Grapevine: Honda's CEO Takes to the Track in a BAR

Few auto makers boast a CEO who can demonstrate his company's racing vehicles at speeds of 292 km (181 miles) an hour.

Grapevine: Honda's CEO Takes to the Track in a BAR

Few auto makers boast a CEO who can demonstrate his company's racing vehicles at speeds of 292 km (181 miles) an hour.

Honda Motor Co. is one of them.

On Tuesday, Takeo Fukui, president and chief executive of Japan's third-biggest carmaker, pulled off a publicity stunt that had spectators applauding as he squeezed out of BAR's Formula One racing car after doing laps around the test track.

The demonstration at Honda's testing facilities in Tochigi, near Tokyo, is part of the automaker's attempt to shake off its association with plain old reliability in the US market while showing off its latest safety and "green" technology in an all-day presentation.

"Research and development is the most important focus for Honda," Fukui said. "The first element of that is making driving fun, and we will further strengthen that area as one of the unique characteristics that sets Honda apart."

Minutes after stepping out of the F1 machine, the 59-year-old Fukui continued to impress as he got on an RC211V racing bike and roared past the crowd, clearly in his element. He then drove off quietly in the newly developed hydrogen-powered fuel cell scooter.

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