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Old 01 Sep 2010, 10:00 am
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Default FCX Clarity: Honda FCX Clarity - Design

An eye-catching and futuristic design

Honda has set aside the framework of automotive design. A new and very exciting kind of vehicle has been conceived, offering a level of styling and distinctiveness that customers of premium vehicles expect.

It had to have four wheels. Beyond that, we were free.

There's no engine - this is a completely different powerplant. Free from common design constraints, the Honda team took an entirely new approach. The goal was to create a totally innovative, exciting design that suggests the future at a glance - a dynamic, full-cabin sedan featuring innovative packaging that takes advantage of the fuel cell vehicle's layout versatility and powerful driving performance.

Since the motor is so compact, Honda engineers were able to create a revolutionary new platform with a low center of gravity and a long wheelbase. The result was a new type of sedan with unique porportions and a futuristic look.

An emotional appeal that goes beyond environmental responsibility

Ultimately, the appeal of a car emerges from its appearance - a sense of motion even when it's standing still. Features like the accentuated fender flares complement the dynamically tapered lines of the front and back of the cabin and the flowing side lines of the one-motion form. The innovative and attractive packaging of the FCX Clarity take it well beyond the realm of environmental responsibility.

Environmental responsibility is looking good

Distinctive. Dynamic. A glimpse of the future.

The elegant form of the FCX Clarity sets it apart from everything else on the road and complements the rational, environmental reasons for driving a fuel cell vehicle. The sharp, dark chrome trim that runs from bumper to headlight draws the eyes toward the front fenders, creating a powerful, dynamic look and a cool, clean, futuristic feel. The side mirrors complement the FCX Clarity's free-flowing cabin. Mounted on slender arms that blend with the door molding, they emphasize the elegant lines of the side windows, with the molding embracing the mirror housing. The exterior door handles have a spare, clean look that emphasizes the slender lines of the body. Robust rear fenders reinforce the compact cabin for a bold, sculpted look. The rear glass and contoured design of the rear combination lamps emphasize the vehicle's wide, confident stance.

An extra rear window for more visibility control:
looks great, enhances visibility, allows for a larger trunk

The most distinctive feature of the new one-motion design is found at the rear of the FCX Clarity. To take advantage of the high-deck design and enhance rear visibility, the car is fitted with an extra window with visibility control - a feature carefully designed to protect privacy. The rear tray is set high to ensure ample trunk volume, and windows are positioned in the upper trunk lid and in the barrier behind the rear seat to allow the driver to see into the trunk.

Visibility control lets occupants see out without passersby seeing in

A special polycarbonate layer is applied to both sides of the window to make transparency dependent on the angle of vision, protecting occupants' privacy. The result is excellent rearward visibility for the driver with a high level of privacy for the rear-seat passengers.

Free-flowing, aerodynamic design capitalizes on the new platform's unique qualities

It's no coincidence that the exterior design's key features - the front and rear fenders, the front pillars, the tapered rear cabin - also contribute to outstanding aerodynamic performance. Superb aerodynamics are built right into the free-flowing, one-motion form. And because there is no engine - and therefore no low-hanging exhaust system - the car's underbody is flatter, reducing drag.

Lightweight aerodynamics wheels

Ultra-lightweight forged aluminum 5-spoke wheels have fin-shaped plastic fairings to suppress air turbulence around the wheel, reducing weight and improving aerodynamics while adding a sporty touch.

A comfortable, spacious, futuristic environment

A new dimension in comfort for all

Honda designers aimed to take maximum advantage of the space, creating a comfort zone with a futuristic feel. The central tunnel formed by the FC Stack neatly divides the left and right front spaces. The door linings help create an inclusive feel that sets apart the personal space of four independent seats within the spacious cabin. The floating instrument panel gives the cockpit a next-generation feel and provides the driver with new levels of functionality and visibility. The warm earth-tone colors are intended to create a soothing, natural feel.

Personal spaces that submerge occupants in comfort

Four distinct spaces have been created within the luxurious interior. The doors feature bold concave lines that accentuate the sense of roominess and create relaxing, personal spaces.

A floating, layered instrument panel for an advanced feel

Front pillars have been extended forward, while maintaining generous headroom proportions, to create a sense of space. The instrument panel is set off as a unified mass unconnected to the door line, making it appear to levitate. Bright coloring in the padding accentuates the airy, spacious feel.

