___I was looking at Honda’s financials last week and even though they made a few billion this year, it is a rather small company in comparison to Toyota or the Big 2.5. I just don’t know if they have the resources for all that you have hoped/wished for …
___I do however wish the Accord I4 was VCM’ed with the V6’s IMA to act as a balance shaft (ala. Insight). Since the std. I4 is capable of 50 + mpg already, a VCM’ed IMA I4 has to be good for at least 60 - 65 out on the highway. Maybe even the 2.2 iCDTi w/ IMA
The reason I am partial to the Accord is its safety cage and equipment. The Accord weighs > 3,000 #’s with front, side, and curtain air bags and receives an almost perfect 5-star IIHS rating all around (depending on Coupe or Sedan) which says volumes about its crash worthiness. That and Power all around including leather w/ heated seats, and NAVI make it the right car to hybridize imho. That is if they can bring the prices down somewhat given a new 2004 PZEV EX-L w/ NAVI can be found for $22,500 right now. The estimated $30 - 32K price for the V6 w/ or w/out NAVI is the wrong price and the wrong car given its emissions and rather paltry fuel economy imho …
___Another consideration is the Jazz/Fit/City/Aria w/ a Honda designed 1.0 - 1.3 L iCDTi and tall gearing like that included in our hybrids. A few aero tricks to bring the Cd down to a respectable .26 - .28 and you have a legitimate 75 mpg highway automobile with 0 - 60 performance in the 10 - 11 second range. Its interior capacity in some respects makes the Civic sedan look small by comparison already. All Honda’s are supposedly going to be surround air bag equipped for the 2006 MY (05 will be the last year for the Insight
). I know they have test beds that we will never see but all of us here can put 2 and 2 together and see exactly what Honda can pull off the shelf to create the perfect automobile for our needs.
___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.