Thursday, June 19, 2008

The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity : The hydrogen fuel-cell car from Honda Motor Company Ltd.

Honda Motor Company Ltd. (TYO: 7267) has made a big leap towards developing environment friendly car. The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity is the first fuel-cell car of the world. Honda Motor Company was also the pioneer of gas-electric hybrid. Now, they have brought out the first car that produces nothing but steam. It is truly a car of the future.

. . . . . . . . . .110.2 inches
Length. . . . . . . . . . . . 190.3 inches
Height. . . . . . . . . . . . .57.8 inches
Width. . . . . . . . . . . . . 72.7 inches
Track (front/rear). . . .62.2 / 62.8
Curb Weight. . . . . . . . .3582 lbs.

  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity is a dynamic full-cabin sedan. Automobile mag says:

The FCX handles like a well-composed family car. But easily distracted drivers might be mesmerized by the multi-color power meter gauge in the center of the dashboard, especially a ball that grows alarmingly and changes color as fuel mileage dwindles. (Note to self: See if mashing the throttle down long enough will cause the ball - and the car - to self-destruct to prevent further environmental irresponsibility.) Driven properly, the FCX is expected to deliver the equivalent of 68 mpg and zero tailpipe emissions.

  • The front end of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with a 6-sided grille.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes in a sophisticated rich color called Star Garnet Metallic.
  • The hood, trunk, doors and fenders of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity are made of aluminum.
  • The wheels of 2009 Honda FCX Clarity have ultra-lightweight 5-spoke forged aluminum.
  • The front and rear sub frames of 2009 Honda FCX Clarity are made from extruded aluminum.
  • A significant portion of the seating material of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes from plants.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity seat covers are made of environment friendly Honda bio-fabric. Conventional polyester are made from petroleum but Honda bio-fabric provides a CO2 reduction of 30% compared to polyester. The bio-fabric is highly elastic and very silky, durable and soft to the touch.
  • The seats of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity are individually contoured to complement human form. The seats also have heating and cooling facility. There is also a rear center console which serves as tray table.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with front and rear door pockets to stash you stuff.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with Satellite Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and rearview camera. It is not available in all the FCX Clarity powertrain. The navigation system is available in the USA; except Alaska.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with XM® Radio and MP3/auxiliary input jack in the center console. Honda official website says:

Required XM® Radio monthly subscription sold separately after 90-day trial period. Installation costs and other fees and taxes may apply after initial trial period, including a one-time activation fee. Subscription fee is consumer only. All fees and programming subject to change. Subscriptions subject to Customer Agreement available at XM service only available in the United States except Alaska. The XM name is a registered trademark of XM Satellite Radio Inc.”

  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with a multi-layered instrument panel. The hydrogen-consumption gauge changes color and size to show the level of your hydrogen consumption as driving conditions change. During high consumption the ball becomes large and amber colored. In case of low consumption, it shrinks and turns yellow then blue.

The USB Audio Interface is used for direct connection to and control of some current digital audio players and other USB devices that contain MP3, WMA, or AAC music files. Some USB devices with security software and digital rights-protected files may not work. Please see your dealer for details on compatibility.


  • Honda has given equal emphasis on performance of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity. Motor Trend says:

the Clarity's fuel-cell stack is located under the driver's right arm, is 65 percent smaller by volume, packs 17 percent more power (100 kW or 136 horses), and it can start at temperatures as low as -22 degrees F (owed to its vertical, gravity-drain water path). Combined with its co-axial and compact motor/gearbox up front, lithium battery pack under the rear seat, and single, 5000psi storage tank behind the rear passengers, the Clarity is brilliantly laid out. Interior space is generous, particularly its rear passenger legroom, and trunk volume is commendable.

The fuel cell stack works in conjunction with an electric motor that spins up to 12,500 rpm, and is bundled into a single unit with the gearbox. Regenerative braking charges up advanced lithium ion batteries which power the electric motor, and the system works together to produce a total of 134 horsepower and 189 ft-lbs of torque. The FCX Clarity achieves the hydrogen equivalent of 68 mpg combined, with a total cruising range of 270 miles, and its only emissions are water vapor.

  • One of the great features of the 2009 Honda FCX Clarity is that you do not need any keys to start the vehicle. All you have to do is just push the start button. Business Weeksays:

Step on the throttle and you're likely to be surprised by the Clarity's aggressive launch. The system produces 100 kilowatts of power, with a modest additional assist from the onboard batteries, which operate much like those in today's gas-electric hybrids. ……From 0 to 30 mph, the FCX delivers some serious acceleration. It slacks off as you approach highway speed, but that doesn't mean it's a slouch. We were able to easily merge onto the congested I-10, in Santa Monica , and quickly soared to near 90 mph. Certainly, around town, the FCX Clarity will keep up with traffic.

Safety features:

  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with Six airbags.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity has anti-lock braking system (ABS).
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity has Even Vehicle Stability Assist.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity has Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) systems.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity passed all the tests required by U.S. safety standards.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with omni-directional crash protection system to protect the hydrogen and electrical devices inside the car in times of crash.
  • The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity comes with Honda’s newly improved Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). Introduced in 2003, CMBS can detect potential collisions. In case of unavoidable collision, front seat belts automatically retract and braking force reduces the vehicle's speed.

Related articles:

Motor Trend


Business Week

Alternative Fuels

FCX Clarity official website