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Honda Japan Introduces the All-New Legend
 Date: October 07, 2004 05:45
 Submitted by:  danielgr
 Source: Honda Press
 Credibility Rating: N/A

TOKYO, Japan, October 7, 2004 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today introduced the all-new Legend, Honda’s flagship luxury performance sedan, with a 300-horsepower engine, the world’s first Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, and comprehensive weight reduction measures that combine to help contribute to significantly enhanced performance. The new Legend also offers a range of advanced driver support technologies, including the world’s first Intelligent Night Vision System*, which detects pedestrians during nighttime driving and provides visual and audio cautions to help prevent accidents. The new Legend is now available at Honda Clio dealers throughout Japan.

Designed around three key concepts – distinctive styling, exhilarating driving performance, and superior maneuverability – this 4th generation Legend delivers a new driving experience, providing greater luxury, comfort, and safety in all driving conditions.

The sleek exterior design was created to give expression to the power within. Body colors are applied using a new exterior finishing process that produces a deeper contrast and a spectacular shine. The interior design appeals to the senses, imparting a feel of luxury and driving pleasure. Noise reduction efforts ensure a quiet ride, including Active Noise Control, which sends an opposite phase signal through the car’s audio system to cancel out engine hum to ensure a quiet ride. The new Legend offers its occupants more comfort than ever before.

A lighter, more compact V6 3.5-liter VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) engine generates a generous 300 horsepower. The engine delivers ample torque throughout the rpm range, with power to spare both in the city and on the highway. Meanwhile, the new Legend has earned Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport certification as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle, with emission levels 75% lower than those required by 2005 standards.

The new Legend features the world’s first Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD) system. This system provides variable torque distribution between the front and rear wheels while also varying the lateral torque distribution to the left and right rear wheels, to deliver maximum performance from all four wheels in all driving conditions. Torque is used not only for propulsion, but for cornering as well, for a new level of vehicle maneuverability.

To maximize the performance enhancements realized by the high-output engine and SH-AWD, Honda engineers made the vehicle as light as possible. High-tensile steel is used in approximately 50% of the body frame, while aluminum, magnesium, CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and other lightweight materials are used in the body, chassis and other parts to achieve a significant weight reduction compared to a design based on conventional materials.

*Factory option. Production of vehicles equipped with the Intelligent Night Vision System (with pedestrian detection function) is scheduled to begin December 2004.

About the All-New Legend
Type Engine Transmission Drive
Legend V6 3.5l
5-speed automatic
(Sequential SportShift)

Body Colors (6 colors, including 3 new colors)
Celestial Silver Metallic, Lakeshore Silver Metallic, Opulent Blue Pearl (all new colors); Premium White Pearl, Nighthawk Black Pearl, Royal Ruby Red Pearl
Key Features

V6 3.5-liter VTEC engine
· The engine delivers outstanding performance. Maximum output is 221kW (300PS) at 6,200rpm; maximum torque is 353N-m (36.0kg-m) at 5,000rpm. And yet it is more compact than the previous engine: 36mm narrower and 61mm shorter. Magnesium cylinder head covers and a two-piece aluminum die-cast intake manifold help make the engine lighter as well.

· The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has certified the new Legend as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle. Its emission levels are 75% lower than those required by 2005 standards.

· The fully dual exhaust system splits into two pipes immediately after the under-floor catalytic converter. Independent exhaust pre-chambers have also been added to achieve significant flow enhancement while contributing to quieter operation. The variable-flow mufflers combine quiet operation at low rpm’s with powerful output at high rpm’s.

· DBW (Drive By Wire) electronic throttle control optimizes throttle characteristics in accordance with vehicle speed, providing the driver greater control. An organ pedal integrated with the DBW provides a linear pedal feel by positioning the pedal fulcrum close to the heel of the foot.

