Honda has introduced a new, 42-mpg, compact station wagon in Japan.
The new Airwave wagon, which goes on sale April 8, 2005, uses a gasoline-fueled 1.5-liter VTEC engine that produces 81 kW (109 hp)of power and 143 Nm (105 lb-ft) of torque, while consuming 5.56 liters/100km (42.3 mpg US).
VTEC (Variable valve Timing and lift Electronic Control) is Honda’ mechanism for optimizing air/fuel mixture flow through the engine. In the Airwave, Honda further optimized engine ignition timing and provided smoother cam surfaces to reduce friction. The Airwave also uses Honda’s Multimatic S continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) to improve fuel efficiency.
The Airwave fuel consumption level betters the 2010 Japanese fuel economy standards for this vehicle class by 5%.
The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has certified the Airwave as a Low-Emissions Vehicle, with emission levels 75% lower than those required by the Japanese 2005 standards, making the vehicle eligible for preferential Green Tax measures.
Lightweight, compact, real-time 4-wheel drive is also available on all types.
No suggestion yet of bringing this to other markets. Honda dropped the Accord station wagon from its lineup in the US in 1998.