Monaco's narrow streets are considered as territory to some of the most impressive supercars in the world. Now, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco opted not to have an extravagant display for their lap of honor at the start of the 2017 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Monaco. Instead, they were in a Honda Clarity Fuel Cell when they lapped the historic city's circuit. The lap represented the beginning of the race itself, directly preceding the highly anticipated presentation of the Formula 1 drivers and Monaco's national anthem.
As of now, the hydrogen-driven Clarity is still not available in Europe, but Honda is orchestrating a demonstration campaign that will run through 2022 to showcase its futuristic vehicle. The Japanese company will unleash a total of 185 sedans on the roads of Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and the United Kingdom as part of the test. The new vehicle from Honda impressively belts out a range of 403 miles (650 km) in the New European Driving Cycle test.
But according to the Environmental Protection Agency's more strict assessment, the sedan only yielded 366 miles (589 km) with a full tank of hydrogen. This record is still better compared to Tesla Model S 100D's 335 mile (539 km) EPA range and the 321 miles (516 km) that the hydrogen powered Toyota Mirai can accomplish.
Prince of Monaco isn't the only one who had the chance to maneuver the sedan, as we also got the opportunity to go behind the wheel of the Clarity Fuel Cell. The sedan feels like any other electric vehicle in the market, with stable, linear acceleration. Its main adversary, the Toyota Mirai, feels a tad faster under acceleration.
Honda Clarity Fuel Cell is sold in the United States and Japan. Those in the United States who are interested can loan one from select dealers located in California for only $369 per month and $2,868 that will be required at signing.
The proposal also includes hydrogen refuelling up to $15,000. For the customers found in different states in the US, they will soon have the electric and plug in hybrid variants of the Clarity, which will be sold for an estimated $35,000. The mentioned electric vehicle will be rolled out to dealers in California and Oregon in the latter part of this year. Both variants of the Clarity will utilize a 25.5 kW-hour battery, and its range will be possibly register as low as 80 miles.
Moreover, the plug-in hybrid vehicles will ultimately be offered nationwide. It will flaunt a 1.5 L 4-cylinder engine and 17 kWh battery. The vehicle will also deliver a predicted 42-mile range when running on electricity and will cruise for a total of 330 miles.