2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

Episode 3635
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

With battery powered EV’s now well on their way to being mainstream, you might wonder if hydrogen fuel cell powered electrics are still being pursued. Well, yes they are with Toyota, Hyundai, and now Honda fielding new showroom models. In Honda’s case, it’s the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell sedan, and it’s sure to make our look down the road ahead a lot clearer.

Back in 2008, we drove Honda’s vision for the hydrogen fuel-cell powered automotive future, the FCX Clarity. And, while everyone knew it was still a work in progress, it impressed us with its easy manners and effortless appeal.

The 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is clearly an evolution of the FCX; with the biggest improvement being the shrinking of the fuel cell stack itself, now small enough to be placed in the engine bay, along with the electric drive motor.   

That leaves just two hydrogen tanks to find space for. A small one is located under the rear seats, while a larger one sits just behind them.

Output is 174-horsepower and 221 lb-ft. of torque.  But best be frugal with it, as unless you live near one of the few hydrogen refueling stations in California, you don’t want to exhaust the still impressive 366-mile range too quickly. For the record, that’s more range than any battery powered EV you can buy today.

Indeed, Honda claims it’s the longest driving range of any zero-emission vehicle. Plus, fueling doesn’t take hours, but approximately five minutes. 

The Clarity comes with Government Fuel Economy MPGe ratings of 69-City, 67-Highway, and 68-Combined. 

During our early drive time around Santa Barbara, California; the Clarity Fuel Cell drove mostly like a pure-EV, but with power delivery that feels more linear, more like a traditional combustion powertrain. Likewise, the regen braking is not as aggressive as a battery electric, even when dialed up in sport mode. Yes, there is a sport mode. 

And you can definitely detect Clarity’s 4,134–lbs. through corners, but it never feels sloppy. Rather, Honda smooth and mostly quiet, save for a few awkward whirring and air-flow noises you haven’t heard before. Honda claims to have quieted down the drive motor significantly from the FCX Clarity. 

The cabin is quite nice looking; not too futuristic or even that much different from say… a Civic. But things do feel a little tighter inside, mostly because of the wide and protruding center console. 

Not so in the rear seats where, with no big battery to hide, there’s plenty of both leg and head room and true 3-across seating.

Even with a hydrogen tank eating up some trunk space, there’s still a good 11.8 cubic-ft. of it. 

Safety systems are also typical Honda; including Lane Keeping Assist, and Collision Mitigation braking. There’s even a Head-Up Display and Honda’s LaneWatch side view camera.

Also helping the driver keep track is an innovative Digital Graphic meter; while Apple Car Play and Android Auto are a part of the new 8.0-inch HD touchscreen display audio system.

The exterior may not appear as far into the future as it once did, but it’s clearly not your everyday sedan either. 

Along with the usual LED headlights and daytime runners, the Clarity has a host of air cheating elements such as rear “air curtains”, keeping wind off the wheels, and the world’s first “air curtain ducts” on the rear doors.

Body panels are mostly aluminum.  Wheels are 18-inch alloys, wearing Michelin Energy Saver tires.

As for size, its 108.3-inch wheelbase is exactly 2.0-inches longer than a Civic Sedan. 

And just in case you don’t live near a hydrogen pump, Honda has announced that a plug-in hybrid, as well as their first pure-EV will soon join the Clarity lineup. 

If you could buy the Clarity Fuel Cell, pricing would be $59,365; but for now, Honda is still going with a leasing only plan at $369 a month. Act now, and Honda will even throw in up to $15,000 of free fuel during your 3-year lease. 

We know the current market for the 2017 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is tiny, and only in California. But in a larger sense, we’re not convinced that this wave of the future will ever crash upon our shores, as we are much further along a pure-EV path. But, Honda is not concerned with such trivialities, they’ve got innovating to do, and if we ever do get that “Hydrogen highway”, Honda, and the Clarity Fuel Cell, will be at the head of the lane.

Specifications

  • Horsepower: 174
  • Torque: 221 lb-ft.
  • EPA: 69 MPGe city / 67 MPGe highway,
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 2

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Bringing Supercar Performance To The Street…American Style

Episode 4324
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

What happens when you let enthusiasts and engineers worry less about tradition and allow them to do what they do best? You get cars like this Chevrolet Corvette Z06. What happens when GM let’s us borrow one for a few days? That’s what we’re about to find out!

