Honda For 1997
By Carey Russ
There is exciting news at Honda for 1997. The technological showcase fifth-generation Prelude is here, and the company's first homegrown sport-utility, the CR-V debuts.
Honda's already high-tech Prelude sports coupe has been completely restyled and redesigned to have higher levels of performance and handling and even more technological sophistication and utility.
The Prelude and premium Prelude SH use a 2.2-liter 195- horsepower engine with Honda's VTEC variable valve-timing system. While a 5-speed manual transmission is standard, the new optional electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic is the real news. It is designed not only to operate as a conventional automatic, but to also operate in manual mode with sequential shifting. It is also the first Prelude transmission to use the Grade Logic control system.
Both Prelude models have a revised 4-wheel independent double wishbone suspension. The Prelude SH features the Active Torque Transfer System, a computerized system that redistributes power to the front, driving wheels for better handling.
"Comfortable Runabout Vehicle" is what it means. A Civic- based blend of sport-utility style, minivan utility and space, and car road manners is what it is. The Honda CR-V is already popular in Japan, and is coming to America very soon.
Like many other new-generation sport-utilities, the CR-V is designed for comfort and civilized use. No trucklike solid axles, transfer cases, and 4-wheel drive low range with locking hubs here. It has fully-independent double wishbone suspension and a slick "real- time" 4-wheel drive system that is designed for slippery on-road conditions. Normally operating in front-wheel drive, the rear wheels are given power only when it is needed.
The CR-V will be offered in one well-equipped trim level with all popular equipment, powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and 4- speed automatic transmission. It should be extremely price-competitive in its class.
The best-selling car to individual buyers in America for 1996 was the Honda Accord. For 1997, there have been improvements to the automatic transmission and air conditioning, and additional soundproofing.
Accords are offered in sedan, coupe, and wagon styles in three trim levels. A choice of four-cylinder and V6 engines are available depending on trim level and model.
New last year, the current-generation Civic continues to be available in sedan, coupe, and hatchback body styles. All now have 14- inch wheels. A variety of four-cylinder engines provide power.
Honda's sporty little two seat open-top coupe is unchanged for 1997.
This unique Accord-based Honda 4-door minivan has minor equipment changes for 1997.
The Passport sport-utility vehicle is offered in two trim levels, with a choice of two- or four-wheel drive. All 1997 Passports will be equipped with a 3.2-liter V6 engine.