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Honda challenges Toyota for the hydrogen spotlight (pictures)

Honda unveils a concept for its FCX Clarity replacement and Toyota Mirai fighter at the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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Antuan Goodwin
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1 of 15 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Honda FCV concept

DETROIT -- Honda, which has been in the fuel-cell electric vehicle business for a while now, wants to reclaim the spotlight from the Toyota Mirai.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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2 of 15 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Wheel shrouds

The automaker unveiled the new Honda FCV concept here in Detroit.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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3 of 15 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Fuel cell vehicle

The flowing sedan is powered by hydrogen, pulling power from the element to power its electric motors.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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4 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Where are the lights?

The design is highly conceptual; these tiny LED headlamps will probably not make it to the road.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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5 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Wheels

However, the broad strokes give us a good idea of what to expect: seating for five, four doors and front-wheel drive.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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6 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

New FCEV power train

The big news, however, lives under the hood. Honda has redesigned its hydrogen fuel cell power train, which will debut with its new FCEV next year.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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7 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Smaller fuel cell stack

The new system uses a 33 percent smaller fuel stack and boasts a 60 percent increase in power density when compared with the automaker's FCX Clarity.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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8 of 15 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Aerodynamic profile

The profile is sweeping with a strong emphasis on creating as little drag as possible, thereby boosting efficiency at highway speeds.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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9 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Hitting the road in 2016

Honda expects that it will showing a production car based on this design and fuel cell system in 2016.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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10 of 15 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

300-mile range, 3-minute refill

The FCV has a cruising range of about 300 miles and can be refilled in about 3 minutes.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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11 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Conceptual interior

Inside, the FCV concept features a highly stylized cabin. We don't expect much of this to reach production.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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12 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Honda infotainment

A tablet-like, floating infotainment panel displays a broad range of information about the vehicle.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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13 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

Touch to go

Rather than a shift lever, the concept features a capacitive glass touch panel that's backed by wood. The wood is there to remind the driver of his or her connection to the environment.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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14 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

More from Honda

Along with the FCV and its new fuel cell system, Honda also announced that new plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles are in the pipeline and that the new turbocharged VTEC engine would go into production for the North American market at Honda's factory in Anna, Ohio.

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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15 of 15 Josh Miller/CNET

2015 Detroit auto show

Be sure to check out the rest of CNET's coverage of the 2015 Detroit auto show.

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