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Auto blogThu, 02 Oct 2014 10:20:00 EST
Is there anything quite so exciting as seeing a brand-new vehicle for the very first time? Part of the allure of auto shows is the chance to see new ideas, just before they're fully baked and ready for public consumption. "Prototypes" you might say, of production models that are just around the corner. Or, in the case of the Honda HR-V, already down the block a ways.
Here in Paris, Honda has unveiled its HR-V Prototype, a nearly production-ready version of a "new SUV for Europe." Before we take umbrage with that SUV designation - as far as we can tell the Fit-based crossover isn't much of a mudder - we should address the fact that at this year's New York Auto Show in April, Honda handed over just a few images and specs of the actually production-read HR-V for the US. Presumably this is a "prototype" for Europe, where the NYC car is US-specific, but we're still scratching our heads a bit.
No matter! Here in France, Honda tells us that the utile little hatch will be available powered by both a 1.5-liter gasoline engine (the one American customers will see), and a 1.6-liter diesel unit, both wearing the company's Earth Dreams Technology label and presumably running cleaner and more frugally than ever. In Europe, a standard six-speed manual will come with both mills, while the 1.5-liter will offer the option of a continuously variable transmission.
Who would have ever thought there'd be a day where people are able to skip television commercials only to go to websites to watch them later? Such is the joy of a DVR and YouTube. AdWeek tabulated the 20 most-watched ads on YouTube, and found that nine were car-related including eight coming from automakers.
Volkswagen continued its Star Wars theme with two ads in the top 20, including the highest-ranking car commercial The Bark Side spot at number three with almost 18 million views, which doesn't even have a single car in it. Some of our favorites are from Chrysler with Clint Eastwood in It's Halftime in America and House Arrest with Charlie Sheen for the Fiat 500 Abarth. Chevrolet, Honda, Audi and Toyota were the other automakers in the top 20, but we'd be remiss if we didn't at least mention one of the coolest ads on the list, the Hot Wheels corkscrew jump.
Of all the car videos, only the Fiat ad wasn't played during a Super Bowl. Check out all eight videos - in order - after the jump. Nike took the top spot with its My Time is Now ad that has been seen online more than 20 million times with Pepsi's Uncle Drew posted up in the runner-up; some of the other videos include four Old Spice commercials and an ad in which Snoop Dogg is pedaling Hot Pockets.
Honda has partnered up with Apple to bring Siri to the Accord, Acura RDX and ILX. Owners who have an iPhone running iOS 6 will be able to ask the software to perform a number of tasks via voice command using the vehicle's on board microphone and speaker systems. What's more, the tech will put the iPhone into an "eyes free" mode, which turns the screen off to help reduce distraction while driving. Honda says it has reworked its Bluetooth and HandsFreeLink systems to accommodate the Siri functionality. While the tech will only be available on three of the company's models right now, we imagine it won't be long before it shows up elsewhere.
As you may recall, Chevrolet integrated Siri into its products with vehicles like the Spark and Sonic, but Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler have also toyed with the tech to varying degrees. The seamless voice command seems to be light years ahead of the tech manufacturers are currently playing with. Check out the full press release from Honda below for more information.