Posts Tagged ‘vezel’

2016 Acura RLX Gets AcuraWatch & Reduced Trims

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package

Acura is looking to simultaneously simplify and revitalize their lineup. They’ve been systematically revamping some of their low-performing models like the ILX and TLX, both of which have done quite well since their respective upgrades. The 2016 Acura RLX is next on the list with under 200 sales in January of this year. But, Acura believes they can boost performance by injecting more bang-for-your-buck into their flagship sedan.

The biggest upgrade Acura is adding to the RLX is the addition of their new AcuraWatch safety suite. AcuraWatch is, as the name implies, a collection of electronic driver aids including:

  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Pre-Collision Braking
  • Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warnings
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Monitoring
  • Road Departure Mitigation (which will also debut in the new 2016 Acura MDX and Honda Pilot)
  • Surround-view monitor, which gives you a birds-eye view of your RLX (Advance trim only)

As you can see, that’s quite an extensive range of safety features! It should be noted that AcuraWatch is available on all trims, but only included as standard on Technology and Advance RLX models.

2016 Acura RLX Advance Package Slate Silver

The other change that will apply to all trims is a slightly re-tuned suspension. The 2016 Acura RLX will run on a softer rear stabilizer bar, lower spring rates, new front and rear shocks and new spring mounts. All in all, these changes are aimed at improving overall ride quality with lower levels of road noise nad vibration.

Under the hood, the 2016 Acura RLX remains exactly the same. That means you’ll get a 3.5L V6 that outputs a very decent 310 horsies paired with a FWD 6-speed automatic. Or, you can opt for the RLX Sport Hybrid and get an AWD 7-speed dual-clutch transmission hooked up to three extra electric motors – one in the front, two in the rear – which together increase total system output to 377 hp.

Note: This is the same type of hybrid system as used in the new Acura NSX supercar.

2016 Acura RLX Technology Package

Despite all of this, the biggest change that most average consumers will notice is the removal of last year’s base trim, since navigation is now standard on all models. Acura has gone the minimal route with just three trims for 2016, down from five for the previous model year.

2016 Acura RLX interior

On sale now, the starting price is $50,950 for the Acura RLX, then $54,450 for the Technology Package and $60,450 for the Advance Package. The Acura RLX Sport Hybrid will start at $60,450 when it hits showroom floors later this spring.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ

Now here is a car from Honda which needs no updating. It’s one of Honda’s newest models, having been on the market for a mere three years since its launch near the end of 2013.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ rear

Under that pearl white hood you’ll find Honda’s next-gen sport hybrid i-DCD system that combines a 130 hp 1.5L direct-injection engine with a 30 hp motor and Honda Real Time AWD. That mouth-full of technology gets you a staggering 63.5 mpg by US standards.

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ interior

We love the sporty black accents that dot the car’s exterior, and it’s hard to argue with those eye-catching gunmetal alloys. Learn more about this pristine Japanese car auction find below the official auction sheet:

2015 Honda Vezel HybridZ auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, exterior condition A, FAT, AAC, safety package, LED headlights, DVD video, CD, Bluetooth, SD audio, USB, auxilliary at front and rear, rear view reversing camera, power steering, power windows, original AWs, ABS, airbags, marks as per map”


3 Cars You Can’t Miss From the 2015 Tokyo Auto Salon

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, January 17th, 2015

While the Detroit Motor Show rages on in the US (we’ll be back next week with more coverage), the Tokyo Auto Salon is quickly drawing to a close, and we haven’t yet had an opportunity to share our favorite finds from the show. Yesterday we showcased some really neat aftermarket concepts from Subaru, but there’s oh so much more to see.

As you continue reading, you’ll get a look at three of our favorite Japanese cars from this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon.

Honda Vezel Mugen Concept

Honda Vezel Mugen Concept

This Vezel-based concept is a semi-quirky racer customized by M-TEC (aka. Mugen) in celebration of their performance in the SUPER GT 300 class in the last Super Formula series. It’s a conventional JDM Vezel fit with Mugen parts, including an off-the-wall bodykit, upgraded brakes and suspension, sleek 20-inch alloys and a sporty interior.

Toyota Mark X GRMN

Toyota Mark X GRMN Concept

What we have here is a conventional Toyota Mark X that’s been modified by Toyota-affiliated racing firm GAZOO Racing, known by the acronym GRMN. The firm made a number of aesthetic improvements, including a subtle body kit with a rear spoiler and 19-inch alloys, a revised interior with sport seats and steering wheel, plus plenty of carbon fiber trim. But the truly noteworthy improvement here is the new powertrain, which GRMN borrowed from the current Lexus IS 350. So, you get a 3.5L V6 paired with a 6-speed manual, which delivers a full 316hp and 280 lb-ft of torque.

