This blog entry is the second in a series about Honda's plan for success. You can catch up on the first part of the series by reading Part I: Honda's Rebirth of a Supercar, and a Company.


Just as it had with the Acura flagship NSX, Honda applied many of its strengths in powertrain innovation, hybrid systems, super-handling technology and advanced body construction to create the Honda FCV Concept―a car that encompasses over 25 years of the automaker’s expertise in developing fuel cell technology. Making its North American debut in Detroit, the successor to the 4-passenger FCX Clarity is slated for the U.S. consumption in 2016. The vehicle contains a 33 percent smaller fuel cell stack, along with a 60 percent improvement in power density. Consequently, the upgrade translates into an estimated driving range of more than 300 miles, while increasing interior space to accommodate five passengers. With a refueling time of about three minutes, the advanced fuel cell vehicle aims to be more livable for American drivers than ever before.

The introduction of the advanced Honda Earth Dreams™ powertrains does not stop there either, with the company preparing all-new plug-in hybrid and battery-electric models, as well as the expansion of two- and three-motor hybrid systems all over the brand’s product portfolio. Honda will further blend fuel efficiency and performance as it begins to roll out a new 4-cylinder VTEC Turbo engine later this year.


Of course, something would be amiss if Honda discussed excellence in automobile technology and performance without mentioning one of its central passions: racing. Honda Racing has a history that goes back decades, having achieved its first Formula 1 victory in 1965 at the Mexican Grand Prix. Eventually, however, the Honda Racing program fizzled out, ending its run in the world’s most prestigious racing series after the 2008 season.

Making a concerted effort to reestablish itself at the forefront of automobile racing, Honda reunited with McLaren Racing. The two companies had previously joined forces years ago, amassing a magnificent run of victories between 1988 and 1992. Together,  the two companies won four drivers’ championships, four constructors’ championships and 44 Grand Prix races.

This year marks the beginning of a multi-year technology partnership. where McLaren F1 cars will be fitted with Honda engines and energy recovery systems. The integration allows McLaren to tap into Honda’s expertise in advanced powertrain development, including hybrid systems.

Honda’s reentry into F1 racing is much more than just a public relations campaign to boost the company’s intended sporty image. To ensure podium finishes, McLaren-Honda teamed up with two of the world’s greatest drivers, Fernando Alonso and Jensen Button. There is great significance in this news for automobile consumers, as “In the future, the technologies developed through F1 will be fed back to production cars,” stated Honda exec John Mendel. Thus, just like how McLaren-Honda’s earlier success helped lead to the original NSX, the door has been left open for the supercar’s successor to act as the forerunner to a new crop of exciting Honda models.

Check out Part III of this series covering Honda's plan for success. This final article covers the company's other areas of innovationwhich include aviation, robotics and motorcycle racing.