Autopia was one of the original rides when Disneyland opened in July 1955 and sits in the Tomorrowland Pavilion. Letting kids and adults alike drive small, wooden cars around a track that shows the future world. It’s gone through a few redesigns since, the wooden cars didn’t last long after being bumped into one another a few times. This most recent redesign has Honda behind the Autopia cars of the classic ride.
Honda’s redesign included repainting the 96 Autopia cars in Honda colors – from Crystal Black Pearl to White Orchid Pearl. The fiberglass cars got Honda emblems on the front and back as well as new tires to go along with the new engines.
The new cars can go a whopping 6.5 mph around four different track options. The guys at AutoWeek tested them out and said “6.5 hp never felt so thrilling.” Honda not only redesigned the outside of the car, but included new tires and a new engine – a Honda iGX series engine. The 270cc iGH270 makes 8.5 hp at 3600 rpm.
They’re pretty fancy engines for such little cars, featuring variable-timing digital CDI ignition and EPA certification. Honda called the engine “…one of the best in the business. More power. Quieter performance. Lower fuel consumption. Lower emissions. Better features. Exceptional performance. Honda’s GX series lives up to the legend, and then some.”
The vehicles are very simplified to let the little ones drive. There’s one pedal mounted in the center of the cockpit. Push it all the way down and you won’t go faster than 6.5 mph, and to brake you just have to ease off the accelerator. They also have front and rear bumpers as well as an undercarriage guide rail to keep you on track.
The scenic portion of the ride is still under construction, but this is a classic Disney ride (the only existing Tomorrowland attraction that dates back to opening day). Over the years, the roadway and car styles have been updated to keep the “automobile utopia” up to date; this ride been letting kids put the pedal to the metal for 60 years.
Check out the video below, Disney Parks Blog shows how the new cars were designed, painted and made ready for Autopia.