|Honda Announces Full Model Changes for "STEP WGN" and "STEP WGN ALMAS"|
|Tokyo, April 5, 2001 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd.announced the April 6, 2001 release, at Honda dealerships nationwide, of an all-new version of the company's popular Step Wagon (STEP WGN) vehicle. Well known for its easy usability and interior space, which is the largest in the #5 vehicle class, the Step Wagon has sold 470,000*1 units since its original release in May 1996. In addition to the new Step Wagon, Honda also announced the June 11, 2001 release of specially equipped easy-access Step Wagon Almas models by Honda Tokuso Co., Ltd. through Honda auto dealerships nationwide.
The new Step Wagon was designed around the concept of "child-centered families having a great time!" Development adopted a fresh new approach that included "looking at vehicle design from the perspective of children," and aimed to satisfy three design concepts including "space design", pursuing spaciousness and functionality, "driving", fusing superior comfort, economy, and ease-of-use, and "style", projecting an image of expansive space and good fun.
The Step Wagon's new design features a short front nose and flat floor that contribute to greater interior length and height, as well as considerable improvements to utility, in its capacity as a vehicle in the number 5 eight-seater minivan class. The three rows of seats have been designed and constructed to allow a total of four different "interior modes" including Play Mode (Facing Seats), Meal Mode (Restaurant), Sleeping Mode (Three Rows Flat), and Carrying Mode (Cargo). The newly designed body also integrates a number of features, including G-Control impact-absorption technology, to ensure world-class levels of collision and pedestrian safety performance.
All of the new Step Wagon types are powered by Honda's new-generation i-Series 2.0-liter DOHC i-VTEC engines. In addition to powerful driving performance and 13.2km/liter fuel economy that is the best in its class*2, these engines ensure that all types are also already in compliance with 2010 fuel efficiency standards. Further, the use of a new-generation perovskite 3-way catalyzer system greatly reduces reliance on rare metals such as palladium in the catalytic converter, while still ensuring superior environmental performance so good that all types have earned the Japanese Ministry of Transport's "Low Emissions Excellence" award.
Further, to complement the new Step Wagon, Honda has also developed a new folding motor-assisted bicycle called the Step Compo. Designed for a perfect fit when folded and stowed inside the Step Wagon, the Step Compo expands the possibilities for fun and enjoyment of the Step Wagon while offering new possibilities for integrating lifestyle and mobility.
Special easy-access Step Wagon Almas models include not only a conventional side door lift model, but also a model with a passenger seat lift mechanism.
The Step Wagon Almas models maintain the same comfortable riding as the base Step Wagon, but have been developed for easy access and ease of use by those with extra usability needs. In addition to a more conventional type featuring a side-door lift (7 passenger), a second type also offers a passenger seat-side lift (8 passenger). Both take maximum advantage of the Step Wagon's low floor and spacious interior to achieve highest utility, including easy access when getting in and out, more foot and leg room, and comfortable seats, and ease of transfer and seat operation for caregivers.
Modifications for the Step Wagon Almas are handled by Honda Tokuso Co., Ltd.
The word "Almas" is based on the Spanish word "alma" meaning "heart," and expresses Honda's heartfelt commitment to building easy access as part of its development efforts.