Honda Australia shuns hybrid market
DESPITE starting the hybrid revolution in Australia, Honda is retreating from the technology Down Under.
The new NSX sports car will be in showrooms by November featuring a hybrid drivetrain, but the technology won't be featured in the new Civic or will it be offered in the marque's SUV range.
Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said hybrids remained a pivotal part of the brand's global plan - but not locally.
"The hybrid market is less than one per cent of the total market. If you backed Camry out it would be a lot less," he said.
"Hybrid still has a place, but it's not core business."
Instead of gunning for the green market, Honda will make a push back to its sporting heritage.
The NSX will become the brand's halo offering. Beneath the skin is an all-new longitudinally mounted twin-turbo V6 engine that is mated to a nine-speed transmission with an electric motor that applies its torque directly to the crankshaft for higher output with immediate power delivery to the rear wheels.
European pricing for the NSX is around $250,000, and it's likely the supercar will be even more expensive in Australia due to various taxes and charges.
But it's the Type R that will get hearts racing with is more affordable price-tag.
While not available here until 2017, the British-built Honda Civic Type R has already been receiving accolades and was among the finalists for the World Performance Car of the Year.
The overseas model is motivated by a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine which Honda claims "delivers power, torque and performance figures unmatched in the front-wheel drive hot hatch segment". Peak power output is 228kW at 6500 rpm, and peak torque is 400Nm at 2500rpm.