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Honda rolls out new Step WGN in Japan
First introduced back in 1996, the Honda Step WGN (originally styled as Stepwgn) is now entering its fifth generation of hauling families around the Pacific island nation, and packs a number of innovations into its tall and boxy form.
For starters, this latest minivan does away with the conventional 2.4-liter engine from its predecessor and replaces it with a new 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC, driving either the front wheels or all four through a continuously variable transmission. More innovative though is the "Waku Waku Gate," borrowing its name for the Japanese term for "exciting." We're not sure we'd go that far, but it is intriguing: the tailgate can either be opened fully for maximum aperture, or partially split and opened to the side for tighter spots.
That ought to make ingress and egress from the seven-passenger cabin that much easier, but once inside it promises to be a more pleasant place as well thanks to Scandinavian-inspired design. It also packs the latest safety features, including pedestrian detection, to keep everyone safer and make the new Step WGN more appealing to Japanese families.
Show full PR text Honda to Begin Sales of All-New Step WGN - Equipped with a newly-developed 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine -
TOKYO, Japan, April 23, 2015 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will begin sales of the all-new Honda Step WGN on Friday, April 24, 2015, at dealerships across Japan.
Equipped with a newly-developed 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine, this fifth-generation Step WGN was designed to be a fun-to-use minivan that features a functional cabin space much like a living room at home, as well as a revolutionary tailgate mechanism named Waku Waku Gate ("Waku Waku" is a Japanese expression for "exciting").
Honda's first 1.5-liter VTEC TURBO engine realizes not only powerful and smooth acceleration with its torque equivalent to that of a 2.4-liter engine but also excellent fuel economy and quietness, achieving the type of leisurely drive people expect from a minivan even with multiple passengers and on hilly roads. Moreover, the all-new Step WGN realizes top-in-class level*1 fuel economy of 17.0km/liter (JC08 mode*2).
Furthermore, the all-new Step WGN features the largest cabin space in the class*3 as well as the Waku Waku Gate*4, Honda's original design that functions as a wide tailgate that opens up or as with a sub-door that opens to the side. When combined with the third-row Magic Seat with a 60-40 split that can be split and stored under the floor, the side-opening door enables third-row passengers to get in and out of the car without opening the entire tailgate, also making it easier to load and unload cargo.
In addition, the all-new Step WGN is equipped with Honda SENSING*5, Honda's advanced driver-assistive system that expands the scope of detection to include pedestrians*6, providing an enhanced sense of security.
*1 Internal research by Honda (as of April 2015), 1.5-2.0 liter class in the 5-number size category, 7/8-seater models with the vehicle height more than 1,800mm
*2 Tested by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan
*3 Internal research by Honda (as of April 2015)
*4 Available for certain types
*5 Manufacturer's option
*6 The system may not work or deliver full performance depending on road and weather conditions.
?Sales plan (in Japan, monthly): 5,000 units
?Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (in Japan):
* Maximum number of occupants for a vehicle equipped with a 60-40 split second-row seat (manufacturer's option) is 8.
? The price does not include insurance premium, taxes (excluding consumption tax) and cost related to vehicle registration.
? Based on the automobile recycling law, a separate recycling charge will be necessary. The recycling charge includes a recycling deposit (cost necessary to recycle shredder dust, airbags, chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs) and information management cost) and a fund management cost.
? 37,800 yen (35,000 yen excluding consumption tax) extra charge for Super Platinum Metallic, White Orchid Pearl, Premium Deep Rosso Pearl, Premium Spice Purple Pearl and Premium Sparkle Black Pearl.
* Maximum number of occupants for a vehicle equipped with a 60-40 split second-row seat (manufacturer's option) is 8.
? A vehicle with a front-passenger lift-up seat is subject to the type designation of devices requiring a carry-in registration.
? A vehicle with a side lift-up seat is subject to the type designation of vehicle that does not require a carry-in registration.
¦A 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine that realizes powerful and smooth acceleration and excellent fuel economy
?All-new Step WGN became the first Honda vehicle equipped with a 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine whose direct injection system, small-diameter turbine and dual VTC help improve the turbo effect in low rpm range, enabling the engine to demonstrate power equivalent to that of a 2.4-liter engine even while driving with multiple passengers and on hilly roads.
?Moreover, the top-in-class level*7 fuel economy of 17.0km/liter (JC08 mode*8) was realized by fully leveraging the advantage of this turbo engine whose amount of air-intake can be precisely controlled. Furthermore, because engine displacement was reduced to 1.5 liters, the motor vehicle tax*9 was reduced compared to previous models of the Step WGN.
?In addition, quietness is improved by achieving better control of noise and vibration through various measures such as increasing the rigidity of bearing caps that support the crank/crankshaft which is a source of transmitted engine vibration.
?Honda also developed a new CVT which exploits the full potential of this 1.5-liter direct injection VTEC TURBO engine. The thorough pursuit of CVT efficiency enabled the improvement of fuel economy and the realization of smooth driving in urban areas at the same time.
