Mr. Satoru Azumi, the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV Large Project Leader, shares the inspiration behind its development and discusses some of its distinctive new features
As the Large Project Leader behind the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV, Mr. Satoru Azumi brings a wealth of experience to the development of the new model. Mr. Azumi first joined Honda as the Exterior Engineering Designer of the Honda Civic series before taking on the role of Project Leader for the second-generation Honda City in 2001. He later became Assistant Large Project Leader (LPL) for Honda Accord in 2008 and most recently, he took the lead for the development of the Honda S660, a car unique to the Japanese market. We spoke to Mr. Azumi to learn about the inspiration and the new technologies behind the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV.
What were your thoughts when you were selected as the Large Project Leader for the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
Satoru Azumi: We knew that Honda City is a very important model in the Asian market, as Asian customers have always been very enthusiastic towards the model. So, we were under great pressure to meet their expectations to build a car that would make them truly happy. It was a very rewarding experience.
What were the Honda Philosophies that guided you throughout the project development phase?
SA: The Honda Philosophy includes “Respect for People” and “Three Joys” and these words describe exactly how the development was carried out. In the development process, we believe and respect Honda members in each country, and this creates a relationship of trust. I believe that excellent work cannot be created without trust.
When referring to the “Three Joys” philosophy, the first priority is “The Joy of Buying”, where I imagined that customers would be happy to buy our products. Next is the “Joy of Selling”, which is being able to communicate directly with our customers and to sell our Honda products with confidence. Lastly, for the “Joy of Making,” we imagined that all Honda associates and development members in each country would be able to make Honda products with confidence to bring a smile to our customers.
What was the key idea behind the development of the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
SA: We wanted to develop the Honda City as a car with a presence that customers can be proud of, even when compared to luxury sedans and SUVs. Honda City was also created as a distinctive car with a strong exterior design and a highly comfortable space that surpasses other models in the market, offering high quality and advanced technology to our customers.
If you could describe the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV in three words, what would they be?
It is the very concept of “sense of existence,” “security,” and “intelligence.”
What are your top three favourite features of the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
SA: I like the exterior design, the interior quality, the handling performance and the comfortable riding experience.
How does the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV stand out from its competitors?
SA: We are confident in its design, features, and driving performance that gives you a sense of security and agility. It is also a competitive sedan in terms of driving performance with its fuel-efficient petrol engine.
Additionally, the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV is equipped with the 1.5L Sports intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system. e:HEV is Honda’s unique 2-motor hybrid system that uses the motor for normal driving, and switches to direct engine drive for high-speed driving.
What is e:HEV feature that comes with the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
SA: The e:HEV powertrain features Honda’s unique two-motor hybrid system that combines outstanding fuel efficiency with a highly-efficient motor and agile yet powerful response with a high-output motor. It can produce a maximum torque of 253Nm, which is the highest torque in its class. This also means that its output is equivalent to a 2.5L Naturally Aspirated Engine.
What are some of the most distinctive and advanced features of the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
SA: As you know, this model is equipped with Honda’s unique 2-motor hybrid system powered by intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD), which produces highly efficient and agile driving, and Honda SENSING, which provides powerful support for safety and security.
Meanwhile, the chassis performance, which has been further improved and matured from the previous model, achieves linear yet secure handling performance. It was developed to achieve both utility for daily driving and sportiness.
On top of its impressive performance, I believe that our customers can also look forward to the overall design of the vehicle, the texture of the materials we selected for the interior, and the ample amount of space inside the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV.
Who do you think will enjoy these new features from Honda, and how do you think they will react to them?
SA: The grand concept behind the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV is, “Ambitious Sedan,” where we believe the vehicle will definitely please customers with the desire for success by enriching their daily lives, letting them lead a fulfilling life ahead. We have also introduced Honda CONNECT, which is the next step in Honda’s advanced technology. With this, we hope our customers will enjoy a richer city life with its agile and sporty driving, comfortable interior space with quietness, and excellent fuel efficiency.
What is Honda CONNECT and how can people benefit from the Honda CONNECT feature in the All-New Honda City RS e:HEV?
SA: Honda CONNECT is an intelligent technology designed to provide a seamless connection between your movement and your daily life, combining Safety, Security, and Convenience at your fingertip. By connecting to your smartphone, you can enjoy various features such as Remote Engine Start & Stop, Remote Air Conditioning Control, Security Alarm Detection, and so on. In addition, emergency calls can be made should you come across an emergency situation, providing a convenient and safe driving experience.