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This article is about the multinational corporation. For other uses, see Honda (disambiguation).
Honda Motor Co., Ltd.Honda logo.svg
Honda headquarters in Minato, Tokyo
Native name
Romanized name
Honda Giken Kōgyō Kabushiki-gaisha
Type Public
Traded as

TYO: 7267
Nikkei 225 component (7267)
TOPIX Core30 component (7267)

Industry Conglomerate
Founded Hamamatsu, Japan (October 1946, incorporated 24 September 1948; 72 years ago)

Soichiro Honda
Takeo Fujisawa

Headquarters Minato, Tokyo
, Japan
Area served
Key people

Toshiaki Mikoshiba​ (chairman)
Takahiro Hachigo (president​ and CEO)


Automobiles commercial vehicles luxury vehicles motorcycles Scooters electric generators water pumps lawn and garden equipment rotary tillers outboard motors robotics jet aircraft jet engines thin-film solar cells internavi (telematics)

Revenue Increase ¥15.36 trillion (2018)[1] Operating income
Increase ¥833.5 billion (2018)[1] Net income
Increase ¥1.05 trillion (2018)[1] Total assets Increase ¥19.34 trillion (2018)[1] Total equity Increase ¥8.23 trillion (2018)[1] Owners

JTSB investment trusts (6.46%)
TMTBJ investment trusts (4.71%)
Chase Bank ADRs nominated by Moxley & Co. (3.09%)
Meiji Yasuda Life (2.83%)
Tokio Marine (2.35%)
(As of March 2014)

Number of employees
215,638 (2018)[1] Divisions

Honda Aircraft Company
Honda Automobiles
Honda Motorcycles

[show] Website

The Honda Motor Company, Ltd. (Japanese: 本田技研工業株式会社, Hepburn: Honda Giken Kōgyō KK, IPA: [honda] (About this soundlisten); /ˈhɒndə/) is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment.

Honda has been the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, [2][3] reaching a production of 400 million by the end of 2019,[4] as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year.[5] Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001.[6][7] Honda was the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world in 2015.[8]

Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, and other products. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, which began production in 2012. Honda has three joint-ventures in China: Honda China, Dongfeng Honda, and Guangqi Honda.

In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7% (US$6.8 billion) of its revenues in research and development.[9] Also in 2013, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to be a net exporter from the United States, exporting 108,705 Honda and Acura models, while importing only 88,357.[10] Contents

1 History
2 Corporate profile and divisions
3 Products
3.1 Automobiles
3.2 Motorcycles
3.3 ATVs
3.4 Power equipment
3.5 Engines
3.6 Robots
3.7 Aircraft
3.8 Mountain bikes
4 Former products
4.1 Solar cells
5 Motorsports
5.1 Automobiles
5.2 Motorcycles
6 Electric and alternative fuel vehicles
6.1 Compressed natural gas
6.2 Flexible-fuel
6.3 Hybrid electric
6.4 Hydrogen fuel cell
6.5 Plug-in electric vehicles
7 Marketing
7.1 Japanese marketing
7.2 International marketing
7.3 Sports
8 Facilities (partial list)
9 US sales
10 Production numbers
11 See also
12 Notes
13 References
14 External links

Honda’s foray into four-wheelers started with the Honda T360 in 1963

Throughout his life, Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, had an interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at the Art Shokai garage, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. In 1937, with financing from his acquaintance Kato Shichirō, Honda founded Tōkai Seiki (Eastern Sea Precision Machine Company) to make piston rings working out of the Art Shokai garage.[11] After initial failures, Tōkai Seiki won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota, but lost the contract due to the poor quality of their products.[11] After attending engineering school without graduating, and visiting factories around Japan to better understand Toyota’s quality control processes, by 1941 Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota, using an automated process that could employ even unskilled wartime laborers.[11][12]:16–19

Tōkai Seiki was placed under the control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (called the Ministry of Munitions after 1943) at the start of World War II, and Soichiro Honda was demoted from president to senior managing director after Toyota took a 40% stake in the company.[11] Honda also aided the war effort by assisting other companies in automating the production of military aircraft propellers.[11] The relationships Honda cultivated with personnel at Toyota, Nakajima Aircraft Company and the Imperial Japanese Navy would be instrumental in the postwar period.[11] A US B-29 bomber attack destroyed Tōkai Seiki’s Yamashita plant in 1944, and the Itawa plant collapsed on 13 January 1945 Mikawa earthquake. Soichiro Honda sold the salvageable remains of the company to Toyota after the war for ¥450,000 and used the proceeds to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946.[11][13]

With a staff of 12 men working in a 16 m2 (170 sq ft) shack, they built and sold improvised motorized bicycles, using a supply of 500 two-stroke 50 cc Tohatsu war surplus radio generator engines.[11][12]:19[14] When the engines ran out, Honda began building their own copy of the Tohatsu engine, and supplying these to customers to attach to their bicycles.[11][14] This was the Honda A-Type, nicknamed the Bata Bata for the sound the engine made.[11] In 1949, the Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated for ¥1,000,000, or about US$5,000 today; these funds were used to incorporate Honda Motor Co., Ltd.[12]:21 At about the same time Honda hired engineer Kihachiro Kawashima, and Takeo Fujisawa who provided indispensable business and marketing expertise to complement Soichiro Honda’s technical bent.[12]:21 The close partnership between Soichiro Honda and Fujisawa lasted until they stepped down together in October 1973.[12]:21

The first complete motorcycle, with both the frame and engine made by Honda, was the 1949 D-Type, the first Honda to go by the name Dream.[13][15] In 1961, Honda achieved its first Grand Prix victories and World Championships in 125cc and 250cc.[16] Honda Motor Company grew in a short time to become the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1964.[citation needed]

The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963.[17] Powered by a small 356-cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket.[18] The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car, which followed the T360 into production in October 1963. Its chain-driven rear wheels pointed to Honda’s motorcycle origins.[19]

Over the next few decades, Honda worked to expand its product line and expanded operations and exports to numerous countries around the world. In 1986, Honda introduced the successful Acura brand to the American market in an attempt to gain ground in the luxury vehicle market. The year 1991 saw the introduction of the Honda NSX supercar, the first all-aluminum monocoque vehicle that incorporated a mid-engine V6 with variable-valve timing.[20]

CEO Tadashi Kume was succeeded by Nobuhiko Kawamoto in 1990. Kawamoto was selected over Shoichiro Irimajiri, who oversaw the successful establishment of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio. Irimajiri and Kawamoto shared a friendly rivalry within Honda; owing to health issues, Irimajiri would resign in 1992.

Following the death of Soichiro Honda and the departure of Irimajiri, Honda found itself quickly being outpaced in product development by other Japanese automakers and was caught off-guard by the truck and sport utility vehicle boom of the 1990s, all which took a toll on the profitability of the company. Japanese media reported in 1992 and 1993 that Honda was at serious risk of an unwanted and hostile takeover by Mitsubishi Motors, which at the time was a larger automaker by volume and was flush with profits from its successful Pajero and Diamante models.[21]

Kawamoto acted quickly to change Honda’s corporate culture, rushing through market-driven product development that resulted in recreational vehicles such as the first-generation Odyssey and the CR-V, and a refocusing away from some of the numerous sedans and coupes that were popular with the company’s engineers but not with the buying public. The most shocking change to Honda came when Kawamoto ended the company’s successful participation in Formula One after the 1992 season, citing costs in light of the takeover threat from Mitsubishi as well as the desire to create a more environmentally friendly company image.[22]

The Honda Aircraft Company as established in 2006 as a wholly owned subsidiary to manufacture and sell the HondaJet family of aircraft.[23][24] The first deliveries to customers began in December 2015.[25]

On 23 February 2015, Honda announced that CEO and President Takanobu Ito would step down and be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo by June; additional retirements by senior managers and directors were expected.[26]

In October 2019, Honda was reported to be in talks with Hitachi to merge the two companies› car parts businesses, creating a components supplier with almost $17 billion in annual sales.[27]

In January 2020, Honda announced that it would be withdrawing employees working in the city of Wuhan, Hubei, China due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[28] Due to the global spread of the virus, Honda became the first major automaker with operations in the US to suspend production in its factories on March 23, 2020. It resumed automobile, engine and transmission production at its US plants on May 11, 2020.[29]

Honda and General Motors announced in September 2020 a North American alliance to begin in 2021.[30] According to The Detroit Free Press, «The proposed alliance will include sharing a range of vehicles, to be sold under each company’s distinct brands, as well as cooperation in purchasing, research and development, and connected services.»[31] Corporate profile and divisions

Honda is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Their shares trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange, as well as exchanges in Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo, Kyoto, Fukuoka, London, Paris, and Switzerland.

