News Releases 2003
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AutomobileJapanJune 18 , 2003
Honda Announces a Full Model Change for the Inspire

Tokyo, June 18, 2003 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced a full-model change for the Inspire, integrating its Saber and Inspire sedans to create a luxury passenger car that combines refined styling with a sporty ride. Loaded with intelligent technology and other equipment sure to boost its appeal, the fully remodeled Inspire will make its debut on June 19, 2003 at Honda car dealerships across Japan, priced on par with its predecessor at 2.7 to 3.5 million yen.

Offering enhancements in the three key areas of sedan performance-driving, turning, and stopping-the fourth-generation Inspire was developed around the concept of a "New Intelligent Tourer", employing Honda's unique, cutting-edge technologies to provide optimum driving pleasure and ensure a ride of unparalleled comfort and quality.

The all-new Inspire features the world's first Collision Mitigation Brake System*1 (CMS) and Honda's E-Pretensioner*1, two technologies on the forefront of pre-crash safety that help prevent collisions through risk assessment and driver warning functions, and mitigate the impact on occupants and vehicle damage in the event a collision occurs.

The Inspire's new 3.0-liter V6 i-VTEC engine features Honda's newly developed Variable Cylinder Management System, which idles three cylinders during cruising to achieve a combination of ample power and fuel economy of 11.6 km/L*2, on par with that of a 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine*3. The environment-friendly Inspire meets both Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation requirements for Ultra-Low Emissions and 2010 fuel economy standards, making it the only 3.0-liter class sedan to offer a level of environmental performance to qualify for the Japanese government's Green Tax incentives.

The Inspire employs a specialized suspension system and a highly rigid, lightweight body to provide superior passenger comfort and ride quality. An interior design that blends fine quality with the latest advancements, coupled with a variety of amenities to support comfortable long-distance travel, create a space in which occupants can enjoy their ride in any setting, from highway to city driving.


*1 Standard on the Avanzare
*2 Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation test value)
*3 Compared to an Accord sedan 2.4-liter engine, which achieves fuel consumption of 12.0 km/liter when driven in 10-15 mode


Inspire 30TL
Inspire 30TL

Main Features of the Inspire

Innovative power train

V6 3.0-liter i-VTEC Engine

  • The new V6 3.0-liter i-VTEC Engine features Honda's Variable Cylinder Management System, which switches between six-cylinder operation and three-cylinder operation depending on driving conditions. When the system determines, through analysis of factors such as vehicle speed, engine speed, and throttle opening, that the vehicle is at cruising speed, it idles the intake and exhaust valves for the rear bank of three cylinders and halts fuel injection to those cylinders. The idled cylinders remain sealed, reducing pumping losses due to engine respiration by approximately 65%. This enables the V6 3.0-liter engine to supply ample power with a fuel efficiency of 11.6 km/L*1, on par with the fuel economy of a 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine*2.
  • The new engine delivers high power and torque performance at the top of its class, with an output of 184 kW (250 PS), and torque of 296 Nm (30.2 kg.m) on regular unleaded gasoline.
  • The Inspire is certified as an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation. It also conforms to 2010 fuel economy standards, making it the only 3.0-liter class sedan to offer a level of environmental performance to qualify for the Japanese government's Green Tax incentives.
  • The Inspire is also equipped with a Drive-By-Wire (DBW) electronic throttle control system that works in concert with the Variable Cylinder Management system to significantly enhance the smoothness of the ride and boost fuel economy.

    *1 Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation test value)
    *2 Compared to an Accord sedan 2.4-liter engine, which achieves fuel consumption of 12.0 km/L when driven in 10-15 mode.

5-speed automatic transmission (S-matic)

  • The Inspire's 5-speed S-matic automatic transmission delivers improved acceleration when passing, while inhibiting torque reduction during changes in the number of active cylinders.
  • Shift Hold Control reduces unnecessary gear changes during performance driving.
Advanced danger prediction and lane identification features

