News Release 2002
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AutomobileThailandNovember 12 , 2002
All-new Honda City sets amazing benchmark for sub-compact sedans
City's production volume to more than double in 2003

Bangkok, November 12, 2002 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC) today introduced the all-new Honda City, which is expected to establish a new benchmark in advanced technology for sub-compact segment passenger cars.

Built on Honda's latest, space-efficient global platform, the all-new City showcases some of Honda's most advanced automotive technology designed to meet the key performance goals articulated by its customers.

Speaking at today's press launch, Mr Satoshi Toshida, Managing Director, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said the City had become a great success story since its global launch in Thailand in April, 1996, not only in Asia but also in the Middle East and Africa. "To date, the City's cumulative production for all markets is over 200,000 units and it is marketed in 20 countries," he said.

The all-new City is set to make its world debut at Honda's pavilion at the Thailand International Motor Expo 2002 at the Impact Convention and Exhibition Centre, from 30 November to 10 December, and to go on sale at HATC's nation-wide dealer network on 6 December, 2002.

In addition to Honda's latest, space-efficient global platform which allows maximum interior space utility and styling freedom, the all-new City employs advanced styling and Honda's new i-series engines, in this case the powerful 1.5-litre i-DSI (Intelligent Dual and Sequential Ignition) unit, which is mated to Honda's innovative Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Combined with the Honda Steer Matic and a 7-speed mode, which is controlled by the fingertips from the steering wheel, this combines the best of automatic and manual transmissions in a single system for seamless, shift- shock-free driving pleasure.

The all-new City's spacious and stylish interior is enhanced by the use of Honda's new "Ultra Seat" which allows a wide range of seating flexibility for maximum comfort and utility. Honda's original G-CON (G-force control) technology is incorporated to create a new body with crash safety characteristics that are among the best in the world.

HATC's President Mr Yoichi Aoki underlined the all-new City's amazing value-for- money offer. "Firstly," he said, "the initial purchase price is very competitive considering the advanced technology and equipment levels. In addition, maintenance costs are lower due to longer maintenance intervals and fuel costs will be down due to the new model's increased fuel efficiency."

Indicative of the "Made by Global Honda" build quality achieved at HATC's Ayutthya plant, this new model is already being exported to Japan, one of the world's most quality-conscious automobile markets. With CBU exports to other markets expected to follow soon, the City's total production volume at HATC's Ayutthya plant for domestic and CBU export markets in 2003 is planned to more than double.



Main Features

Exterior

The new City features a distinctive and innovative shape that reflects Honda's focus on interior spaciousness. The compact powertrain translates to a short nose and big forward-shifted cabin, while the lower part of the body slightly protrudes, contributing to a solid looking stance. Bold body lines and aerodynamic refinements add the finishing touches to a photogenic body that is eye-catching from any angle.


Interior

Honda's main goal for the new City interior was to provide spaciousness and functionality beyond the scope of other sub-compact sedans. To achieve this, Honda pursued maximum space efficiency through a central fuel tank layout and various other means.
Interior styling prioritizes the driver, and is emphatically sporty and personal in its appeal.
The metallic instrument panel and independent aluminum-faced three-instrument cluster help create sporty ambiance in the cockpit.
The cabin is designed in chic beige, with metallic accenting throughout. The seat covers are of high-grade fabric, providing a refined look.


Packaging

The compact, new 1.5L i-DSI engine and CVT transmission, together with a simply constructed, high-performance front strut suspension and arch-shaped side frame, offer improved handling and safety, while permitting a shorter nose section. These advances result in a much more spacious cabin area than other cars in this class.
The centrally located fuel tank and compact, rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension allow for a much lower floor. This gives the new City a roomy 1,245 mm cabin height, for a comfortable and spacious interior.


Utility

ULTRA SEATS are employed to permit easily configured seating arrangements.

The 6:4 split rear seating arrangement allows the cargo area to be expanded into the rear seat area, quickly transforming the cargo space into an ample, flat, low-floored stowage area.

