Honda Design is "Human-centric" The roots and the now of Honda Design

The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show displayed old and new Honda products and concept models.These designs, side by side, illustrate the passion behind the latest, human-centric Honda Design.

The Roots and the Now of Honda Design (video)

Motorcycles: Super Cub C100 (Launched in 1958)and Dunk
Automobiles: SPORTS 360 (Revealed in 1962) and Honda S660 CONCEPT
Power Products: F90 Tiller (Launched in 1966)and Salad CG FFV300 (2013)

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Motorcycle Racer RC142 and RCV1000R (video)

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Super Cub C100 and Dunk

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  • The Super Cub is a personal commuter masterpiece, developed by Honda at a time when the genre was nonexistent. For more than half a century without changing its form the Super Cub is the most loved motorized transportation on the planet. Within its simple, minimalistic form providing the essentials to transport one person, a surprising amount of care has been taken to make the Super Cub easy to use.
    * Photograph: 1960 Super Cub C100

  • The Dunk is Honda's evolution of the personal commuter designed to meet the needs of a modern world, retaining Soichiro Honda's spirit and passion which made the Super Cub a masterpiece. Aiming to be completely familiar to the modern commuter, the Dunk has the aura of a smartphone, with its full-covered design incorporating the headlight and indicators in a simple, elegant unit.

  • Honda's unique Super Cub frame, designed more than fifty years ago, was the result of pursuing the perfect design for a scooter easy to ride, regardless of gender. Now, with the advancement of Honda's technologies, the frame has evolved into a flat-floor format even easier to ride.
    The Dunk's seat is longer and more comfortable than that of the Super Cub, due to the removal of the rear-carrier, considering the modern style of carrying luggage in a back-pack.

  • The Super Cub's front cover, which not only conceals the mechanisms from the rider but provides protection from wind and rain, has evolved into a full cover which houses a large luggage space under the seat.
    The fuel tank, under the Super Cub's seat to provide ease of riding, has been positioned under the Dunk's floor to maximize luggage space. The space under the Dunk's handles open up to provide extra storage space, including a socket to charge a smartphone.

  • Turn indicators, which were not required by law at the time, were standard equipment for the Super Cub, for the safety of the rider.
    With the Dunk, 6V filament bulbs have been replaced with LEDs to increase night time safety, and in addition to increased brightness when braking, an extra brake lamp provides even more visibility.

  • Meters are designed to provide information to the rider in a simple, instantly understandable format. With the Dunk, the analog speedometer remains, but the gears and wires to gauge speed and travel distance have been replaced with sensors and motors. The LCD odometer not only displays distance, but the time and remaining fuel.
    * Dunk meter display in demonstration mode

SPORTS 360 and Honda S660 CONCEPT

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  • The first passenger vehicle Honda manufactured was the S500 sports car, which was based on the SPORTS 360 (photo: right, replica by Honda R&D to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the S series). More than fifty years after its first appearance in the 9th National Automobile Show (October 1962), the SPORTS 360 is joined by the Honda S660 CONCEPT at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show. Both cars are compact, pure open-top sports cars.

  • The SPORTS 360 was developed with outstanding performance for a mini-vehicle class car at the time, as a statement of what a sports car should be. The short rear-overhang and long wheelbase and tread emphasize the large tire, sporty exterior. In order to store a spare tire and secure ample luggage space without compromising its design, Honda developed the chain drive allowing the differential gearbox to be moved forward, away from the rear axle.
    The midship rear-wheel-drive Honda S660 CONCEPT retains the SPORTS 360's design philosophy with an as-large-as-possible wheelbase and tread, providing a glimpse of the new Honda Design philosophy.

