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AutomobileOctober 9, 2009

Honda Announces the All-new Step WGN


October 9, 2009 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced the introduction of the all-new Step WGN. With the largest interior space in its class*1 and first in class*1 under-floor storage for third-row seats the all-new Step WGN offers more convenience than ever before and best-in-class fuel economy*1. The new Step WGN and Step WGN special-needs vehicle*2 go on sale in Japan today, with the Step WGN Spada and Step WGN Spada special-needs vehicle*2 to debut in Japan on Friday, October 23.

Step WGN G•L Package (FWD)   Step WGN Spada S (FWD)


Step WGN G•L Package (FWD)
 

Step WGN Spada S (FWD)


This all-new fourth generation Step WGN, featuring Honda’s original low-floor, low-center-of-gravity platform, was developed around the concept of comfort for everyone and is designed to be the ultimate in comfortable minivan transportation for the entire family.

With the combination of a 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine and torque converter-equipped CVT*3 both smooth driving and outstanding, class-leading*1 fuel economy of 14.2km/l*4 are achieved. Making further contributions to fuel economy are features such as ECON mode, which regulates the engine and transmission to help conserve fuel, and Eco Assist, with multiple functions that encourage fuel-efficient driving including a guidance function that gives the driver real-time feedback on the fuel-efficiency of his or her driving practices.
*1 8-passenger, 2,000cc class vehicles with an overall height of 1,800mm or greater (Honda calculations)
*2 Side lift-up seat-equipped and passenger lift-up seat-equipped vehicles will be released on the same day.
*3 Step WGN (FWD vehicle)
*4 Step WGN (FWD vehicle). Fuel economy when driven in 10-15 mode (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism test specification)


< Size and spaciousness >

· The exterior design features a dynamic square form that expresses spaciousness and comfort.

· Built on a low-floor, low-center-of-gravity package, the new Step WGN’s overall length has been increased by 50mm*5 and overall height by 45mm to achieve the roomiest cabin interior in its class*1, with a cabin height of 1,395mm*6.

· To create an enhanced feeling of freedom and spaciousness, the window area has been increased all around. The window area of the sky roof*7 is among the largest of any production vehicle in the world*8.


< Comfort and ease of use >
· The interior design offers enhanced driving ease and ease of use for various purposes.

· Third-row seats can be stored under the floor with a simple operation requiring a minimum of strength—a class*1 first—to help occupants make the most of the spacious interior.

· A newly developed side-view support mirror shows road surface conditions to the front-left of the vehicle, aiding the driver when parallel parking and navigating narrow roads.


< Economy >
· The all-new Step WGN features outstanding, best in class*1 fuel economy of 14.2km/l*4.

· FWD models exceed Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 25%, while 4WD models exceed them by 20%. All types are eligible for Japan's new preferential tax scheme for environmentally responsible vehicles (reduced automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax) and subsidy for environmentally responsible vehicles, introduced in April 2009.

*5 Compared to previous model (Spada not included)
*6 Non-factory-option-equipped vehicle
*7 Factory option on the G•L Package, L, and Spada S and Z types
*8 Honda calculations


♦ Key Features of the Step WGN
Exterior Design
 
· The exterior design features a dynamic square form that expresses spaciousness and comfort. It imparts a feeling of interior roominess and comfort, along with ease of driving.

· The front mask imparts a feeling of unity between the solidly sculpted front grill and large-sized headlights, for an intrepid expression that suggests girth and presence.

· The waistline has been lowered and the center pillars and rear quarter pillars colored black to create a sense of continuity between the rear quarter windows and the rear window, giving expression to a bright, expansive cabin.

· The roof appears to slope rearward relative to the forward-slanting lower body, creating a dynamic side silhouette while securing space for the second- and third-row seats and the tailgate opening.

· Nine color variations are available, including two new colors.


Interior Design
 
· The interior design offers enhanced driving ease and ease of use for various purposes. It delivers an easy-to-drive, comfortable, fun-to-use space.

· The dashboard features a horizontal motif, spreading out to either side. Three-dimensional sculpting is used to position the controls conveniently in front of the driver, while the instrument panel is positioned higher up and farther away, placing items requiring visual monitoring nearer to the driver’s line of sight with minimal re-focusing required.

· The 3D, self-illuminated gauges are grouped by function and feature a three-dimensional, front-to-back layout. An ‘ECO ring’ changes color to indicate fuel consumption in real time, thus helping the driver improve fuel economy.

· The urethane pads employed in the first- and second-row seat cushions have been made softer and upholstered with high-elasticity material for improved fit and seating comfort.

· A wooden-style floor in the second and third rows, available as a factory option*9, gives the interior the feel of a living room.

 
*9 Available on the G•L Package, L, and Spada S and Z FWD types


Powertrain
 
· The 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine combines powerful low-end torque with comfortable driving performance. In addition to controlling valve timing, the variable intake system also uses DBW (Drive-By-Wire) to select the optimum throttle valve opening, achieving a significant decrease in pumping losses due to intake resistance. This results in a major improvement in fuel economy.

· The torque converter-equipped CVT delivers outstanding fuel economy along with smooth driving free of shift shock, responding fluidly to the driver’s needs across a wide range of driving conditions.

· Enhanced engine and transmission performance and lightening throughout contribute to improved fuel economy, while ECON mode further contributes to improved real-world fuel economy.


Packaging
 
· Built on a low-floor, low-center-of-gravity package, the new Step WGN’s overall height has been increased by 45mm to achieve the roomiest cabin interior in its class*1, with a cabin height of 1,395mm*6. Head clearance has been significantly increased in all three rows, contributing a relaxed feel while driving and greater ease of movement within the cabin.

