Based on a customized CR-V platform, the Honda Element is a kind of compact crossover produced in facilities at East Liberty, Ohio. The sales of the Honda Element started in December 2002 in United States as well as Canada.
The Element gets its inspiration from a concept vehicle called Model X launched for the first time at Detroit North American International Auto Show in 2001. The Model X was in fact developed in 1998 by a core group of energetic R&D engineers. The purpose behind designing the Model X was to carry out routine tasks like road trips, hauling outdoor sports equipment or even conducting informal on-site focus groups at schools, colleges, campsites, beaches or mountains etc, by combining features of pickup truck and a sport utility vehicle.
The Element is basically a 4-seat vehicle so designed to carry heavy loads. The textured urethane is used in the flooring that allows easy cleaning; the fabric used is strong and sturdy as well as stain-resistant; you can fold up the rear seat or lowered it down or even remove it completely. It has a large clamshell tailgate on the rear. The vehicle has a considerable length so as to allow large space to carry heavy loads.
Although, the rear side doors open outwards, these are not supposed to be as suicide doors for the fact that without opening the front traditional doors, they cannot be set open. B-pillar has been given up in the design so as to create unhindered access for side loading. Some of the characteristics of chassis include reinforced joints, larger cross members, and strengthened lower side sills, five bulkheads per side and enlarged rocker panels.
The Honda Element is powered by a Honda’s 2.4L K engine, an i-VTEC four-cylinder engine producing 166 HP (124kW) at 5500 rpm and torque of 160 ft-lb (217Nm) at 4500 rpm.
The Honda Element comes with front-wheel drive as standard but it is also offered with an optional Honda’s ‘Real Time’ four-wheel drive system. It is a hydraulically actuated system that becomes active only when slippage occurs in the front wheels. However, the production of four-wheel drive was ceased in the Japanese market after the release of 2006 model.
Different models of Honda Element appeared since its first appearance in 2002. From 2002 to 2009, different models of Honda Element with slight modifications appeared in the market. However, the company has announced in December 2010 that the production of the Honda Element will be discontinued after the 2011 model year. According to the company, the major fact behind the decision is the declining sales of the Honda Element as compared to Honda’s SUVs in the automobile market.