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Honda Unveils New Light Truck Models at New York Auto Show

March 27, 2002

Two new Honda vehicles are making their debuts at the 2002 New York International Auto Show Mar. 27, according to Honda.

On display for the first time is a production-ready version of the Honda Pilot, a Honda-designed and built family-oriented SUV, featuring 8-passenger seating and the largest cargo carrying capacity in its class, according to the company. The Pilot goes on sale in June.

Also making its world debut is a pre-production version of the Honda Element, a light truck based on the Model X concept vehicle. The Element, which goes on sale by the end of the year, targets young buyers with an athletic lifestyle. The show also marks the introduction of the Element name.

"Pilot and Element are two very different trucks for two very different buyers," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "As American consumers continue to gravitate toward new and different types of light trucks, these two vehicles will play an important role in Honda’s lineup."The Pilot features a 240-horsepower, 3.5-liter, VTEC V-6 engine and Honda’s patented VTM-4 (Variable Torque Management 4WD) four-wheel drivesystem. The interior has two rows of 60/40 split folding seats and up to 90.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats.The Pilot will be built alongside the Acura MDX and Honda Odyssey by Honda Canada Mfg. in Alliston, Ontario. Pricing will range from $26,000 to $32,000 and sales of about 80,000 vehicles are expected during its first 12 months on the market.

Element, with its straightforward exterior design and multi-functional interior, combines the best features of a pickup truck and a SUV, according to Honda. The Element delivers on themes featured in the Model X concept vehicle unveiled at the 2001 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. According to Honda, the Element is designed to serve as a combination dorm room/base camp for active young buyers.A key design feature of the Element is the center opening "swing-wide" doors with no B-pillar for maximum cargo loading flexibility. Honda also claims to have targeted a Five Star side impact safety rating for Element.Based on Honda’s Global Compact Platform, Element is powered by a 2.4-liter, 160-horsepower, i-VTEC, 4-cylinder engine. It will be available with either front-wheel-drive or Honda’s Real Time 4WD, and with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.The Element will be built at Honda of America Mfg.’s East Liberty (Ohio) Plant. Element will go sale in December 2002, with first year sales (2003) of about 50,000 vehicles expected. Pricing will range from $16,000 to $21,000.

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