Electronically controlled 5-speed Sequential SportShift automatic transmission
A more compact 5-speed automatic transmission takes full advantage of the engine’s superior performance. Gear ratios have been set to deliver responsive off-the-line and acceleration performance, as well as economical cruising. Shift control is smooth and faithful to the driver’s intent, with minimal gear change shock.
· Honda’s Prosmatic transmission control technology, which provides intelligent shift control in response to driving conditions, has further evolved, with a new shift hold control that reduces unnecessary gear changes.

· Complementing the Sequential SportShift automatic transmission, the gun-grip shift knob provides easier gear changes and a sporty image. The new Legend is also equipped with paddle shifters that allow the driver to enjoy a more sporty, manual transmission feel, changing gears without taking hands off the steering wheel.

Drive System
SH-AWD Super Handling All-Wheel-Drive system
· A world’s first, the SH-AWD system combines front-rear torque distribution control with independently regulated torque distribution to the left and right rear wheels to freely distribute the optimum amount of torque to all four wheels in accordance with driving conditions. Front-rear torque distribution varies between ratios of 30:70 and 70:30, and lateral torque distribution in the rear wheels varies between ratios of 100:0 and 0:100. Torque is used not only for propulsion, but for cornering as well, resulting in a significant enhancement in vehicle maneuverability.

· The system’s torque control logic operates primarily on active feed-forward control based on driver input. This is combined with feedback control based on vehicle behavior to achieve highly precise control that respects the driver’s intent.

CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) propeller shaft
· The propeller shaft transmitting torque to the rear wheels is made of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) for reduced weight.

Chassis and Body
· The newly developed chassis combines outstanding levels of driving performance with a luxurious ride.
· The front double-wishbone suspension provides outstanding straight-line stability and ride comfort.
· The rear multi-link suspension, composed of an upper arm, two lower arms, and a control arm, combines stability with superior comfort.
· Large-diameter front ventilated disc brakes are combined with large-diameter rear ventilated drum-in-disc brakes. To save weight, both the front and rear calipers are made of aluminum, with high-rigidity, opposing 4-pod calipers used in the front.
· The body has been made approximately 33% more rigid overall compared to the previous model, with approximately 34% higher bending rigidity and 30% higher torsional rigidity. Front-rear rigidity balance has also been enhanced and welds strengthened throughout to achieve higher rigidity.
· Front-rear lift balance has been optimized, with lightweight aerodynamic parts employed on the vehicle’s underside. A flush surface design has been applied throughout, including elimination of level differences around the side windows and repositioning and reshaping of the wiper blades, to achieve a Cd value of 0.29*.
* According to Honda in-house measurement

Weight Reduction Technologies
· Since strong, lightweight, high-tensile steel is used in some 50% of the body frame’s main structural components, the body is approximately 19kg lighter than if conventional materials were used.
· The sub-frame employs a hybrid construction. Members formed from aluminum pipe using an innovative blow molding process are welded to cast members to achieve significant gains in both lightness and rigidity. This saves approximately 19kg in weight compared to the use of cast members.
· The lower arms in the front and rear suspensions and the front and rear bumper beams are made of aluminum with a new manufacturing process which helps save weight and increase rigidity.
· The hood, front fenders, and trunk lid are made of aluminum using high-speed blow molding that enables one-piece molding of complex shapes, with approximately ten times the stretching capacity of conventional presses.
· Higher engine output and various weight reduction measures combine to significantly improve the new Legend’s power-to-weight ratio, for outstanding acceleration performance. As compared to the previous model’s 7.86 kg/PS, the new Legend achieves an impressive 5.87kg/PS.

