1 Aug 2006
WITH the fourth-generation Legend, Honda launched its most competitive luxury car since the original model’s late-1980s halcyon days.
The wedge-shape four-door sedan used a 3.5-litre single-overhead cam 24-valve V6 delivering 217kW of power at 6200rpm and 351Nm of torque at 5000rpm.
The only gearbox on offer was a five-speed automatic with a Tiptronic-style sequential shift mechanism, aided by shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The headline-grabbing feature was the Super Handling – All Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system.
A full-time set-up requiring no driver intervention for operation, it apportioned a varying amount of drive according to whichever wheels – front-to-back and side-to-side in the rear – needed it most.
Honda said it wanted this Legend to compete with Europe’s best, so it devised an independent double-wishbone front and Accord Euro-based independent multi-link rear suspension system.
In September 2008, Honda’s flagship luxury sedan received an upgrade headlined by a new petrol V6 that set new performance benchmarks for the Japanese carmaker.
The new 3.7-litre V6 delivered 226kW and 370Nm of torque - up 9kW and 19Nm over the unit replaced. The engine also offered improved fuel consumption (from 11.8 to 11.3L/100km) and the updated car played host to several cosmetic updates, refinement upgrades and extra features.
Continuing the mechanical upgrades were new “higher rate” spring and damping settings and larger (18-inch) new seven-spoke alloy wheels with 245/45-section tyres.
A new ‘acoustic” windscreen, featuring a thin film of alcohol sandwiched between two bonded glass panels reduced noise, vibration and harshness levels, which were further helped by extra cabin insulation and the Honda Active Noise Cancellation system, which Honda said “transmits precise acoustic signals able to negate intrusive road noise”.
Inside, the front seats featured 10-way power adjustment, a redesigned leather steering wheel, brushed metal instrument gauges were fitted, the climate-control air-conditioning system functions were redesigned and a 10-speaker Bose sound system and satellite-navigation became standard.
Aesthetic changes up front were led by a new aluminium bonnet, which cut weight and was integrated with new-look bi-Xenon headlights, a revised pentagonal grille with three chromed bars and a new front bumper with integral foglights and revised lower air intakes.
When it was new