The company has assembly plants around the globe. These plants are located in China, the United States, Pakistan, Canada, England, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, México, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Taiwan, Perú and Argentina. As of July 2010, 89 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United States were built in North American plants, up from 82.2 percent a year earlier. This shields profits from the yen’s advance to a 15-year high against the dollar.[32]

American Honda Motor Company is based in Torrance, California. Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) is Honda’s motorcycle racing division. Honda Canada Inc. is headquartered in Markham, Ontario,[33] it was originally planned to be located in Richmond Hill, Ontario, but delays led them to look elsewhere. Their manufacturing division, Honda of Canada Manufacturing, is based in Alliston, Ontario. Honda has also created joint ventures around the world, such as Honda Siel Cars and Hero Honda Motorcycles in India,[34] Guangzhou Honda and Dongfeng Honda in China, Boon Siew Honda in Malaysia and Honda Atlas in Pakistan. The company also runs a business innovation initiative called Honda Xcelerator, in order to build relationships with innovators, partner with Silicon Valley startups and entrepreneurs, and help other companies work on prototypes. Xcelerator had worked with reportedly 40 companies as of January 2019. Xcelerator and a developer studio are part of the Honda Innovations group, formed in Spring 2017 and based in Mountain View, California.[35]

Following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, Honda announced plans to halve production at its UK plants.[36] The decision was made to put staff at the Swindon plant on a 2-day week until the end of May as the manufacturer struggled to source supplies from Japan. It’s thought around 22,500 cars were produced during this period.

For the fiscal year 2018, Honda reported earnings of US$9.534 billion, with an annual revenue of US$138.250 billion, an increase of 6.2% over the previous fiscal cycle. Honda’s shares traded at over $32 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at US$50.4 billion in October 2018.[37] Year Revenue
in mil. US$ Net income
in mil. US$ Total assets
in mil. US$ Employees
2005 77,851 4,376 83,853 N/A
2006 89,172 5,373 95,145 N/A
2007 99,784 5,331 108,329 167,231
2008 108,026 5,400 113,540 178,960
2009 100,112 1,370 118,189 181,876
2010 92,655 3,052 125,594 176,815
2011 107,242 6,762 138,851 179,060
2012 100,941 2,820 149,616 187,094
2013 119,523 4,443 164,988 190,338
2014 118,425 5,741 156,220 198,368
2015 121,286 4,636 167,675 204,730
2016 121,190 2,860 151,303 208,399
2017 130,193 5,734 176,311 211,915
2018 138,250 9,534 174,143 215,638

Honda’s Net Sales and Other Operating Revenue by Geographical Regions in 2007[38] Geographic Region Total revenue (in millions of ¥)
Japan 1,681,190
North America 5,980,876
Europe 1,236,757
Asia 1,283,154
Others 905,163

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For a list of automobiles, see List of Honda automobiles.
Tenth generation Honda Accord
Tenth generation Honda Civic in production from 2016–present
Fifth generation Honda CR-V

Honda’s automotive manufacturing ambitions can be traced back to 1963, with the Honda T360, a kei car truck built for the Japanese market.[39] This was followed by the two-door roadster, the Honda S500 also introduced in 1963. In 1965, Honda built a two-door commercial delivery van, called the Honda L700. Honda’s first four-door sedan was not the Accord, but the air-cooled, four-cylinder, gasoline-powered Honda 1300 in 1969. The Civic was a hatchback that gained wide popularity internationally, but it wasn’t the first two-door hatchback built. That was the Honda N360, another Kei car that was adapted for international sale as the N600. The Civic, which appeared in 1972 and replaced the N600 also had a smaller sibling that replaced the air-cooled N360, called the Honda Life that was water-cooled.

The Honda Life represented Honda’s efforts in competing in the kei car segment, offering sedan, delivery van and small pick-up platforms on a shared chassis. The Life StepVan had a novel approach that, while not initially a commercial success, appears to be an influence in vehicles with the front passengers sitting behind the engine, a large cargo area with a flat roof and a liftgate installed in back, and utilizing a transversely installed engine with a front-wheel-drive powertrain.

As Honda entered into automobile manufacturing in the late 1960s, where Japanese manufacturers such as Toyota and Nissan had been making cars since before WWII, it appears that Honda instilled a sense of doing things a little differently than its Japanese competitors. Its mainstay products, like the Accord and Civic (with the exception of its USA-market 1993–97 Passport which was part of a vehicle exchange program with Isuzu (part of the Subaru-Isuzu joint venture)), have always employed front-wheel-drive powertrain implementation, which is currently a long-held Honda tradition. Honda also installed new technologies into their products, first as optional equipment, then later standard, like anti lock brakes, speed sensitive power steering, and multi-port fuel injection in the early 1980s. This desire to be the first to try new approaches is evident with the creation of the first Japanese luxury chain Acura, and was also evident with the all aluminum, mid-engined sports car, the Honda NSX, which also introduced variable valve timing technology, Honda calls VTEC.

The Civic is a line of compact cars developed and manufactured by Honda. In North America, the Civic is the second-longest continuously running nameplate from a Japanese manufacturer; only its perennial rival, the Toyota Corolla, introduced in 1968, has been in production longer.[40] The Civic, along with the Accord and Prelude, comprised Honda’s vehicles sold in North America until the 1990s when the model lineup was expanded. Having gone through several generational changes, the Civic has become larger and more upmarket, and it currently slots between the Fit and Accord.

Honda produces Civic hybrid, a hybrid electric vehicle that competes with the Toyota Prius, and also produces the Insight and CR-Z.

In 2008, Honda increased global production to meet the demand for small cars and hybrids in the U.S. and emerging markets. The company shuffled U.S. production to keep factories busy and boost car output while building fewer minivans and sport utility vehicles as light truck sales fell.[41]

Its first entrance into the pickup segment, the light-duty Ridgeline, won Truck of the Year from Motor Trend magazine in 2006. Also in 2006, the redesigned Civic won Car of the Year from the magazine, giving Honda a rare double win of Motor Trend honors.

It is reported that Honda plans to increase hybrid sales in Japan to more than 20% of its total sales in the fiscal year 2011, from 14.8% in the previous year.[42]

Five of United States Environmental Protection Agency’s top ten most fuel-efficient cars from 1984 to 2010 comes from Honda, more than any other automakers. The five models are: 2000–2006 Honda Insight (53 mpg‑US or 4.4 L/100 km or 64 mpg‑imp combined), 1986–1987 Honda Civic Coupe HF (46 mpg‑US or 5.1 L/100 km or 55 mpg‑imp combined), 1994–1995 Honda Civic hatchback VX (43 mpg‑US or 5.5 L/100 km or 52 mpg‑imp combined), 2006– Honda Civic Hybrid (42 mpg‑US or 5.6 L/100 km or 50 mpg‑imp combined), and 2010– Honda Insight (41 mpg‑US or 5.7 L/100 km or 49 mpg‑imp combined).[43] The ACEEE has also rated the Civic GX as the greenest car in America for seven consecutive years.[44]

Honda currently builds vehicles in factories located in Japan, the United States of America, Canada, China, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Brazil, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Turkey, Argentina, Mexico, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
Honda Gold Wing bike
For a list of motorcycle products, see List of Honda motorcycles.

Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and has been since it started production in 1955.[11] At its peak in 1982, Honda manufactured almost three million motorcycles annually. By 2006 this figure had reduced to around 550,000 but was still higher than its three domestic competitors.[11]

In 2017, India became the largest motorcycle market of Honda.[45] In India, Honda is leading in the scooters segment, with 59 percent market share.[46]

During the 1960s, when it was a small manufacturer, Honda broke out of the Japanese motorcycle market and began exporting to the U.S. Working with the advertising agency Grey Advertising, Honda created an innovative marketing campaign, using the slogan «You meet the nicest people on a Honda.» In contrast to the prevailing negative stereotypes of motorcyclists in America as tough, antisocial rebels, this campaign suggested that Honda motorcycles were made for the everyman. The campaign was hugely successful; the ads ran for three years, and by the end of 1963 alone, Honda had sold 90,000 motorcycles.[12]:

Taking Honda’s story as an archetype of the smaller manufacturer entering a new market already occupied by highly dominant competitors, the story of their market entry, and their subsequent huge success in the U.S. and around the world has been the subject of some academic controversy. Competing explanations have been advanced to explain Honda’s strategy and the reasons for their success.[47]

The first of these explanations was put forward when, in 1975, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was commissioned by the UK government to write a report explaining why and how the British motorcycle industry had been out-competed by its Japanese competitors. The report concluded that the Japanese firms, including Honda, had sought a very high scale of production (they had made a large number of motorbikes) in order to benefit from economies of scale and learning curve effects. It blamed the decline of the British motorcycle industry on the failure of British managers to invest enough in their businesses to profit from economies of scale and scope.[48] 2004 Honda Super Cub

The second explanation was offered in 1984 by Richard Pascale, who had interviewed the Honda executives responsible for the firm’s entry into the U.S. market. As opposed to the tightly focused strategy of low cost and high scale that BCG accredited to Honda, Pascale found that their entry into the U.S. market was a story of «miscalculation, serendipity, and organizational learning» – in other words, Honda’s success was due to the adaptability and hard work of its staff, rather than any long-term strategy.[49] For example, Honda’s initial plan on entering the US was to compete in large motorcycles, around 300 cc. Honda’s motorcycles in this class suffered performance and reliability problems when ridden the relatively long distances of the US highways.[12]:41–43 When the team found that the scooters they were using to get themselves around their U.S. base of San Francisco attracted positive interest from consumers that they fell back on selling the Super Cub instead.[12]:41–43

The most recent school of thought on Honda’s strategy was put forward by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad in 1989. Creating the concept of core competencies with Honda as an example, they argued that Honda’s success was due to its focus on leadership in the technology of internal combustion engines.[50] For example, the high power-to-weight ratio engines Honda produced for its racing bikes provided technology and expertise which was transferable into mopeds. Honda’s entry into the U.S. motorcycle market during the 1960s is used as a case study for teaching introductory strategy at business schools worldwide.[51] ATVs

Honda builds utility ATVs under models Recon, Rubicon, Rancher, Foreman and Rincon. Honda also builds sports ATVs under the models TRX 90X, TRX 250X, TRX 400x, TRX 450R and TRX 700.[52] Power equipment

Production started in 1953 with H-type engine (prior to motorcycle).[53]

Honda power equipment reached record sales in 2007 with 6.4 million units.[54] By 2010 (Fiscal year ended 31 March) this figure had decreased to 4,7 million units.[55] Cumulative production of power products has exceeded 85 million units (as of September 2008).[56]

Honda power equipment includes:

Lawn mower
Robotic lawn mower
Riding mower
Hedge trimmer
Generator, welding power supply
Outboard engine
Inflatable boat
Electric 4-wheel Scooter
Compact Household Cogeneration Unit

Honda Outboard motor on a pontoon boat

Honda engines powered the entire 33-car starting field of the 2010 Indianapolis 500[57] and for the fifth consecutive race, there were no engine-related retirements during the running of the Memorial Day Classic.[58]

In the 1980s Honda developed the GY6 engine for use in motor scooters. Although no longer manufactured by Honda it is still commonly used in many Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese light vehicles.[59]

Honda, despite being known as an engine company, has never built a V8 for passenger vehicles. In the late 1990s, the company resisted considerable pressure from its American dealers for a V8 engine (which would have seen use in top-of-the-line Honda SUVs and Acuras), with American Honda reportedly sending one dealer a shipment of V8 beverages to silence them.[60] Honda considered starting V8 production in the mid-2000s for larger Acura sedans, a new version of the high-end NSX sports car (which previously used DOHC V6 engines with VTEC to achieve its high power output) and possible future ventures into the American full-size truck and SUV segment for both the Acura and Honda brands, but this was canceled in late 2008, with Honda citing environmental and worldwide economic conditions as reasons for the termination of this project.[61] Robots
ASIMO at Expo 2005

ASIMO is the part of Honda’s Research & Development robotics program. It is the eleventh in a line of successive builds starting in 1986 with Honda E0 moving through the ensuing Honda E series and the Honda P series. Weighing 54 kilograms and standing 130 centimeters tall, ASIMO resembles a small astronaut wearing a backpack, and can walk on two feet in a manner resembling human locomotion, at up to 6 km/h (3.7 mph). ASIMO is the world’s only humanoid robot able to ascend and descend stairs independently.[62] However, human motions such as climbing stairs are difficult to mimic with a machine, which ASIMO has demonstrated by taking two plunges off a staircase.

Honda’s robot ASIMO (see below) as an R&D project brings together expertise to create a robot that walks, dances and navigates steps. 2010 marks the year Honda has developed a machine capable of reading a user’s brainwaves to move ASIMO. The system uses a helmet covered with electroencephalography and near-infrared spectroscopy sensors that monitor electrical brainwaves and cerebral blood flow—signals that alter slightly during the human thought process. The user thinks of one of a limited number of gestures it wants from the robot, which has been fitted with a Brain-Machine Interface.[63] Aircraft
Main article: Honda HA-420 HondaJet

Honda has also pioneered new technology in its HA-420 HondaJet, manufactured by its subsidiary Honda Aircraft Company, which allows new levels of reduced drag, increased aerodynamics and fuel efficiency thus reducing operating costs.[64] Mountain bikes
See also: Honda RN-01 G-cross

Honda has also built a downhill racing bicycle known as the Honda RN-01. It is not available for sale to the public. The bike has a gearbox, which replaces the standard derailleur found on most bikes.

Honda has hired several people to pilot the bike, among them Greg Minnaar. The team is known as Team G Cross Honda.


Former products
Solar cells

Honda’s solar cell subsidiary company Honda Soltec (Headquarters: Kikuchi-gun, Kumamoto; President and CEO: Akio Kazusa) started sales throughout Japan of thin-film solar cells for public and industrial use on 24 October 2008, after selling solar cells for residential use since October 2007.[65] Honda announced in the end of October 2013 that Honda Soltec would cease the business operation except for support for existing customers in Spring 2014 and the subsidiary would be dissolved.[66] Motorsports
Main article: Honda in motorsport

Honda has been active in motorsports, like Formula One, the Motorcycle Grand Prix and others.
See also: Honda in Formula One
Rubens Barrichello driving for Honda

Honda entered Formula One as a constructor for the first time in the 1964 season at the German Grand Prix with Ronnie Bucknum at the wheel.[67] 1965 saw the addition of Richie Ginther to the team, who scored Honda’s first point at the Belgian Grand Prix, and Honda’s first win at the Mexican Grand Prix. 1967 saw their next win at the Italian Grand Prix with John Surtees as their driver. In 1968, Jo Schlesser was killed in a Honda RA302 at the French Grand Prix. This racing tragedy, coupled with their commercial difficulties selling automobiles in the United States, prompted Honda to withdraw from all international motorsport that year.