Honda Intelligent Driver Support System (HiDS) assists in highway driving (standard on the Avanzare)
  • The LKAS (Lane-Keeping Assist System) identifies the vehicle lane based on images captured by a C-MOS camera mounted inside the front window. The system applies the appropriate amount of torque to the vehicle's electric power steering to assist the driver in maintaining the vehicle in its lane.
  • The IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control) vehicle speed and distance control system assesses driving conditions using data from a millimeter-wave radar unit built into the front grill of the vehicle that measures the distance to the vehicle ahead, along with data from speed and yaw rate sensors. In addition to maintaining the vehicle at a set speed, this cruise control system automatically regulates vehicle speed and distance depending on whether or not there is a vehicle in the same lane ahead.
  • The two systems work together to reduce the burden of highway driving, providing increased comfort and safety.
World's first Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMS) and E-Pretensioner (standard on the Avanzare)
  • Honda's pre-crash safety technology assesses collision risk and mitigates occupant impact and vehicle damage by combining the first-ever Collision Mitigation Brake System, which warns the driver to help avoid collisions and regulates the brakes to reduce vehicle speed, with the E-Pretensioner, which automatically retracts the seatbelt before a collision occurs.
  • The system uses millimeter-wave radar to detect vehicles within a range of about 100 meters ahead, assessing collision risk based on inter-vehicle distance, relative vehicle speed, and estimated vehicle trajectories. As assessed collision risk rises, audio and tactile warnings alert the driver and prompt preventative action. The system also works to reduce occupant impact and vehicle damage in the event a collision is unavoidable, by providing braking assist if the driver's foot pressure on the brake pedal is deemed insufficient, along with seatbelt control that increases passenger restraint and pre-impact brake control designed to reduce vehicle speed before a collision occurs.
  • The E-Pretensioner is designed to operate whenever the driver brakes suddenly and the brake assist functions, tightening the seatbelt to secure the driver even if the CMS has not been activated.
Quiet operation

Active control engine mounts significantly reduce transmission of engine vibration
  • Front and rear active control engine mounts are designed to cancel out engine vibration, which increases when cylinders are idling. The mechanism estimates the vibration caused by fluctuations in the engine crank rotation and absorbs vibration by compressing and extending an actuator at the bottom of the fluid-sealed mount in same-phase, same-period motion, resulting in a quieter interior that keeps passengers from noticing when cylinders are idling.
Active noise control cancels cylinder idling drone
  • Active noise control is used to generate sound opposite in phase to the engine drone produced when cylinders are idling.
  • The frequency to be attenuated is determined based on engine revolution pulses, and a signal to cancel the frequency is generated via an audio speaker, thus reducing the drone. Sound picked up by a microphone in the vehicle is continually analyzed, and the canceling signal is instantaneously updated to provide a virtually quiet environment.

Chassis and body

  • A high-performance chassis provides superior comfort and handling stability.
  • Double-wishbone suspension in the front delivers superb straight-line stability and comfort.
  • A 5-link, double-wishbone suspension in the rear delivers superior ride comfort.
  • VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) supplements ABS and TCS with sideslip control.*
  • Torsional rigidity has been improved by 27% over the previous model. Superior static and dynamic rigidity ensure responsiveness in the front, stability in the rear, and a more comfortable ride.
  • Approximately 50% of the body frame is made of high tensile steel, which boosts rigidity while significantly reducing vehicle weight.

    * Standard on the Avanzare and 30TL.
Styling

An exterior design with a classy, aggressive feel
  • A high deck and flowing form impart a sense of spaciousness and a sporty image.
  • Large-diameter left and right exhaust pipe finishers that appear integrated with the bumper and an integrated high-mount brake light built into the trunk lid create a rear view of refined intensity.
  • Thin, oblong high-intensity discharge (HID) low-beam headlights provide a unique front view with different looks for day and night. In addition, a wide field of illumination enhances visibility at night to reduce the burden on the driver.
A clean interior design with emotional appeal
  • The interior is designed to appeal to the senses, demanding to be seen, to be touched, and to be used.
  • The instrument panel features a wrap-around design that extends to the left and right door lines and a center module with audio and climate controls conveniently located for enhanced functionality.
  • Blue interior illumination lights up when the small lamps are turned on to create a sense of luxury.*
  • The four round dashboard gauges feature luminescent white and blue dials that float atop a black face. In the center is a multi-information display that provides information on driving conditions and the operating status of the HiDS, CMS, Variable Cylinder Management, and other vehicle systems.

    * Lower center panel lights standard on all models. Lighting at the foot of the front seats and front seat pockets standard on the Avanzare.

Packaging and interior

  • The Inspire features a cockpit area designed to make the driver feel relaxed and at ease.
  • The front seats are shaped to naturally draw occupants in, providing a hold that envelops the entire lower back and hips. Central portions that contact the legs and back are soft, while the outside portions are stiff, providing both seating comfort and a secure hold.
  • An electric driver's seat height adjustor*1, eight-way power driver's seat*2, electric- powered lumbar support*2 and a tilting and telescoping steering wheel mechanism combine to allow the driver optimal control over his or her driving position, for reduced fatigue.
  • The rear center seat is equipped with a headrest.
  • The trunk room is a capacious 495 liters (491 liters on the Avanzare). *3 In addition to a rear seat armrest through-hole to the trunk, the rear seats are also equipped with a fold- down mechanism for transporting long, oversized luggage.
  • Front windows outfitted with UV-blocking glass that absorbs high-intensity heat rays and blocks infrared rays are standard on the Avanzare.
  • An electric sunshade*4 blocks strong sunlight, increasing rear seat comfort. The sunshade automatically retracts when the shift lever is placed in reverse to ensure an unobstructed view through the rear window.
  • The fully automatic air conditioner features independent right- and left-side temperature controls.

