Honda DN-01 Automatic Sports Cruiser Concept

2011 Tokyo Motor Show: 2011 Honda AC-X Plug-In Hybrid Concept

The lower front bumper of this vehicle features removable aerodynamic panels and its rear diffuser is also adjustable. The adjustable rear diffuser will help the car in remaining stable when cruising at high speeds. The aero wheel diffusers however, are stationary and they will cool the brakes.

The most attractive feature of this next generation green machine is its Twin Lever Steering system, which has been used to replace the wheel with two by-wire joysticks.

Green factor

Honda has used a hybrid powertrain in the AC-X. This new and improved powertrain consists of a 1.6-liter petrol engine with 127HP output. The electric motor used in this concept car delivers a maximum output of 120kW or 161HP. According to Honda, the battery has a range of 50 km (31 miles).

This car can touch a maximum speed of 62mph or 100kmh.

The powertrain

A four cylinder 1.6-liter engine and a pair of electric motors power the four-seat AC-X, which features a super-slippery .21 cD as well. Honda has used improved aero bits and the full wheel covers are transparent. The wheel covers remain stationary when you are driving the car. The cruising range of EV-only mode of this car is 50 kilometers and it can hit a maximum speed of 100 kph (62 mph) in electric-only mode.

The study of the AC-X is 4,700mm long, 1,820mm wide and it features a 2,750mm wheelbase. The fuel economy of this next generation car is 110km/L.

The highs

Honda claims that this next-generation plug-in hybrid vehicle will offer very comfortable travel in all situations. This car is fit for long-distance mode as well. If you are interested in aggressive, you can select the engine drive mode and for relaxed driving, you can switch on the automatic drive mode.

According to Honda, the AC-X increases the joy of traveling. In automatic driving mode, the joysticks retract, which means that the AC-X features either autonomous or semi-autonomous mode. In this mode, the driver need not control the vehicle. The front and rear bumpers are adjustable and they rise and go low depending on the speed.

This adjustment allows the bumpers to offer better aerodynamics.

Honda has improved the aerodynamic efficiency of this car by upgrading its wind-tunnel facilities. The design of the wheel covers of the AC-X also reduces the aerodynamic loss. Honda has also used the aerodynamic concept in Micro Commuter Concept in order to increase the efficiency of this green car.

This car also uses Honda Smart Connect, which helps the user to know the amount of battery remaining in this next-generation plug-in hybrid, hence the Smart Connect name. The size of the Smart Connect is equivalent to that of a smartphone and it is likely that Honda would come out with an app for this technology in order to allow the customers access this technology without using a separate gadget.

The replacement of steering wheels with a pair of joysticks is another attractive feature of the AC-X. The images released by Honda show that the joysticks retract when the car is put in automatic driving mode. This car features a heads-up display and a 3D view of the surroundings as well. This panoramic 3D view is not only for the display of driver but it is shown across the dashboard and onto the passenger side as well.

The driver will be able to view the immediate surroundings and the passenger will get an aerial view of the city.

The lows

It is tough to find any major flaw in this vehicle at this point of time except that it is a concept and it is unsure when will it go into production mode.

Cost and availability

As mentioned earlier, the AC-X is just a concept, so there is no information related to the price and availability of this vehicle. It is however expected that Honda would soon take this vehicle to the production stage.

Honda DN-01 Automatic Sports Cruiser Concept
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