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Auto blogTue, 05 Aug 2014 15:41:00 EST
Automakers make halo cars to drum up excitement and show off what they can do, but there's more to it than that. Advanced platforms allow a company's engineers to experiment with all sorts of technologies. And in the case of the upcoming new Acura NSX, that includes new paint processes.
Speaking with Autoline in this video interview, Honda's North American Senior VP Jon Minto talked about an innovative zirconium e-coat which it's applying to the new NSX. Unlike some experimental paints developed for Formula One, however, this coating is not designed to minimize drag or enhance cooling: it's designed to be more environmentally friendly.
It's one of a few measures which Honda is implementing on the NSX before expanding it to more accessible models, along with another process that uses fewer coats to reduce energy consumption by 40 percent. Watch the interview with Autoline host John McElroy right here.
Global automakers have been moving largely towards global products, but that doesn't mean it can't tweak them for local tastes. Take Honda, for example, and its new compact crossover. Unveiled late last year as the Vezel, the crossover is expected to arrive in Europe and North America as the HR-V. But in China, it's being called the XR-V and adopts the form you see here.
Presented by Dongfeng Honda at the Chengdu Motor Show, the new XR-V is based closely on the Vezel but adopts some unique bodywork for a more rugged look. The front end gets a more SUV-like grille and bumper, while the side flanks are less swoopy but with more muscular wheel arches. The result may not be as bonkers as the Mugen version that debut at the Tokyo Auto Salon tuner show, but reminds us more of the similarly named and ruggedized Subaru XV Crosstrek.
Though technically billed as a concept, the Chinese-market XR-V looks just about ready for production as it is. Both 1.5- and 1.8-liter engines are specified, and while there may not be a wealth of other details available, you can read what there is in the press release (presented in original and translated forms) below.
Honda showed off its Civic Tourer concept at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and at that time, we were told that a production version would be coming to market in the very near future. Obviously, the sleek lines of the concept car will be dumbed down slightly for consumers, but that doesn't mean the Civic wagon will be a bland machine. The Euro-spec Civic's angular front end looks like it will blend nicely with the rakish rump that we saw on the concept.
Our sources suggest that not only will the Civic Tourer be a class-leader in terms of cargo capacity, but it will likely be a pretty engaging car from behind the wheel, as well. Honda is hoping that the Tourer will account for roughly 20 percent of all European Civic sales after it goes on sale.
Expect to see the production car debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, with the first customers taking delivery in early 2014. In the meantime, have a look at the camouflaged swoopy wagon from all angles in our gallery above.