After a learning year in 1965, Honda-powered Brabhams dominated the 1966 French Formula Two championship in the hands of Jack Brabham and Denny Hulme. As there was no European Championship that season, this was the top F2 championship that year. In the early 1980s Honda returned to F2, supplying engines to Ron Tauranac’s Ralt team. Tauranac had designed the Brabham cars for their earlier involvement. They were again extremely successful. In a related exercise, John Judd’s Engine Developments company produced a turbo «Brabham-Honda» engine for use in IndyCar racing. It won only one race, in 1988 for Bobby Rahal at Pocono.

Honda returned to Formula One in 1983, initially with another Formula Two partner, the Spirit team, before switching abruptly to Williams in 1984. Between 1986 and 1991, Honda won six consecutive Formula One Constructors› Championships as an engine manufacturer, as well as five consecutive Drivers› Championships with Nelson Piquet, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Williams-Honda won the crown in 1986 and 1987. Honda switched allegiance to McLaren in 1988, and then won the title in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991. Honda withdrew from Formula One at the end of 1992, although the related Mugen company maintained a presence up to the end of 2000, winning four races with Ligier and Jordan.

Honda debuted in the CART IndyCar World Series as a works supplier in 1994. The engines were far from competitive at first, but after development, the company won six consecutive drivers› championships and four manufacturers› championships between 1996 and 2001. In 2003, Honda transferred its effort to the IRL IndyCar Series with Ilmor supporting HPD. In 2004, Honda-powered cars overwhelmingly dominated the IndyCar Series, winning 14 of 16 IndyCar races, including the Indianapolis 500, and claimed the IndyCar Series Manufacturers› Championship, Drivers› Championship and Rookie of the Year titles. From 2006 to 2011, Honda was the lone engine supplier for the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500. In the 2006 Indianapolis 500, for the first time in Indianapolis 500 history, the race was run without a single engine problem.[68] Since 2012, HPD has constructed turbocharged V6 engines for its IndyCar effort, winning five Indianapolis 500s, two manufacturers› championships and two drivers› championships.

During 1998, Honda considered returning to Formula One with their own team. The project was aborted after the death of its technical director, Harvey Postlethwaite. Honda instead came back as an official engine supplier to British American Racing (BAR), and briefly to Jordan Grand Prix. Together BAR and Honda achieved 15 podium finishes and second place in the 2004 constructors› championship. Honda bought a stake in the BAR team in 2004 before buying the team outright at the end of 2005, becoming a constructor for the first time since the 1960s. Honda won the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix with driver Jenson Button.[69] Honda announced in December 2008, that it would be exiting Formula One with immediate effect due to the 2008 global economic crisis.[70]

Honda has competed in the British Touring Car Championship since 1995, though not always as a works team. They have achieved over 170 race victories, seven drivers› championships, five manufacturers› championships and seven teams› championships, ranking second with most wins in the series.[71] Honda also won the World Touring Car Championship in 2013.

Honda made an official announcement in May 2013 that it planned to re-enter into Formula One in 2015 as an engine supplier to McLaren.[72] In September 2017, after a winless campaign spanning three seasons and achieving a best finish of fifth place, McLaren and Honda announced their split, with the latter going on to sign a multi-year deal to supply Toro Rosso, the junior team of Red Bull Racing.[73] After a fairly successful season with Toro Rosso, Honda made a deal to also supply Red Bull Racing. Max Verstappen scored Honda’s first win of the V6 turbo-hybrid era at the Austrian Grand Prix.[74] In October 2020, Honda announced that they would be leaving Formula One at the end of the 2021 season.
Main article: Honda Racing Corporation
Honda RC212V raced by Dani Pedrosa

Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) was formed in 1982. The company combines participation in motorcycle races throughout the world with the development of high potential racing machines. Its racing activities are an important source for the creation of leading-edge technologies used in the development of Honda motorcycles. HRC also contributes to the advancement of motorcycle sports through a range of activities that include sales of production racing motorcycles, support for satellite teams, and rider education programs.

Soichiro Honda, being a race driver himself, could not stay out of international motorsport. In 1959, Honda entered five motorcycles into the Isle of Man TT race, the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. While always having powerful engines, it took until 1961 for Honda to tune their chassis well enough to allow Mike Hailwood to claim their first Grand Prix victories in the 125 and 250 cc classes. Hailwood would later pick up their first Senior TT wins in 1966 and 1967. Honda’s race bikes were known for their «sleek & stylish design» and exotic engine configurations, such as the 5-cylinder, 22,000 rpm, 125 cc bike and their 6-cylinder 250 cc and 297 cc bikes.

In 1979, Honda returned to Grand Prix motorcycle racing with the monocoque-framed, four-stroke NR500. The FIM rules limited engines to four cylinders, so the NR500 had non-circular, ‹race-track›, cylinders, each with 8 valves and two connecting rods, in order to provide sufficient valve area to compete with the dominant two-stroke racers. Unfortunately, it seemed Honda tried to accomplish too much at one time and the experiment failed. For the 1982 season, Honda debuted its first two-stroke race bike, the NS500 and in 1983, Honda won their first 500 cc Grand Prix World Championship with Freddie Spencer. Since then, Honda has become a dominant marque in motorcycle Grand Prix racing, winning a plethora of top-level titles with riders such as Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi. Honda also head the number of wins at the Isle of Man TT having notched up 227 victories in the solo classes and Sidecar TT,[75] including Ian Hutchinson’s clean sweep at the 2010 races.[76]

The outright lap record on the Snaefell Mountain Course was held by Honda, set at the 2015 TT by John McGuinness at an average speed of 132.701 mph (213.562 km/h) on a Honda CBR1000RR,[77] bettered the next year by Michael Dunlop on a BMW S1000RR at 133.962 mph (215.591 km/h).[78]

In the Motocross World Championship, Honda has claimed six world championships. In the World Enduro Championship, Honda has captured eight titles, most recently with Stefan Merriman in 2003 and with Mika Ahola from 2007 to 2010. In motorcycle trials, Honda has claimed three world championships with Belgian rider Eddy Lejeune.
Electric and alternative fuel vehicles
2009 Honda Civic GX hooked up to Phill refueling system
Compressed natural gas

The Honda Civic GX was for a long time the only purpose-built natural gas vehicle (NGV) commercially available in some parts of the U.S.[79][80] The Honda Civic GX first appeared in 1998 as a factory-modified Civic LX that had been designed to run exclusively on compressed natural gas. The car looks and drives just like a contemporary Honda Civic LX, but does not run on gasoline. In 2001, the Civic GX was rated the cleanest-burning internal combustion engine in the world by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[81][82]

First leased to the City of Los Angeles, in 2005, Honda started offering the GX directly to the public through factory trained dealers certified to service the GX. Before that, only fleets were eligible to purchase a new Civic GX. In 2006, the Civic GX was released in New York, making it the second state where the consumer is able to buy the car.[83]

In June 2015, Honda announced its decision to phase out the commercialization of natural-gas powered vehicles to focus on the development of a new generation of electrified vehicles such as hybrids, plug-in electric cars and hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles. Since 2008, Honda has sold about 16,000 natural-gas vehicles, mainly to taxi and commercial fleets.[84] Top: Brazilian flexible-fuel Honda Civic. Below: U.S. Honda Civic Hybrid

Honda’s Brazilian subsidiary launched flexible-fuel versions for the Honda Civic and Honda Fit in late 2006. As other Brazilian flex-fuel vehicles, these models run on any blend of hydrous ethanol (E100) and E20-E25 gasoline.[85][86] Initially, and in order to test the market preferences, the carmaker decided to produce a limited share of the vehicles with flex-fuel engines, 33 percent of the Civic production and 28 percent of the Fit models.[85][86] Also, the sale price for the flex-fuel version was higher than the respective gasoline versions, around US$1,000 premium for the Civic, and US$650 for the Fit, despite the fact that all other flex-fuel vehicles sold in Brazil had the same tag price as their gasoline versions.[86][87][88] In July 2009, Honda launched in the Brazilian market its third flexible-fuel car, the Honda City.[89]

