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Shake Down L.A. Style - April 2007 Shakedown

Three concepts from Honda and Acura show up in Los Angeles.

Apr 1, 2007
Htup_0704_01_z+honda_acura_concept_car_at_la_auto_show Photo 1/1   |   Shake Down L.A. Style - April 2007 Shakedown

New Styles From Old Town
Honda's Latest Design Studio Will Be Its Third In California.In December, Honda R&D Americas opened the doors to the Advanced Design studio in the heart of Old Town Pasadena. Mixed between the J. Crews and the Banana Republics, the design studio will focus on design concepts and creating concept cars for Honda and Acura. "This new advanced studio that takes a longer view focused on advanced design concepts that will guide the future of both of these brands," explained Hirohide Ikeno, the president of Honda R&D Americas. It is the third Honda design studio in California and the second to pop up in the span of a year. The Acura Design Center, which will focus on Acura designs and market research, broke ground in March and is scheduled to open this summer.

Splash and Dash
Rad! The Honda Ski Tour is back in action. January 11 was the official kick-off date as the Ski Tour hit Sun Valley in Idaho. From there, the tour travels to Breckenridge and Aspen in Colorado and Squaw Valley in California. Each stop features radical ski racing, freeride competitions and live music. Winners receive a 2007 Honda Element. Musical artists will include Sean Paul, Gomez, Hinder and more. Each stop will be televised. For more information, check out theskitour.com. Super rad!

Laguna Seca Raceway in California was the scene of the Honda FCX Concept's driving debut. The FCX Concept is Honda's Next-Generation Fuel Cell vehicle and features a newly developed compact, high-efficiency Honda FC Stack as well as a low-floor, low-riding, short-nose body. Limited marketing of a totally new fuel cell vehicle based on this concept model is to begin in 2008 in Japan and the U.S.

Sales of the first wheelchair-accessible Honda Odysseys have begun. The VMI Northstar conversion alters the Odyssey by lowering the floor 11-inches and installing a powered in-floor ramp with non-skid surface for easy ingress and egress (yes, again). The patented PowerKneel System automatically lowers the Odyssey to decrease the ramp incline. VMI purchases the vehicles from Honda, and then modifies them on a new assembly line at its Phoenix-based facility.

Like Father Like Son
Marco Andretti Takes His First Steps Into A Career In Formula 1Egad! Another Andretti has taken baby steps toward driving in Formula 1. During Honda F1's first winter tests in Spain, the team extended some seat time to Marco Andretti, who is coming off his rookie year in IndyCar.

Andretti joined several Honda drivers at Jerez Circuit. He began testing the RA106 racecar shortly after 9 a.m. with an installation lap, followed by several short runs, which were intended to help him familiarize himself with the F1 car. Andretti completed 33 laps before the morning session came to a close.

"It took me a little while to get used to the traction control and the brakes but once I got to grips with them, the times were more and more consistent," said Andretti, whose father, Michael, spent a year at McLaren in 1991. His grandfather, Mario, won a Formula 1 title with Lotus in 1978.

Andretti was back on track at the start of the afternoon session and continued to improve steadily as he completed a total of 68 laps. "He did a good job and acclimatized himself well to the unfamiliar surroundings in the very short time that a one-day test provides," said Gil de Ferran, Honda F1's sporting director. "Marco looked comfortable straightaway with the car and the track, and overall, it was a good first experience in a Formula 1 car."

Andretti earned Rookie of the Year honors after winning at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma and coming in second at the Indianapolis 500. But the test may have been more than just a reward drive. Marco is just 19 years old and has shown a penchant for running in the front of the pack. His surname doesn't hurt either. It seems like a matter of time before he gets a serious look at F1.

Inaugural Series Will Be Packed With Eight Events

2007 NOPI Drift SCHEDULE
March 17-18 Firebird Raceway Phoenix
March 31-April 1 Toyota Field Chicago
April 14-15 Dolphin Stadium Miami
June 9-10 Gateway International Raceway St. Louis
June 23-24 Invesco Field Denver
June 30-July 1 Home Depot Center Los Angeles
July 7-8* Chilhowee Park Knoxville
July 28-29 Heinz Field Pittsburgh
Sept. 15-16** Atlanta Motor Speedway Atlanta
*Drift demo event **2007 NOPI Drift Finals

2007 Drag Race Schedules

NHRA XplOd Sport Compact Series Schedule
March 31-April 1 Moroso Motorsports Park Jupiter, FL
April 21-22 Virginia Motorsports Park Richmond, VA
May 5-6 Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Englishtown, NJ
June 2-3 (Pro RWD only) Heartland Park Topeka Topeka, KS
June 9-10 Atco Raceway Atco, NJ
July 13-14 The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Las Vegas
Aug. 18-19 O’Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis
Sept. 1-3 (Pro RWD/Pro FWD only) O’Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis
Sept. 22-23 (Pro RWD/Pro FWD only) Texas Motorplex Ennis, Texas
Oct. 6-7 Old Bridge Township Raceway Park Englishtown, NJ
Oct. 20-21 Auto Club Raceway at Pomona Pomona, CA

2oo7 NOPI NDRA SCHEDULE
March 17-18 Firebird Raceway Phoenix
March 31-April 1 Toyota Field Chicago
April 28-29 Atco Raceway Atco, NJ
May 19-20 Maryland International Raceway Budds Creek, MD
June 9-10 Gateway International Raceway St. Louis
July 21-22 {{{Milan}}} Dragway Milan, MI
August 4-5 New England Dragway Epping, NH
August 25-26 Maryland International Raceway Budds Creek, MD

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