In November 2011, Honda announced EARTH DREAMS TECHNOLOGY, a series of technologies that fulfill both our need to protect the Earth's environment and our dream of enjoying driving. This series of new, next-generation technologies is designed to deliver an advanced mix of driving performance and fuel economy while pursuing Honda's unique brand of driving pleasure. Their exceptional environmental performance derives from the improved efficiency of internal combustion engines and transmissions as well as the evolution of motors and other electrically powered technologies.
For our series of newly developed gasoline engines, we will create the world's top-performing gasoline engine in terms of output and fuel economy; for our diesel engine series, the world's lightest small diesel engine; for our transmission series, an exhilarating and sporty CVT; for our hybrid series, the world's most efficient two-motor series hybrid and plug-in hybrids; and for our Electric SH-AWD new hybrid system, innovative technology that allows the vehicle to handle as if it were on rails.
Going forward, we will roll out EARTH DREAMS TECHNOLOGY in new products in a range of categories, starting with the N BOX minivan. In addition to striving to become No. 1 in fuel economy in every category within the next three years, we are aiming to slash CO2 emissions from products sold worldwide by 30 percent compared to 2000 levels by 2020.
N BOX crystallizes technology used in the EARTH DREAMS TECHNOLOGY gasoline engine series to combine fuel economy and driving performance. Through innovations in the evolution and framework of Honda's VTEC technology, we created a more powerful engine with evolved environmental performance. The vehicle achieves top-level power in the mini-vehicle category as well as top-level environmental performance.
Engineers' third challenge, in addition to delivering both fuel economy and driving performance, was comfort. This is the current state of the M/M concept (man maximum, mechanism minimum), which turns the idea of people being at the center of the design into a system of thought. Physical comfort in terms of space leads to emotional comfort. It is the N BOX's innovative platform, characterized by a minimal engine space and a center tank layout, that creates this comfort.
More information about N BOX is available here.
The NSX Concept, which highlights Honda's approach to next-generation super-sports car design, was announced at the North American International Auto Show in January 2012. The vehicle features the Sport Hybrid SH-AWD hybrid powertrain, which incorporates the latest environmental technologies while carrying on the fun-to-drive spirit that animated the first NSX. This hybrid system combines a hybrid powertrain with two built-in drive motors designed to improve handling performance. A two-day exhibit of the concept for the general public held in February 2012 at Honda's Aoyama Headquarters drew some 13,000 visitors, highlighting high expectations for the next-generation NSX.
Honda has introduced three new CVT models that use advanced technology to deliver driving pleasure and excellent fuel economy for mini, compact, and mid-size vehicle classes, allowing the design to be used with a variety of engines. The new CVTs feature G-Design Shift, which provides a new level of cooperative control over shifting, throttle, and hydraulic control. By responding even more quickly to driver inputs and delivering a powerful, long-lasting feeling of acceleration, this control system provides an exhilarating and sporty driving feel.
In addition to shortening the overall length of the system for the mini-vehicle class by taking a creative approach to control devices and shaft placement, we reduced the total part count to achieve a lightweight, compact design, including by simplifying the design of the transmission case. For the compact and mid-size vehicle classes, we augmented changes designed to reduce weight and size by increasing gear ratios and dramatically boosting transmission efficiency, delivering fuel economy improvements of about 5 percent compared to previous CVT designs* and about 10 percent compared to conventional 5-speed automatic transmissions in the same class*.
*Comparison by Honda.