CALSTART to Host Plug-In Hybrid Electric Truck Workshop
Tata Motors Signs Agreement with MDI for Compressed Air Engine

Honda to Debut Hybrid Sports Car Concept at Geneva

Sketch of the sports car concept.

Honda will unveil a small hybrid sports concept at the 2007 Geneva motor show in March. The Small Hybrid Sports Concept was designed by Honda R&D Europe, based in Offenbach, Germany, to demonstrate a fusion of advanced hybrid technology and fun-to-drive sports car characteristics.

The introduction follows Toyota’s unveiling of the its FT-HS hybrid sports car concept in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show. (Earlier post.)

While Toyota started with the production GS 450h powertrain as the basis for the FT-HS, there is some speculation that Honda’s work with the sports concept presages its already announced future introduction of an as-yet unspecified new small hybrid.

Honda will also highlight its fully-driveable FCX fuel-cell concept car—on display for the first time in Europe at the Geneva show—as well as its new Tier 2 Bin 5 clean diesel.

The Honda diesel uses a combination of an advanced combustion management regime (PCCI) and a new NOx catalytic converter to meet emissions standards. The new catalytic converter utilizes a two-layer structure: one layer adsorbs NOx from the exhaust gas and converts a portion of it into ammonia, while the other layer adsorbs the resulting ammonia, and uses it later in a reaction that converts the remaining NOx in the exhaust into nitrogen (N2).



What happened to the Honda IMAS concept hybrid sports car of three years ago? 140mpg, Aluminium body. Not a plug-in.

The Anonymous Poster

What happened was the car was made of carbon fiber and it would not have sold for a price anywhere near what an Insight went for.


The IMAS probably was too expensive to build, and back then we did not have the necessary batteries to power it. It weighed about 1600 lbs so it was too light to mix it up with 3500 lb vehicles, so it was probably needlessly unsafe. Honda claimed it would get about 94 MPG, whereas the Insight got around 60 MPG so the claim was a 50% improvement in mileage. Too much me thinks. It supposed weighed 300 lbs less than the Insight which works out to a 16% reduction in weight. Additionally, its drag factor was .2 versus .25 for the Insight so an improvement of 20%. Now if we assume weight contributes 35% of the fuel usage, then the fuel economy would improve about 6% due to weight reduction. And if we assume drag contributes about 35% of fuel usage, then the fuel economy would improve about about 7% due to reduced drag. Thus if you raise 60 MPG (Insight mileage) by 13% you get 68 MPG, not 94 MPG. I think when you peel all the hype away, the best we can do with current technology with a reasonable size vehicle (3000 lbs) operating on its ICE is about 65 MPG.


Perhaps, some of the bigger news this article offers is showcased toward the end. I talks about the fully driveable FCX Fuel Cell vehicle, and the upcoming Honda clean-diesel. Nice to see they appear to be on schedule with their leasing program for the FCX in 2008, and also their clean diesel for approx. 2008, or 2009. Looks like the diesel game is heating up.


I don't believe anyone ever doubted that a company could create fully driveable fuel cell vehicles. The doubt comes from price and longevity.

Roger Pham

The short-live problem with FCV is due mainly to frequent on/off cycles.
With Ford HySeries PHEV layout, the much smaller FC stack would stay on constantly for a long period to charge the battery, and not used at all for short trips, thus reducing the price of the FC stack.
Plus, new Pl+Ni alloy recently-discovered promises 10 fold increase in potency and also some increase in durability too, thus potentially reducing the price even much further. Mass production will make a big different in FC cost, that, so far, has been handmade in small number.
The future does look bright for FCV's.


a US-legal diesel engine that doesn't require a urea tank.

that is the news here. more than 50% of European cars are diesels b/c modern diesels are nice to drive, save a little bit of money in the long run, and they last forever. lots of torque means responsive acceleration.

b100 is easier to make, store, and use than e100. so, I say, bring on the new diesels but make sure they can be biopowered.

hampden wireless

Van, the Insight was a great car but it lacked many things that could have improved its mpg besides weight and drag. The hybrid system was mild, the batteries were heavy and did not hold nearly as much as the Prius, the engine had no variable valve system and the power electronics where less efficient then what can be done today.

