Honda has decided to shift its focus from F1 racing to becoming even more eco-friendly. The Japanese carmaker recently announced that it’s withdrawing from F1 racing at the end of the 2021 season to put its resources towards battery-electric and hydrogen fuel-cell technology.
“Honda needs to funnel its corporate resources in research and development into the areas of future power-unit and energy technologies, including fuel-cell vehicle and battery EV technologies, which will be the core of carbon-free technologies,” said the automaker in a press release.
Honda has the corporate goal to achieve carbon-neutral operations by 2050.
The carmaker still plans on remaining involved in motorsports, and won’t be leaving racing entirely. It confirmed that it will have a multi-year extension to its IndyCar engine program, and will even begin supplying hybrid powertrains starting in 2023. There’s also an expectation that the brand will come back with a new vehicle for the all-electric Formula E series.
The Honda F1 program has been on-again, off-again since the 1960s. It has worked as its own team and has also provided engines to other teams throughout the last 50 years or so. Honda-powered vehicles won three F1 races in 2019 and have won two so far in 2020.
For all of your Honda news — both performance-focused and otherwise — keep an eye on the Hardin County Honda Blog.
When it comes to combining efficiency with power, the 2020 Honda Fit e:HEV is raising the bar. This hybrid hatchback — which was unveiled during the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show — is certainly efficient, but its designers took inspiration from the Honda Formula 1 program, giving the Fit e:HEV ample power.
This electrified Fit model uses a two-motor hybrid system, which works alongside its 1.5-liter engine. It also offers three driving modes – EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive – to give you the combination of efficiency and performance you want.
The Fit e:HEV has an electronic control until that allows it to seamlessly switch between the modes, which is where the influence from the Honda F1 team is evident.
“During a Formula 1 race weekend, teams have to manage very carefully how much fuel they use to comply with the sport’s regulations,” Yasuaki Asaki, the head of power unit development at Honda, explained, “In a race, we can divide the total fuel allowance over the number of laps, but there are going to be situations where a team might wish to use more fuel in order to get higher performance and in other parts of the race they will want to save fuel for later, while behind a safety car for example.”
With these thoughts in mind, Asaki goes on to mention that this F1 experience has allowed the Fit e:HEV to “deliver the best possible power to efficiency ratio for the driver, in any required driving mode.”
If you want to experience Honda’s engineering prowess for yourself, feel free to stop by Hardin County Honda and take a 2020 Fit for a test drive.