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Honda makes big commitment to EnergyWise Rally

Honda makes big commitment to EnergyWise Rally

Civic Hybrid will put technology of the future to the test

Honda New Zealand has made a major commitment to the 2002 EnergyWise rally with a five car team which includes a Civic Hybrid to be driven by Motoring Writers’ Guild President Rob Maetzig.

The petrol-electric Civic Hybrid is being imported especially for the event. It will have to run in a special class, and will not be eligible for awards, as it is not available for sale in New Zealand. It will, however, provide an interesting comparison with the most fuel-efficient conventionally-powered cars available on the local market.

Honda has also secured the services of two highly-successful drivers from the New Zealand economy runs of the 1970s. Glenn Johnston, who finished second overall in an Austin Allegro in 1976, will be gently squeezing the throttle of a 1.7 litre Civic Vi Hatch. Former radio and TV sports personality and now public relations consultant Rob Crabtree, second place-getter in 1977 in a Honda Civic, will maintain the Civic connection as he massages as many kilometres as he can out of the least amount of fuel in a Civic 1.5 VTi sedan.

Also amongst Honda’s entries will be the revolutionary new Jazz, competing in the up to 1400cc class, as well as a 2.4 litre CR-V 4WD. Drivers for these entries have yet to be finalised.

“This is an ideal opportunity for us to reinforce Honda’s worldwide reputation for environmental responsibility,” said Honda New Zealand Managing Director, Graeme Seymour. “We are looking forward to the event, not only as something which will show our own vehicles in a positive light, but also as a chance for the new car industry to demonstrate the fuel-saving capabilities of modern, safe, high-technology vehicles.”


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