Live outside the box… is the theme of the Honda booth for this motor show.
This theme represents Honda's passion and strong belief toward the art of creating things which is not bound by conventional wisdom or past precedent.
This year, we are celebrating the 50th anniversary since Honda began automobile sales. In 1962, Honda exhibited a small-sized sports car named SPORTS・360 at the Japan National Auto Show and we began automobile business in the following year.
The SPORTS・360, which completely changed the established image of mini-vehicles, is one of the Honda models which represents Honda living outside the box. And more importantly, this SPORTS･360 represented the first step toward one of Mr. Soichiro Honda's big dreams, that was to enter the automobile business. Thus, it is the origin of all Honda automobiles.
Our belief in living outside the box has been inherited by Honda associates from one generation to the next, and today, I would like to introduce our new sports models created based on such a challenging spirit and unique Honda inspirations.
First, is the next-generation super sports car, the NSX CONCEPT, which realizes both outstanding driving performance and environmental performance. Based on the NSX CONCEPT, the NSX will be introduced in 2015, first in North America and then in other regions.
Equipped with Honda's SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD® (Super Handling - All Wheel Drive), which was developed in the pursuit of the joy of driving on a different level, the NSX will carve out a new era for mid-ship super sports cars.
And now, Honda will realize a mid-ship sports model in the small car segment as well.
This is the much-awaited next-generation mini-sports model, the Honda S660 CONCEPT. The Honda S660 CONCEPT features nimble and dynamic driving, outstanding stability and a dynamic design that are only possible with a mid-ship layout.
This model embodies the freewheeling thinking of young Honda engineers, who want to make a cool car that is unique to Honda. Our engineers are devoting their passion and technologies to the development of this model toward the start of mass-production in 2015.
I would like our customers around the world to feel the strong spirit of Honda.
Please keep your expectations high for these two sports models.
Now, future cars cannot simply be fast and cool. They also must not show any compromise in the area of environmental concerns.
Two years ago, we introduced Earth Dreams Technology, Honda's new-generation powertrain technologies which realize both the fun of driving and excellent fuel economy at a high level.
From the Earth Dream Technology series, we made significant advancements especially in the area of hybrid technologies and enhanced our hybrid lineup. We have already introduced the one-motor SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) and two-motor SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Multi Mode Drive (i-MMD) systems, and soon we will install a three-motor SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD® (Super Handling - All Wheel Drive) system in the Acura RLX and NSX.
Moreover, we have newly developed a 1- to 2-liter class direct injection turbo engine, collectively called "VTEC TURBO". This direct injection turbo system and the downsizing of engine displacement enable class-leading output and environmental performance. This engine will be adopted in stages to our new models in the future.
Ever since its foundation, Honda has grown by winning races. Only one year after the start of automobile sales, Honda participated in F1 racing with our first F1 machine called RA271 in 1964. Many people thought it was a crazy attempt at that time, however, in only the second year, Honda captured its first F1 victory.
Now, Honda will participate in F1 again starting with the 2015 season.
With the introduction of new regulations, competition in the area of environmental technologies will intensify, but we can expect to feed more technologies we cultivate through F1 racing back to our mass-production models. That is the value of our F1 participation.
Just the other day, our new F1 engine under development was fired up for the first time.
Please look forward to hearing the "Honda Music" for the new era.
If we say that F1 is the height of auto racing, the height of motorcycle racing is MotoGP, the premier class of the Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix. In this most prestigious motorcycle series, Honda won all three titles -- namely, rider, constructor and team, for the first time in two years. Moreover, Marc Márquez, won the championship at the age of 20 years and 8 months, realizing a historic accomplishment by breaking the record of Freddie Spencer for youngest champion that had stood for 30 years. I would like to thank Honda fans for their continuous support.
Honda's corporate slogan is "The Power of Dreams."
We will introduce a series of exciting sports models which are filled with Honda's dreams and ideas. Moreover we will continue providing our customers around the world with our "outside-the-box" advanced creations realized by Honda associates working at the spot in various areas -- including racing, fundamental research, and the development of mass-production models. Please keep your expectations high for Honda in the future!
Thank you very much for coming today!