Honda Manufacturer Profile & Rally History

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Honda Home Country: Japan Japan

Honda was founded in 1937 by Soichiro Honda. They first were a precision engineering company but built their way up from motorbike engines to motorbikes and cars. Strangely in Japan they remained one of the smaller car companies, it is their successes in USA today that makes Honda one of the top10 biggest car manufacturers world wide. It is double strange, because Honda is most famous for clever engines, getting high power out of small engines, something that actually totally contradicts the US market. Beyond that, to be honest, I find it hard to report much about Honda – so, sorry if I spice this story more with personal waffle rather than unbiased facts. In design most of their cars could easily be badged Mazda, Nissan or so without anyone realising. Though they are not as boring as Hyundai, who stole Honda’s brand logo without Honda doing anything about it. But I could easily believe, if you don’t see the difference between a Mazda 6 and a Honda Accord when they don’t stand right next to each other, you feel it once you are on the move. Honda seems most famous for the high revving compact Civic V-Tec and Type-R models. I am not a big fan at all of high revving engines that you really have to kick to get them moving and that sound like they always have a big struggle at hand. I much, much more prefer the endless ease of a turbo or the low end torque of a 205 GTI or a Golf 1 GTI. But for some reason that I myself really can't even explain, looking at the more luxury example above, I would chose the Honda Accord over the Mazda 6 or equivalent Nissan, Toyota, Hundei models without the slightest hesitation. Maybe the Americans do know why they buy Hondas after all.

Honda never ever officially rallied and never showed the slightest interest in the sport. With their V-Tec technology they had superbly performing, even if troublesome, cars for class victories. OK, maybe that is why I write a bit hesitant about the Civic above. In my best days of my own rallying I travelled around in a Peugeot 205 GTI 1.9. By the 1990s in the power department this car should have had no chance against the class opposition, but it made up for it for low end torque and extra sweet handling. I kept looking at the Honda Civic V-tec and Type-R often, because despite being in the 1600cc class only, they actually were something like 30BHP up on my 2000cc class Peugeot! So it was interesting to have a fight with them. In the end I rarely needed to bother, because the high rev Honda engines seemed to have a short lifetime, if they didn’t lose their front wheels first. OK, not the best advert for Honda, but as long as they lasted these 1600cc Hondas could annoy us 2 litre class “big boys” on more than one occasion.

The Honda attitude however is suddenly changing with the introduction of the IRC. Italian touring car tuners J.A.S. not only turn up at rallies with an R3 class Honda Civic since 2007, they have official works backing to do so. Meanwhile the Civic has a 2000cc engine and still has its variable valve timing technology that made the 1600cc V-Tec so powerful. And as I am writing this, there is info that the next generation Civic will actually move away from the high revs and become turbo charged instead. Interesting. The project does remain R3 class only for now, but since 2007 they are now in IRC turn ERC and they do keep giving works support to a number of drivers, which does deserve some praise.

Honda Rally Cars

Model Class
Honda Honda Civic (07)  Class R3
Honda Honda Civic Vti  Group N

Rally Honour Roll

Year Class Place Manufacturer Events
2016 IRC Class R5 9th. Honda (2pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2015 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 11th. Honda (1pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2014 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 10th. Honda (5pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2013 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 10th. Honda (5pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2012 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 6th. Honda (67pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2011 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 6th. Honda (46pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2010 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 7th. Honda (4pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2009 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 6th. Honda (6pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2008 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 5th. Honda (1pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2007 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 4th. Honda (7pts) 9

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar