Autocar Why motorsport needs more estate cars

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Autocar, Wednesday 4th Dec, 2013.

  1. Autocar Auto-Generated News Feed

    304
    17
    Honda should be celebrated for deciding to run the Civic Tourer in next year's British Touring Car Championship The Honda Yuasa Racing team caused a bit of a stir when it revealed its 2014 British Touring Car Championship racer. It will replace the ultra-successful hatchback version of its Civic with the Tourer model. It’s an unusual choice: there hasn’t been an estate car on the BTCC grid since the end of the 1994 season.
    Given that touring cars don’t have much need for extra luggage space, it does beg the question why. But with the compact estate market that the Civic Tourer sits in growing steadily, it’s a good chance for Honda UK to push the sporting credentials of the model. Plus, Civic drivers have won the last three BTCC titles, so this is a good way of maintaining interest in the programme.
    The team says the weight, wheelbase, layout and suspension of the two cars will be the same, so it shouldn’t harm the competitiveness of the machine. Having become used to seeing the compact Civic tearing up the circuits, it's going to take me a bit of time to adjust to the Tourer version. Still, I'm willing to give it a go, because it's always refreshing to see a bit of variety on the grid.
    The last estate to race in the BTCC was the Volvo 850. Unlike the Civic Tourer, it was a proper square-sided slab of a car - and I loved it. The sight of an estate car in full racing livery hopping over a kerb was just so wonderfully... odd. It was a brilliant PR coup by Volvo, which claimed it had chosen the estate for its aerodynamic benefits. It gained an unfeasible amount of publicity for a car that never bettered fifth place.
    The 850 estate lasted just a single season, before being replaced by the saloon model for 1995 – ostensibly because new BTCC rules allowing rear wings would disadvantage an estate. The 850 saloon won races, and Rickard Rydell won the 1998 title in the later, and far sleeker, S40 model. But it's the estate car that is arguably still most fondly recalled.
    If you think an estate car is an odd racing machine, how about a pick-up truck? There are whole championships for those. In 1995, NASCAR, which had previously run championships purely for stock cars, set up a national championship for truck racing. What might have seemed a novelty at first was a genius move, reflecting the fact that the most popular vehicle sold in America – the Ford F-150 – was a pick-up. The Camping World Truck Series now sits as NASCAR’s third tier national championship, and most of the manufacturers in the top-level Sprint Cup also have a racing pick-up.
    Of course, not every PR-driven unusual car choice is a great success. In rallying, Peugeot's decision to replace the hugely successful but ageing Peugeot 206 WRC with a 307cc in 2004 was driven by the marketing men. It was an odd choice: to meet the rules the folding roof - surely the main selling point of a hard-top convertible - had to be replaced by a permanently shut one. And the resultant machine struggled on the stages. It took three World Rally Championship wins in two seasons, all of which owed more to the huge talents of driver Marcus Gronholm than the car itself.
    Still, it’s always refreshing to see something a bit different. So what are your favourite unusual race or rally cars?

    AC Honda FREE.

    More...
     
  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,120
    6,376
    516
    It the worst decision ever made.. why are estates not in WTCC then .. be the laughing stock of the paddock you got enough ballast on your hearse.
     
    Loading...
  3. PeteMM Premium Member Club Supporter

    Northern Ireland Pete Belfast, UK
    854
    454
    Rickard Rydell might disagree with you there CJ

    volvo-850btcc.

    If I remember rightly they didn't do too badly, but were outlawed the following year due the having a flat roof which was deemed an aerodynamic aid
     
    Loading...
  4. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,120
    6,376
    516
    Well Volvo 850 was not a push over in standard trim .. but a Civic Tourer with a 1.6 diesel and 1.8 petrol engine is hardly the car you will associate with performance.

    they don't have the 2.0 Turbo engine which will land in the Type-R. It more of an exercise to sell tins to make it more visible. Lets face that Civic Tourer is one bloody ugly car.

