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Old 05 Nov 2008, 11:10 pm
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Default 2003 Honda Element -- Chassis

Torrance, Calif. - Aug 26 —

Rugged chassis with excellent handling dynamics and low
floor

Overview

Built on Honda's versatile Global Compact Platform, Element
utilizes
a rugged chassis that supports a wide suspension and a low,
flat
floor. Element features a firm and well-dampened ride that
targets
high stability and an overall fun-to-drive feel. The firm steering
tuning ensures a connected feel to the road, while an ultra-tight
turning radius provides incredible low speed maneuverability. A
toe-control MacPherson strut front suspension and a compact
double
wishbone rear suspension deliver sure-footed handling.
Element's
suspension design facilitates light-duty off-road use.

Structurally similar to the 2002 CR-V, Element is slightly
bigger
in every exterior dimension except for length. Main chassis
differences include 16-inch wheels (vs. 15-inch for CR-V), a
slightly
wider track, a compact rear damper, a lower floor height and
structural adjustments to allow for no B-pillar construction. While
the design and shape of components appear similar, chassis
dimensions
have been adjusted to provide a wider track and lower floor.

Key Chassis Features


  • 101.4-inch wheelbase


  • Front/Rear track 62.1/62.3 inches


  • Front toe-control MacPherson strut suspension


  • Rear compact double wishbone suspension


  • 16-inch wheels


  • All-condition tires


  • Four-wheel disc brakes standard


  • Anti-lock braking system ABS (EX)


  • Electronic brake distribution (EX)


  • Power steering box with internal dampening valves


  • Front and rear stabilizer bars



Handling Targets


  • Firm damper and spring tuning for low body roll


  • Sporty, quick ratio, low delay steering


  • Tight turning radius



Braking System

Four-wheel disc brakes are standard equipment on all models
(11.1-inch ventilated front discs/11.1-inch solid rear discs). EX
models add an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic
Brake
Distribution (EBD). The EBD system enhances braking
performance on
dry and wet surfaces by adjusting the front and rear braking force
to
compensate for factors related to passenger load and cargo
positioning.

Suspension Components

The toe-control MacPherson Strut front suspension delivers
quick,
responsive handling by maximizing each front tire's contact patch
with the road throughout the range of suspension travel. Since
Element has a wide track compared to other products in the
Global
Compact Platform family, control arms and related components
are
larger. The rear compact double wishbone suspension provides
a smooth
ride with crisp and predictable handling by letting the tires move
slightly rearward over bumps. A compact rear damper and
spring
assembly is used to facilitate the low, flat floor. Front and rear
stabilizer bars are used to enhance cornering ability.

Steering System

Element tracks straight and true using the latest steering box
technology from Honda. Similar to systems used on larger
vehicles,
the Element's power steering box features internal dampening
valves
to reduce kickback over potholes, bumps or while off the beaten
path.
It also provides a smooth and natural "on-center" feel when the
vehicle is on slightly crowned highway stretches, adding to long
distance driving comfort. Another benefit of this system is the
high
level of responsiveness, making for a sporty feel with a short
delay
time between driver steering input and response. Element has
an ultra
tight turning radius of 34.2 feet.

Wheels and Tires

The 2003 Element rides on 16 x 16.5-inch, five-bolt pattern
wheels
and P215/70R16 99S Goodyear Wrangler HP tires.
Silver-painted steel
wheels with a black center cap are standard on DX models.
Silver
alloy wheels are standard equipment on EX models. The tire
package
provides a great balance of all weather performance, fuel
economy,
comfort, noise and wear characteristics.

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