During the last two months of 2006, both flex-fuel models sold 2,427 cars against 8,546 gasoline-powered automobiles,[90] jumping to 41,990 flex-fuel cars in 2007,[91] and reaching 93,361 in 2008.[92] Due to the success of the flex versions, by early 2009 a hundred percent of Honda’s automobile production for the Brazilian market is now flexible-fuel, and only a small percentage of gasoline version is produced in Brazil for exports.[93]

In March 2009, Honda launched in the Brazilian market the first flex-fuel motorcycle in the world. Produced by its Brazilian subsidiary Moto Honda da Amazônia, the CG 150 Titan Mix is sold for around US$2,700.[94][95][96] Hybrid electric
Honda CR-Z, the first sports coupe hybrid to come with a six-speed manual transmission

In late 1999, Honda launched the first commercial hybrid electric car sold in the U.S. market, the Honda Insight, just one month before the introduction of the Toyota Prius, and initially sold for US$20,000.[97][98] The first-generation Insight was produced from 2000 to 2006 and had a fuel economy of 70 miles per US gallon (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg‑imp) for the EPA’s highway rating, the most fuel-efficient mass-produced car at the time.[97][98] Total global sales for the Insight amounted to only around 18,000 vehicles.[98] Cumulative global sales reached 100,000 hybrids in 2005 and 200,000 in 2007.[99]

Honda introduced the second-generation Insight in Japan in February 2009, and released it in other markets through 2009 and in the U.S. market in April 2009. At $19,800 as a five-door hatchback it will be the least expensive hybrid available in the U.S.[100] 2010 Honda Insight hybrid electric vehicle (Second generation)

Since 2002, Honda has also been selling the Honda Civic Hybrid (2003 model) in the U.S. market.[97] It was followed by the Honda Accord Hybrid, offered in model years 2005 through 2007. Sales of the Honda CR-Z began in Japan in February 2010, becoming Honda’s third hybrid electric car in the market.[101] As of February 2011, Honda was producing around 200,000 hybrids a year in Japan.[102]

Sales of the Fit Hybrid began in Japan in October 2010, at the time, the lowest price for a gasoline-hybrid electric vehicle sold in the country.[103] The European version, called Honda Jazz Hybrid, was released in early 2011.[104] During 2011 Honda launched three hybrid models available only in Japan, the Fit Shuttle Hybrid, Freed Hybrid and Freed Spike Hybrid.[99]

Honda’s cumulative global hybrid sales passed the 1 million unit milestone at the end of September 2012, 12 years and 11 months after sales of the first generation Insight began in Japan November 1999.[99] A total of 187,851 hybrids were sold worldwide in 2013, and 158,696 hybrids during the first six months of 2014.[105][106] As of June 2014, Honda has sold more than 1.35 million hybrids worldwide.[99][105][106] Hydrogen fuel cell
Honda FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell vehicle

In Takanezawa, Japan, on 16 June 2008, Honda Motors produced the first assembly-line FCX Clarity, a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. More efficient than a gas-electric hybrid vehicle, the FCX Clarity combines hydrogen and oxygen from ordinary air to generate electricity for an electric motor. In July 2014 Honda announced the end of production of the Honda FCX Clarity for the 2015 model.[107]

The vehicle itself does not emit any pollutants and its only by-products are heat and water. The FCX Clarity also has an advantage over gas-electric hybrids in that it does not use an internal combustion engine to propel itself. Like a gas-electric hybrid, it uses a lithium ion battery to assist the fuel cell during acceleration and capture energy through regenerative braking, thus improving fuel efficiency. The lack of hydrogen filling stations throughout developed countries will keep production volumes low.[108] Honda will release the vehicle in groups of 150. California is the only U.S. market with infrastructure for fueling such a vehicle, though the number of stations is still limited. Building more stations is expensive, as the California Air Resources Board (CARB) granted $6.8 million for four H2 fueling stations, costing US$1.7 million each.[109][110]

Honda views hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the long-term replacement of piston cars, not battery cars.[111] Plug-in electric vehicles
Honda Fit EV concept unveiled at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The all-electric Honda EV Plus was introduced in 1997 as a result of CARB’s zero-emissions vehicle mandate and was available only for leasing in California. The EV plus was the first battery electric vehicle from a major automaker with non-lead–acid batteries The EV Plus had an all-electric range of 100 mi (160 km). Around 276 units were sold in the U.S. and production ended in 1999.[112][113]

The all-electric Honda Fit EV was introduced in 2012 and has a range of 82 mi (132 km).[114] The all-electric car was launched in the U.S. to retail customers in July 2012 with initial availability limited to California and Oregon.[115] Production is limited to only 1,100 units over the first three years. A total of 1,007 units have been leased in the U.S. through September 2014.[116][117][118] The Fit EV was released in Japan through leasing to local government and corporate customers in August 2012. Availability in the Japanese market is limited to 200 units during its first two years.[119] In July 2014 Honda announced the end of production of the Fit EV for the 2015 model.[107]

The Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid was introduced in 2013 and has an all-electric range of 13 mi (21 km)[120] Sales began in the U.S. in January 2013 and the plug-in hybrid is available only in California and New York.[121] A total of 835 units have been sold in the U.S. through September 2014.[116][117][118] The Accord PHEV was introduced in Japan in June 2013 and is available only for leasing, primarily to corporations and government agencies.[122] Marketing
Japanese marketing
Honda Clio (Saitama, Japan)

Starting in 1978, Honda in Japan decided to diversify its sales distribution channels and created Honda Verno, which sold established products with a higher content of standard equipment and more sporting nature.[123][124] The establishment of Honda Verno coincided with its new sports compact, the Honda Prelude. Later, the Honda Vigor, Honda Ballade, and Honda Quint were added to Honda Verno stores. This approach was implemented due to efforts in place by rival Japanese automakers Toyota and Nissan.
Honda Primo (Osaka)

As sales progressed, Honda created two more sales channels, called Honda Clio in 1984, and Honda Primo in 1985. The Honda Clio chain sold products that were traditionally associated with Honda dealerships before 1978, like the Honda Accord, and Honda Primo sold the Honda Civic, kei cars such as the Honda Today, superminis like the Honda Capa, along with other Honda products, such as farm equipment, lawnmowers, portable generators, and marine equipment, plus motorcycles and scooters like the Honda Super Cub. A styling tradition was established when Honda Primo and Clio began operations in that all Verno products had the rear license plate installed in the rear bumper, while Primo and Clio products had the rear license plate installed on the trunk lid or rear door for minivans.
Honda Verno (2008)

As time progressed and sales began to diminish partly due to the collapse of the Japanese «bubble economy», «supermini» and «kei» vehicles that were specific to Honda Primo were «badge engineered» and sold at the other two sales channels, thereby providing smaller vehicles that sold better at both Honda Verno and Honda Clio locations. As of March 2006, the three sales chains were discontinued, with the establishment of Honda Cars dealerships.[125] While the network was disbanded, some Japanese Honda dealerships still use the network names, offering all Japanese market Honda cars at all locations.
Honda Wing motorcycle dealership (Japan)

Honda sells genuine accessories through a separate retail chain called Honda Access for both their motorcycle, scooter, and automobile products. In cooperation with corporate group partner Pioneer, Honda sells an aftermarket line of audio and in-car navigation equipment that can be installed in any vehicle under the brand name Gathers, which is available at Honda Access locations as well as Japanese auto parts retailers, such as Autobacs. Buyers of used vehicles are directed to a specific Honda retail chain that sells only used vehicles called Honda Auto Terrace.

In the spring of 2012, Honda in Japan introduced Honda Cars Small Store (Japanese) which is devoted to compact cars like the Honda Fit, and kei vehicles like the Honda N-One and Honda S660 roadster.

