Honda N-Box Slash “Street Rod” Preview

By Steve & Tami Laser

Honda’s N-Box has been a huge success in Japan where it’s one of the best-selling Kei cars on the market. And now the lineup is preparing to expand again with a new spinoff dubbed N-Box Slash. That’s how you pronounce it, yet “N/” will become the logo for the car.

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Americans who are not familiar with Honda’s N-Box are invited to review the photos below of the space-efficient designs. To maximize cabin room, the gas tank is located under the seat while the compact transversely mounted front-drive powerplant takes up little space under the hood.

Kei cars are remarkably small by American standards. The size is limited to 11.2 feet (3.4 m) in overall length, 4.9 feet (1.48 m) wide and a generous 6.6 feet (2 m) high. Engines can’t be larger than 660 cc and passenger capacity is limited to four.

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Introduced to the Japanese market in late 2011 and joined by the N-Box+ (above) the following year, it features minivan-style sliding doors and a choice of normally aspirated or turbocharged 660 cc DOHC 3-cylinder engine teamed with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).

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Another version launched in late 2013 called N-WGN (above) has a bit more sporty styling. We saw this new model unveiled at last year’s Tokyo Motor Show. The N-WGN Custom offers a G Turbo Package (above) with front- or all-wheel drive.

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In addition to the dramatic upswept beltline styling, the new N/ has swing-out rear side doors like N-WGN yet the door handles are hidden near the roof to give it “coupe-like” styling (or at least two-door styling).

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While this creates a custom look, the real humdinger is the choice of styling themes: “Street Rod,” “Bright Rod,” “California Diner” (above – our favorite), “Hawaii Glide,” and “Tennessee Session” (below). No, we’re not making this up. Visit Honda’s N/ website:  http://www.honda.co.jp/Nboxslash/new/

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There’s little chance we’ll see Honda’s N series in the U.S. While it could be modified to meet crash-test and emissions standards (if Smart can do it…) tiny cars are not popular enough to justify the investment. In the meantime, we can dream of cruising Odaiba in Honda’s N/ California Diner.

Here’s the press release from Honda (only available in Japanese):

新型軽乗用車「N-BOX SLASH(エヌボックス スラッシュ)」をホームページで先行公

2014.11.27

Hondaは、12月22日(月)に発売を予定している「N」シリーズ※1第5弾の新型軽乗用車「N-BOX SLASH(エヌボックス スラッシュ)」に関する情報を、11月27日(木)にHondaのホームページで先行公開しました。

N-BOX SLASHは、ご好評いただいている「N」シリーズのセンタータンクレイアウトを用いたパッケージングや優れた使い勝手を踏襲しながらも、“もっと格好良く”、“もっと面白く”という開発当初からの想いを具現化。エクステリア、インテリア、カラーをトータルに考えた5つのデザインストーリーを持つ、Honda独創の軽乗用車です。

新しいストーリーを提案する、「N」シリーズ最新作にどうぞご期待ください。

スペシャルページのアドレスは以下の通りです。

http://www.honda.co.jp/Nboxslash/new/

※1 「N」シリーズは「日本にベストな新しいのりものを創造したい」という想いを込めて、Hondaのクルマ作りの原点でもある「M・M(マン・マキシマム/メカ・ミニマム)思想」を具現化した革新プラットフォームにより、軽乗用車の概念を超えた広さ、快適さ、経済性を実現した軽乗用車シリーズです。「N」シリーズ第1弾モデル「N-BOX(エヌボックス)」、第2弾モデル「N-BOX +(エヌボックスプラス)」、第3弾モデル「N-ONE(エヌワン)」、第4弾モデル「N-WGN(エヌワゴン)」

[Press release, photos and video from Honda Media Japan]

Story ©2014 CarNichiWa.com

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