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Honda European Legend
All-wheel-drive, radar and other innovations

New Honda Legend

New Legend with 3.5 litre, V6, 24-valve all-aluminium engine.

20th March 2006.

If the Honda Civic Type R Concept was meant to wet the younger appetites, the Japanese carmaker stand at the latest Geneva motor show (2-12 March) was also the place where the new generation Legend four-door premium saloon / sedan made its European debut.

After its launch was celebrated in its Japanese-specification just over a year ago, with Honda's new Intelligent Night Vision System, the new generation Honda Legend comes now in its European-specifications.

Aluminium panels include sub frames, bonnet, boot lid and front wings.

While the night vision system is still only available in Japan, the European-specification Legend comes with many advanced technologies such as the Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system (see below), a pop-up bonnet for pedestrian protection, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to maintain a safe distance from a vehicle in front, the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) which predicts potential collision situations and reacts accordingly, Active Front lighting System, satellite navigation with voice recognition, reversing camera and Bluetooth.

In addition, right-hand-drive models also have the option of Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS).

The Legend comes with 3.5 litre, V6, 24-valve, all-aluminium SOHC VTEC engine which produces 295 PS at 6,200 rpm and 353 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm, with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Inside, Honda’s flagship saloon features quality leather and wood trim.

The use of a number of aluminium body panels including the sub frames, bonnet, boot lid and front wings, helped performance further by keeping down overall weight, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds, with a maximum speed of 250 km/h (see specifications).

Nearly 5 meter long, 1847mm wide, with a 2.8m  wheelbase.

Kerb weight is 1864-1882 kg (depending on equipment) with a body which is 4957mm long, 1847mm wide, 1452mm high and a wheelbase measuring 2800mm .

The Legend comes as standard with the Active Front lighting System (AFS). When cornering, the inboard light swivels by up to 20 degrees according to input form steering and vehicle speed sensors to illuminate a larger area of road surface throughout the corner, thus minimising blind spots.

The standard-fit Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) works in conjunction with the Vehicle Stability Assist system, providing an all-wheel drive system with a unique layout which distributes the optimum amount of torque not only between the front and rear wheels, but also between each rear wheel.

Quality leather and wood trim, with many advanced technologies.

During straight line cruising and moderate cornering, up to 70 per cent of torque is delivered to the front wheels. During full throttle acceleration or spirited driving, up to 70 per cent of available torque is directed to the rear wheels for increased acceleration and enhanced cornering.

When accelerating during cornering, SH-AWD overdrives the outer rear wheel by up to 5 per cent using an exclusive acceleration device, while electromagnetic clutches in the rear axle send up to 100 per cent of rear torque to that wheel. If the car is decelerating during cornering, the torque balance is controlled to counteract oversteer. The result is enhanced steering feel, stability and class-leading cornering performance.

The Legend’s lightweight chassis and double wishbone front and multilink rear suspension systems are tuned to complement the SH-AWD system and deliver a linear cornering feel and a smooth ride.

Breakes adopt large ventilated discs and four-piston front callipers, with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist.

Other available driving assist systems include:

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) can be specified as an option. It uses a grille-mounted radar to adjust speed automatically by applying either brake or throttle to maintain a consistent distance to a vehicle directly in front.

– ACC is logically supplemented with the Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) which predicts potential collision situations and reacts accordingly.

If CMBS determines that the closing rate between the Legend and the vehicle directly in front has increased beyond an acceptable level, visual and audible warnings prompt the driver to take preventive action. If the distance further diminishes, the system provides a tactile warning by gently retracting the seatbelt and applies light braking. If an accident seems to be unavoidable, the system applies strong braking and strong retraction of the front seatbelts via E-Pretensioners to reduce the speed of impact and to mitigate the damage of a collision.

– Right-hand drive models can also be specified with the Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), already seen on the 2006 Honda Accord. This uses a camera mounted behind the top of the windscreen to identify the lane in which the vehicle is travelling and to correct any deviation via an appropriate input to the steering.

A number of pedestrian protection measures have been adopted in line with other Honda models, but unique to the Legend and one of the first such systems on the market is a pop-up bonnet. Activation in the event of an accident is by a pyrotechnic device; occurring in milliseconds, its effect is to help cushion the pedestrian’s body. Dual stage front airbags, side and curtain airbags complete the standard safety package.

The new Legend comes with a standard premium 10-speaker Bose audio system with Bose Cabin Surround sound and AudioPilot active noise cancellation, which neutralises road, wind and other intrusive noises by sending out an opposite phase signal through the audio system.

The satellite navigation features RDS-TMS which displays up-to-the-minute traffic information (where available) on screen and plots alternative routes around traffic congestion, with voice recognition control (English, German and Italian – French and Spanish will be added in the near future). Voice commands may also be used to control audio and climate control functions.

Parking is made all the easier by a rear view camera whose image is displayed on the 8 inch display.

A Bluetooth wireless mobile phone interface permits further hands-free operation, with steering wheel mounted buttons to control its operation.

For further information about product availabilities, prices, standard and optional equipments in your market, you can visit Honda's world website and then select your country.

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