All cars sold at Honda Verno

Prelude, Integra, CR-X, Vigor, Saber, Ballade, Quint, Crossroad, Element, NSX, HR-V, Mobilio Spike, S2000, CR-V, That’s, MDX, Rafaga, Capa, and the Torneo

All cars sold at Honda Clio

Accord, Legend, Inspire, Avancier, S-MX, Lagreat, Stepwgn, Elysion, Stream, Odyssey (int’l), Domani, Concerto, Accord Tourer, Logo, Fit, Insight, That’s, Mobilio, and the City

All cars sold at Honda Primo

Civic, Life, Acty, Vamos, Hobio, Ascot, Ascot Innova, Torneo, Civic Ferio, Freed, Mobilio, Orthia, Capa, Today, Z, and the Beat
International marketing
A Honda dealership in Ontario, Canada
A Honda Dealership in Dreghorn, Scotland

In 2003, Honda released its Cog advertisement in the UK and on the Internet. To make the ad, the engineers at Honda constructed a Rube Goldberg Machine made entirely out of car parts from a Honda Accord Touring. To the chagrin of the engineers at Honda, all the parts were taken from two of only six hand-assembled pre-production models of the Accord. The advertisement depicted a single cog which sets off a chain of events that ends with the Honda Accord moving and Garrison Keillor speaking the tagline, «Isn’t it nice when things just… work?» It took 606 takes to get it perfect.[126]

In 2004, they produced the Grrr advert, usually immediately followed by a shortened version of the 2005 Impossible Dream advert. In December 2005, Honda released The Impossible Dream a two-minute panoramic advertisement filmed in New Zealand, Japan and Argentina which illustrates the founder’s dream to build performance vehicles. While singing the song «Impossible Dream», a man reaches for his racing helmet, leaves his trailer on a minibike, then rides a succession of vintage Honda vehicles: a motorcycle, then a car, then a powerboat, then goes over a waterfall only to reappear piloting a hot air balloon, with Garrison Keillor saying «I couldn’t have put it better myself» as the song ends. The song is from the 1960s musical Man of La Mancha, sung by Andy Williams.

In 2006, Honda released its Choir advertisement, for the UK and the internet. This had a 60-person choir who sang the car noises as film of the Honda Civic are shown.

In the mid to late 2000s in the United States, during model close-out sales for the current year before the start of the new model year, Honda’s advertising has had an animated character known simply as Mr. Opportunity, voiced by Rob Paulsen. The casual looking man talked about various deals offered by Honda and ended with the phrase «I’m Mr. Opportunity, and I’m knockin'», followed by him «knocking» on the television screen or «thumping» the speaker at the end of radio ads. In addition, commercials for Honda’s international hatchback, the Jazz, are parodies of well-known pop culture images such as Tetris and Thomas The Tank Engine.

In late 2006, Honda released an ad with ASIMO exploring a museum, looking at the exhibits with almost childlike wonderment (spreading out its arms in the aerospace exhibit, waving hello to an astronaut suit that resembles him, etc.), while Garrison Keillor ruminates on progress. It concludes with the tagline: «More forwards please». Honda also sponsored ITV’s coverage of Formula One in the UK for 2007. However, they had announced that they would not continue in 2008 due to the sponsorship price requested by ITV being too high.

In May 2007, focuses on their strengths in racing and the use of the Red H badge – a symbol of what is termed as «Hondamentalism». The campaign highlights the lengths that Honda engineers go to in order to get the most out of an engine, whether it is for bikes, cars, powerboats – even lawnmowers. Honda released its Hondamentalism campaign. In the TV spot, Garrison Keillor says, «An engineer once said to build something great is like swimming in honey», while Honda engineers in white suits walk and run towards a great light, battling strong winds and flying debris, holding on to anything that will keep them from being blown away. Finally one of the engineers walks towards a red light, his hand outstretched. A web address is shown for the Hondamentalism website. The digital campaign aims to show how visitors to the site share many of the Hondamentalist characteristics.

At the beginning of 2008, Honda released – the Problem Playground. The advert outlines Honda’s environmental responsibility, demonstrating a hybrid engine, more efficient solar panels and the FCX Clarity, a hydrogen-powered car. The 90-second advert has large-scale puzzles, involving Rubik’s Cubes, large shapes, and a 3-dimensional puzzle. On 29 May 2008, Honda, in partnership with Channel 4, broadcast a live advertisement. It showed skydivers jumping from an airplane over Spain and forming the letters H, O, N, D and A in mid-air. This live advertisement is generally agreed to be the first of its kind on British television. The advert lasted three minutes.[127]

In 2009, American Honda released the Dream the Impossible documentary series, a collection of 5- to 8-minute web vignettes that focus on the core philosophies of Honda. Current short films include Failure: The Secret to Success, Kick Out the Ladder and Mobility 2088. They have Honda employees as well as Danica Patrick, Christopher Guest, Ben Bova, Chee Pearlman, Joe Johnston and Orson Scott Card. The film series plays at In the UK, national television ads feature voice-overs from American radio host Garrison Keillor, while in the US the voice of Honda commercials is actor and director Fred Savage.

In the North American market, Honda starts all of their commercials with a two-tone jingle since the mid-2010s.

The late F1 driver Ayrton Senna stated that Honda probably played the most significant role in his three world championships. He had immense respect for founder, Soichiro Honda, and had a good relationship with Nobuhiko Kawamoto, the chairman of Honda at that time. Senna once called Honda «the greatest company in the world».[128]

As part of its marketing campaign, Honda is an official partner and sponsor of the National Hockey League, the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL, and the arena named after it: Honda Center. Honda also sponsors The Honda Classic golf tournament and is a sponsor of Major League Soccer. The «Honda Player of the Year» award is presented in United States soccer. The «Honda Sports Award» is given to the best female athlete in each of twelve college sports in the United States. One of the twelve Honda Sports Award winners is chosen to receive the Honda-Broderick Cup, as «Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.»

Honda sponsored La Liga club Valencia CF starting from 2014–15 season.[129]

Honda has been a presenting sponsor of the Los Angeles Marathon since 2010 in a three-year sponsorship deal, with winners of the LA Marathon receiving a free Honda Accord. Since 1989, the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge has been a quizbowl tournament for Historically black colleges and universities.
Facilities (partial list)
Main article: List of Honda facilities
US sales
Calendar year Total US sales[130] 1992 768,845
1993 716,546
1994 788,230
1995 794,579
1996 843,928
1997 940,386
1998 1,009,600
1999 1,076,893
2000 1,158,860
2001 1,207,639
2002 1,247,834
2003 1,349,847
2004 1,394,398
2005 1,462,472
2006 1,509,358
2007 1,551,542[131] 2008 1,284,261[131] 2009 1,150,784[132] 2010 1,230,480[132] 2011 1,147,000[133] 2012 1,422,000[133] 2013 1,525,312[134] 2014 1,540,872
2015 1,586,551[135] 2016 1,637,942[136] 2017 1,641,429[137] 2018 1,604,828[138] 2019 1,608,170[138] Production numbers
Calendar year Global production
2009 3,012,000[139] 2010 3,643,000[139] 2011 2,909,000[133] 2012 4,110,000[133] 2013 4,112,000[140] 2014 4,513,769[141] 2015 4,543,838[142] 2016 4,999,266[143] 2017 5,236,842[144] 2018 5,357,013[145] See also

Tokyo portal Companies portal

Comparison of Honda water-pumps
Honda advanced technology
Honda Airport
Honda Battle of the Bands
Honda G-Con
Honda F.C., football (soccer) club
Honda Heat, rugby union club
Honda in motorsport
Honda Performance Development
Honda Type R
List of Honda assembly plants
List of Honda transmissions


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«Honda Sets All-Time Calendar Year Production Records for Automobile Production, Worldwide, Overseas, in Asia and China for the year 201Un article de WikiF1, l’encyclopédie libre du sport automobile et de la Formule 1.

Après avoir gagné 5 des 6 éditions entre 2000 et 2005 avec la R8, et après les succès de ces moteurs FSI, Audi décide de se lancer dans un nouveau défi, en même temps que Peugeot et le projet qui allait devenir 908, en essayant de faire gagner un diesel au Mans. L’élaboration de la remplaçante de la R8 pouvait commencer.

