ 6000 rpm and Torque of 109 Nm (11.2 kg-m) @ 4600 rpm, while giving an excellent fuel economy of 18.4 km/l, as per test data. Brio is available in India with only a 5-speed manual transmission. Honda's article on the launch is available at 

This launch suggests that the Brio might possibly be making its way across Asia in the near future.

Monday, September 26, 2011

New INTERIOR spy shots of 4Gen CR-V !

China's China Car Times, published spy photos of the new 4Gen CR-V, the photos picked up and then re-published (with full credits given) by Australia's website. These shots are the first known proper shots of the interior of the new CR-V in very high detail. More importantly for asian Honda fans, these photos are also indicative of the asian market CR-V which is expected to debut starting from early next year (2012).

The interior photos reveals a general evolution of the current CR-V. A close up photo of the dashboard with a tacho that redlines at 6,600rpm, same as the current generation, suggests that the R20A engine will continue to be used in the new CR-V. The center mounted gearshift layout is retained and the steering wheel continues to be devoid of paddles so the CR-V will continue on without a sequential manual shift override option (which can be useful on certain occasions, when the CR-V is fully loaded). Interestingly there is a 'START' button feature.

The australian website link is The photo above is taken from the website.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

4Gen CR-V Concept Public Debut

The new 4Gen Honda CR-V Concept made its public debut at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, California U.S.A. The actual model will debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show in November this year and will go on sale in the U.S. at the end of this year. Thereafter it should start showing up in the rest of the world. For ASEAN, it is supposed to be launched somewhere in the 2nd quarter of next year (2012), probably the latter part of the quarter. Along with the concept, Honda has talked about a more fuel efficient (but not new) engine plus reduced body weight. Honda has also provided a video for the concept and the press photos plus this video can be seen at our news and rumours section.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New 4Gen CR-V fully revealed !

A very sharp eye'ed reader and a very net-savvy TOV 'head' led us to the discovery of pictures of the new 4Gen CR-V on an european patent website. Apparently Honda has filed patents in Europe for the 4Gen CR-V and thanks to a lead from TOV reader Frank Opperman, TOV 'head' Jeff Palmer found computer generated 3D diagrams of the 4Gen CR-V on the website.

These diagrams more or less shows exactly how the new CR-V will look like. The computer graphic above is one of the diagrams and there are five more, from all angles of the car, available at our news and rumours article here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spy photos of a brand new Acura model !!

And meanwhile in our own U.S./Canada site (Temple Of VTEC), the excitement and attention are currently all focussed on spy-shots we just procured of the much awaited brand new Acura model, which has been called the 'sub-TSX' thus far. The photos are of a car shrouded in a flowery camouflage pattern which Honda has recently taken up (first seen in the new Euro Civic when it was being road tested) but the basic design can still be seen. According to people with connections, Honda has been extremely tight-lipped on any details about this car so nothing is known about engine or transmission specs. Brenda Priddy, from whom we bought the spy-shots from says sources are inclining to this as being the revival of the RSX (known as the Integra outside of the U.S.) which if true would be very exciting. The spy shots are of a four-door sedan but talks are that a coupe and a convertible version are also in the works.

Acura has been pursueing a rather erratic course lately in an attempt to establish itself as a credible entity apart from the Honda namebrand in the U.S., so it is uncertain if this new model will show up outside of the U.S. or not. There are a number of Acura models like the RDX, Ridgeline, ZDX, etc which are exclusively U.S. only (and the yanks often complains about how Honda keeps models to within Japan only. Pity those of us in the rest of the world ! Hahahah !!)

Our new and rumours article, with the rest of the photos (four in total) is located here ->

Best spy-shots of CR-V yet

From both and the carscoop blog comes the best spy photos of the soon to be launched 4Gen CR-V yet seen by Honda enthusiasts. The bonus is both these sites are presenting different photos, with giving us 12 photos and the carscoop 9, making it a total of 21 very clear, closeup photos of the brand new CR-V !

The CR-V is one of Honda's most successful and most popular models so a lot of attention is being paid to this FMC. Being a global model, this means spy-photos of the car anywhere will be applicable to everywhere in the world, with only engine, drivetrain and trim differences. So if you are interested in the CR-V and is split between the current one and waiting for the new one, these photos should be of great interest to you.

The relevant sites to go are :
1. CR-V spy-photos
2. Carscoop blog CR-V spy-photos

Note : the photo above is taken from the carscoop blog

Monday, September 19, 2011

New engine for US CR-V

Information from the Automotive News website is supporting rumours of a new engine to debut with the new 4Gen CR-V for the US market. This new engine is given the code 'K25' by the AN website which goes on to quote a specification of 201hp at 5,500rpm and a max torque of 170lbft (about 23kgm). Transmission is widely expected to remain unchanged with the current 5AT. The relevant news and rumours article in our site regarding this rumour is at The graphic above is taken from the AN website.

