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Honda signs up for MotorWorld Sydney
New NSX ‘a chance’ for MotorWorld as Honda signs up for Sydney event
26 Nov 2015
HONDA Australia has become the first motor company to sign up for MotorWorld Sydney where the Japanese importer is expected to showcase new-generation models, perhaps including its latest NSX in its first Australian public appearance.
The company says it is still deciding which models it will feature at the five-day festival at Eastern Creek in November 2016, although the new 10th-generation Civic will be a certainty, in sedan guise at least.
Starting on November 30, the event will serve as a customer drive day for participating motor companies, along with static displays and demonstration laps of vehicles around the Sydney Motorsport Park circuit.
With a lot of new-model activity in the second half of 2016, Honda will use the event to take its new-look range to the public.
Although the company has a launch target date of late 2016 for the NSX, it is non-committal about plans to wheel out the American-built 427kW petrol-electric coupe at the event.
Honda Australia director Stephen Collins told GoAuto that Honda had signed on to MotorWorld because it sounded like a great event, not because it had a specific model to launch.
“How we are going to use it and what we will have there is still being decided,” he said.
Mr Collins said the NSX was “a chance” to be among the Honda models at the event, although the launch details and timing were still up in the air.
But he virtually ruled out an appearance by the new Civic Type R, saying it would be too early for that vehicle.
“If you ask me which would be the bigger chance, the NSX or the Type R, I would say the NSX,” he said.
The new Civic hatch is yet to make its public debut, with the Geneva motor show seemingly a logical date for it to take a bow.
Mr Collins said that while the Civic sedan – featuring Honda’s new-generation Earth Dreams 1.5-litre turbo engine – was set for a second-half launch in Australia, the hatch version launch timing was still to be confirmed, but would come later.
For the first time, the sedan and hatch will both be made for Australia in Thailand. The Type R flagship – promised to be one of the fastest front-wheel drive hot hatches in the world, will likely arrive in Australia some time in 2017.
MotorWorld Sydney is being staged with sponsorship from New South Wales government agency Destination NSW in a deal that secured a shift from Melbourne where the event was to have been held this month at Sandown Park.
The shift to Sydney was triggered by what MotorWorld managing director Kris Willand described as “congestion in the market” in Victoria, with rival events such as the now-defunct Australian Motoring Festival and Motorclassica competing for industry participation.
Mr Willand told GoAuto that while Honda was the first motor company to be publicly announced as a MotorWorld participant, he was fielding interest from others.
“I can’t tell you how many companies will be there, but I will say that the so-called challenger brands are very keen to get people in their cars,” he said.
Mr Willand said some companies that had previously had customer drive days had decided MotorWorld was a better option.
“Rather that drive around in front of nobody, they get to drive around in front of the press and public,” he said.
A Motorworld media launch is scheduled for February 9 at Eastern Creek, providing a preview of what will be on offer.
Mr Willand said members of the automotive industry would be welcome at February’s launch event to see what it was all about.
“It will show them how MotorWorld Sydney will become a highlight on the national event calendar by entertaining the whole family as well as offering a VIP guest experience – similar to the highly popular annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK, but with the emphasis on new cars,” he said.
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