2011 Tokyo Motor Show: 2012 Honda N Box is just another boxy car

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 2, 2011

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is set to begin selling the N BOX on December 16, 2011. The N BOX is the first model on Honda’s new mini-vehicle N Series, which the carmaker created with a newly designed and innovative platform and powertrain, along with hopes of it becoming the best new vehicle for Japan.

Honda developed the N BOX as a “mini-minivan,” condensing the benefits and the attractive appearance of a mini vehicle. The N BOX offers ample space as well as a degree of comfort and economic efficiency that surpasses the concept of a mini-vehicle.

The N BOX features a larger cabin space compared to most mini-vehicles for sale, thanks to its new platform, combined with its center-tank layout, its new powertrain, and its low-floor design. This new platform carries Honda’s “man maximum, machine minimum” concept, a basic car design approach by Honda which calls for maximizing the space available for passengers and minimizing the space needed for the car’s mechanical parts.

Meanwhile, the center-tank layout is the carmaker’s one-of-a-kind packaging technology, which was first adopted for the Honda Fit series and which paved the way for the innovation of the small vehicle concept. This center-tank layout also gives the N BOX a versatile and east-to-operate seating configuration. Moreover, because of this layout, the car is able to accommodate a low-floor design and a large opening, and, in turn, it has a tailgate that makes loading your luggage easy and convenient.

The N BOX offers dynamic driving as well as fuel economy, both of which are realized through the car’s newly developed transmission and engine. The mini-vehicle also adopted the idle stop mechanism used by hybrid vehicles, so it realized the top level when it comes to fuel efficiency in its segment.

The N BOX also has a similar eye height as that of a minivan and its mirrors are installed in such a way that eliminates blind spots around the left-rear and the left-front wheel and the lower rear, thus making it easy for the driver to park or to pull up close to another object.

You can choose from several types of N BOX as well as from different packages that cater to different preferences. Aside from the base grade that provides ample space as well as a sense of security that fits a family with kids, N BOX Custom also offers you a strong sense of individuality.

Press Release

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

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.

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.

Honda internal research, after the current mini-vehicle standards were applied (as of November 30, 2011)
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
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.
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.
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.
Honda internal research, compared to the previous models

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