In addition to automobiles with innovative EARTH DREAMS TECHNOLOGY, Honda will create the ultimate motorcycle of the internal combustion era. This commitment to excellence can be seen in our development of a new engine for 125 cc scooters, which are used by a large number of customers worldwide, and in the New Mid series, which overturned existing stereotypes when it was announced at the Milan Motorcycle Show in Italy. We have also developed a low-cost, compact motorcycle with a comprehensive range of improvements including ease of use, fuel economy, driving performance, and durability for Africa, where the market is poised to expand in the future. Honda is striving to become No. 1 by providing high-performance, inexpensive products that customers worldwide want.
Honda's approach is to contribute to lower CO2 emissions on the global scale by further increasing the fuel economy of the engines used in its global models. We announced a new engine for the 125 cc scooters that are loved by a large number of customers worldwide in September 2011. This next-generation engine delivers improved durability, quietness, and fuel economy. The Thai-produced Click125i began using the new engine in January 2012, and going forward we will bring it to various global scooter models.
We also announced three new models for middle-class consumers in the European market, which is characterized by a mature motorcycle culture, in November 2011. These models feature a newly developed midsize 700 cc engine and transmission. In addition to delivering robust torque performance during low- and medium-rpm operation, which characterizes most city riding and touring, the new engine provides best-in-class fuel economy of 27 kilometers per liter* or better, representing an improvement of 40 percent or more compared to sports models in the same class (according to Honda estimates).
*WMTC mode (European model, Honda estimate).
The New Mid Concept refers to the NC700X and two other models announced by Honda in Japan in February 2012. These midsize motorcycles offer a pleasant, distinctive riding experience along with exceptional fuel economy and ease of use in normal riding, including city riding and touring. As products, they give shape to Honda's philosophy of providing this type of motorcycle at an affordable price.
The engine features a broad range of innovations such as an ideal combustion shape and low-friction technologies in an effort to augment robust output performance during low- and medium-rpm operation with improved fuel economy borne of the pursuit of combustion efficiency. Thanks to these enhancements, which allow the engine to achieve 41.0 kilometers per liter (test figures recorded while driving at 60 kilometers per hour), we were able to shrink the fuel tank and move it underneath the seat, opening up space where the fuel tank used to be. By inclining the engine forward so that this space could be most effectively utilized, we created a luggage space capable of accommodating a full-face helmet. In applying fuel economy improvements to the shape of the motorcycle itself in this way, we are able to provide customers with a unique Honda product that combines not only power and fuel economy, but also a superior level of utility.