Tokyo, October 15, 1998 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today introduced its new Inspire/Saber luxury sedans. Researched, developed and produced in the U.S., the new Inspire/Saber series combines distinctive styling with a newly developed V6 VTEC engine for a sporty drive and a refined ride. The Inspire will be available nationwide through Honda's Clio dealer network starting October 16, 1998, with the Saber following on October 23 through Honda's Verno and Primo dealer networks.
The new Inspire/Saber series has been developed by Honda R&D Americas,
Inc. in the U.S., where medium-sized luxury sedans from Japan, the U.S. and Europe
vie for sales in a fiercely competitive market.
Responsibility for production is assumed by Honda of America Manufacturing Inc., which in 1997 received the highest quality rating from J.D. Power and Associates' initial production quality survey. The Inspire/Sabar series, which contains approximately 98% locally procured parts, has been available since September in the US as the Acura TL.
Developing a "touring luxury sedan"
Development work focused on creating a sedan that offers a luxurious interior
and a standard of driving comfort that provides continuous pleasure to passengers
on long trips.
A distinctive, stylish
Dynamic lines and a forward cabin design combine to create a sporty exterior
A high-quality, sporty
A comfortable interior
- The newly developed 3.2-liter engine and exclusive 2.5-liter V6 VTEC engine
(Japan only) promise smooth yet exhilarating performance.
- A very rigid body and advanced chassis technology combine to offer a truly
- A spacious, stylish interior design
- A high-quality look and feel finish
- A very quiet interior with extremely low noise and vibration
- Honda DVD navigation system (32V, 25V [NAVI])
- BOSE sound system
- Fully automated air-conditioner with rear seat ventilation outlets
- Front dual SRS airbag system
- ABS (Anti-lock Brake System)
- High-intensity discharge (HID) headlights
- Leather seats (32V)
- 8-way powered driver's seat
- Aluminum wheels
A sporty, fun-to-drive sedan for continuous pleasure on long drives
A lightweight, compact,
transversely mounted 60o V6 VTEC engine
- Combining increased power at high engine speeds with easy-to-use torque characteristics
at low to medium engine speeds.
- A transversely mounted lightweight, compact engine for increased cabin space.
2.5-liter engine exclusively
for the Japanese market
- Class-leading power and torque characteristics with 225 PS at 5,500rpm and
30.0 kgm at 4,500rpm.
- At low engine speeds, one of the two intake valves is kept closed to promote
a swirl effect, increasing combustion efficiency to achieve both low fuel consumption
and high torque output.
- Maximum power of 200 PS at 6,200rpm and maximum torque of 24.5kgm at 4,600rpm
- Variable intake manifold to optimize intake efficiency at all engine speeds
for increased torque output and superior engine response
Direct clutch control
4-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift (Honda S matic) on all models
- The adoption of a clutch-canceller mechanism helps reduce shift shock at light throttle openings.
- S matic provides the appeal of manual transmission-like shifting. A speedy
gear change and an improved, more direct shift feel combine to give the driver
a feeling similar to that of a true manual transmission.
- Grade Logic Control (Honda Prosmatec) technology controls gear changes for
optimum gear selection and engine braking whether driving up or down steep slopes.
Chassis and body structure
5-link double wishbone
Highly rigid body structure
- Honda's advanced 5-link double wishbone rear suspension helps optimize toe
and camber control for improved stability and side impact strength.
- Two of the suspension arms are laid out to create a watt-link effect to move
the wheel up and backward in a straight line upon compression. This contributes
to improved ride comfort as well as increased cabin space because the wheel does
not intrude toward the cabin in its upward movement.
A stylish exterior design and a high-quality, comfortable interior
- The adoption of a large rear bulkhead, a strut-type tower bar and
other measures to rigidify the body structure have led to an increase
of 70% in torsion rigidity, and 80% in bending rigidity.
- The combination of a rigid body with a high spring rate/low damping rate suspension
setting contributes to a significant improvement in both ride comfort and cornering
- In addition to the NVH advantages offered by a rigid body, the extensive use
of sound absorbing material results in a very quiet interior.
Combining a dynamic,
sporty exterior design with a spacious interior
- Dynamic bodylines drawn from the design concepts of an offshore cruiser
and a forward cabin layout have been combined to achieve a sporty exterior
- Offering a 20mm longer and 75mm wider interior space while maintaining the
same overall vehicle length and width.
- Trunk space has also been increased by 47 liters to 484 liters as measured
by the VDA method.
A sporty cockpit in a
high-quality interior with an extensive equipment list
- A center console angled toward the driver to create a sporty, cockpit-style
image within an overall lounge-shaped interior design.
- A thick-rimmed steering wheel made of leather and wood for a sporty design
with a touch of class.
- Achieving high quality in feel as well as touch: Both the instrument
panel and door armrest surfaces are made using the "slush-molding method"
for a leather-like appearance and feel.
- Other high-quality specifications include a BOSE sound system and a high-
performance, quick-cooling air-conditioner with a micro-filter and rear seat ventilation.
World-leading safety and environment-friendliness
- Omni-directional safety body design passing Honda's in-house testing program
calling for 55 km/h full flat and 64 km/h offset collision tests.
- Shock absorbing soft interior parts to meet future American requirements regarding
- High-intensity discharge (HID) headlights for improved visibility at night
and in the rain.
- Load-limiting 3-point direct clamp ELR front seatbelts and 3-point ELR/ALR
rear seatbelts are standard equipment.
- Dual SRS Airbag system
- ABS Anti-lock braking system
Domestic monthly sales
target: 2,500 units
- Increased parts recyclability with the adoption of olefin-based polypropylene
and glue-less base materials.
- Injectors with an "air-assist" system, an advanced knock control system and
other technologies contributing towards a more stable combustion process have
allowed the new Inspire/Saber to clear the emission standards laid down by 13
Japanese municipal authorities.