Note that this engine is unlikely to make it to Asia, given that we don't even have a K24 CR-V over here in most parts of the region. It is likely that the new 4Gen CR-V for Asia will continue to use the R20A engine though it is not known if it will retain the current i-VTEC implementation (to reduce pumping loss through the intake mainfold) or a revised one like the R18A on the new 9Gen USDM Civic.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Revisions for Honda Insight

At the same (Frankfurt Motor) show, Honda also showed a slightly revised Honda Insight. Honda says the revised Insight produced a much lower 96g/km of CO2, the first Honda hybrid to achieve this. Honda has been reported as saying the gain is from a series of enhancements, which include reduced engine friction, changes to the CVT transmission and to the air conditioning that benefits from a new cold storage system. Other changes are to the exterior (front grill, bumpers, etc), improved interior, and also an addition of two new interior colours. Two new exterior colours are also available. More significant changes are improvements to rear visibility and rear passenger headroom has also been adjusted. Revisions have been made to the engine and suspension for an overall improvement to ride comfort and stability.

TOVA notes : When Honda Malaysia launched the Insight late last year, I was told by the LPL that the rear headroom for our units have already been increased by 20mm. Now this revision for Europe also mentions an 'adjustment' to the rear headroom so I wonder if they are the same or has the revision now given even more than 20mm extra headroom over the original Insight. Interestingly, the Malaysian units are supposed to also feature revisions to the suspension for better ride, compared to initial version and this Frankfurt Motor Show revision talks about the same thing. I am wondering if this revised Insight is the same as the one we have already been enjoying.

Latest Update (Sep 16 2011) : When I enquired with Honda Malaysia, I was told that the Malaysia (and thus ASEAN) Insights do not feature the updates above. Unfortunately (and expectedly so) they are unable to inform me when Malaysian Insights will receive these updates. Do note that this does not in any way invalidate your purchase or interest in the current Insight as it is indeed a very good car especially given the very good price.

New 9Gen EURO Civic launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show

Honda launched the new 9Gen EURO Civic at the just started 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. Offered only in 5-door hatchback form, Honda says the car will reach showrooms early next year. The new 9Gen EURO Civic is offered with 3 engine choices; 1.4 i-VTEC, 1.8 i-VTEC, and 2.2 i-DTEC (diesel), delivering max powers of 100ps, 142ps and 150ps respectively. Here are some links for you to check the car out:

Announcement at
Frankfurt Motor Show preview at
Official press photos at Temple Of VTEC

Monday, September 12, 2011

4G CR-V expected to debut in the U.S. in November

From posting in our TOV forums by Honda dealers in the U.S., it is generally believed that the new 4th Gen CR-V will debut in the U.S. as a 2012 model somewhere in November perhaps latest December of this year. What prompted several dealers to believe the launch is impending is the online order database called MOVE and the fact that orders are accepted only up to around November of this year. Another well connected Honda salesperson posted about his frustration getting advance info on the new CR-V, noting that except for features like USB, Bluetooth and iMid, he has been unable to get any indication of engine or transmission specs, something he could get hints about for other models.

The US launch date of November-December 2011 for the new 4Gen CR-V do jive with the insider info given to Tova-Honda-Fan by one of our readers, that the 4G CR-V will probably launch here around the 2nd quarter time frame of next year. It also tallies with the subtle body and unspoken verbal language from my 'friends' when I last talked to them about this new CR-V for Malaysia and ASEAN in general.

Note that the photo above is an official photo supplied by AHM for the 'concept' 4Gen CR-V which is believed to be very close to the actual production model.

Update : latest posts in the TOV forums supports the suggestion of a December launch date for the US 4Gen '2012' CR-V. The main debate now centers on the engine and transmission specifications.

Honda Brio spied in Malaysia

The popular malaysian automobile blog managed by paultan has published photos taken of a blue colour Honda Brio taken by its readers. The Brio was caught on camera twice by PT's readers and submitted for publication on the site. One set of shots was with the car on a trailer and the other, parked somewhere in an area called Brickfields and the reader saying that it looked as if it was in some sort of shooting most likely for an advertisement. The actual photos are available on the PT section dedicated to spyshots which can be reached by following this link. Note the photo above was taken from the internet.

Unfortunately I do not have any indications whether the Brio will be launched in Malaysia or not. The last time I met up with some 'friends', one of them told me there might be a nice surprise in store for Honda fans in Malaysia at the end of this year. With a recent contribution by a Tova-Honda-Fan reader that the CR-Z is supposed to be launched end of this year, I think that 'surprise' would be the CR-Z and not the Brio. It fits too as Honda Malaysia knows I am an enthusiast who would be more excited by the CR-Z than something like the Brio.