Sommaire [cacher] 1 La genèse : du papier…

1.1 Le moteur
1.2 Le châssis
1.3 Le développement
1.4 Caractéristiques techniques
2 … à la piste

2.1 2006, ce qui allait devenir une révolution
2.2 2007, un nouvel adversaire nommé peugeot
3 Palmarès
[modifier] La genèse : du papier…
[modifier] Le moteur
Le V12 TDi
Le V12 TDi

Le coeur de l’Audi R10 est constitué d’un nouveau moteur V12 TDi d’un cubage de 5.500 cc (le maximum autorisé au Mans). La marque aux anneaux s’est engagée dans une voix encore peu explorée, celle des moteurs diesel en course, pour aboutir à un moteur développant plus de 650 chevaux avec un couple record de plus de 1.100 Nm. Ulrich Baretzky, le responsable du développement des moteurs de compétition chez Audi le considère comme le diesel le plus puissant au monde, et le plus gros challenge d’Audi Sport. Le V12 à 90° implanté dans la R10 est entièrement en aluminium, comprenant 4 soupapes par cylindre, deux arbres à cames. L’introduction du carburant se fait par un système de rampe commune (Common Rail) moderne, à plus de 1.600 bars. De telles pressions n’avaient encore jamais été vues dans un moteur Audi.

La pression des deux turbos Garrett est limitée par la réglementation actuelle à 2,94 bars. le diamètre des brides d’entrée d’air est également plafonné à 2*39,9 mm. Le moteur est contrôlé par un sysytème Bosch (MS14). La puissance et le couple élevé du moteur sont disponibles quasiment dès le ralenti, même si la plage d’utilisation optimale se situe entre 3.000 et 5.000 tours/min. Peu familier pour les pilotes, ce moteur présente également un très faible niveau sonore. Le bruit caractéristique de la technologie diesel se fait principalement entendre lors du processus de chauffage ou dans la pit-lane. Le moteur est également équipé de deux filtres à particules.

L’un des principaux avantages de ce moteur reste sa faible consommation en carburant. Le couple camionesque de plus de 1.100 Nm a demandé également un dévloppement particulièrement intensif du train arrière de la R10. Même les dernières générations d’équipements Audi ont du être revus et corrigés pour s’y adapter. Ainsi, la boîte de vitesses a été corrigée. Le but principal des ingénieurs d’Audi est de fiabiliser la voiture, malgré les hautes pressions internes au moteur, à l’image de la R8 qui n’aura connu aucune casse moteur sur les 77 courses qu’elle a courru à ce jour.

[modifier] Le châssis
En présentation officielle
En présentation officielle

Au premier coup d’oeil, l’Audi R10 ne peut nier son lien de parentalité avec la R8. Cependant, ce nouveau châssis LM P1 arbore un nouveau design, Audi Sport ayant pris soin d’explorer de nouvelles voies. Selon Wolfgang Appel, responsable des technologies chez Audi Sport, la R10 reprend le savoir-faire et l’expérience acquise avec la R8.

L’une des principales différence avec sa devancière est l’intégration de la monocoque et des éléments de carrosserie. Si la R8 avait un châssis traditionnel, habillé de carrosserie, les éléments de carbone de la nouvelle R10 sont directement suspendus, sans ajout supplémentaire de quelconque élément de carénage. Ce changement a permis d’alléger le poids de la voiture, puisque le V12 TDi était non seulement plus encombrant, mais également plus lourd que le 3.6l V8 FSI équipant la R8. La modularité a également été fortement revue sur ce nouveau concept. Ainsi, la partie arrière de la R10 est facilement démontable, tout comme la partie avant, structure d’accident comprise. Cela offre un accès plus aisé aux suspensions alors que la boîte de vitesses, et certains éléments mécaniques, peuvent être changés dans un temps plus court.

L’aérodynamique de la R10 a également été revue pour coller avec les nouvelles règles de l’ACO (Automobile Club de l’Ouest), organisateur de l’évènement, souhaitant une diminution des appuis de 15%. Cependant, un long travail des ingénieurs Audi en soufflerie a permis de retrouver la quasi-intégralité de ces appuis perdus. Ce qui distringue le plus la R10 de sa devancière restent le nez plus pointu, la hauteur de caisse plus élevée ou encore le poste de pilotage, pouvant être indifféremment placé à gauche ou à droite. La majeure partie de ces changements dans un but de sécurité accru, à l’image de l’utilisation du système Hans (Head and Neck Support), déjà utilisé dans d’autres sports mécaniques telle la Formule 1.

Bien que la coque de la R10 soit plus rigide que la R8, les pilotes sont assis confortablement dans leur baquet, un facteur important pour des courses de 24 heures. La direction, électrique (à l’image de récents modèles de production) et non plus hydraulique, contribue également à ce confort accru. Le nombre d’unités électroniques a considérablement augmenté, en regard de ceux dont disposaient la R8. Toutes les fonctions importantes sont contrôlées par ordinateur et coordonnées par un «mini-réseau», appelé CAN-bus. Même les phares ne sont plus directement allumés par le pilote, qui se contente d’une simple impulsion manuelle, l’ordre étant ensuite transmis aux ordinateurs embarqués. Un autre système de collecte de données a également été mis en place par Bosch. Celui-ci collecte l’ensemble des données et les transmets par télémétrie aux stands ou directement sur l’écran incorporé au volant de la voiture, le pilote étant informé de l’ensemble des facteurs. La majorité des fonctions sont contrôlées par le pilote depuis les boutons situés sur le volant, équipé d’un micro-processeur et développé en synergie avec Megaline.

Les experts de la société Megaline ont également été impliqués dans le développement du mécanisme électropenumatique de la boîte, contrôlée par deux palettes situées derrière le volant. La boîte, développée par X-Trac, en dépit du couple important de cette nouvelle R10, est plus légère que la version qui équipait les R8. Grâce aux caractéristiques du moteur turbo-diesel, le nombre de passages de rapport diminue de manière significative. Un argument de plus pour la fiabilité, tant la transmisission est soumise à d’importantes forces, selon Audi, plus importantes qu’en F1. La boîte, tout comme les arbres, a été conçue pour résister à ces forces. Le nouvel embrayage en céramique a également subi la même batterie de tests, en collaboration avec ZF Sachs. Le refroidissement, plus important sur le diesel, a imposé des systèmes de refroidissement plus efficaces.

Les pneux avants larges sont nouveaux en LM P1. Ils devraient contribuer à réduire la tendance sous-vireuse de la voiture, accrue par l’énorme poussée du V12 diesel. L’utilisation du contrôle de traction (ASR) aide également les pilotes à moduler ce couple, particuilièrement en conditions humides. Frank Biela, triple vainqueur au Mans, a avoué, juste après le premier roulage de la machine, que le moteur continuait à pousser de manière discontinue, même dans des passages rapides. Le système de remplissage de carburant a été diminué en temps. A l’inverse de l’essence, le diesel ne s’évapore pas de lui-même. Comme sur la R8, un panneau reprenant plusieurs diodes se trouve près de l’embout de ravitaillement et indique de manière viseuelle aux mécanos plusieurs niveaux de fluides (diesel, eau, huile).

Les spectateurs ne pourront plus voir les disques de frein rougeoyants à chaque freinage, ceux-ci étant dorénavant cachés par une sorte de carénage, similaire au système équipant les A4 en DTM, offrant un meilleur refroidissement. Les disques sont refroidis par de l’air provenant de conduits en carbone, extractant de l’air frais. Les étriers de freins sont similaires à ceux visibles sur les modèles RS. Les phares de la R10 sont constitués de diodes luminescentes blanches, également issues de la production.

