Honda to Begin Sales of New N-VAN: Tokyo, Japan, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will begin sales of the N-VAN, a new van-type mini-vehicle. Striving to develop a model which will set a new standard for van-type mini-vehicles, Honda developed the N-VAN by closely studying the everyday lives of working people and pursuing high usability for various type of jobs/businesses as well as outstanding driving and safety performance. The Honda N-VAN lineup includes G and L types, which pursue functionality as a “tool,” as well as the +STYLE types for which individual characteristics were highlighted by an interior with a highly visual and tactile quality, a number of useful features and a broad range of body colors.
N-VAN is expected to be used not only for commercial/business purposes but also to fulfill various other needs. While utilizing the platform of Honda N-BOX to the maximum extent,N-VAN pursued what users expect of a van-type mini-vehicle – with a large cargo space and highly efficient loading/unloading. In addition to the rear seats, the passenger seat also features a dive-down mechanism which enables a flat floor cargo area that extends from the tailgate all the way through the rear seat to the front passenger seat area. Moreover, Honda’s original “center tank layout”, which places the fuel tank underneath the front seats, enabled a low-floor cargo space which enables N-VAN to accommodate tall cargo items.
Furthermore, for the first time for any van-type mini-vehicles, Honda N-VAN adopted the center-pillarless body construction which enabled a large opening on the front passenger side of the vehicle. Through this large opening on the side and the large tailgate opening, it becomes possible to make loading/unloading more efficient and smooth in different ways for various occasions.
In an effort to ensure occupant comfort even during long-distance driving or over a long time period, the development team pursued smooth acceleration and a comfortable ride with reduced vibration. Moreover, the team sought to achieve outstanding fuel economy at the top level in the vehicle class through various measures including the adoption of a high-efficiency engine and overall weight reduction. Furthermore, the driver’s seat was designed in consideration of driving for longer time periods and frequent ingress/egress so that it contributes to the mitigation of a physical burden on the driver.
All N-VAN types feature the Honda SENSINGTM suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment. Moreover, the use of lightweight and high-rigidity materials contributes to the high passive safety performance of the N-VAN. The front passenger (left side) door and left-side sliding door adopt a “door-in-pillar” structure, which functions as a center pillar when the doors are closed, resulting in passive safety performance that is equivalent to body construction with pillars that are secured.
Key features of the N-VAN
- The low floor of FF platform and the dive-down passenger seat created a large cargo space.
- Based on the platform which was newly-developed for the N-BOX, the new N-VAN was designed especially for commercial use. The low floor realized through the combination of the FF platform and the Honda’s patented center-tank layout packaging technology enables N-VAN to feature a large cargo space which also offers ample vertical space.
- A dive-down mechanism adopted for the front passenger seat in addition to the rear seats, so that the passenger seating area can be used as cargo space. This created an extensive cargo space with a flat floor from the passenger seat area all the way to the tailgate, making it possible to accommodate long cargo items.
The efficiency of loading/unloading improved by the “double” large opening realized through the adoption of the pillarless body construction on the front passenger (left) side of the vehicle:
- In order to enable smooth loading/unloading from the front passenger side, N-VAN adopted the center-pillarless body construction for the first time for any van-type mini-vehicles. This enhanced the usability of this vehicle in various occasions including the loading/unloading of long cargo items. Moreover, for customers who are planning to use this vehicle in creative ways such as a mobile store front for various businesses, depending on the idea, the large double (side and tailgate) openings can expand the vehicle’s range of possible uses.
- The cargo space is accessible from two large openings a tailgate opening and front passenger side opening. The tailgate opening made larger by the combination of the wide width of the opening and the low-floor design of the vehicle. These two large openings will help users to achieve high work efficiency in various environments/situations such as where they have to perform a task within a limited work space such as a busy street and tight space or when it requires multiple people to load/unload the cargo area.
Excellent driving performance, occupant comfort, and fuel economy were realized to ensure stress-free transportation even while the vehicle is fully loaded:
- In consideration of load carrying and usage patterns unique to van-type vehicles designed for commercial use. The engine for the N-VAN optimized based on the high-efficiency engine adopted by N-BOX. The N-VAN engine generates high torque even within a low-speed range, yet achieves excellent fuel economy.
- As for the transmission, most N-VAN types offer a choice of 6-speed manual transmission or continuously variable transmission (CVT). While achieving both high driving force and excellent fuel economy. Both required for vehicles designed for commercial use, N-VAN also realizes smooth driving and excellent quietness which inherited from Honda’s passenger car models.
- All types of N-VAN feature Honda SENSING as standard equipment.
- The N-VAN became the first van-type mini-vehicle to adopt the Honda SENSING suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies. All types of N-VAN features Honda SENSING, which includes eight basic functions as well as the function to prevent false backward starts and Auto High Beam headlights, as standard equipment.
Body design for the high-level collision safety
- In order to realize pillarless body construction for the front passenger side (left) side of the vehicle. The “door-in-pillar” structure, which incorporates the center pillar function into the doors, adopted for the front passenger door and left-side sliding door. When those doors closed, passive safety performance equivalent to body construction with pillars secured.
- The structure which absorbs the impact of a collision adopted in the front part of the body to mitigate the damage in the event of a collision. Taking advantage of the FF body form, collision stroke secured in the space underneath the hood to protect pedestrians from a possible head injury. Moreover, a bracket positioned on the bulkhead at the front edge of the high-rigidity front side frame to absorb the impact of the collision in order to protect pedestrians from a possible leg injury.
Driver’s seat designed in consideration of long-time driving and frequent ingress/egress:
- In order to mitigate the physical burden of repeated ingress/egress on the driver. The low-floor design adopted to realize smooth leg motions, and the seat heightset to the position where the requirement for up-and-down motions of the lower back minimized. Moreover, by applying enhanced support on the lower back area of the driver. The seat enables the driver to maintain posture which will cause less fatigue during long drives. To reduce wear and tear on the seat cushion fabric as a result of repeated ingress/egress. One piece of the fabric used to cover the seat cushion from the sides to the bottom, eliminating seam lines. By minimizing the trigger points of wear and tear, the seat is more durable.