An advanced cockpit for a futuristic experience

Naturally, because it's a Honda, the FCX Clarity is fun and easy to drive. The new fuel cell multi-functional display in the cockpit, for example, features three-dimensional displays of hydrogen consumption, battery levels, motor output and other key information. The speedometer is positioned directly above the display to minimize eye movement. A compact electronic shifter that leverages the latest in drive-by-wire technology has been molded into the meter visors. Other design touches enhance the futuristic feel, like the start switch beside the center console that activates the fuel cell stack.

Fuel cell performance meters

The luminescent three-dimensional meters recessed into the instrument panel display all key driving information. A centrally located ball-shaped H2 meter keeps track of hydrogen consumption. The vehicle's meters work together to provide an effective interface, providing the data output the driver needs.

The H2 ball-shaped hydrogen consumption gauge changes color and size to reflect hydrogen consumption as driving conditions change. During high consumption, the ball becomes large and amber-colored. As consumption decreases, it shrinks and turns yellow, then blue. The Hydrogen fuel and battery gauges are to the right of the H2 ball-shaped meter. The fuel cell stack output gauge and battery output/charge display are on the outer perimeter.

Luxury from the future

Silver accents, blue acrylic in the interior door handle, and audio panel impart a futuristic look. High-quality materials like wood-grain appearance paneling in the doors and luminous black lacquer headrests combine with warm colors for a luxurious, space-age feel.

Interior Design

Comfortable, easy to use, and environmentally responsible

Honda Bio-Fabric, a new interior fabric made from plant material - another world's first for Honda

To help move away from petroleum-based resins and other synthetic fibers toward plant-based fabrics, Honda created a new premium bio-fabric for vehicle interiors. Honda Bio-Fabric is a polyester material called poly(trimethylene terephthalate (PTT) made by fermenting corn Its texture and durability make it perfect for use in seat coverings, door linings, console trays and arm rests - any part of the vehicle where the occupants will appreciate its premium feel. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) fibers made from corn and other plant biomass are used in roof linings, floor carpeting and trunk linings. In fact, all interior fabric coverings in the FCX Clarity are made of natural, plant-based materials.

Areas where Honda Bio-Fabric (PTT) is used

  • Seat coverings

  • Front/rear armrests

  • Front/rear door linings (middle section)

  • Door armrests

  • Console tray

Areas where bio-fabric (PLA) is used

  • Roof lining

  • Pillar coverings

  • Floor carpets

  • Piece mats

  • Trunk lining

Honda Bio-Fabric: outstanding elasticity and feel

The molecular structure of PTT fiber is finely kinked in an accordion structure, allowing it to stretch more readily than other fibers and return easily to its original shape, avoiding sagging. It also has a unique, silky feel not found in other coverings. That's why Honda Bio-Fabric is used on all surfaces that come into direct contact with the occupants.

The production process

The 1,3-propanediol, which forms the raw material for PTT fibers, is normally produced by chemosynthesis. In contrast, Honda Bio-Fabric is made from corn using a bio-tech fermentation method. It is combined with terephtalic acid, a petroleum extract, to create PTT resin, which in turn is spun, made into fibers, dyed, and turned into Honda Bio-Fabric.

Reducing CO2 emissions

Based on the product life-cycle from procurement of raw materials to production, Honda Bio-Fabric provides a CO2 reduction of 30% per FCX Clarity automobile, compared to conventional polyester made from petroleum products. Plant-based resins are carbon neutral even when incinerated - the CO2 released during disposal is balanced by the CO2 absorbed during growth.

Front-row independent temperature controls

To meet the expectations of premium automobile customers, the FCX Clarity is equipped with dual zone climate control to ensure optimal occupant comfort and more efficient use of energy.

Climate controlled seats

Temperature control devices built right into the seat cushions and seatbacks use fans to draw in air, which a thermo-electric device then cools (by absorbing heat) or warms. The air is then blown through the seats to maintain the desired temperature while maintaining the breathability of the urethane, permeable foam and upholstery layers. Since it provides heating and cooling in direct contact with the occupants, this process is faster and more efficient than air conditioning alone. Individual controls are conveniently located on either side of the center panel, providing an advanced touch of comfort for the luxury customer.

Ample storage space

The FCX Clarity is designed to meet every storage need. There are drink holders for each occupant and many other easy-to-use storage areas. A trunk space, separate under-trunk storage well, and other innovations add up to storage volume comparable to other mid-size sedans.

Trunk volume:
11.1 (13.1*) cubic ft

*Including under-trunk storage well

Honda calculations according to SAE formula

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