Driven by “The Power of Dreams,” Honda has always been striving to create new values by converging people’s dreams and our own dreams as creators. We dream to offer people greater opportunities in their daily life and to expand their life’s potential, and therefore we constantly take on challenges to realize our dreams. In doing so, we have always cherished the power that our dreams let us embrace.
At this motor show, we use our dream-inspiring global brand slogan – The Power of Dreams – as the booth concept, and let red lines, intended as a motif of our corporate color, to run through the stage.
The number of models lined up here today includes a wide range of mobility products Honda has created to be useful in the everyday lives of people and to pursue advanced driving performance. Super Cub, which can be described as the origin of Honda, and the latest version of HondaJet represent products that are useful for people. While our F1 and MotoGP machines demonstrate the pursuit of driving performance in our products. This lineup represents Honda’s passion for the art of making things.
When I became president of Honda, one of the themes I set in our pursuit of a new Honda is the “Continuous development of challenging products unique to Honda and delivering them to our customers around the world.” Today, I am pleased to be here to introduce challenging mobility products filled with the unique characteristics of Honda.
Let me begin with the Super Cub – a product we view as a starting point of our company. In 1958, Honda offered the Super Cub as a new mobility product that would be useful in people’s everyday lives. In the meantime, Honda made its debut in the Isle of Man TT Race the following year. As a company that pursues mobility it was inevitable for Honda to seek higher performance in its vehicles even while developing down-to-earth and useful products for our everyday life.
Such DNA is still there in Honda today. The next-generation mobility models including a motor-equipped EV-Cub Concept and Super Cub Concept with higher environmental performance are being developed with a view toward market introduction in the near future. Honda wants to continue to be a manufacturer of new-generation Super Cub models beloved by more and more customers.
In the meantime, our pursuit of driving and riding performance took concrete shape this year in Indianapolis in the U.S. when Marc Márquez riding a Honda RC213V won a historic victory in MotoGP, the premier class in the FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix Series. With this victory, Honda achieved an unprecedented total of 700 Grand Prix victories since the first victory by Tom Phillis at the FIM Road Racing World Championship Spanish Grand Prix in 1961. I would like to thank you for your continuous support of Honda to this date.
Now, let me introduce the RC213V-S. This is a MotoGP-class racing machine, namely RV213V, modified for riding on public roads. Based on our belief that “the fastest machine in the world is the easiest machine to handle in the world,” we embodied our new challenge with this model. Going beyond the framework of “feeding technologies amassed through racing machines into mass-production models,” we are pleased to deliver the “world’s best dream machine” to our customers!
In the area of automobiles, Honda took on challenges in F1 racing, the world’s most prestigious automobile racing series, starting this season. At the Japanese Grand Prix held a month ago, we received a lot of cheers and encouragement. Converting such cheers into a big power, the Honda team has been and will continue taking bold challenges in its F1 activities.
Now, let me introduce a new-generation supercar model that realizes a driving experience with unique Honda characteristics and excellent environmental performance at a high level as with F1 machines. This is the all-new NSX.
The all-new NSX is a supercar model that features a newly-developed direct-injection V6 twin turbo engine vertically mounted on a lightweight vehicle body in a mid-ship layout together with a 3-motor hybrid system to realize both outstanding driving performance and fuel economy.
I drove this all-new NSX and enjoyed a sense of oneness with the vehicle that comes from “on-the-rails” driving where three motors control the driving force of four wheels. I enjoyed the fun of handling this car as if it was my own arms and legs. This model is being perfected as a vehicle that embodies the origin of its name – “New Sports eXperience.”
The production of this all-new NSX is scheduled to begin in spring of next year in North America. After the start of sales in North America, we will introduce it sequentially to other markets including Japan. Please look forward to the market introduction of the all-new NSX.
Now, I would like to introduce the all-new Civic Type R as a sports model that we can introduce to our customers a little bit sooner than the all-new NSX.
I would say that this Civic Type R is the sports model that most expresses what only Honda can do, because it was created by pouring all of Honda’s sports DNA into a popular mass-market model, the Honda Civic. Especially, this all-new model was developed with a goal to create the “best Civic Type R model ever.”
This vehicle took shape through a number of test drives on various test courses and race tracks including Nürburgring in Germany. The all-new Civic Type R has been very well received ever since it went on sale in Europe this past summer. We are starting to offer 750 units of this all-new Civic Type R to our customers in Japan at the price of 4.28 million yen*1. Please experience Honda’s dynamic sports DNA through your five senses.
Now, let me move on to our lineup of motorcycles. Honda expanded the joy of maneuvering from on-road models to off-road models. We advance our original dual clutch transmission (DCT) technologies and developed a new DCT which works with off-road models. The CRF1000L Africa Twin equipped with this new DCT will go on sale first in Europe before the end of this year.
