Honda brags it has the "most robust and diverse racing portfolio of any automaker."
Honda is kicking off a new ad campaign dubbed “Racing at Heart” to show how the expertise gained in the challenging world of motorsports is being put to good use into the company's road-going cars. The namesake inaugural spot focuses on Honda’s involvement in the Verizon IndyCar Series, Red Bull Global Rallycross, and desert truck racing, before switching to cars you can actually buy, namely the Ridgeline pickup truck and the Civic in the spicy Si and Type R flavours.
We can’t say that we're surprised by the fact there’s no mention of the Honda-powered McLaren MCL32 competing in F1 given the poor performance of the car. After five races, McLaren Honda is dead last in the constructors’ standings with zero points, prompting Fernando Alonso to head to the United States to rediscover the joy of racing for this month’s Indy 500. His seat in the F1 car during the Monaco GP will be occupied by Jenson Button teaming up with Belgian rookie Stoffel Vandoorne.
Getting back to the commercial at hand, the Civic Si will be on sale in Canada soon. In the U.S. it carries a starting price of $24,775 in both sedan and hatchback body styles. We expect Canadian pricing to be announced this week. The cars are sharing a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine developing 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque transferred to the front axle via a six-speed manual.
For something with more oomph, you’ll have to wait until the end of spring when the Civic Type R will go on sale. The fastest front-wheel drive production car around the Nürburgring is going to cost somewhere in the mid-$30,000 range in the U.S. Buyers willing to fork out the premium over the warm Si will be rewarded with a larger 2.0-litre unit rated at 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, also paired with a six-speed manual. A cheaper Type R is expected to arrive next year with less kit, but the same meaty engine.
The 30-second ad also shows the Ridgeline for a brief moment. The truck was the winner of the 2017 North American Truck of the Year award, and is available with a 280-hp V6 in both front- and all-wheel drive guises and carrying a starting price of $36,790.