Honda Element SC Prototype

Honda had a subdued press event at the 2006 New York Auto Show. The speech began with a discussion of the progress of Honda’s Safety for Everyone initiative, which, as far as we can tell, is doing fine. Honda also announced the new Civic GX Natural Gas model, which will be sold only in California. It promises to be the cleanest-running vehicle sold on earth, and offers a 250-mile range with an overnight fill-up via a home unit.

Suddenly, the speakers started pounding out techno music, and the sedate Honda stage became an urban lightshow. The debut was essentially just a new trim level of a rather old model, but they sue seemed excited. The Element SC is a sure bet for production, although details won’t be released until later this fall. We do know it sports fully painted body panels, a unique bumper and grille, a 3-inch lowered suspension, and a carpeted interior with copper-colored lighting. The prototype also sported 21-inch rims, but we’d be surprised if those make the cut. This “city performer” is powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, here making 166 horsepower thanks to the i-vtec valve timing system (10hp up on the regular Element.)

Honda Element Concept

Honda Element Concept

Honda, New York International Auto Show

Charlie is Roadfly’s founder and publisher, and was taught to drive by his father in a 1974 Porsche 914. That made poor Charlie a Porsche fanboy for life, and after driving a 911SC at 16, he bought and campaigned a variety of 944s at racetracks up and down the East Coast, earning awards and track records in his twenties. Charlie never really got over the car bug, and after a career in real estate development he founded the Internet media firm that became Roadfly. Charlie lives in McLean, VA with his wife and two daughters, and between the demands of family and business doesn’t have much time to play with cars anymore, excluding the machinery we review.

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