Only 100 units of the Toyota Mark X GRMN will be sold, and they’ll start at about $45,000.

Toyota GT86 GRMN Concept

Toyota brought a total of 34 concepts to the Tokyo Auto Salon from a number of different tuning firms. Our other favorite would have to be the GRMN GT86 Concept, seen above.

Nissan GT-R Nismo N Attack Package

Nissan GT-R NISMO N Attack Package

Much like Toyota, Nissan brought multiple NISMO-tuned models to the Tokyo Auto Salon, but none more eye-catching than the Nissan GT-R NISMO N Attack Package. This is the exact same car that achieved a record lap time for volume production cars of 7 minutes and 8.679 seconds on the Nürburgring last year.

NISMO showcased two versions of the GT-R kit; the N Attack Package A – an identical model to the Nurburgring record-setter – and the N Attack Package B – which is toned down a bit for daily driving.

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2015 Honda Vezel

2015 Honda Vezel

Since we’ve already showcased multiple Nissan GT-R and Toyota GT86 Japanese car auction finds (even a Toyota Mark X), we thought today would be a good time to showcase the new Honda Vezel crossover. What you see here is a brand-new 2015MY with near zero miles on the odometer.

2015 Honda Vezel interior

The Vezel has been a huge hit in Japan, and for good reason. It’s a reliable Honda with above-average styling for the stereotypically plain-looking automaker. The Vezel is well-primed to take the place of the CR-V as Honda drivers’ go-to crossover, and you’ll find several models in various colors up for auction in Japan. When  you log into our Integrity Exports database, all you have to do is select Honda as the manufacturer and Vezel as the model, and within seconds you’ll have a list of over 20 models (at time of writing) to choose from.

For more information about this particular model, keep reading below the auction sheet for a translation of this car’s specs.

2015 Honda Vezel auction sheet

“Grade S, interior A, first registered January 2015, Hybrid Z Navi S Package, original alloy wheels, power steering, power windows, airbags, cruise control, smart key, rear view reversing camera, AT, AC, service book, spare key, hole where stereo has been removed, marks as per map”


Honda Vezel by Mugen Spoiled via Stray Sales Brochure

Posted by Stephen On Friday, December 20th, 2013

As you may know, the Honda Vezel is an upcoming Fit-based crossover, which will be a much-needed addition to Honda’s lineup. The four-door Vezel aims to slot in somewhere below the CR-V, but above the Honda Fit. Almost like a Nissan Juke. Which makes sense, since every brand wants their own Juke these days.

You may remember that we first saw the production-ready Honda Vezel (above) a few weeks ago at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. If you have a really good memory, you’ll recall that we even seen a prequel to the Honda Vezel at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show several months before that – the Honda Urban SUV Concept.

While the Honda Vezel has yet to officially launch in its Honda’s home market of Japan (it launches on December 20th), the brand has already put their Mugen motorsport division to work on a premium model.

This is a scanned image taken from a Japanese marketing brochure, and it’s been making waves around the Internet for the past 48 hours. As you can see, there are several changes between the Tokyo Motor Show Vezel at the beginning of this post and the Vezel by Mugen pictured above…

First, the entire vehicle has been lowered closer to the ground thanks to a gray underskirt, a front under spoiler, and a rear apron. Mugen’s Vezel also gets a reworked front grille, exhaust pipes, and window shades. It also gets a slight rear spoiler and new, stylish tires to go in gray-accented wheel wells.

As far as powertrain differences, the ad in the brochure indicates that there won’t be any changes between the original and Mugen’s version. The ad says that the car pictured features a 1.5-liter direct-injection engine, while a hybrid version is available with a high-output electric motor and Sport Hybrid i-DCD.

Even though we’re seeing the Mugen spoiler before the regular Vezel has been released, it seems unlikely that we will see the Honda Vezel by Mugen make it to production anytime in the next three months. According to Japanese media sources, the waiting list for the new Honda Vezel extends all the way through March. Of course, we could be wrong here, but our best guess is that we’ll see the Honda Vezel Mugen sometime in the middle of 2014, once the initial launch-snowball has started to slow.

