Record Year Fuels Further Ambition For Honda | Part Two

The new Accord saloon makes its debut in February, swiftly followed by the Tourer estate in May. Both models are available in a new sporting "Type-S" guise which includes a high efficiency 190 PS 2.4 litre i-VTEC engine mated to 6-speed manual transmission. There’s a new automatic too and dual-zone climate control standard through the range. The latest generation Accord exudes style and sophistication, it is in every respect a superbly engineered quality car.

The Civic range sees some significant additions for 2003. From January the 5-door range boasts a new flagship in the shape of the sporty 2.0 litre 160 PS Type-S; at the same time, building on the strengths of the Type-R brand, a new 3-door 1.6 VTEC Sport model is launched to offer Type-R looks allied with the running costs of the regular 1.6 model. Meanwhile the "real" Type-R will be available as a limited edition "30th Anniversary" model: its specification includes standard fit air-conditioning, Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel, red carpets and rear "privacy" glass.

A completely new Civic debuts in May, the environmentally clean Civic IMA. The Integrated Motor Assist is best described as a mild hybrid with its combination of 1.3 i-DSI petrol engine and 10kW electric motor. It endows the 4-door Civic with performance similar to that of a 1.6 litre, but with mid-50s mpg fuel efficiency and a CO2 exhaust emissions figure expected around 120 g/km. Honda is confident of selling around 1000 units during a full year, at an anticipated price below £15,000.

Significantly increased sales are expected for both the Jazz supermini and CR-V 4WD, their potential being governed by limited supply this year. New variants of both models were introduced during mid 2002, with the Jazz gaining a 7-speed CVT option and the CR-V gaining an additional leather-trimmed, satellite navigation equipped SE Executive model.

General Manager David Strangeway says, "This year has been Honda (UK)’s best ever, and we look forward to building on this success next year. But our aim is not just to generate bigger numbers. For 2003, we intend to put as much effort into satisfying our existing customers as we do winning new ones. And we want to continue to develop the Honda brand so that it is seen as an exciting dynamic company that does more than build solid, worthy cars."

"Most people are aware of Honda’s motorsport successes – on two wheels, four wheels and more recently in powerboat racing," continues Strangeway. "But we want them to know about amazing projects like our FCX fuel cell car, the ASIMO robot and Honda’s pioneering work on pedestrian safety too. We think that the more people know about Honda, the more they will appreciate and value our products – and want to share in our success."

Published 10 December 2002 Melanie Carter

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