  • The SPORTS 360 was developed with outstanding performance for a mini-vehicle class car at the time, as a statement of what a sports car should be. The short rear-overhang and long wheelbase and tread emphasize the large tire, sporty exterior. In order to store a spare tire and secure ample luggage space without compromising its design, Honda developed the chain drive allowing the differential gearbox to be moved forward, away from the rear axle.
    The midship rear-wheel-drive Honda S660 CONCEPT retains the SPORTS 360's design philosophy with an as-large-as-possible wheelbase and tread, providing a glimpse of the new Honda Design philosophy.

  • The Honda S660 CONCEPT exterior is minimalistic: Compact, low down, and aerodynamically tuned, following the design philosophy of the SPORTS 360 (photo: rear). The Honda S660 CONCEPT's design elements, the rear fenders bulging from the tight door section in contrast to the surface from the front fender to the upper body, the single motion form from bonnet through the windshield to the rear section, and the thin, wide LED accent lights enhance its next-generation sports feel.

  • The unwavering philosophy of Honda Design: Human-centric. Despite the differing front-engine and mid-ship layouts, both cars are designed with the driver at the center. Around the optimally positioned driver, comfortable interior space is secured, instruments and panels are arranged while minimizing space needed for the mechanisms, and ample utility space is allocated. This is a daunting design task for such a compact sports car. Honda has continued to develop human-centric design, since the SPORTS 360 and T360, leading to revolutionary automobile designs such as the Civic, Accord, Prelude, NSX, Fit, and N BOX, and now, presents the Honda S660 CONCEPT.

  • A simple, driver-centric cockpit. The thin, wooden steering wheel is replaced by a firm, small diameter oblong steering wheel, and the precision mechanics analog meters evolve into advanced, LCD displays providing the driver with vital information. Yet both cockpit designs enhance the excitement of driving. The Honda S660 CONCEPT is designed to provide the driver with a feeling of integration with the car, with meters and instruments optimally placed to allow the driver to concentrate on driving, a large prominent rev-meter, and aero-bulges behind the headrests demanding attention.

F90 Tiller and Salad CG FFV300

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  • Many people may not be familiar with tillers, but both of these tillers are exceptional designs. Neither of these tillers would exist if functionality was the sole objective. The 1966 full-fledged heavyweight F90 tiller equipped with an air-cooled V-twin diesel engine and the 2013 Salad CG FFV300 mini tiller sporting an air-cooled four-stroke single-cylinder 57.3cc engine are both not only easy to use, but are designed to bring pride of ownership.
    * Photograph: 1967 model F90

  • The robot-like dual-headlight front grille design was unseen at the time, and the ability to haul a trailer, with people on board, gave the F90 the nickname "Rolls Royce of tillers." Proud owners would wax their F90 before use. Born from the desire to build the best-looking tiller, the F90 became popular due to its high-speed operation. Dual headlights allowed for working at night.

  • The robot-like dual-headlight front grille design was unseen at the time, and the ability to haul a trailer, with people on board, gave the F90 the nickname "Rolls Royce of tillers." Proud owners would wax their F90 before use. Born from the desire to build the best-looking tiller, the F90 became popular due to its high-speed operation. Dual headlights allowed for working at night.

  • The Salad CG FFV300 mini tiller is designed for home gardening, and is uniquely powered by household gas canisters widely used in Japan. Its color, a natural white, is a departure from the widely used red, to emphasize the concept of "easy to use gardening tools" rather than heavy-duty machinery. Plastics are used, completing the simple, clean appearance.

  • Despite being made of steel, the F90's design is intricate. The side view is reminiscent of a shark. The silver plating at the nose looks like an eye. The F90 was popular due to its exquisite flowing form, and its powerful rotary performance.

  • Both the F90 and Salad CG feature a loop handle, easy to grip from any position. In fact, the similarity between the handle designs defy the 40 years that separate the two tillers. The Salad CG is designed with the engine in the center and its low center of gravity contribute to its operability and straight-line stability. The tiller blades are placed in front, to avoid injury. The Salad CG is the result of Honda's human-centric design philosophy.

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