Honda UNI-CUB Personal Mobility Device: Here We Go Again…

May 15, 2012

The human race seems to be increasingly obsessed with making these pesky legs of ours largely redundant over time… if Honda has their way, that is.

Really now…?

Check out this ridiculous, living-in-a-bubble-world video where people straddle, well… electric saddles. One question though – stairs and curbs/edges more than 2″ tall… ? ? Hmm… methinks this is a ‘leave ’em where you found ’em’ sort of PMD – ie: rental/borrowing priveleges at say, the airport, for example…

For those further interested, the UNI-CUB has a 3.7 mile range and a top speed of (insert marketing fluff agenda) 3.7 mph…! Oh you nifty buggers, you… Yet, (as with the ill-fated Segway) this unit further continues the bold trend of emphasizing what an embarrassingly lazy (and smug) bag of bones you’ll look like… and become.

No thanks, Honda… I press the big, loud, red ‘X’ button on your ‘evolutional’ creation.

-Blake J.

Subaru BRZ: New Video Sheds Light(weight) Details of Development

April 25, 2012

By now, you’ll have most-certainly been exposed to the gradually building fanfare of the joint automotive venture that is the Subaru BRZ/Toyota FT86. It goes without saying that this new vehicle harkens back to a time, not too long ago, when simplicity, affordability and exploitable fun were found within the recipes of modestly-powered sportscars.

BRZ looking gruff and ready at our recent local Auto Show

I recently attended our fair City’s annual Big Motor Show at the newly re-domed mega-plex and besides the usual exotica (and lack thereof) to catch my attention, my main focus was on seeing the Subaru BRZ and Toyota FT86 (well, the Scion FRS – North America and all) in the actual metal. While it was rather annoying that both cars were on lockdown mode preventing anyone from accessing their interiors, they were openly displayed to allow up-close viewing.

Sorry dear, it's locked - slightly frustrating with an exciting new car that is focused on driver-involvement and interaction... just sayin'

Of the two cars, it was the Subaru that caught my attention with its almost demure, yet purposeful presence – a bit more aggressive yet less flashy than the Scion counterpart. It looked tough. It also looked smaller than what I was expecting as well – chalk that up to the internet making everything look larger than it really is… – I liked that.

Looks better up close in-the-metal instead of on my computer screen... Want to drive one, now.

I also liked the small wheels – cannot tell you how refreshing it is to hear a manufacturer placing emphasis on ‘fun’ vehicle dynamics (remember ‘fun’ driving…?) without resorting to the fashionable ‘maximum grip levels’ on massively cartoonish 18″ or 19″ wheels… Heck, I wish it had 15″ or 16″ deeply-dished, lightweight wheels to coax even more exhilaration from the chassis… but that’s the old-school BMW e30-applauding side of me coming to the fore… 😉

If they'll offer a 15 or 16" wheel variant with dish, I'm game...

Anyways, on to why we’re conducting this entry… To share with you the newest documentary from Subaru themselves that offers a detailed view of the development process involved with the BRZ… albeit in Japanese with easy-to-read subtitles. I think it’s safe to say that Subaru knows how to build and engineer a fun car… and knowing now how much effort and input Subaru instilled with the creation and development of this new sportscar, my intrigue continues to fall towards the BRZ over the sister Scion…

Part 1.

Part 2.

-Photos by Blake J.

-Blake J.

Acura NSX: The Return

January 10, 2012

Honda/Acura has unveiled a successor to the original (and rather excellent) NSX at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show in the form of an unsurprisingly tech-heavy concept from the new-school, lightweight pages of Supercars.

Power will be derived from a mid-mounted VTEC direct-injection V6 (like the original), albeit one that will be labeled as a Hybrid, seeing as how there will also be an electric motor onboard to assist with the propulsion of it all.

Dispersing that power to all 4 wheels (electric power goes to the front) will be served up by Honda’s over-lengthily titled ‘Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive’ or just simply Sport Hybrid SH-AWD… or just SH-SHAWD.

Along with a ‘bilateral torque adjustable control system’, Honda is also keen to point out that their system utilises ‘reverse torque’ during high-speed cornering moments – a feature not wholly unlike that of the brake-steer system that McLaren uses for its MP4-12C.

No official power-figures from Honda have been given yet but bet on it being a 400-450bhp figure, with 100+ of that power coming from the electric motor. Now, that doesn’t exactly sound anything even remotely close to modern Supercar output figures, but Honda reckons that their ultra-lightweight construction techniques (and therefore, an increased power-to-weight ratio) will enable the next NSX to perform up-to-par with the other supercar Big Guns.

As Honda themselves say, “While most supercars opt for brute force delivered from a large engine, the NSX Concept champions the true racing philosophy of an extremely favourable power-to-weight ratio”

The NSX you see on this page is still being described as a ‘concept’ but, as usual, things will eventually be softened down and ‘melted’ over a bit come production time – of which has been touted as being anytime within the next 3 years… So, no set launch-date as of yet. At any rate, expect the next NSX to either move the Supercar game on or provide an even wider gap between new school and old school thoughts of what a Supercar itself is all about…

-Blake J.

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