Honda Model X Provides Active Guys With All-In-One Adventure Tool

Easy to Clean, Easy to Live In and It Hauls a Bunch of Stuff

1/9/2001 8:29:00 PM

The Honda Model X concept vehicle, developed and designed by Honda's R&D Americas operation and making its world debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, reveals a tough and indestructible vehicle with a carefree attitude.

Model X was conceived at the inaugural X Games in San Diego in 1998. Targeted at active young college-age guys who need a versatile, reliable, multi-functional vehicle to carry all their stuff, Model X combines the best features of a pickup truck with the best features of an SUV and adds a dorm room-like setting for a comfortable feel.

"Model X is more than a pickup truck and more than an SUV," said Tom Elliott, executive vice president, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Its beauty lies in its utility, versatility and functionality. It provides everything you need for the ultimate road trip."

Geared toward an active, outdoor lifestyle, Model X targets males with a activity-centered lifestyle. Whether the activity is surfing, snowboarding, mountain biking, skateboarding or just about anything else, Model X is designed to handle all of the logistical needs and provide access to new adventures.

The Model X development team wanted to provide an "open architecture" interior feeling for the vehicle. One of the Model X design inspirations was provided by a lifeguard station, which by nature is open, rugged and durable. Another design concept was a college dorm room -- a fun, active location where guys hang out.

To help provide this "open architecture" style, Model X was designed without a B Pillar and with center opening rear doors. The result are "open wide" side doors. That combines with a low, flat floor, to allow for easy loading and unloading. The rear roofline also slides forward, the rear window slides down into the tailgate and with the tailgate down, provides an open and spacious rear loading area. With the side doors opened wide, the interior provides the perfect base camp or location for "side gate" parties.

While the silhouette of Model X provides a rough and tough appearance, the interior is designed to be resilient and "washable." The interior floor is flat and wide and made of textured resin that is easy to clean. The seating for four is provided by front and rear bench seats. The back of the front seat slides across the seat cushion to provide a rear-facing seat when the vehicle is stopped.

The seats are made of tough, durable and fully washable materials. The rear seats fold and slide completely forward, exposing a spacious load area designed to hold everything from mountain bikes to surf boards.

The instrument panel features classic individual round displays. A flip-up navigation screen arises from the dashboard. The system also provides a wireless Internet connection, perfect for receiving on board e-mail and getting the latest surf and ski reports. The screen also can be used for playing video games or DVDs.

The center console hosts automatic climate control and a three-in-one stereo system including MP3 for direct downloading of the latest music from the Internet, along with digital satellite radio, cassette and CD player. An overhead interior storage rack holds small items and packages.

A rally-style 5-speed manual transmission gear shift is mounted to the center console. Power to the front wheels is provided by Honda's next generation i-VTEC, 4-cylinder engine.