Honda Fuels Excitement at the 2015 North American International Auto Show

January 30th, 2015 by

Honda has always been at the forefront of design and engineering innovation. But it took a giant leap forward at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show with the unveiling of its radical, forward-thinking FCV (fuel-cell vehicle) concept. Riding on the tremendous success of the Honda Fit EV all-electric subcompact, the FCV is a full-sized rolling showcase of technological prowess and imagination that demonstrates the automaker’s commitment to green technology, using unique non-gasoline fuel alternatives.

2016 Honda FCV Compact Car

The Future is Now

The futuristic all-white four-door looks like it just came off the set of a science fiction movie. The long, low sloping roofline is all glass, offering an unobstructed view of the heavens. The car’s wind-cheating exterior minimizes drag for maximum fuel efficiency. The FCV’s “smiling” front is dominated by a huge Honda “H” logo centered in the middle of a brushed-chrome grill. Razor thin LED headlights extend almost imperceptibly outward, while two large intakes channel air underneath the vehicle. The rear of the FCV is equally dramatic with a translucent black housing running the length of the rear deck. Two long horizontal taillights slope upward and outward at the edges and then seemingly disappear toward the center.

The white and black interior of the FCV is straight from the cockpit of a modern jet fighter. Most noticeable is a squared-off, U-shaped steering column with large opening at the top part of the “wheel,” affording an unobstructed view of the black, wedge-shaped “heads-up-display” (HUD) instrument cluster. A large tablet-sized touch-screen video display floats above the center stack. The traditional shift knob is replaced with a long, slender white touch-sensitive shift array accented with brushed chrome. Tall white bucket seats with black stitching complement the interior.

2016 Honda FCV Interior

Advanced Fuel-Cell Technology

But it’s under the hood where the FCV’s advanced technology really shines. The vehicle’s rectangular “FCV Stack” fuel cell reportedly gives the car an estimated 300-mile cruising range. It’s 33 percent smaller than the one that powers the current FCV Clarity, but with 60 percent more power density. The square motor does not look anything like a regular combustion engine, nor should it. The breathtaking FCV concept may provide some insight into the styling of Honda’s new production-ready fuel-cell automobile that will hit U.S. shores in the spring of 2016 after it is launched in Japan.

The FCV wasn’t the only Honda newsmaker at the 2015 Detroit show. The automaker also announced that a new electric vehicle and a hybrid plug-in will be available in 2018. Honda also revealed that it will be utilizing more of its proven two and three-motor hybrid engines in various vehicles in the years to come.

Predictive Cruise Control Debuts

Additionally, Honda chose the 2015 Detroit Auto Show to introduce the world’s first predictive cruise control technology on a European-spec 2015 Honda CR-V. Called “Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control” (i-ACC), this breakthrough in intuitive safety goes far beyond contemporary, radar-based collision avoidance systems to include predictive algorithms that actually can determine when another car will intrude or “cut in” to a lane by evaluating the relationship between the target vehicle and a maximum of six other vehicles, predicting their future trajectory. The system then alerts the driver up to five seconds in advance and then gently applies the brakes to avoid a possible accident.

While this new intelligent adaptive cruise control is currently only available in Europe, speculation is that it will eventually reach America in the near future.

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