*7 Internal research by Honda (as of April 2015), 1.5-2.0 liter class in the 5-number size category, 7/8-seater models with vehicle height more than 1,800mm
*8 Tested by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism in Japan
*9 Amount of motor vehicle tax for the all-new Step WGN (engine displacement of 1001cc – 1500cc): 34,500 yen/year
¦The "Waku Waku Gate," Honda's original tailgate mechanism
?The all-new Step WGN features the largest cabin space in the class*3 as well as the Waku Waku Gate,*4 Honda's original design that functions as a wide tailgate that opens up or with a sub-door that opens to the side. When it is combined with the third-row Magic Seat with a 60-40 split that can be stored under the floor, the sub-door that opens to the side enables third-row passengers to get in and out of the vehicle without opening the whole tailgate and makes it easier to load and unload cargo. The sub-door opens to the side with three levels of opening angles, enabling full and convenient use of the door depending on the situation where a wall/ceiling or another vehicle is preventing the user from opening the entire tailgate at a shopping mall parking lot or in a garage at home.
¦The third-row Magic Seat with a 60-40 split storable and can be stored under the floor
?In order to enhance the ease of getting in and out of the vehicle through the sub-door installed on the large-opening tailgate, the Magic Seat with a 60-40 split that can be stored under the floor was adopted for the third-row seat. Offering easy operation not only from outside but also from inside the vehicle, the Magic Seats advances the ways the users can enjoy the space inside this minivan.
¦Advanced driver-assistive Honda SENSING system
?With the global safety slogan of "Safety for Everyone," Honda envisions an accident-free society where everyone can safely use the road. To this end, Honda has developed safety technologies that cover every aspect of collisions: active safety technologies that can help prevent a collision, passive safety technologies that can help mitigate harm should a collision occur and pre-crash safety technologies that combine both the active and passive approaches.
?Such an advanced driver-assistive Honda SENSING system*10 was installed to the all-new Step WGN. Honda SENSING is a system consisting of two types of sensors with different characteristics. One is millimeter-wave radar located behind the front emblem, and the other is a monocular camera mounted on the upper, inside part of the windshield. With further improvement in performance, the new millimeter-wave radar expanded its scope of detection to include pedestrians*11 regarded as being hard to detect due to their low rate of radio wave reflection, as well as the position and speed of the target object. Moreover, the monocular camera identifies various attributes and the size of pedestrians and other target objects which come in range within approximately 60m ahead of the vehicle, achieving recognition with improved accuracy, which helps assist comfortable driving with peace of mind.
*10 manufacturer's option
*11 There are limitations to the capabilities of each function (detecting capability or controlling capability). The system may not work or deliver full performance depending on road and weather conditions.
¦Advanced features and safety performance enhance sense of security
?The all-new Step WGN is equipped with a newly-developed front passenger airbag system that will hold internal pressure for a longer period of time and demonstrate excellent restraint performance.
?The all-new Step WGN features the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body that applies Honda's original G-Force Control Technology (G-CON) to enhance self-protection and make it less aggressive to other vehicles in the event of the collision. The Step WGN also features the Pedestrian Injury Mitigation Body structure to absorb the impact of a frontal collision, which is at the highest risk of causing a pedestrian injury in the event of a collision.
?In the area of active safety, with the goal to prevent an accident before it happens, the all-new Step WGN features the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system, a Hill-Start Assist function as well as the Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) system that warns vehicles following behind of a sudden stop. These active safety functions are featured as standard equipment on all types.
¦Box-style design that resulted from the pursuit of new functional beauty
?While adding a dynamic and futuristic sense unique only to Honda, the fun and beauty of a box-style design was thoroughly pursued. The newness of the Waku Waku Gate, which was created based on Honda's original idea, was expressed by its unsymmetrical design. The exterior design team strived to realize a design that attracts family users at first sight. Moreover, the unique characteristics of each model were highlighted by designing the Step WGN from the rear and Step WGN SPADA from the front.
¦Creating the "beautility" living room – a space designed for functionality and overall beauty
?Striving to realize a fusion of beauty and utility, which is often found in the Northern European style of design, the interior of the all-new Step WGN was designed under the concept of the "beautility living room." To this end, the design team pursued 1) people-friendly and relaxing shapes, colors and materials, 2) visual and tactile qualities that are comfortable for those who see and touch the vehicle, 3) seats that offer visual indication of how comfortable they are and 4) utility such as storage that can be used casually and smartly. As a result, the all-new Step WGN features an interior space filled with hospitality that only Honda can provide, which treats each and every occupant as a protagonist.
?The Step WGN comes with a youthful and light-toned interior coordination that emphasizes warm colors and the soft texture of the materials, whereas the Step WGN SPADA comes with more elegant interior coordination that uses black-based, deeper-toned colors and harder texture of materials.
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