As part of the F1 celebrations for the Malaysian race of the 2004 season, Honda Malaysia is running an 'F1 Roadshow' at 3 different locations (at different times). The first 2 sessions were ran at the southern city of Johor Bahru and at the Sunway Pyramid shopping mall in Sunway. The main star in these two sessions was the 'display version' of the BAR006 F1 car that BAR-Honda is racing this year. For the third and final session, to be held at the 1 Utama shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, Honda Malaysia additionally put up two very unique 'Sports Concept Study' cars, a City and an Accord.
The new Honda City has made a huge impact in this region since its launch. It has taken South East Asia especially by storm, and in Malaysia sold in numbers that had never been thought possible for a non-national (i.e. non-Proton and non-Perodua made) car. After having sold and delivered in excess of 10,000 units over a period of only several months, Honda Malaysia celebrates the City's success by building this special Honda-Mugen City for display in this year's F1 Roadshow.
The Nighthawk Black Pearl Sports Concept Honda-Mugen City is fully loaded with almost everything available from the Mugen catalog for the Fit-Aria (which what the City is sold as in Japan). The much loved complete Mugen bodykit, except for the front grille, has been fitted including the aerodynamic door visors. As befitting the term 'Sports Concept', the car has received performance-related upgrades as well; a Mugen Sports Muffler for power and Eibach Pro-Kit springs for handling, used with the stock City shocks. For the wheels, the much sought after 15inch Mugen MF10L white forged rims are used along with 195/50/R15 Bridgestone Potenza S03 tyres. Even the wheel nuts are Mugen items ! A fully leathered interior is finished off with Mugen 'Sports Pedals'.
In spite of the controversy surrounding the Accord when it was launched here in Malaysia late last year, I understand that sales has been quite good. While many enthusiasts continues to lament it's rather sedated looks, the many who checked out the new Accord have obviously came away sufficiently impressed that many actually committed on a purchase ! Nevertheless, in a recent telephone conversation with one of Honda Malaysia's managers, I can sense a mild dissapointment that the Accord has not been completely accepted by enthusiasts. He understood the desire for a sporty look but at the same time has to work within the constraints imposed by the Accord's market position.
In an effort to address the concerns about what we Asians colloidally calls the 'uncle-ish' look of the Accord, Honda Malaysia prepared this Honda Access Sports Concept Accord to show that the 'export' Accord can look sporty and exciting as well. Using the excellent all-rounded 2.4l Accord as the base car, the complete Honda Access bodykit package is fitted comprising the front 'lower lip', a rear trunk spoiler, door visors and a set of fog-lights. To complete the 'sporty-look', the car is also lowered with a set of Eibach Pro-Kit springs and the all important wheels are now large 17inch Enkei RPF1 Alloys fitted with 215/50/R17 Yokohama ASPEC dB A500 tyres. The 2.4l Accord already comes with a fully leathered interior of course.
These two excellent Sports-Concept cars will accompany the display version of the BAR006 F1 car for the final run of Honda Malaysia's F1 Roadshow. This will be held at the 1 Utama shopping mall '2nd Wing' (the new building) and will take start today (March 16th 2004) to last until the end of the F1 race weekend (March 21st 2004).
These 2 cars represents a bold new move by Honda Malaysia. This is the second time Honda Malaysia has put together sports-concept cars for display, the first being a nicely done-up Jazz and 1.7l Civic during last year's Kuala Lumpur International Motor Show. While Honda Malaysia remains tight-lipped about the possibility that they might actually sell such sports-concept models in the official local domestic line-up, I think the effort alone is worth complimenting. I would encourage all enthusiasts to make the effort to drop by the 1-Utama shopping mall to check out the concept cars up close. Of course if asked by any Honda personnel where you read about the cars, make sure you mention that you first read about it here in the Temple of VTEC Asia !
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