While the Z06 package first became an option for the Chevrolet Corvette back in 1963, it wasn’t until the C5 that it describe the ultimate track-focused ‘Vette. And while since then every Z06 has gotten more extreme, if we were plotting things out on a graph, this is where the line of performance progression goes from a steady incline to almost vertical. Yes, the latest C8 Z06 is all that.

It starts with a brand new LT6 5.5-liter DOHC V8 that outputs 670-horsepower and delivers 460 lb-ft. of torque. It sounds great too, the very aggressive nature of its flat-plane crank design has it sounding, and feeling like it’s trying to shake its way out of the engine bay unless you unleash some of its furry.

This dual-cammer featured a dry-sump design from the get-go and is more racing engine than souped-up small block, being developed originally for the C8.R race car.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Front2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Wide2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Front Close2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Fascia2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Wheel2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Profil2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dead Rear2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Badge

It made short work of Roebling Road Raceway’s long front straight, able to reach 160 by the end of it. With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

But, as you can imagine, Chevy has done much more than just plop a bigger motor into its rear-midship engine bay, which was easier to do since they didn’t have to worry about anyone seeing over it. They’ve addressed just about every part of the car to ensure it puts that power to best use for coming out of corners like few other cars on the street.

That includes upgrades for the short/long arm double wishbone suspension setup that can be further enhanced with an available Z07 Performance Package that adds more aggressive tuning for Magnetic Ride Control, and Michelin Sport Cup 2R tires. Which can be mounted on 20 and 21-inch carbon fiber wheels with carbon ceramic brakes nestled behind.

It all translated into more grip than a semi’s worth of industrial strength Velcro through Roebling’s 9-turns.

With Hellcats no longer rolling off the assembly line, this is easily our new favorite V8.

Like most Corvettes, the Z06 can be as wild or mild of an experience as you care to make it but will most likely be the fastest car to show up at most track days. Yet, the same magnetic dampers that void all body roll on the track, provide an almost plush ride quality for the drive home, though not quite as plush as the standard Corvette.

We’re struggling to find something non-fan boy to say; sure the 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox doesn’t deliver shifts with the brutality of some exotics, but really, they’re just as fast, and the shifts are much smoother.

Believe it or not, almost all the body is unique. So, rather than just tacking on some fender flares, Chevy made the entire car wider to cover the 345 rear tires, yet keep the same uniform look in place.

The optional Carbon Fiber Aero Package adds a front splitter, rocker extensions, front dive planes, and a huge rear wing. We’re not sure if the multi-level nature of that rear wing was done for functional or aesthetic reasons, but it doesn’t block your rearview, and that is much appreciated.

2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine
2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Dash2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Seats2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Shifter2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Frunk2024 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Engine

We always talk about torque being more important than horsepower when it comes to acceleration, and the Z06 works with almost 200 fewer lb-ft. of torque than horsepower, but you sure wouldn’t know it when you mash the throttle.

Easy to use programmable launch control allows you to dial in your preferred RPM for launching; we found 4,500 was just about perfect for Roebling’s front straight, allowing for just a tiny bit of slip before rocketing us to 60 on a 40 degree day in just 2.6-seconds.

Power continues to pour on hard as the engine quickly hits its 8,600 RPM redline, and gear changes happen often. The sound inside the cabin in intense, and when the ¼-mile came to an end in 10.7-seconds at 130 miles-per-hour, it felt like it was just getting started.

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are a low 12-City, 19-Highway, and 14-Combined.

For the Z06 there are 3 LZ pricing points to land on, starting at $114,395; but you can go with the top-of-the-line Z06, add 50-grand worth of options, and still come out half the price of anything you can compare it to.

Call us home teamers all you want, but America’s only exotic does it yet again, not only is it the best Corvette ever, but it is also easily one of the greatest American cars of all time, arriving at a particularly poignant time culturally as we mourn the potential loss of internal combustion engines altogether. So, come for the spectacular engine and stay for the complete performance package, and experience, that is the Chevrolet Corvette Z06.

Specifications

  • Engine: 5.5-liter V8
  • Horsepower: 670
  • 0-60 mph: 2.6 seconds
  • EPA: 12 City | 19 Highway | 14 Combined
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual clutch auto
  • Torque: 460 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 10.7-seconds at 130 mph