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Honda gives Model X green light

Outdoor lifestyle: design inspiration for the Model X came from a lifeguard station, which Honda's designers see as rugged, durable and architecturally open.

Honda's crazy lifestyle soft-roader will hit the road some time this year, but Model X may not make it Down Under

28 Jan 2002

HONDA's wacky Model X concept car is set to become a production reality before the end of the year.

The American arm of Honda has announced it will build a new light truck model based on the concept car, which was first shown at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last year, before appearing at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show.

The production model will be built at Honda's East Liberty plant in Ohio and is expected to be in Honda dealerships across North America before the year is out.

The all-new model will be produced on the same assembly line as the Civic sedan and coupe, as well as the Civic GX natural gas vehicle, and will boast a number of unique features including a B-pillar-less body with rear-hinged rear doors.

Honda is targeting young buyers with the new soft-roader model and says it is designed for an active, outdoor lifestyle.

"The Model X is a radical departure from traditional automotive design that we think will appeal very strongly to a new generation of car buyers," American Honda executive vice president Tom Elliott said.

"It is an important new addition to Honda's growing family of innovative light truck models."The exterior design of the Model X concept car has a simple two-box design with side mouldings running the length of the vehicle for a durable look. The side doors are designed without a B-pillar and open from the centre.

Interior features include a flip-up navigation screen with integrated wireless internet capability, video input and DVD playback. The stereo system includes MP3 download and playback capability, along with satellite radio, cassette and CD player.

At this stage Model X has not been confirmed for sale in Australia, nor has the facelifted HR-V recently launched in Japan. An official name for the production model has not yet been announced.

* The Model X was developed and designed at Honda's R&D centre in Los Angeles and was conceived for active drivers who want a versatile, reliable, multifunction vehicle to carry all their stuff.

The idea behind the radical concept was born in San Diego after Honda designers travelled to the X Games in 1998.

Since that trip, the design team went surfing, mountain biking, kayaking and rock climbing to experience the way of life first-hand, and to get a better idea of what young, active and extreme people want and need in a vehicle.

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