A Global City

Story by Jarvis Seo, Pictures by Oneshift.com, Press Pictures
29 Sep 2008
 

Honda is repositioning the City from its affordable, entry level status in Asia to a model that is to be sold globally as a compact sedan. With ambition as big as the globe, we can't help but to explore what Honda has done to the City for it to fight the good fight.

 

Rumors of a new Honda City surfaced over the internet a couple of months ago and was later substantiated by grainy pictures of a compact-sized car undergoing testing in India and Thailand.  Under the backdrop of building interests from car fanatics and Honda fans alike, Honda Motor Company of Thailand officially unveiled the 2008 Honda City which was immediately well received by people on this side of the world. Naturally, as part of this group of motoring enthusiasts, we eargely waited for the City to be officially imported into our tiny red dot by Kah Motors.

And now, the wait is finally over - barely a month later - with the launch of the all new Honda City at the Singapore Motorshow 2008! And as we eagerly lapped up all the press information on this latest member of the Honda family, we noticed that Honda has bigger plan for the little City - To make it into a car capable enough to be sold around the world.

In order for that to happen, Honda gathered all of it's engineers to brainstorm ways to transform the Honda City into a car capable of holding its own anywhere in the world. With that, the engineers came up with this new car that comes with class leading cabin spaciousness and an equally powerful 1.5 litre all-new i-VTEC engine that manages to squeeze out 120bhp as the solution to this challenge.

But what else goes into this little car with big dreams?

Design
The all-new City's unique 'Arrowshot Form' is designed to give the all-new City a stylish appeal. Viewed from the front, the prominent three-line grill and angular headlamps deliver a distinctive road presence. The rear is connected to the front design in one continuous sweep that makes the overall car profile very sleek and aerodynamic. However, we would prefer a more modern looking rear-lamp cluster to complement the front design.


Dynamics
The new City stands at 4395mm x 1715mm x 1470mm, which is 5mm longer, 25mm wider and a good 15mm lower than the outgoing City. Mated to McPherson struts at the front and improved H-beam suspension at the rear, the new Honda City with it's wider stance and stiffer chassis rigidity promises to be a more "fun drive" than its predecessor, while maintaining ride comfort fitting for a car competing on a global scale.

Engine
The direction given to Honda's engineers was to give the City a "Gutsy & Relaxing" character and with that in mind, the geeks in labcoat came out with a new i-VTEC engine that delivers high output power yet surprisingly more fuel economical and environmentally friendly. The new i-VTEC engine has different intake valve timing and valve lift settings for low and high speed driving with optimized valve overlap low, mid and high speeds ranges to enhance intake and exhaust efficiency for excellent performance. With that, this new 1.5l engine block produces 120 bhp at 6600 rpm and 145NM of torque at 4400rpm - very commendable considering Toyota's 1NZ-FE produces only 109bhp at 6000rpm.

Did we also mentioned that the new i-VTEC engine is also designed to be easy on your wallet and the environment with a minimum RON intake of only 92 and is Euro 4 compliant.

 


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