Moreover, we also are exhibiting NEOWING, a large-sized three-wheeled vehicle with a hybrid system, developed for the pursuit of steering feel with more fun and greater peace of mind. Also on display is the Concept CB, an advanced form of the CB Series, which represents our sports models. These models indicate the new direction Honda will take in the FUN areas of our motorcycle business. Please take a look.
Now, I would like to talk a little bit about the vitalization of motorcycle markets. Honda has been committed to the advancement of global motorization and therefore we have been working together with government bodies in Japan in various areas including the promotion of traffic safety, improvement of road manners, the reduction of requirements for obtaining a license for small-sized motorcycles (of up to 125cc) and installing and upgrading of parking infrastructures. While we feel certain that our activities in these areas have been helping the revitalization of the Japanese motorcycle industry and expansion of the motorcycle market in Japan, we are introducing two innovative and attractive 50cc concept models, which we hope will lead to further revitalization of the Japanese motorcycle market.
Now, approximately 13 years ago, in December 2002, Honda opened the door to the future by becoming the world’s first automaker to put the ultimate clean car, a fuel cell vehicle, into practical use. Since then, Honda has been advancing and improving the performance of its fuel cell vehicles, including success in making it possible to drive a fuel cell vehicle in areas with cold climates, which was thought to be difficult. Moreover, including the world’s first delivery of a FCV to an individual user in the U.S., Honda has always been one step ahead of other automakers in the effort to popularize FCVs as “ordinary passenger vehicles.”
Today, I am pleased to introduce to you our all-new FCV, the CLARITY FUEL CELL, which, needless to say, features outstanding environmental performance while also offering the fun of driving and the joy of using it.
A highly unique package for this vehicle was realized based on Honda’s longstanding M/M concept – “man maximum, machine minimum” — which means to “maximize the space for people and minimize the space required for mechanical components.” We believe that this sedan model could set a new benchmark for FCVs.
By installing a downsized FC powertrain under the hood, we realized a cabin that accommodates 5 people as comfortably as the cabin of a regular gasoline-powered sedan model. Moreover, this model features a cruising range of more than 700km,*2 which is top-class range among all FCVs, and exhilarating driving made possible by the motor drive. The all-new CLARITY FUEL CELL will go on sale first in Japan in March 2016 and then in the U.S. and Europe.
Honda also strives to link this CLARITY FUEL CELL to the establishment of a society where people “generate” and “use” hydrogen energy and “get connected” for energy by combining it with a smart hydrogen station and external power feeding device. Our external power feeding device, the Power Exporter 9000, has a capacity to feed approximately seven-days’ worth of electricity for an average household. The Power Exporter 9000 is scheduled to go on sale at the same time as the CLARITY FUEL CELL.
Please also visit our SMC booth in the West Exhibit Hall where we are exhibiting images of our future living concept that is made more convenient by CO2-free energy recycling, where people “generate” hydrogen, “use” hydrogen and “get connected” for hydrogen.
While providing such a wide range of mobility products, Honda is striving to address various issues faced by motorized society including traffic accidents, traffic congestion and mobility issues related to the aging of population. We believe that advancement of Honda SENSING, our driver-assistive technologies, will lead us to the realization of automated driving. Therefore we are working on the improvement of the functionality of Honda SENSING as well as the expanding application of Honda SENSING technologies to more models. Drivers can enjoy mobility via cars only when they can feel the support, peace of mind and comfort they are getting from Honda SENSING-equipped vehicles. When we can realize automated driving, our vehicles’ ability to avoid dangerous situations and assist the driver will be further increased. When that happens, Honda’s ultimate safety goals – “zero accident” and the “realization of the joy and freedom of mobility” – should be attained.
Toward this end, it is essential to realize automated driving that features a control function capable of determining the next move the vehicle should take by using highly sophisticated intelligence technologies, high-performance sensors and high-accuracy maps to recognize what is going on with the vehicle and the environment outside the vehicle. To be more concrete, we will continue making progress in our technology development with a target to put our automated driving technologies in practical use on highways by 2020. Honda will continue pursuing its goal to advance automobiles to the point where they will have “zero social footprint,” and we will strive to contribute to society with our automated driving technologies.
Finally, let me say that some of Honda’s challenges toward these new mobility products will bear fruit this year. Our entry into the aviation industry – which was also a dream of our company founder – with our HF120 jet engine and HondaJet is coming very close. Honda will strive to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life for our customers in the aircraft business as well.
At Honda, we think over and over again. We embody our original ideas with our innovative technologies. We do not let go of our ideas and passion without trying something. We pursue things all the way to the end and breakthrough the conventional thinking or past precedents. Such determination runs through all of these Honda mobility products I introduced today.
Driven by The Power of Dreams, “Team Honda” will work as one and keep taking on challenges to realize mobility products that deliver inspiration and joys to each of our customers around the world.
Please keep your expectation high for the future of Honda.
*1 Including 8% consumption tax
*2 Measured internally by Honda while being driving in JC08 mode