90mpg would be possible in an Insight rework with the same body, larger capacity batteries with lower weight, 98% efficient power electronics (not the whole battery system, just the inverters, voltage converters), larger electric motor. The cost to make would not be higher then the last Insight.



This is Honda, not Ford. Honda is not discussing a series hybrid layout as Ford and GM claim they will produce. Honda's fuel cell vehicle is expected to run in the "on-off" high output - low output duty cycle which you suggests leads to a degraded lifetime for fuel cells.

[Personally, I like the series hybrid layout simply for the diversity of power sources you can apply; regardless of if it is diesel, ethanol, fuel cell, natural gas, or whatever other fuel/technology...and when a better tech comes out, if the form factor remains the same I will change the generator out every 4-5 years instead of the whole vehicle]

Hybrid Cars

Sports car all about power...I wonder how much power and fuel economy will get the hybrid sports cars. Not to mension prices because of carbon fiber body.


Sports cars: it's all about petal to the metal, max acceleration then stomp on the break at the next red light. Hybrid makes sense when testosterone overpowers the brain.


Hi Hampden, we will see. As I indicated lowering the weight of the Insight by 300 lbs would only make a modest improvement in mileage. Ditto for improved engine efficency, say an improvement from 38% to 40%. I say the numbers pretty much debunk all the hipe about high mileage. 65 MPG is great, and to set expectations above that seems designed to generate dissatisfied customers. Anyway, that is my take. Time will tell.

Dan Petit

While great investments have been made with regard to the
use of hybrid technology with which to accelerate from zero to sixty in improved times, (certainly making the high performance magazine writers impressed), this does nothing at all for me. High performance magazine writers have too much persuasive "say", and it is they whom are likely reducing the chances that hybrid electric propulsion (for 40 mile "all electric") would be sooner used to greatly extend fuel economy and reduce carbon footprints.
Why? Because they are likely to confuse issues in the marketplace. It seems to me that all these folks do is to compare how many more "horsies" a given vehicle has over last year, or how many more it has over something they wish to compare it to. I often wonder if they have ever used or understood what an OBD I, II, or III scan system reports. The sheer levels of excessive electronic technologies that these folks also cause the unsuspecting consumer to desire, is one of the main reasons why all these vehicles have resale values that drop like a rock. (One luxury "well made" Japanese car I scanned recently lost 61,000 dollars in value in 4 years.)
It's really irritating to pick up an auto publication or see someone on TV "test" any given vehicle and give what they believe is an accurate report, and also to see later how most of them are, pardon me for telling you the bad news, but, they are mostly "black holes" of depreciation due in part to all the excessive electronic technologies.
If hybrid electric plug-ins save us 1,000 dollars a year in gasoline (net of the $15 a month in electricity used to go the first 40 miles on electricity), then you have an offset to both depreciation (if very much), as well as an offset to the traction battery useful life (even if that life is only 5 years - prorated after 3 years). (And yes, electric motors can blow the doors off the biggest hemi if you build it that way).
Dan Petit.

kent beuchert

Sounds like Honda is no more willing to commit to a plug-in than Toyota is. Those two companies are already
very fat with U.S. consumers money, even buying their crappy energy-inefficient hybrids lately. I notice that Chris Paine, who wrote the lying and very silly electric car conspiracy movie, hasn't ever even MENTIONED the fact that both Toyota and Honda killed their electric car programs. Paine agreed to not mention these nasty little historical details in his supposedly historical documentary after making a backroom agreement with spineless Toyota. So far, the only conspiracy that has any basis in reality involves the lying Mr Paine and wimpy Toyoya Motor company.
Paine and his film needs to be investigated. If Wagoner had any guts, he would have sued Paine for libel. Unfortunately he doesn't, and he didn't.

The comments to this entry are closed.