The 2020 Honda Civic Si is getting an update that comes with fresher styling and more safety features. It also gets a shorter final drive gear ratio to help its 205 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque deliver quicker acceleration. Unfortunately, the change also appears to have sacrificed fuel economy. The EPA just released the numbers on the new Civic Si, and fuel economy has dropped by 2 mpg in all driving scenarios for 26 in the city, 36 on the highway and 30 combined. The reason for the drop is likely because the shorter final gear ratio means the engine will be running at higher rpm for any given speed, and thus be using more fuel at any given speed. Despite the dip in fuel economy, the Civic Si is still about the most efficient sporty compact with a manual (the Si's only transmission) on the market. Among similarly priced and powered small cars, the Fiat 500 Abarth ties the Civic's combined fuel economy of 30 mpg, but with better city fuel economy at 28 and worse highway mileage at 33. The Veloster Turbo with a manual gets 29 mpg combined followed by the Jetta GLI at 28, the GTI at 27, and the Mini Cooper S at 26.
A few days ago, Acura showed its Type S Concept in an album of dramatically lit press photos. It is our extreme pleasure to report that the Acura Type S Concept on display at The Quail, with no shadows nor Photoshop to hide in, is even more pleasing to the eye than it was in those photographs. This is the sedan the brand said "sets the stage for re-introducing Type S performance variants to the Acura line-up after a decade hiatus, and will heavily influence the character of the upcoming, second-generation TLX Type S." Our hope is that the phrase "heavily influence the character of" is code for the word "be," and Acura's simply not ready to admit it yet. From the new rectangular "Jewel Eye" LED headlights to the front fascia that could double as an Orc weapon, the flanks with a pentathlete's balance of muscle and leanness, those Halo beam rifle taillights, and the mortar-launcher quad-pipes, this concept is the bee's knees. Acura calls the design language "Chicane," and this expression of it is everything a fan wants to see from the brand. The Double Apex Blue Pearl paint, forged carbon accents, and functional vents only make the sculpture better. We're promised two new Type S offerings in the next two years, an RDX Type S presumed to follow the TLX version. They can't come soon enough. We encourage you to check out the gallery and enjoy every angle of the preview for Acura's coming attractions.
Japan's Education Ministry plans to improve Internet services used by isolated schools for remote learning. The effort will kick off in April next year with the goal to narrow the education gap between urban and rural communities.
The ministry already offers online learning at schools on remote islands and in under populated areas. But officials say the connections are unstable and video lectures sometimes get cut off.
Android Auto users are in for a treat as Google just unveiled a complete overhaul of the interface. We can safely say it looks a whole lot better than the current system, and we're excited to try it out.
To begin, there's a new launcher. Instead of the five buttons along the bottom, now there's an array of apps to choose from in a vertically scrolling interface. This looks a whole lot more like the app drawer on your actual phone, and should make choosing your desired navigation or audio app much more intuitive. The launcher looks more like Apple CarPlay, but scrolls vertically instead of sliding from page to page horizontally.
Japan's Industry Minister says Nissan Motor needs to take a frank look at improving governance. Hiroshige Seko also said that chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest was very regrettable.
Seko said, "I'm deeply disappointed with what's happening. I want Nissan to have thorough discussions on governance in the third-party panel that the board plans to set up."
Uighurs and members of other Chinese ethnic minorities living in exile have formed a group in Japan to campaign for improvements in human rights in China.
About 100 people, including 10 members of Uighurs, Tibetans and other ethnic minorities, gathered on Friday for the founding of the group in Tokyo.