· Fluid-filled mounts are used for the engine and transmission mounts, and the front and rear engine mounts are electronically controlled. Further, the front sub-frame is supported by a floating bracket with the engine mounts attached to it using a double anti-vibration mechanism to more effectively absorb engine vibration.
· Noise reduction technologies such as Active Noise Control, which sends an opposite phase signal through the car’s audio system to cancel out engine hum to ensure a quiet ride. The target frequency is identified based on engine speed, and microphones mounted in the front and rear roof monitor conditions. Sound is emitted from the car’s audio system as required to cancel out noise and reduce engine hum.
· Lightweight, high-performance sound-absorbing materials are employed in the carpet, dashboard insulator, roof lining, and trunk compartment lining. Lightweight sound absorbing materials are used wherever possible, resulting in quieter operation with only one-third the weight of conventional materials.

Exterior design built on the concept of concentrated excitement
· The sleek exterior design was created to give expression to the power within. Naturally flowing surfaces offset by powerful, sharp lines deliver outstanding aerodynamic performance while presenting an attractive, windswept form.
· The front view’s low, wide stance and intrepid look express an overwhelming sense of speed.
· The dynamic side view presents a wedge-shaped design from the low-slung front nose, through the forward-positioned cabin, to the short-cut rear deck, brought powerfully together by character lines that sweep from below the side windows all the way back to the tail lights. The side windows are designed with the guides attached to the glass, eliminating level differences between the glass and the pillar garnish to create a flush surface.
· The body’s wide stance combined with wide tires and twin mufflers provides a sporty flare, while the deep curve of the trunk lid and LED rear combination lights add a touch of elegance.

Interior design based on the concept of "esensuous functionality"
The interior is designed to appeal to the senses by imparting a feel of luxury and driving pleasure throughout.
· The natural wood of the instrument panel curves around to the left and right doors, combining with the center panel to form an ‘M’ shape that suggests breadth and fluid power, while ensuring ample leg room on both sides.
· The instrument panel features three-dimensional, self-illuminating gauges, backed by blue-gradation dials that are illuminated by indirect-illumination LED.
· The multi-functional display beneath the speedometer provides the driver with a range of information, including fuel consumption, average vehicle speed, and other driving details, including the operating status of the SH-AWD system.
· Blue illumination from a series of small lamps imparts an elegant touch to the interior.

Ultra-high-gloss exterior finish for deep contrast and a spectacular shine
· Conventional single clear-coat finishes involve a prep coat applied using electrodeposition, followed by a first intermediate coat, a second intermediate coat, a base coat, and a clear coat. The new Legend goes beyond this standard and has an ultra-high-gloss exterior finish. Specialists painstakingly water-polish the surface after the intermediate coats are applied to make it smooth, then apply two coats of clear finish. Increasing the thickness of the clear coats creates a deep contrast that shows off all six body colors beautifully.

Genuine wood paneling made by TENDO CO., LTD. imparts the high-quality feel unique to natural wood (Exclusive Package)
· The genuine wood paneling in the instrument panel is made from curly maple with its distinctive furrowed pattern. Changing its expression with each viewing angle, the paneling offers beauty that only natural wood can provide.

Packaging and Interior
· Each mechanism has been made lighter and more compact and precisely laid out with consideration for balance and weight distribution. The ultra-high-density packaging maximizes dynamic performance while securing ample interior space.
· The engine is more compact and transversely mounted, allowing the overall vehicle length to be shortened by 65mm and the wheelbase by 110mm, while interior length is increased by 30mm. Overall width is increased by 25mm, while the interior is 40mm wider. Cabin height is also increased by 20mm, despite the adoption of SH-AWD. These new dimensions create a short, wide stance ideal for nimble driving, while also providing a more spacious cabin.
· The seats, which offer greatly improved vibration absorption, are shaped to invite occupants to sink back naturally; they wrap around the back to hold the person securely. A thick layer of urethane beneath the seat covers adds softness, combining seating comfort with a firm hold. Both the driver and front passenger seats are equipped with 10-way power adjustment, while magnesium seat frames contribute to weight reduction.
· The 10-way adjustable seats with Schukra electric power lumbar support and power telescopic tilt steering wheel mechanism ensure the optimum driving position for each driver’s physique and help reduce driver fatigue.
· Seat, steering wheel, and side mirror positions can be stored in the memory in each of two Honda Smart Card keys.
· To enhance the driver’s rearward visibility, a switch located in the ceiling over the driver’s head can be operated from the driver’s seat to fold down the three rear power headrests when there are no passengers in the back seats.
· The power trunk lid*1 features automatic opening and closing. Anyone carrying the Smart Card key can auto-open the trunk lid using a switch on its exterior, or auto-close it using an interior switch. The trunk lid can also be operated using the driver’s seatswitch or the Smart Card.
· The intelligent dual fully automatic air conditioner provides independent left, right, upper and lower temperature control for both the driver and front passenger seats. Also, a GPS-regulated sunlight angle control function determines the direction and intensity of the sun’s rays and automatically adjusts left-right temperature and air flow.
· The trunk compartment has a 452-liter*2 capacity. Features including a trunk lid lining and smaller trunk hinges that prevent damage to luggage and enhance the trunk’s appearance and convenience.
*1 Available with the Exclusive Package
*2 Honda in-house measurements according to VDA formula