The front passenger seat can be fully reclined to extend storage space even further, for stowage of longer items.

When a rear seat is tipped up, in a single, smooth operation, an unprecedented floor-to- ceiling storage area (1,245 mm in height) is created between the front and rear seat. This area can be used to carry tall loads like potted plants.


Dynamic Performance

Engine

1.5 L i-DSI Engine
With the i-DSI Engine, Honda engineers have pursued the ultimate in rapid and complete combustion. Narrower valve angles and other refinements have been employed to make the combustion chambers as compact as possible. The i-DSI Engine employs an innovative dual spark plug system (two spark plugs per cylinder), for maximum combustion efficiency. In addition, the combustion chamber has been engineered to promote greater swirl of the air-fuel mixture. The intake manifold shape has also been redesigned. These design features combine to realize remarkable power output for a 1.5-liter-class engine.

These and other refinements, including world-leading friction reduction technology utilizing molybdenum-impregnated piston skirts, a rear-port exhaust system, and an oblique-feed catalytic converter, have all helped achieve an ample 131N.m (13.4kg.m) of torque, high fuel efficiency and low emissions. The i-DSI engine provides drivers with ample power even at low engine speeds, for improved driving ease.


Transmission

Honda's CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) continually monitors throttle opening and duration, and automatically changes driving mode for optimum control. The transmission delivers a completely natural driving feel. Honda has also optimized the belt speed ratio range and equipped the transmission with direct control of pulleyside pressure, thereby enhancing transmission efficiency and aiding fuel economy.
In addition to a 5-speed manual transmission, the City also offers the best features of both manual and automatic systems in a single transmission by equipping its CVT with SteerMatic and a 7-speed mode. This advanced system can be selected by pressing a master control beneath the right steering wheel spoke.
The new City is equipped with a highly advanced and efficient electric power steering (EPS) to provide optimized steering characteristics at all road speeds.


Suspension

Front Strut Suspension: The front suspension system combines space efficiency with solid responsiveness to the terrain. In combination with the new compact engine, the front suspension system helps achieve a remarkably tight minimum turning radius of 4.7 m (A & S Type) and 4.9 m (E Type)
Rear H-shaped Torsion Beam Suspension: The compact rear suspension permits a lower cabin floor design, creating more space for rear passengers and baggage. While improving rear wheel-ground contact, the suspension's oblique-angled trailing arm optimizes side force steer for superb handling stability.


Body

The new City uses the world's first centrally located fuel tank layout. The tank is enclosed on all sides by cross-members and floor frame. This arrangement assures high body rigidity, interior comfort, and improved crashworthiness in a rational and simple design.
The front arched side frame extends into tunnel-structure front cross members, for greater robustness and crash safety.
Sources of noise and vibration have been tracked down and eliminated, using an efficient combination of vibration-damping material, soundproofing, and insulation. In particular, the doors employ a dual sealing arrangement: a main seal covering the entire door opening perimeter, and a sub-seal installed on the side of the door. This dual-seal construction achieves a significant reduction in the amount of noise penetrating the cabin.


Safety Performance

Honda's G-CON technology achieves the world's highest standard in crash safety. Equipped with this technology, the new City's body can withstand a full-frontal barrier collision at 55 km/h, a side offset collision at 64 km/h, side impacts at 55 km/h, and rear collisions at 50 km/h.
To further enhance safety and to meet its own exacting standards of crash safety, Honda also tested the new City in car-to-car collisions. Honda's car-to-car crash test is much more rigorous than the standard barrier collision test, and to pass it is proof of extremely good collision safety.
Honda also extends its safety concerns to pedestrians involved in vehicle accidents, extending the focus from head-injury to lower-body injury prevention.
The interior of the new City is equipped with padding to protect the heads of vehicle occupants, and seats that cushion impacts to the neck.


Environmental Performance

Polluting exhaust gas components (HC, NOx) have been reduced significantly to result in emissions values 80% lower than levels stipulated by current regulations. This extremely clean-running performance has been recognized as Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV).




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