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Automobile
Japan
November 30, 2011

Honda to Begin Sales of N BOX, First Model of New Mini-vehicle N Series

TOKYO, Japan, November 30, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. announced it will begin sales of the N BOX, the first model of the new mini-vehicle N Series, on December 16, 2011. Honda created the N Series with a passion to create the best and new vehicle for Japan, and a newly-designed platform and powertrain were adopted for the N Series models.

N BOX (FWD)zoom
N BOX (FWD)
N BOX Custom (FWD)zoom
N BOX Custom (FWD)

Honda, which has great experience in producing minivans, developed the N BOX with the goal of creating a "mini-minivan," condensing the attractiveness and values of a minivan into a mini-vehicle. Featuring an innovative platform, the N BOX realizes spaciousness, comfort and economic efficiency beyond the concept of a mini-vehicle.

Through the combination of the new platform, the center-tank layout, and the newly-developed powertrain, the N BOX features one of the largest cabin spaces*1 among all mini-vehicles in the market. This new platform embodies Honda's M/M (man maximum/machine minimum)*2 concept, the origin of Honda's automobile design. The center-tank layout is Honda's unique packaging technology, first adopted for the Fit, which innovated the concept of a "small car."

The newly-developed engine and transmission enabled the N BOX to realize both dynamic driving and excellent fuel economy. With the adoption of the idle stop mechanism, which has been adapted from hybrid vehicles, the N BOX realized top level fuel economy in its class*3.

Customers can choose from several types and packages to accommodate their preferences. In addition to the base grade, which offers the spaciousness and sense of security suitable for a family with children, N BOX Custom is offered for customers who seek a vehicle with strong individuality and a sense of presence.

*1
Honda internal research, after the current mini-vehicle standards were applied (as of November 30, 2011)
*2
Honda's "man maximum, machine minimum" concept is a basic approach to Honda car design calling for maximizing the space available for people and minimizing the space required for mechanical components
*3
Honda internal research, "super-height" class (as of November 30, 2011)

Key Features of N BOX

•Comfortable cabin space beyond the concept of a mini-vehicle:

  • One of the largest cabin spaces among all mini-vehicles in the market was realized through the combination of the long cabin length, shortest engine room length among all mini-vehicles*4 and the low-floor design made possible with the center-tank layout.
*4
Honda internal research (as of November 30, 2011)

•Ease-of-use beyond customers' expectations:

  • An easy-to-operate and versatile seating arrangement was realized by maximizing the benefit of the center-tank layout. With a low floor and large opening the tailgate offers excellent convenience for loading luggage.

•Sense of security and visibility beyond the mini-vehicle category:

  • In addition to realizing the same eye height as a minivan, installation of mirrors which help eliminate blind spots around the left-front wheel, left-rear wheel, and lower rear made it easier to pull up closer to an object on the side or to park.

•New powertrain realizing both top class fuel economy and excellent output performance:

  • The newly-developed DOHC engine and the newly-developed CVT (continuously variable transmission) with high power efficiency realize both driving performance which enables the driver to enjoy a stress-free experience during everyday urban driving and long-distance travel as well as the class-leading fuel economy of 22.2km/L*5.
  • N BOX Custom adopts a high performance turbo charger, which is combined with the newly-developed DOHC engine to generate maximum torque from a low-speed range of 2,600rpm and realize powerful acceleration.
*5
N BOX and N BOX Custom FWD vehicles (excluding turbo model) measured in JC08 mode (Testing by Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism)

•Newly-designed body which pursues a lightweight body and high efficiency:

  • A highly efficient frame was realized by reviewing every step of the manufacturing processes. The adoption of the most advanced production technologies, such as the world's first tailored blank and hot stamping of molded trim, to help increase the tensile strength and reduced the weight by approximately 10%*6.
  • Conventional welding methods were reviewed and an inner frame was adopted for the first time in Japan, which resulted in the reduction of the number of parts and significantly increasing binding rate.
*6
Honda internal research, compared to the previous models

< Conventional production method >

Conventional production methodzoom

< Newly-adopted production method >

Newly-adopted production methodzoom

•Newly-designed chassis that realized a sense of security and excellent fuel economy:

  • Compared to conventional Honda mini-vehicles, N BOX's stability during driving was improved due to the long wheelbase. In addition, newly-designed suspensions significantly improved driving and riding comfort.

•High safety performance and enhanced safety features:

  • Class-leading omni-directional collision safety performance was realized with the newly-designed engine and new load distribution structure.
  • VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) system is standard equipment on all types.
  • HSA (Hill Start Assist) that temporarily prevents the vehicle from rolling backward when starting on an upward incline, is installed as standard equipment on all types.
  • Driver-side i-SRS airbag system (with continuously staged inflation) and SRS airbag system for front passenger are standard equipment on all types.
  • Combined with the front seat i-side airbag system, the side curtain airbag system which helps mitigate head impact in a side collision will be available on select model types.
  • The impact-mitigating headrests in the front seats which are designed to help mitigate the likelihood of a neck injury in the event of collision, and the interior which protects occupants' heads from impact are adopted.

•Environmental performance:

  • All types are certified by Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as complying with the 2005 - 75% emissions standard and comply with the 2010 + 25% fuel economy standard.
  • More than 90 percent of the entire vehicle is recyclable*7.
*7
Calculated based on the "Definition of and Guideline for Calculating the Percentage of Recyclable Materials in New Automobiles" (Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc., 1998)

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