· Overall length has been increased by 50mm*5 and the rear pillar oriented vertically, creating a longer cabin. The result is a best in class*1 3,095mm long cabin, with increased tandem distance between the first- and second-row seats.

· Innovations to rear floor construction, including a broadly curving rear frame that extends from behind the rear wheels to the outer extremities of the body, open up enough space to allow the third-row seats to be stored flat under the floor, creating a spacious cargo area.

· Window area has been expanded by extending the side windows vertically and the rear quarter windows to the rear, augmenting the visual sense of spaciousness.

· A wider roof with optimized positioning of roof-side structural components creates enough space for a sky roof*7 that, at 1,400mm long by 840mm wide (internal dimensions), features a total glass area among the largest in the world*8.


Utility
 
· Under-floor storage for third-row seats results in a flat, easy to use cargo area, allowing bicycles or other large objects to be loaded more easily.

· The cargo area floor has been lowered and the height and width of the tailgate opening increased to create a squarer-shaped opening for outstanding convenience.

· The standard second-row 6:4-split tumble seats feature a one-motion design that allows the seat back to be folded down and then the seat to be flipped up, simply by pulling on either the seat-side reclining lever or the strap located on the back of the seat. The seats can be set to a variety of configurations with a few simple operations. And, with the 6:4-split, tip-up and slide seats, available as a factory option, the center portion of the second-row seat can be folded away to enable smooth passage from the first- to the third-row seats*9.

· A full complement of storage compartments, including a convenient, oversized tray on the dashboard that starts at the center and extends toward the passenger side, further enhances ease of use.

· The new Step WGN is easier to get in and out of than ever, with a wider slide-door opening to complement the low-floor design that allows passengers to enter the second-row seating area with a single step.

· Visibility has been improved thanks to a cross-sectional shape for the front pillar that makes it appear thinner to the driver and lowering the lower edge of the front door window by 25mm. Larger rear quarter windows and rear windows further enhance the all-around broad, panoramic view.


Body
 
· Front-end rigidity has been improved through such measures as adding closed cross-section materials to connect the front bulkhead to the upper frame and employing a closed cross-sectional configuration for the shock absorber attachments.

· Rigidity of the rear shock absorber attachments has been improved by surrounding the rear shock absorber housing with the rear frame.

· Transmission of vibrations to the cabin area has been effectively controlled by reducing sources of noise and vibration and increasing overall body and chassis rigidity. Other measures, including acoustic pressure control in body panels used to eliminate cabin hum and expanded use of sound damping and insulating materials, achieve outstanding interior quietness.


Chassis
 
· The front suspension features McPherson struts for their outstanding space efficiency, which contributes to the short-nose design.

· The rear employs an H-shaped torsion beam suspension with a compact design that plays a major role in realizing the low-floor, low-center-of-gravity platform.

· Despite its long wheelbase, the all-new Step WGN features a best in class*1 minimum turning radius of 5.3m. Combined with EPS (Electric Power Steering), this provides superb maneuverability that facilitates smooth navigation of tight parking areas and narrow roads.


Advanced Features
 
· The Active Front lighting System (AFS) improves the driver’s sense of security while cornering at night by pointing the headlight units in the direction of the turn to illuminate the path of vehicle travel. Availability depends on type*10.

· The Hill-Start Assist function temporarily maintains brake pressure after the brake pedal is released when starting on a hill to ensure smoother starts and prevent the vehicle from rolling backward*11.

· A side-view support mirror shows road surface conditions up to 7m in front of the left-front wheel, increasing the driver’s sense of security when parallel parking or navigating narrow roads.

· A multi-view camera system uses cameras to provide views of surrounding areas to support comfortable and safe driving. Availability depends on type*12.

 
*10 Standard equipment on the L, Li, and Spada Z and Zi types
*11 Standard equipment on the Li and Spada Z and Zi types. Factory option on the G•L Package, L, and Spada S types
*12 Standard equipment on the Li and Spada Zi types. Factory option on the L and Spada S and Z types


Safety Performance
 
· The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure enhances self-protection while also mitigating damage to other vehicles in the event of a frontal collision.The body is also designed to help mitigate pedestrian injuries in the event of a collision.

· The Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with seatbelt E-pretensioners (driver and front passenger) is designed to help monitors potential rear-end collisions and alert the driver to take evasive action, mitigating injuries and vehicle damage in the event of an accident. Availability depends on type*13.

· A driver-side i-SRS airbag system with continuously staged inflation, standard on all types, accommodates a broad range of occupant positions and potential collision situations.

· A front-seat i-side airbag system (equipped with passenger seat positioning detection system) and side-curtain airbag system (rows one to three) is designed to help reduce the risk of head injury in a side impact for occupants in all three rows. Availability depends on type*14.

 
*13 Standard equipment on the Li and Spada Zi types
*14 Standard equipment on the Li and Spada Zi types. Factory option on the G•L Package, L, and Spada S and Z FWD types


Environmental Performance
 
· All model types are certified by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as having emissions levels 75% lower than those required by 2005 standards.

· FWD models exceed Japanese government fuel economy standards for 2010 by 25%, while 4WD models exceed them by 20%. All model types are eligible for Japan's new preferential tax scheme for environmentally responsible vehicles (reduced automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax) and subsidy for environmentally responsible vehicles, introduced in April 2009.


Special-needs Vehicles (side lift-up seat and passenger lift-up seat equipped vehicles)

 
· The side lift-up seat and passenger lift-up seat equipped vehicles take full advantage of the Step WGN’s outstanding attributes, including its spacious, liberated interior, low, flat floor, and large door openings. All operations of the full electric power seats, from swiveling to raising and lowering, can be easily accomplished with a single switch. The cargo area, which is large enough to accommodate a wheelchair, comes equipped with a net for securing a wheelchair and a protective cover, standard.
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