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Honda Unveils Fuel-Efficient Gasoline Vehicle at the International Auto Show

6 January 1999

Honda Unveils World's Most Fuel-Efficient Gasoline Vehicle at the 1999 North American International Auto Show

DETROIT -- 1999 Honda V V hybrid prototype vehicle (PR NewsFoto) [PH]
DETROIT, Jan. 4 -- Honda unveiled its V V hybrid prototype vehicle at the 1999 North American International Auto Show today, announcing plans to introduce a production version of its gas-electric hybrid later this year. Honda is the first company to announce plans to sell a hybrid vehicle in the U.S. this year.

The Honda hybrid will be one of the world's most fuel-efficient gasoline-powered vehicles, achieving more than 70 mpg in combined city/highway driving. The vehicle will also meet California's Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards, making it one of the most environmentally responsible vehicles on the road.

1999 Honda V V hybrid prototype vehicle (PR NewsFoto) [PH]
"With ultra-low emissions and ultra-high fuel economy, the Honda V V establishes a new high-water mark for environmental sensitivity in a gasoline-powered vehicle," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "This vehicle is a major technological achievement for Honda, incorporating a wide range of technologies developed over the past two decades of Honda research and development into cleaner automobiles."

The Honda V V utilizes an innovative and ultra-efficient hybrid powertrain in combination with a wide range of weight savings and aerodynamic styling to achieve a new level of efficiency in a gasoline-powered vehicle.

1999 Honda V V hybrid prototype engine (PR NewsFoto) [PH]
The Honda V V powertrain represents the further evolution of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) powertrain concept, first introduced in the company's J-VX concept vehicle at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997. The Honda V V employs a 1.0-liter, 3-cylinder, lean-burn VTEC engine in combination with an electric motor/generator and a battery pack to boost both the performance and efficiency of the gasoline engine. The V V is equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission.

The Honda V V also employs a host of weight saving technologies including an aluminum frame and suspension, and body panels of plastic and aluminum, for a total vehicle weight of less than 2000 pounds.

Despite its light weight, the Honda V V will have world-class safety performance and a full complement of comfort and convenience features including automatic climate control, anti-lock brakes, electric power steering, dual air bags, AM/FM cassette stereo, digital instrument panel and Immobilizer theft deterrent system.