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2007 Honda Element SC Prototype Emphasizes Style and Performance
Production version to go on-sale this fall


New York 04/13/2006 --

An all-new urban-oriented counterpart to the Honda Element will debut this fall with an exclusive sport suspension, larger wheels and tires, unique styling and special features like a carpeted interior and a center console, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced today at the 2006 New York International Auto Show.

With performance more than skin deep, the Element SC prototype rides 3-inches lower than stock with a sport suspension that delivers sports car-like handling. A front-to-rear aerodynamic body kit further lowers the vehicle's stance, supplementing the new vehicle's performance direction with a ground-hugging presence. High on sophistication, the Element SC smoothly stands out with exclusive features such as fully-painted exterior panels and trim pieces, projector-beam headlights and an aero-enhanced black grille. The interior further complements the city performance demeanor with a driver-oriented center console, copper hue instrument panel lighting backlit with LEDs, piano black trim and a carpeted floor.

"The Element SC prototype is the city-dwelling, style-conscious brother of the original Element," said Dick Colliver, executive vice president of American Honda. "Instead of features that accommodate outdoor sports and similar activities, the Element SC injects a new dimension of sophistication into the lineup that can best be characterized as 'night performer.'"

The exterior styling expresses a sophisticated, performance-oriented attitude with SC-exclusive features that include projector beam headlights, custom front bumper, lowered suspension, large alloy wheels, custom grille and a slightly lowered roofline (trim effect).

To match the outside, the exclusive interior takes on an entirely new personality with a center console that has enclosed storage areas ideal for mobile phones and MP3 players. Additional exclusive features include trim accents that correspond to the copper-colored illumination.

The 2007 Element SC prototype has a 2.4-liter, DOHC, i-VTEC engine that benefits from a 10 horsepower increase over the 2006 Element, bringing the total to 166 horsepower (SAE net revised 8/04). The increase is achieved primarily through the addition of high-flow intake and exhaust systems and high-lift camshafts. Additional enhancements include drive-by-wire throttle control. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, and the available automatic transmission has five forward gears instead of four.

Fulfilling the goals of Honda's "Safety for Everyone" initiative introduced in 2003, all 2007 Elements will provide a core suite of standard safety equipment that goes beyond existing regulations and includes side curtain airbags, driver's side impact airbag, front passenger's side impact airbag, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and ABS.

The 2007 Honda Element also introduces an Integrated Seat Belt System on the front seats that allows rear seat occupants to exit the vehicle without the need for a front occupant to disconnect his or her seatbelt. In place of the existing B-pillar, door-mounted shoulder strap, the new Integrated Seat Belt System shoulder strap originates from the top of the seat and helps to enhance vehicle ingress/egress convenience for rear passengers.

The Element SC prototype features custom 21-inch cast aluminum alloy wheels, 245/35R21 high-performance custom tires, and 4-wheel disc brakes with large brake rotors and custom copper-appearance brake calipers. The combination of the sport-tuned suspension and aggressive wheel and tire package results in an urban utility vehicle that handles like a sports car. A production vehicle based on the Element SC prototype will go on sale this fall.
 

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pxpaulx said:
WTF, why can't everyone have 10 more horsepower and a 5 speed auto tranny?!
At least all models are getting seat integrated front seatbelts and side curtain airbags. Those are two huge improvements over the current Element. Kind of a bummer for those who purchased '06 models to have such huge improvements made so soon after their model year. Now all they need to do is improve the color palette over that of the '06 models.....
 

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i missed the safety belt thing, very very nice. now that is something i think honda is smart enough to integrate into every model going forward - i guess we'll just to wait for the regular 2007 info to come out.
 

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Hands down the transmission and seat belts alone make this a winner. Plus it really doesnt deviate from the STD element that much at all.
 

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Yeah, the transmission and seatbelts are a winner. So are the cosmetics if you like that kind of thing.

I guess it was just too much of a re-tool to shoehorn the 3.5 litre V6 in? Too bad, that would be a real winner IMHO.
 

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I wonder how many of these features will show up on the rest of the 2007 Elements. My guess is, they'll wait to incorporate to the rest of the line in later years, leaving the SC as a special edition for a year or 2.
 

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3rdHonda said:
I wonder how many of these features will show up on the rest of the 2007 Elements. My guess is, they'll wait to incorporate to the rest of the line in later years, leaving the SC as a special edition for a year or 2.

Well they've stated the integrated seatbelts and side curtain airbags will appear on all production Elements for 2007. Somehow it seems the 5 speed auto tranny will be specific to the SC as they have not elaborated more on how deep in the lineup this feature will go.
 

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biocube said:
i wonder if the HID lamps could be swapped into the older elements?
my guess is that would only be possible if the full bumper could attach at all the same points as the current models - and would also require you to buy the whole bumper configuration.

isn't the 2007 the last year before the element is redesigned? (i can't remember but i recall that being discussed at some point).
 

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Bummer, sort of. I saw that "SC" and thought for one crazy moment that the good people at Honda were giving us a factory supercharger option. Don't laugh so much: the Acura RDX and its 240-hp turbo street this summer....

A lot of interesting additions, to be sure. While my current Element is a "street" car for sure, I am not keen on giving up ground clearance or ride quality. I am very interested in the 5 speed automatic, a change I have been calling for since the vehicle first was introduced. IF the new tranny makes a noticeable change in mileage I will be very tempted (providing, of course, that I don't have to get the lowered suspension). I am starting to lose hope on the V6 and/or Hybrid powertrain......

The HIDs, integrated seatbelts and side curtain airbags are all great changes and would also tempt me. Additionally, the LED-lit instruments is of interest; it really wouldn't be too difficult to incorporate a choose-your-color function similar to what (ick!) Ford did with the restyled Mustang, thus answering yet another of my dreams for the E.

All of this now has me really wondering if that sunroofed Element on the cover of the Fit brochure is on the way.

---- Mark

ps -- are there pics somewhere of this SC?
 

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Does anybody see where it says it is available as a 4WD? I don't.

With the Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) :confused: , the 5 speed automatic transmission and it's street design, I bet it's only available as a 2WD.
 

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What do they mean by "urban brother"? I bought my E to commute across Manhattan. It is almost perfect. A lower E will be tougher on those horrible roads, lower profile tires will damage more easily in potholes, and a flashier interior and fancy headlights will make it more attractive to thieves.
How disappointing that they went for flash instead of a substantial improvement like a hybrid or diesel version.
Yes, that's two thumbs down from this reviewer.....
 

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I think this is an attempt to pull some market share from the xB and sell to the ricer crowd.

I don't see myself moving up to this. I want an Element with a diesel that will tow #3,000 with captain chairs.

But that's just me.

Element and Scamp in Menodcino CA
 

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The 5 speed auto tranny is a step in the right direction but all the E's should have that standard. 10 hp, why bother? Honda should just do the needful and offer a 6 cylinder with 5 speed auto tranny. That will sell awesome. And it will increase mpg too.
Steel
 
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