    Now if they had the 2.4 CM2 or CW2 Tourer then you are talking...
     
    Loading...
    John Dickson likes this.
  5. PeteMM Premium Member Club Supporter

    Northern Ireland Pete Belfast, UK
    854
    454
    But that is the entire point of competing at that level.

    Marketing, the free printed media and tv time that comes with it. And if they happen to do well, then their exposure is pretty massive.

    They will never aim to please the likes of you or me, they want to attract the millions of daily bread people who will buy at ticket price, never cause any issues and return the cars after 3 years for a new one.

    I would love to see a CM2 entered though. But it is an estate car, whereas the Civic is more an extended hatch.

    I woukdnt however class it as ugly, but it is on a par with any other generic Hyundai or Kia, which if course have vastly improved in recent years. So much so I would seriously consider one purely for the 7 year warranty and an ex demo is dangerously affordabke, well specced, looks great and provides epic fuel consumption figures.

    I hope the Civic Tourer finds a home amongst it's rivals. But i doubt it will ever provide the same value for money.
     
    Loading...
  6. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,120
    6,376
    516
    Is it really it will have the pass me downs from the WTCC spec car, I hope the public don't take to the tourer .. it will be lesson to Honda to listen to their customers.

    Pete this car is ugly as hell the rear quarter is Babbonic, you need to do a Google search on this you will find varying opinions. In quest to make the Tourer pretty like the Korean rivals which TBH are better looking Honda have hashed the design.
     
    Loading...
  7. PeteMM Premium Member Club Supporter

    Northern Ireland Pete Belfast, UK
    854
    454
    I genuinely think it is a good looking car.

    Where it falls down is in price vs spec or looks against the Korean counterparts.

    We're going to see loads on the road, unfortunately I think they will all be run of the mill poverty spec motors instead of the beautiful versions with nice wheels, ride heights, etc.

    In that instance, I don't see any other cars out there at the minute that look any better at the same level of trim. For the same money though you could be in an all singing all dancing generic Korean car with 7 years warranty. This is encroaching on Honda's impeccable reliability record and the primary reason most people bought them new.
     
    Loading...
  8. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,120
    6,376
    516
    When the last time you bough and owned a Swindon made wagon , ask a 8th Generation Civic owner how well made was their car was.. There are massive differences between Japanese made Honda and Swindon made cars.

    They have the Honda name but there is where the similarities end. Honda name is made on Japanese cars over the years and not Swindon :Wink: HUK use the reliability in their favour :lol:
     
    Loading...
  9. PeteMM Premium Member Club Supporter

    Northern Ireland Pete Belfast, UK
    854
    454
    I haven't, nor would I
     
    Loading...
    John Dickson likes this.
  10. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds
    30,120
    6,376
    516
    There you go!! :Wink:
     
    Loading...
    PeteMM likes this.
  11. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,591
    4
    Lads shall we pool together and enter an 8th Generation Accord into the BTCC ourselves. Pete, CJ you can be our drivers, I'll be chief mechanic. Give the Accord some much needed street cred Lol

    Anyone else, grab yourself a job .. what dya fancy ?
     
    Loading...
  12. PeteMM Premium Member Club Supporter

    Northern Ireland Pete Belfast, UK
    854
    454
    Can I be in charge of lightening the shell please :Grin:

    Pass the plasma torch and swagers :Grin:
     
    Loading...
    SpeedyGee and Ichiban like this.
  13. AccordCU2 Expert Advisor ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    I will volunteer my car to be used and make teas lol.
     
    Loading...
    SpeedyGee and PeteMM like this.
  14. SpeedyGee Administrator Staff Team

    England Speedy Birmingham
    14,999
    5,591
    4
    Go for it Pete, lighten away Lol.

    Zoran, nice one, we'll have to get rid of the squeaky seat first though Lol.

    DD where are you ? Get cracking on a parts list :Smile: