Honda’s quiet achiever is about to undergo a minor facelift and power upgrade. The Honda Legend is the company’s international award-winning flagship sedan, but in Australia, it’s a little under the radar.
So far this year Honda has only sold 54 Legends, but the 2009 model is set to increase sales. The Japanese company says the new Legend will deliver more power and torque, together with increased efficiency and refinement.
From the outside, there are 12 noticeable differences as well, starting with larger 18-inch allow wheels (245/45R18 tyres). Other enhancements include a new aluminium bonnet (less weight), new bi-xenon headlights and upgraded pentagonal grill, a new front bumper which encompasses integral fog lights and distinctive lower cooling air intakes, new rocker panels, new higher rate spring and damper settings, a new boot lid with integral spoiler, a new rear bumper, new tail-lights and a new exhaust treatment.
The final enhancement is the integration of a new ‘acoustic windscreen’, which Honda says includes a thin film of butul alcohol between two bonded glass panels to deliver a whisper-quiet cabin.
Under the bonnet sits the same V6 VTEC engine as found in the current Legend. However capacity has increased from 3.5 to 3.7-litres, with total power now at 226kW and maximum torque increasing to 370Nm.
Fuel consumption has also come down, while power has gone up. Dropped from 11.8L/100km to 11.3L/100km.
The 3.7-litre engine is special in many ways, most importantly for being the most powerful production engine ever offered by the Japanese company.
The power and torque is delivered to the wheels through an upgraded version of the five-speed Sequential SportShift transmission available in the MY08 model. The auto comes with sports mode and steering wheel-mounted paddle-shift controls.
The most obvious advantage the Legend has overs its comptetitors is the car’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system. Honda says the SH-AWD is different to the systems offered by rival Japanese manufacturers (Subaru and Mitsubishi), in the sense that in demanding cornering situations it boosts torque delivery to the outside rear wheel, allowing for better handling.
Going back inside, the MY09 model also features a host of interior upgrades. The front seats now come standard with 10-way power adjustability, there is a new steering wheel which, just like the gear selector is trimmed in supple leather.
Additionally the 10-speaker BOSE Sound System and Satellite Navigation System now come as standard equipment on the new Legend. Finally the climate control air conditioning functions have been redesigned for better practicality.
Safety is taken care of by six airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist, Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, anti-lock brakes and a standard reversing camera and more.
Interested? The new Honda Legend will retail from $77,500 (only one grade) and will hit Honda dealers from September 1st 2008. Expect a review of the new Legend soon.