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Auto blogTue, 24 Sep 2013 15:30:00 EST
One of the most recent yet notable additions to the modern vehicle's growing suite of fuel-saving technologies is the humble start-stop system. It's rather simple - when the vehicle is stopped, the engine shuts off. It then fires back up when the driver starts to take his foot off the brake or step on the clutch. For one of the most important fuel sippers of the year, though, start-stop tech is a no-go.
Honda will not be offering the system on the North American-spec, non-hybrid Fit despite it being a standard item on both the hybrid (pictured above) and gas-only Japanese domestic models. According to Honda, it's ostensibly due to the momentary lag, that occurs when the gas engine re-fires and power is available. The start-stop-equipped Fits "will lose at stoplights to V6s," Nobuhiko Shishido, the lead powertrain engineer for the Fit, told Automotive News. This is just an observation on our part, but unless the new Fit turns up with dramatically more than the current car's 117 horsepower, it'll "lose at stoplights" regardless of whatever fuel-saving features are fitted.
The other issue Honda sees is more realistic. In the world of the EPA, stop-start systems are not taken into account in fuel economy testing. That makes the cost-adding technology a tough sell for US consumers who are forced to take a dealer's word on real-world economy gains over the milage numbers on the window sticker. That said, wouldn't it at least make sense to offer start-stop as an option? Have your say in the Comments below.
We record Autoblog Podcast #319 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments regarding the rest of the week's news via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #319
Jeep checks out the Grand Wagoneer at Wagonmaster
There's a joke phrase from a popular movie that gets tossed around the Autoblog offices when ever a big change or announcement is coming: "Hold on to your butts." It's usually accompanied by a video of Samuel L. Jackson. That's the advice we'd recommend for reading this article. GTChannel is reporting that a new, small, lightweight, quick successor to the Honda S2000 is being "seriously considered."
Citing an unnamed source within the Japanese automaker, GTChannel goes on to list a few interesting tidbits about the new vehicle. From the sounds of it, though, if Honda is planning a new roadster, it's in the absolute earliest stages of development.
What's apparently being discussed is a car that's smaller than a Mazda MX-5, in terms of its dimensions. Under hood would be a VTEC engine, displacing anywhere from 1.3 to 1.5 liters, with GT Channel making the apt suggestion that the 1.5-liter, 132-horsepower mill from the Honda Fit could make its way into the new roadster. Curb weight would be in the realm of 2,000 pounds, which would make a 130-odd-hp engine seem absolutely heroic. Rear-wheel drive would be a given, although we aren't sure about the site's suggestion that a five-speed manual will be on offer. Styling could draw from the N-One, a popular, Honda-badged kei car.