Advanced Functions
HiDS*1 (Honda Intelligent Driver Support System) provides driver support during highway driving (Exclusive Package)
· LKAS (Lane Keeping Assist System) recognizes the vehicle lane using the images from a C-MOS camera mounted inside the upper front windshield, and applies the appropriate input to the EPS (Electric Power Steering)*2 to help keep the car in its lane.

IHCC (Intelligent Highway Cruise Control)*3 uses information from a millimeter-wave radar mounted inside the front grill to measure the distance to the vehicle ahead, while vehicle speed and yaw rate sensors detect the vehicle’s driving parameters. In addition to maintaining a set speed, this cruise control system is also able to automatically regulate vehicle speed and distance relative to a vehicle ahead traveling in the same lane.

In combination, these two systems reduce the burden of freeway driving, enhancing driver comfort and safety.
*1 HiDS is available with the Advanced HI Package
*2 HiDS-equipped vehicle (non HiDS-equipped vehicles come with electronically controlled, vehicle-speed-sensitive hydraulic power steering)
*3 IHCC is available with the Advanced Package

Honda HDD Inter Navi System + Progressive Commander
· The 8-inch-wide display is positioned for easy visibility to minimize the need for the driver to shift his or her line of sight. The many functions made possible thanks to the ample information storage and retrieval capabilities of the system’s high-capacity (20GB) HDD can be accessed via the Progressive Commander, located within easy reach of the driver’s seat.

· The Legend’s custom audio system was developed in a collaboration with BOSE that began at the chassis design stage. The system consists of a 260W amplifier combined with ten speakers precisely positioned based on a thorough analysis of the vehicle’s spatial characteristics. It utilizes 5.1-channel surround sound to create a three-dimensional sound environment with a concert hall-like ambiance, delivering high-fidelity sound to all seating positions.
· The Honda Smart Card Key, which enables the owner to more conveniently lock and unlock the doors and operate the ignition, has further evolved. In addition to its existing functions, it now comes equipped with a personalization setting that stores individualized settings for the vehicle’s electronically controlled equipment. Further, an emergency ignition function has been added: even if the Smart Card Key’s battery is dead, the driver can start the car by placing the Smart Card Key in a dedicated slot.
· A power rear sun shade* increases comfort for backseat occupants by blocking out intense sunlight. The rear sun shade can be raised or lowered using a switch located in the ceiling over the driver’s head, and lowers automatically when the shift lever is put in reverse.
· The left and right rear doors are also equipped with manually operated sun shades* that can be drawn from below the windows and hooked in place above the tops of the windows.
* Available with the Exclusive Package