[modifier] Le développement
En soufflerie
En soufflerie

L’idée de développer une sportive diesel pour les 24 heures du Mans n’est pas nouvelle, elle fait suite au concept-car, portant également le nom R10, et présenté à la presse lors de plusieurs salons internationaux. Les choses sont devenues érieuses au courant du mois de septemvre 2003 quand la trame de base du développement de ce qui allait devenir la R10 a été établie. C’est à ce moment que s’est porté le choix d’Audi sur une mécanique 12 cylindres. Tous les éléments importants de la future voiture doivent y figurer puisqu’il sera impsosible de les corriger plus tard.

Au printemps 2004, la décision finale est prise de construire un moteur V12 avec la cylindrée maximale permise dans les divers règlements, ce qui affectera l’ensemble du châssis. le moteur étant plus lourd, de par le nombre plus important de cylindres, mais également à cause de la technologie diesel, il a fallu alléger un maximum le châssis. Le moteur a tourné pour la première fois en juillet 2005. Auparavant, des tests avaient déjà été effectués avec des collègues du département de la production, en modifiant certains moteurs de série pour y appliquer un nombre incroyable de tests différents. Le nouveau V12 TDi a passé plus de 1.000 heures sur les bancs d’essais, avant le premier roulage de la machine, le 29 novembre 2005. Pour que le plan de préparation soit scrupuleusement respecté, il devrait passer 3.000 heures complètes sur les bancs et accumuler plusieurs milliers de kilomètres avant sa participation au Mans. Durant ces essais, les ingénieurs de la maison ont effectué les mêmes tests que ceux qui avaient été réalisés sur la R8. La voiture sera également testée lors des 12 heures de Sebring, le 18 mars 2006. Les caractéristiques de ce circuit en font un des plus exigeants et des plus durs au monde. Une sorte de test grandeur nature pour la «vraie» course, au Mans. La voiture roulera pour la première fois sur le circuit de la Sarthe lors des essais officiels le 4 juin 2006, moins de deux semaines avant la course. Ce sera la dernière opportunité pour Audi de tester les mécaniques. Le circuit étant composé de routes ouvertes, il n’y aura d’autres possibilités de tests là-bas.

Le but d’Audi reste une victoire ou à défaut un podium en 2006. Les voitures seront engagées par le team Joest. Et comme le dit si bien le docteur Wolfgang Ullrich : «On ne peut garantir aucune victoire en sport auto, encore moins au Mans».

[modifier] Caractéristiques techniques
Catégorie Le Mans Prototype (LM P1)
Monocoque Fibre de carbone avec structure en nid d’abeille, conforme aux normes FIA
Moteur V12 aluminium 90°, 4 soupapes par cylindre, 2 brides d’air réglementaires de 39.9 mm
Deux turbos compresseurs Garrett – Injection directe diesel TDi
Gestion moteur Bosch MS14
Système de lubrification Carter sec, huile Shell
Cylindrée 5.500 cc
Puissance > 650 chevaux
Coupe > 1.100 Nm
Transmission Aux roues arrières
Embrayage Embrayage en céramique
Boîte de vitesse Boîte de vitesses séquentielle à actionnement pneumatique
Différentiel Visco coupleur autobloquant
Direction Assistée électriquement
Arbres de transmission Arbres à joints homocinétiques tripodes coulissants
Suspensions et amortisseurs Suspensions avant et arrière indépendantes
Système avec barre de torsion et amortisseurs réglables
Freins Double circuit hydraulique de freinage
Etriers en alliage
Disques ventilés avants et arrières en carbone
Répartition de freinage réglage par le pilote
Jantes OZ magnésium
Avant : 13 * 18 pouces
Arrière : 14.5 * 18 pouces
Pneumatiques Michelin radial
Avant : 33/68-18
Arrière : 17/71-18
Longueur 4.650 mm
Largeur 2.000 mm
Hauteur 1.030 mm
Poids minimum 925 kg
Réservoir 90 litres

[modifier] … à la piste
[modifier] 2006, ce qui allait devenir une révolution
Les deux R10 à l’arrivée des 24 heures du Mans 2006
Les deux R10 à l’arrivée des 24 heures du Mans 2006

Audi a communiqué quelques éléments du programme de l’Audi R10. Ainsi, pour sa première année, elle devrait participer au championnat ALMS et aux 24 heures du Mans. Concrètement, la voiture devrait participer aux 12 heures de Sebring à la mi-mars. Une fois la course finie, les deux voitures seront rapatriées en Europe où Audi procédera à divers tests en vue des 24 heures du Mans. Entre temps, la participation au championnat américain sera assurée par une Audi R8, engagée par la filiale américaine Audi North America, en partenariat avec Joest et le Champion Racing. La R10 pourra ensuite assurer la fin de championnat, en participant aux six épreuves restantes, de Salt Lake City à Laguna Seca. Audi a également annoncé sa line-up pour Sebring et le Mans. Le premier équipage sera composé de Frank Biela, Emanuele Pirro et de Marco Werner alors que le second comprendra Tom Kristensen, Allan McNish et Rinaldo Capello.

A Sebring, dans le cadre du championnat ALMS, le bilan est plutôt partagé entre les deux R10 engagées. Si la numéro 2 de Kristensen, McNish et Capello empoche la mise au général, 5 tours devant une Lola LMP2 et 11 sur la première Corvette (GT1), le premier équipage est forcé de rendre les armes, après une surchauffe du bloc. Voilà qui dénote avec la légendaire fiabilité de son illustre petite soeur, la R8. La R10 peut malgré tout rentrer dans l’histoire comme étant la première voiture à moteur diesel à s’imposer dans une course d’endurance, alors que Tom Kristensen, le pilote danois, est désormais recordman de victoires sur cette épreuve.

Audi rentre à nouveau dans l’histoire du sport automobile, en ce dimanche 17 juin, en hissant son nouveau bébé sur la première marche du podium général, au Mans. Pour la première fois, un moteur diesel remporte les 24 Heures. Et contrairement à ce que l’Histoire nous avait habitués, ce n’est plus l’équipage de Tom Kristensen (retardé à double reprise par des ennuis mécaniques en début de nuit) qui remporte la course, mais le second trio de pilotes Audi : Biela, Pirro et Werner.

A Mosport, dans le cadre du championnat ALMS, le titre LMP1 s’est joué. Il revient à Allan McNish et Rinaldo Capello sur la première R10 engagée. Audi réussit donc le sans-faute cette année; tous les programmes «endurance» ayant été bouclés avec succès.
[modifier] 2007, un nouvel adversaire nommé peugeot

Pour sa deuxieme saison en compétition, l’Audi R10 est une nouvelle fois en ALMS et remporte le championnat ainsi que les 12 heures de Sebring par la filiale américaine Audi North America, alors que de l’autre coté de l’atlantque, en LMS, un nouvel adversaire se fait connaitre, peugeot. Peugeot a remporté toutes les course du championnat et ont aussi décidés de faire gagner un diesel au Mans.

Aux 24 Heures du Mans 2007, malgrés une pole position de la peugeot 908 HDI FAP #8 réalisée par Stéphane Sarrazin et de l’abandon en course de l’Audi #2 et #3, l’Audi R10 #1 remporte la course à plus de 10 tours du deuxieme.
[modifier] Palmarès
Date Championnat Course Equipage
18/03/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png 12 heures de Sebring Rinaldo Capello – Tom Kristensen – Allan McNish
17/06/2006 – Image:Drapeau_France.svg.png 24 heures du Mans Frank Biela – Emanuele Pirro – Marco Werner
15/07/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png 2h45 de Salt Lake City Frank Biela – Emanuele Pirro
22/07/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png 2h45 de Portland Rinaldo Capello – Allan McNish
20/08/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png 2h45 de Road America Frank Biela – Emanuele Pirro
03/09/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_Canada.svg.png 2h45 de Mosport Rinaldo Capello – Allan McNish
30/09/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png Petit Le Mans Rinaldo Capello – Allan McNish
21/10/2006 ALMS Image:Drapeau_USA.svg.png 4h de Laguna Seca Rinaldo Capello – Allan McNish



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