Next-generation Honda Pilot provides SUV strengths with on-road refinement



    Bolder styling and more accommodating interior highlight changes to 2009
    Pilot

    DETROIT, Jan. 13 /CNW/ - A prototype of the next-generation Honda Pilot
was unveiled this afternoon during a special media presentation at the 2008
North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The prototype conveys
design features of the all-new 2009 Pilot, set to debut at Honda dealerships
across Canada in late spring.
    "The new Pilot is designed to emphasize authentic SUV styling, innovative
interior packaging and advanced technologies for safety, fuel efficiency and
convenience," said Jim Miller, executive vice president of Honda Canada Inc.
"The new Pilot enhances the combination of refinement and efficiency with even
more traditional SUV strengths. It will feature a powerful exterior design
while allowing for more space inside."
    Functional eight-passenger seating, a hallmark of the Pilot, becomes even
easier to access in the third row as key dimensions for legroom, cargo and
occupant space will increase in all seating positions. A redesigned platform
allows even more refined handling and ride comfort to exist seamlessly with
all-weather and medium-duty off-road capabilities.
    To further enhance safety, the Pilot will feature the Honda-exclusive
Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE(R)) body structure for enhanced
crash protection and the most extensive use of high-strength steel in any
Honda product to date.
    The ACE body structure enhances frontal collision compatibility with
vehicles of different sizes and bumper heights. A pedestrian injury mitigation
design in the front of the vehicle is designed to help absorb energy in the
event of a collision.
    A V-6 engine introduces the latest generation of Honda's innovative
fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management(TM) (VCM(R)) technology that operates
in 6-cylinder mode for power and 4- and 3-cylinder modes for fuel efficiency,
an improvement compared to the existing Pilot's available VCM system that
works exclusively in 6- and 3-cylinder modes.
    Three rows of seats provide a high degree of adaptability for people and
large cargo loads. The first row provides a commanding view of the road from
two captains' chairs. A wide center stack and center console form the styling
anchor for the interior with a design that emphasizes spaciousness and power,
while allowing for convenient access to navigation, entertainment and
climate-control systems.
    The 60/40 split second row, now more spacious, slides further forward for
increased ease of access to the third row. The 60/40 split third row, now
supplies enough knee room for an above-average-sized adult male to fit
comfortably, making the Pilot's third row among the most practical in the
industry. Each side of the second and third row independently folds down for
cargo. A flat floor is created when the second and third rows are folded down.
    The Pilot was originally launched as a 2003 model in July of 2002. Design
and development of both the 2003 Pilot and the new 2009 Pilot were carried out
by Honda R&D in North America. The Pilot is assembled at Honda Manufacturing
of Alabama.
    Among its numerous accolades, the Honda Pilot has earned Car and Driver
Magazine's prestigious "5Best Truck" award on six consecutive occasions
(2002-2007). The current-generation 2008 Pilot is also among an elite group of
vehicles to receive both a "Top Safety Pick 2008" from the U.S.-based
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-star crash safety rating
for frontal and side collisions from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA).

    Honda is the world's preeminent maker of engines for automobiles,
motorcycles and power equipment. With 134 manufacturing facilities in 28
countries worldwide, Honda now attracts 23 million customers annually. Honda
Canada manufactures the Honda Ridgeline and Civic sedan and coupe, and the
Acura CSX and MDX at its two plants in Alliston, Ontario. A new, third plant
in Alliston, with the capacity to produce up to 200,000 vehicle engines
annually, is scheduled to open later this year.

    /NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available on
    the CNW Photo Network and archived at http://photos.newswire.ca.
    Additional archived images are also available on the CNW Photo Archive
    website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited
    members of the media/





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For further information: Richard Jacobs, (416) 543-6593


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