Update From Tokyo - Next Generation VTEC Is Coming
Date: October 18, 2005 11:09
We're in Tokyo this week to cover the 2005 Tokyo Motor Show and Honda's press conference takes place in less than 12 hours. Today we visited HGT - Honda's largest R&D facility, located in Tochigi. The big focus was once again on safety as Honda staged a live crash test (pitting a pristine 2006 Civic EX against a Honda Odyssey) and subsequently demonstrated their latest Advanced Safety Vehicle(s), the ASV-3. The ASV-3 vehicles consist of specially prepared Honda Inspires (JDM versions of the US Accord) and a 600cc Scooter. These incorporate all existing Honda safety features, such as CMBS and HIDs, and add in an Inter-Vehicle Communications (IVC) component which works in concert with the existing GPS navi, CCD cameras, millimeter wave radar and laser radar sensor systems to greatly reduce the risks of vehicle to vehicle collisions and even vehicle to pedestrian incidents. Several modes of the system's operation were demonstrated on the proving grounds today, and though it's still several years away from seeing customer deployment, the value of the system is pretty compelling from a safety perspective.
Normally we would have a collection of photos and videos to share with you, but unfortunately nobody was permitted to bring cameras to the R&D center today.
Following the presentations and hands-on demonstrations, we enjoyed a round table discussion with Honda's charismatic President and CEO, Takeo Fukui. Many topics were discussed during the session, but there were two items that really garnered my attention. The first was the NSX - essentially nothing new was stated about the NSX except that its development was a top priority of R&D and that it would be ready "soon". Mr. Fukui also joked that by the time the new NSX came to market, F1 cars would be running V8s and the NSX's V10 engine would make it faster than F1 machines. Secondly, Mr. Fukui mentioned that the next generation Accord would feature the next generation of Honda's VTEC engine technology. No specifics were given surrounding this technology, however, so at this point all we can do is speculate as to what this means. I tried to gauge the significance of this development by asking John Mendel whether the advance would be seen as something revolutionary or evolutionary, and while he was tight lipped on the subject, the indications were that the developments would be evolutionary. Perhaps we will learn more in the days we have remaining here in Tokyo. Watch for our full coverage beginning tomorrow.
UPDATE to our Update: More information on the next generation VTEC in this news item from July and in this press release at world.honda.com
Last edited by JeffX on
October 23, 2005 05:56