Futuristic 2016 Honda FCV Stars at 2015 Detroit Auto Show
In a jaw-dropping demonstration of its forward-thinking engineering and design prowess, Honda Automobiles wowed auto industry execs, automotive journalists from around the world, and the general public with its revolutionary FCV (fuel-cell vehicle) concept at the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Already an alternative-fuel technology leader with the highly successful Honda Fit EV all-electric subcompact, Honda engineers have broken new ground with this radically designed, zero-emission hydrogen-powered vehicle of the future.
The Car of Tomorrow – Today
Looking more at home in the landing bay of a sci-fi spacecraft than a street-ready vehicle, the stunning low-slung and aerodynamic FCV concept features flowing lines, a rakish windshield, and a minimalist front end designed to cheat the wind for improved fuel economy. The front windshield flows seamlessly into an all-glass roof that extends the length of the car. Almost invisible thin LED headlights are framed on either side by slender vertical illuminated accents which extend into the FCV’s long and sloping hood. Large air intakes on either side of the front bumper and smaller ones carved into the side three-quarter panels channel airflow underneath and around the car. A smoked black housing extends the length of the rear deck underneath an integrated spoiler. It houses two long horizontal taillights, along with a softly illuminated rear license-plate bezel.
Re-imaging the Driver Experience
Han Solo and Luke Skywalker would feel right at home in the FCV’s extraordinary interior. Looking more like the cockpit of a modern jet fighter, it features an array of cutting-edge innovations. A signature feature is a square, U-shaped steering wheel which permits an unobstructed view of the black, digital “heads-up-display” (HUD) instrument cluster. An oversized touch-screen display appears to float above the center of the dashboard. It communicates a variety of functions, including a 3-D rending of the vehicle that graphically displays power distribution, average fuel economy, and total range. A touch-sensitive “PRNDL” shift array replaces the traditional shift knob.
Fueling the Future of Green Technology
Powering the FCV is a next-generation hydrogen fuel cell that Honda claims will give the FCV a potential cruising range of 300 miles. Although it is 33 percent smaller than the fuel cell which is found in the existing FCV Clarity, it has 60 percent more power density. Honda claims that the fuel cell can be recharged in less than five minutes.
A production version of this groundbreaking FCV concept vehicle is already in the works. It’s slated to be available in the Japanese market in 2016. Honda also announced that a new electric vehicle and a hybrid plug-in are development for 2018.
World’s First Predictive Cruise Control Debuts
Honda also unveiled the world’s first predictive cruise control technology on a Euro-spec 2015 Honda CR-V at the Detroit show. The “Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control” (i-ACC utilizes cameras, radar, and complex mathematical algorithms which constantly evaluate the relationship between a selected target vehicle and up to six other vehicles, predicting whether or not they will cut into the Honda’s lane of travel. The system then gently applies the brakes and alerts the driver to the potential hazard.
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