Pedestrian Detection Assist System
World's first Intelligent Night Vision System* detects pedestrians and provides driver cautions
The Intelligent Night Vision System uses images obtained from two far infrared cameras positioned in the lower section of the front bumper to detect the position and movement of infrared heat-emitting objects and determine whether they are in or approaching the vehicle’s path. Based on size and shape, the system also determines if the detected object is a pedestrian. In addition to the conventional night vision function of giving the driver an enhanced view of the road ahead by displaying pedestrians on the heads-up display, the system is the world’s first to provide visual and audio cautions that inform the driver of the presence of pedestrians that are on the road or about to cross the vehicle’s path.
* Factory option

Safety Performance
· CMS (Collision Mitigation brake System) + E-pretensioners* work together to predict rear-end collisions and reduce impact on occupants and vehicle damage. The system uses visual and audio warnings to prompt the driver to take preventative action. It can also initiate braking to reduce vehicle speed. The E-pretensioners retract the seatbelts in anticipation of a collision to hold the driver more securely in place.
· AFS (Adaptive Front Lighting System) features headlights that swivel based on steering wheel input for increased illumination.
· An electronically controlled braking assist system with learning capability provides more powerful emergency braking.
· VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist) provides sideslip control to correct oversteer and understeer, complementing ABS and TCS.
· The vehicle’s ACE (Advanced Compatibility Engineering) body structure helps provide even better protection for vehicle occupants while reducing aggressivity toward other vehicles in a frontal collision. The upper frame and lower members absorb and disperse the energy of a frontal collision through the front pillars and floor. The lower members prevent misalignment with the other vehicle’s safety structures, receiving the force along with the upper frame across a larger surface, significantly reducing the amount of energy transmitted to the cabin area. In addition, the new Legend employs a hexagonal front side frame in place of the conventional square one to create a larger cross-sectional area and more effectively absorb impact. The front sub-frame on which the engine is mounted also slides back on impact to secure a ‘crush stroke’ zone for increased protection of vehicle occupants.
· The pedestrian injury reduction body features a hood, hood hinges, wiper pivots, front fenders, and bumpers designed to absorb impact to a pedestrian’s head and lower limbs in the event of an accident, reducing injury severity.
· The front seats are designed to reduce the shock to occupants’ necks in the event of a rear collision. In addition to a seat back that draws the occupant’s body in upon impact, the position and angle of the headrest has been optimized to reduce load on the neck.
* Available with the Advanced Package and the Advanced HI Package

Environmental Performance
· High-precision air-fuel ratio control for high combustion efficiency, along with the adoption of an integrated cylinder head and exhaust manifold, a catalytic converter that attaches directly below the cylinder head, and other innovations combine to reduce exhaust gas contaminants such as NMHC (non-methane hydrocarbons), NOx (nitrogen oxides), and CO (carbon monoxide). The new Legend has been certified by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport as an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle, with emission levels 75% lower than those required by 2005 standards.
· VTEC and other high-efficiency combustion control technologies ensure high engine output and an outstanding fuel economy of 8.6km/l*1, even with the implementation of SH-AWD.
· Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has been eliminated from interior and exterior plastic components wherever possible in favor of environment-friendly, highly recyclable materials. Use of PVC has been reduced to one-fifth that of the previous model. Over 90%*2 of the vehicle is recyclable.
· Use of lead has been reduced to less than 10% of 1996 levels.
· Hexavalent chromium plating has been eliminated from the coating of bolts and nuts used in aluminum parts, screws used to fasten interior plastic parts, brake and fuel pipes, aluminum wheels, and other components.
· Consumption of energy in the surface molding of instrument panels and other components has been reduced through the elimination of high-temperature, rapid-cooling processes using metal dies.
*1 Fuel consumption when driven in 10-15 mode (Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport calculation). Advanced HI Package-equipped vehicles: 8.5km/l. Vehicles equipped with factory options other than those with the Advanced HI Package: 8.2km/l. (Vehicles with leather interior option only, vehicles with the Advanced Package only, and vehicles with both the leather interior and Advanced Package: 8.6km/l.)
*2 According to independent Honda measurement standards

Last edited by Tuan on October 08, 2004 01:31

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