Let's Elevate

In conversation with Munetsugu Kaneko, Large Project Leader, Honda Elevate, Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co. who spoke to TURN OF SPEED not just about Elevate's design philosophy but also about its extensive testing process.

Jun 16, 2023 RACHNA TYAGI No Comments Like

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During the global unveil of Honda India’s premium SUV – Elevate – we caught up with Munetsugu Kaneko, Large Project Leader, Honda Elevate, Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co who spoke to us about not just its design philosophy but also about its extensive testing process. Excerpts from the interview…

TOSTell us about the design philosophy of Honda Elevate…

MK: This is the new mid-size SUV for India, in fact, not only for India, but for the global market. As you know, our design philosophy is to keep it simple yet sophisticated – it is a key principle of design. Also, we wanted to showcase the Elevate’s SUV like appearance, so, we looked for a balance. For example, we even surveyed the tyres and the glasses carefully. During this survey we found out that this is the best balance for the mid-size SUV in India. This is our basic story for the styling/design.

TOSThe windows are quite big for an SUV this size. What’s the thinking behind that?

MK: As you told me the glass area is wider but if you see carefully see, it is balanced with the body and comes across as elegant. Also, we investigated what is the best balance with the power and the air-con output. This is Honda’s design requirement so we covered it to suit Indian conditions. This is the basic principle for India design.

The concept was to create a private and protected cabin so private means you have your privacy inside the cabin… people can’t see inside. You will see that we have a peculiar kind of shape and we’re giving you a protected feeling also and the window area is big because we don’t want customers to feel claustrophobic inside and still get that sense of protection while sitting inside. That kind of thought process has gone into coming up with this design.

TOSThe front grille is more of a flat nose… can you throw some light on this trend?

MK: It’s a good question. From our side, from Honda’s design philosophy it was all about how to make Elevate look like ‘THE SUV.’ One key point to express it is the strong feel, giving it a butch feeling on the front fascia. It means that we emphasize its presence and another one is package, as much possible it is wide and protected and we have tried to balance that. 

TOSTell us about what went into designing the seats? 

MK: During our designing of the seats, we had to keep in mind not just the design but also the seat feeling. We also worked with Honda R&D India, and investigated how the seats feel on Indian roads for Indian customers, and so we added cushioning to the design and really optimized it.

TOSWhat can you tell us about the testing process of the Elevate? The different terrains and weather conditions and also how many kms of testing did it undergo?

MK: It’s part of our development process to test the vehicle extensively. The idea [in the presentation] was to show the kind of terrain that we have tested it on. When the test is ongoing, we cannot control the weather, so it continues across different geographies and different weather conditions, it [the weather] isn’t a planned thing. 

TOS:  The wheel size is 17 inches but only for the top variant…

MK: This is 17-inch and this is the top variant which we are showing now. Further info about detailed specs will be rolled out later.


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