American Honda To Lead 2001 Green-Car 'Tour De Sol'

4/17/2001 4:48:00 PM

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today announced its return as Gold Sponsor of the "Tour de Sol: The Great American Green Transportation Festival," an annual green car rally organized by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, the largest regional grassroots environmental group in the U.S.

The 2001 Tour, to be held May 19-26, starts in Hartford, CT, drives to Albany, NY, through central Massachusetts, and finishes in Boston, MA.

Honda will lead the Tour with two pace cars -

  • 2001 gas-electric Insight, now entering its second model year. The new model offers a 'Continuously Variable Transmission,' which offers the convenience of an automatic with both the performance and fuel efficiency of a manual transmission.
  • 2001 Civic GX, named by the U.S. EPA as "Cleanest on Earth" with an internal combustion engine. Powered by a dedicated natural gas engine, the Civic GX is certified in all 50 states as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) with near-zero emissions, and is the only SULEV sedan on the market nationwide;

"The Insight and the Civic GX are two more steps of many Honda has already taken to reduce the impact of the automobile on the environment," said Robert Bienenfeld, senior manager of product planning for American Honda. "These two production vehicles, on sale nationwide, represent Honda's commitment to develop real-world, market-ready solutions to meeting this challenge."

The annual event typically features manufacturer-built prototypes and futuristic student-designed concepts. Last year, for the first time in its 12-year history, an affordable, mass-produced environmental vehicle - the 2000 Honda Insight - led the road rally as the official pace car.

The Honda Insight captured first place in the 2000 Tour de Sol, achieving an average of 92-miles-per-gallon (MPG) over 303 miles. The Tour started in New York City, traveling through New Jersey and Maryland, with the finish line on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

In addition to Honda serving as the major corporate sponsor for the 2001 event, participants are expected to include automotive enthusiasts, automotive companies, representatives from federal and state government agencies, environmentalists, and both high-school and college students driving solar-powered cars, electric motorcycles, and gas-electric hybrid cars.

Honda Insights set pace for 2000 Tour de Sol.