Out now: the Autocade Yearbook 2024
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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024

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Soichiro Honda wanted to build cars, and began his journey with mastering smaller items such as motor scooters. The first Honda car was a 360 cm³ sports car in 1962, evolving into the S800, but the landmark vehicle was the Civic of 1972. The Civic, probably a gold standard when it comes to Japanese small (and not so small today) cars, was only the prelude (pun intended): Honda followed up with the Accord, which was considerably ahead of many of its mid-sized competitors when it was launched in 1976. Since then, Honda has taken the same gradual approach, mastering one segment and moving on to a larger one. It has done the same with minivans and now, mid-sized trucks for the American market (the Honda Ridgeline), while never seemingly abandoning its traditional customers. Honda is the source of rice burners for Asian–Americans wanting to soup up a sporting Civic; equally it is the darling of more mature drivers wanting something economical, such as the Fit (Jazz in some countries); and conservative family buyers in the United States happy with the latest Accord. Every now and then, Honda will appear with another world-beater (it has done so with four-wheel steering on the Prelude, and introduced the Insight electric–petrol hybrid Stateside before the Toyota Prius), and it appears the next will be becoming the first manufacturer to put a hydrogen fuel-cell car into series production—though not before Honda releases its first jet aeroplane.


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Out now: Autocade Yearbook 2024