Honda Unveils MV-99 Minivan Concept Vehicle
5 January 1998Honda Unveils MV-99 Minivan Concept Vehicle
DETROIT, Jan. 5 -- The Honda MV-99 minivan concept vehicle unveiled today at the Detroit International Auto Show provides a clear indication of the size and shape of a new Honda production minivan that will go on sale in the fall of this year as a 1999 model, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced today. The one-of-a-kind MV-99 features front-wheel-drive, a V-6 engine and dual sliding side doors. The production model will share those traits along with the same basic silhouette of the MV-99. The MV-99 is 196 inches long and rides on a 117.5 inch wheelbase. Both measurements are close to those of the production model. The production model will be built on a second assembly line currently under construction at Honda of Canada Manufacturing in Alliston, Ontario, which is near Toronto. "This will be the largest vehicle Honda had ever made," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda, in making the announcement. "It will be as big, as roomy, as powerful, as versatile and as competitively priced as anything in its class." Colliver said sales of the new minivan will at least double those of the current Honda Odyssey, which reached a peak of about 30,000 vehicles. Capacity on the new Canadian production line will eventually grow to 120,000 units and add about 1,200 jobs to the facility. While the silhouette of the MV-99 provides an excellent indication of what to expect from the new Honda production minivan, the interior was designed to take a look into the future, when new technologies may turn the common minivan into an executive shuttle and mobile office on wheels. The MV-99 features fully articulating passenger chairs and a rear sofa lounge area for additional meeting space. A digital satellite antenna connects the MV-99 to a global communications network and overhead interior monitors provide complete video conferencing capabilities. The armrests in each passenger seat contain their own flip-up personal data processing center and individual video monitoring screen, or are retractable for maximum flexibility. The driver of the MV-99 is allowed to concentrate on the task at hand and not be distracted by conferencing activities through a heads-up instrument display unit and wrap-around control panel. The heads-up display is projected just above the aircraft style driving controls and provides the driver with all the key information and gauges, including speedometer. The display unit is flanked and topped by real time video from side- and rear-view "lipstick" cameras. The wrap-around control panel allows the driver complete control of the environmental climate system, entertainment center and access to the Global Positioning Satellite navigation system. SOURCE American Honda Motor Co., Inc.