I know Honda Malaysia is eager to add to their line-up but with their assembly plant in Melaka almost at full capacity, it is unlikely it can take on the assembly of another new model. With the experience of the Jazz and Freed, importing a non-hybrid model as a CBU (completely built up) unit even from an ASEAN country is highly unlikely to be conducive to pricing which would be critical in the ASEAN market for a mini-car like the Brio. What, if anything Honda Malaysia does with the Brio would be something interesting to look out for in the coming months.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Insider Info on the Avengers Movie Acura ?

A TOV forumer wrote this little titbit in our forums about the Acura that Robert Downey Jr drove to the shooting set of the Avenger's movie.

According to my info it will be front engined again. Or, better explained, it will be (a) modified version of (the) original HSV, with (a) hybrid powertrain. (There's also a) rumored MR car based on (a) reversed FF platform (that will) hopefully (be) coming, (something) like a smaller (i.e.) Boxster sized "affordable" Honda, a while later. 

While I won't reveal his nick, what I can say is that he do have some contacts with 'certain' members inside Honda, So here's to hoping his info comes true !

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Three new Honda mini-car models by 2012

According to reuters who quoted Japan's Nikkei, Honda is planning to launch three new mini-car models within the short future. One model will debut at the end of this year in December with another two due in 2012. Minicars or 'Kei-cars' in Japan are those with engines up to 660cc and they get special exemptions making them very popular in Japan. They are also very popular in many other countries in Asia. The new model for December is claimed to sport a 660cc engine and delivers up to 25km/l fuel economy. It is claimed that Honda plans for Kei-car sales to increase to 43% of their total annual sales, up from the current 24%.

For more details and the whole report, the link to go to is

TOVA's view: there have been many extremely intriguing Kei-cars from Honda in the past but almost all limited for JDM sales only. Models like the Honda Z Turbo which sports a 60ps 660cc turbo-charged engine on a 4WD platform and the current Honda Life Turbo are just the right models to bring back a much needed spark of life to Honda. In the Honda Malaysia marketing office car-park in PJ, there used to be a Honda Life parked there long term. I personally saw and touched the car though my friends then was unable to let me test drive it because it wasn't registered. The car was brought in as part of a study to launch the Life for sale in Malaysia. Eventually it seems government regulations was one of the main reason why the plan was cancelled. It is no coincidence that none of the big japanese makers have a kei-car to challenge the Perodua MyVi and Proton Savvy at the moment. Hopefully things will change soon and perhaps the Honda Brio might be the first Honda Kei-car to be launched here in Malaysia. It needs to show up in Thailand first of all though.

Acura (Honda) puts a concept car in the Avengers movie

New Acura supercar to debut soon ?
Find out by reading the rest of this post, after the jump...

Japanese Car Scoop magazine and website claims new HRV is coming

Website autoten just published a report saying that Honda plans to revive the HR-V as a sub-compact sized UV (Utility Vehicle) slotting in below the CR-V. The photo above is taken from the autoten website and it seems is scanned from the latest issue of the japanese car-scoop magazine Mag-X. More details at the autoten website at this link :

TOVA's view. From past experience, Mag-X can be quite accurate with their scoop news. I remember back in the early 2000s just before the Honda City was launched in ASEAN. At that time, no-one outside Honda knew what will be launched, just that it is a new model specially designed for ASEAN. A friend from Honda (now in another company) hinted to me to buy the latest issue of Mag-X because he just saw their artist's rendition and it was very accurate. And it was indeed true. Mag-X was also accurate with the 8Gen Civic before it was launched worldwide. Therefore to me this report is a worthwhile read to Honda fans.

Monday, September 5, 2011

'Product Updates' for certain years of Civic, City and Jazz

Honda Malaysia has announced a product update (what used to be called 'recall') for certain years of Civic, City and Jazz. The Civic update involves the power steering, a common complaint amongst Civic owners. The City/Jazz update concerns the power window switch which can short-circuit when exposed to rain. This trivial power window switch issue was played up to a huge hooh-hah by some media in Europe last year. Read the Honda press release after the jump. Other countries in Asia should get similar update notices soon.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Interesting Q&A with AHM

In our TOV/TOVA forums board, member CB77 posted a Q&A with the AHM's VP of sales John Mendel. While the Q&A is done with an executive of the U.S. Honda office, many of the questions, and thus the answers as well, relates to concerns and interests worldwide. So, with permission from CB77, I publish the Q&A here for the benefit of TOV/TOVA readers outside of the U.S. Just bear in mind this is specific to the U.S. market but has some applicability to the rest of the world as well. Read the Q&A after the jump.