Either way, if you’re reading this outside of Japan, your real concern should be getting your hands on a Honda Vezel in the first place. We have no idea if or when we’ll get a Honda Vezel outside of Japan, or if it will even be called by the same moniker if/when we do. But, with the “elegance of a coupe, the functionality of a minivan and the qualities of an SUV,” let us sincerely hope that we will!


Honda Cars & Concepts from the 2013 LA & Tokyo Motor Shows

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, November 30th, 2013

If you’ve been following along with us this week, then you know the drill. We have two major motor shows to cover – the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show and 2013 LA Motor Show – and only one week to do so. Today, we’re looking at Honda and the new cars and concepts they’ve unveiled at this week’s automotive events.

No sense wasting time on an introduction…. Let’s jump right in:

Honda MC-β Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)

If this car looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve already seen the Renault Twizy, Nissan Mobility Concept, or Honda’s own Micro Commuter from 2012. Or maybe it could even evoke the three-wheeled Toyota i-Road we saw earlier this year.

The cars listed above and the Honda MC-β Concept all fit in the same category – they’re city-friendly EV’s with short range and high convenience.

The Honda MC-β (Micro Commuter Beta) Concept can seat two adults with an “offset seat layout”, which apparently still offers enough utility space for some storage. However, the main focus of the vehicle is ease of handling and nimble performance across a diverse array of road conditions, as one might expect to meet in a bustling city. More specifically, the vehicle is targeted towards Japanese and European drivers who’ve set a precedent interest in these types of vehicles.

Mechanically, the Honda MC-β is more or less an electric motorcycle on four wheels. In fact, if it goes to production, it will be classified in Europe’s L7 category which is reserved for vehicles 400kg or less – almost exclusively motorcycles. It achieves this light weight with pipe-based construction beneath a boldly designed plastic panel. Under the hood (so to speak) you’ll find an AC100V/AC200V charging system that’s been developed to achieve a shorter overall charging time.

Honda FCEV Concept (LA Motor Show)

If you thought the Honda Micro Commuter Beta Concept looked futuristic, wait until you see this.

Across the Pacific, this was the primary showcase of Honda’s booth at the 2013 LA Motor Show. And what a showstopper it is.

Obviously, it’s safe to say that whatever hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle Honda does launch in 2015 won’t look anything like this, but we still appreciate the design. It lets us know that, deep down, Honda does have the chops to make a slick-looking sports car.

Moving past the design (no easy task), the mechanical goal of the FCEV Concept compared to its predecessor – the Honda FCX Clarity – is more power output and a higher driving range, all with a lower refueling time. In short, it should be more fun and more convenient to drive.

Despite all these improvements, the fuel-cell stacks in the FCEV are actually 33% smaller than those in the FCX, which should theoretically allow for a more economical production model.

Either way, we’ll reiterate that this is all conceptual at this point. What’s clear is that Honda intends to contest Toyota’s claim on the hydrogen fuel-cell market.

Honda S660 Concept (Tokyo Motor Show)

Here we go – the Honda S660 Concept is much easier to evaluate. What we have here is a new Japanese kei car, likely a successor to the Beat. Strangely, Honda made very little effort to tell us anything about the S660 roadster, so we don’t really have that much to say. All we know is that this will likely be a JDM-only car, although it will for sure make it to Japanese dealerships in 2015. So, good news for some of you, at least.

Honda Vezel Concept

Lastly, we have yet another rival to the ever-progressive Nissan Juke. The Vezel Concept is a small compact crossover that apparently “belongs to a new category of automobiles fusing multifaceted values at a high level.” Whatever that means.

Basically, here’s the deal – Honda, like many other automakers, has realized that there is a segment of customers that want something smaller than a normal SUV… In Honda’s case, that would be the CR-V. The problem is that ‘something’ doesn’t exist in Honda’s lineup. So, the Vezel Concept is to be the Japanese brand’s attempt at capturing some of that market, and what you see above is actually very close to production. In fact, it will go on sale in Japan next month, and it will likely make it into the US and Europe sometime next year.

Beyond that, all we know is that the Honda Vezel Concept will offer a hybrid option for fuel-conscious buyers. But, we should know more when the car officially hits dealerships next month.

Well, there you have it – the most newsworthy concepts and cars from Honda’s Tokyo and LA Motor Show booths. Not quite as exciting as Subaru’s lineup we looked at yesterday, at least in this writer’s opinion, but it’s hard to imagine being disappointed with any production cars born from the concepts we’ve seen here… The same can’t be said about Subaru’s.

Until next time, thanks for reading!