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Honda City PDF Print E-mail

The ancient city of Ayutthaya, Thailand?s former capital, isfamous for its temples; around 200 of them to be precise.? It is also home to Honda Automobile(Thailand), the country?s second largest manufacturer and exporter of passengervehicles.

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Recently Honda opened a second plant in Ayutthaya, investingaround 6.2 bn baht and employing an additional 2,000 workers.? The second plant doubles Honda?s annualcapacity to 240,000 vehicles. The investment in the plant was driven by thegrowing demand ? even in these difficult economic times ? for Honda vehicles inthe Asian region. The new plant will build or assemble the Honda Accord, Civic,the popular sports utility CR-V, the compact jazz and the unique-to-ThailandHonda City.

The City is loosely based on an outgoing Civic model, buthas a number of excellent features as well as being exceptional value formoney.? Standard is an advancedfive-speed automatic transmission, complete with column-mounted paddle shiftlevers.? The entry-level City comes witha manual gearbox, but most people will undoubtedly opt for the comfort and easeof operation of the auto. Dual airbags are fitted, along with active headrests,while the throttle is a drive-by-wire electronic arrangement.? There is also an advanced audio system,complete with CD player.

Power comes from Honda?s latest i-VTEC 1.5 liter motor,developing a healthy 120 bhp at the relatively high engine speed of 6,600 rpm,while maximum torque is a reasonable 145 Nm at 4,800 rpm..

Hondaintroduced the VTEC engine in 1989, the first power unit to provide variablevalve timing with lift electronic control. This system uses two camshaft profilesand electronically selects between the profiles. It was invented by HondaR&D engineer Ikuo Kajitani and produces more power, lower emissions andimproved fuel economy.? Othermanufacturers, notably Mitsubishi, Toyota, Porsche and Nissan, have all subsequentlydeveloped similar systems, but Honda was ahead and probably remains so today.

Honda, in fact, builds more engines than any other companyin the world.? Not just cars andmotorcycles, for which it is justifiably famous, but also lawnmowers, diggers,earth movers, generators; even aircraft, which it is currently developing inconjunction with the giant GE Corporation.

The GE Honda HF120 engine was formally launched in late 2006when it was selected to power the HondaJet advanced light jet, as well as theSpectrum Aeronautical business jet.?Certification of the HF120 is expected early next year, with entry intoservice on both aircraft in 2010.?Initially production of the Honda engine will be concentrated at GE?sLynn facility in Massachusetts, but recently Honda Aero Inc., announced plansto build an engine production facility in Burlington, North Carolina.

The HF120 technologies include a wide-chord, compound-sweptfront fan and two stage booster.? Theoutlet guide vanes are made from composite material for weight reduction.? The compressor features a high temperaturetitanium impeller, developed by Honda over the last 20 years, for maximumengine pressure ratio and stall-free performance.

Honda claims that the key cost-of-ownership of the enginewill be its ability to operate in service for an industry best of 5,000 hoursbefore the first major overhaul, with no need to open the engine for interimhot-section inspections.

But back to the more mundane Honda City.? This is a no-nonsense family car that has oneor two unexpected features.? A fullfour/five seater, it is extremely well appointed as well as pretty roomy inside.? There are a number of accessories availableas options on the City, most of them purely cosmetic.? It has to be said that at 564,000 baht forthe entry-level model, the compact Honda is excellent value for money.? For more information, go to www.honda.co.th

 
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© 2018 Jeff Heselwood. All rights reserved.
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