    *1 Standard on the 30TE.
    *2 Standard on the Avanzare and 30TL.
    *3 Based on Honda in-house testing according to VDA formula.
    *4 Standard on the Avanzare, available as a factory-installed option on the 30TL.

Equipment for advanced functionality

  • Equipped with the Honda Smart-Card Key System*1. An ultra-slim card key enables users to lock and unlock the doors, open the trunk, and operate the ignition.
  • Outfitted with Honda's DVD Navigation System with voice recognition, which features a large-screen, 8-inch-wide monitor and a DVD-ROM, and supports Honda's InterNavi Premium Club*2. Touch panel and voice recognition functions further improve operability and ease of use.

    *1 Standard on the Avanzare and 30TL. Available in a package with rain-sensing wipers as a factory-installed option on the 30TE.
    *2 Available as a manufacturer's option on all models.

Safety Performance

  • The world's first electronically controlled brake assist*1 automatically sets the assist set- point and intelligently adjusts to the driver's brake operation. Control is integrated with the CMS and E-Pretensioner safety technologies.
  • The driver's seat is equipped with a Seatbelt Reminder that prompts the driver with a warning light and buzzer if the seat belt is not buckled when the car is in motion.
  • Honda's original G-CON (G-force Control) technology is incorporated to create a new body with enhanced crash safety. It is capable of withstanding a 55km/h full-frontal collision, a 64km/h front offset collision, 55km/h side collision, and a 50km/h rear collision. To further improve safety in real-world collisions, Honda has implemented its own vehicle-to-vehicle collision testing program with its own independently-established research standards*2. This collision testing is much more demanding than conventional tests in which the car is crashed into a fixed barrier. The Inspire's safety design meets even these stringent testing requirements.
  • The vehicle body employs an impact-absorbing design to reduce head and leg injuries to pedestrians in the event of a vehicle-pedestrian accident.
  • The interior is designed to protect occupants' heads in a collision, and front seats are designed to alleviate shocks to the neck.
  • The side-curtain airbag system*3 deploys over a wide area extending across nearly the entire side window. The system, with a rapid deployment of 0.015 seconds, significantly reduces occupant head injuries in the event of a side collision.
  • An SRS dual front airbag system is standard equipment.
  • ISO FIX compatible child seat anchoring bars and tether anchors (left and right rear seats) are also standard.

    *1 Standard equipment on the Avanzare and 30TL.
    *2 Testing involves a 50% front-offset collision with a 2-ton class passenger vehicle, both vehicles traveling at 50 km/h.
    *3 Standard equipment on the Avanzare. Available as a factory-installed option on the 30TL and 30TE in a package with the front seat i-side airbag system (with passenger-side occupant position detection function).

Environmental Performance

  • Atmospheric pollutants (HC, NOx) in the exhaust gas have been greatly reduced. The Inspire achieves high environmental performance, clearing government emissions regulations for 2000 by a substantial margin. As a result, the Inspire has earned Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport certification as an Ultra Low-Emissions Vehicle.
  • Honda's Variable Cylinder Management System and high-efficiency fuel combustion technology contribute to a fuel economy of 11.6 km/L, which complies with government regulations for fuel economy for 2010*1. In addition to being certified as an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle, the Inspire is the only 3.0-liter class sedan to qualify for Japan's Green Tax incentive.
  • Almost all interior injection-molded parts are made of olefin resin for superior recyclability. This and other measures result in an overall vehicle recyclability of over 90%*2.
  • Lead usage has been reduced to less than 10% of 1996 levels.
  • The use of high-temperature heating and quenching of the molds during the manufacture of the instrument panel and other molded surface parts has been eliminated, reducing the amount of energy required.

    *1 Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transportation test value)
    *2 According to independent Honda measurement standards
An Inspire ALMAS (30TL and 30TE) equipped with a passenger-side swivel seat will debut on July 25, 2003 at Honda automobile dealers throughout Japan.

The Inspire ALMAS features a passenger seat that can be rotated with a simple operation to enable a caregiver to help a passenger in and out of the seat. The seat is the same high- comfort model featured on a standard Inspire, with the addition of a front/rear slide function. Installation performed by Honda Tokuso Co., Ltd.


Inspire ALMAS 30TL
Inspire ALMAS 30TL (Option equipped vehicle)

ALMAS
The ALMAS derives its name from the Spanish word "alma", which means "spirit", and represents the wholehearted spirit Honda incorporated in the development of its ALMAS vehicles.


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