The new Legend will go on sale in Japan in January (the company had previously confirmed a late 2014 debut), but Honda’s Australian arm has confirmed that, at this stage, there is no plan for a local launch.
As expected, the 2015 Legend, which replaces the now 10 year-old fourth-gen model, will share its styling with the RLX sedan launched in the US this year under the banner of Honda’s luxury arm Acura.
In Japan, and likely also in Europe, the new Legend will be offered exclusively with a 3.5 litre V6 mated to a trio of electric motors to create a hybridised ‘Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive’ system.
The hybrid system will see the front wheels driven by the big V6, while the rear axle will be motivated by a pair of 27kW electric motors, one at each wheel.
A third electric motor is sandwiched between the engine and the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Together, the new Earth Dreams petrol engine and the electric motors will deliver 281kW.
Three driving modes will be offered, including petrol-electric front-wheel-drive, petrol-electric all-wheel-drive and all-electric rear-wheel-drive.
Honda says that in all three modes, the hybrid system utilises an energy recuperation system to regenerate electric during deceleration.
The petrol engine also benefits from Variable Cylinder Management, capable of idling three cylinders on one side of the engine to save energy where possible.
Through all of this hybrid tech, Honda promises a low fuel consumption figure of 5.9 l/100km on the Japanese test cycle.
Honda promises a more spacious interior with the new Legend, and while exact figures have not been released, the carmaker claims rear legroom "is so generous that occupants can even cross their legs in comfort".
High-quality leather and soft-touch materials are featured throughout, enhancing the Legend's position as an affordable alternative to premium European offerings like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and BMW 5 Series.
The new Legend goes on sale in Japan from January, priced from the equivalent of AU$68,685.
In Australia, the current Legend is priced at $76,135 - although its advanced years and imminent retirement would probably see buyers finding bargains at the dealer.
While the new Legend is not expected to come to Australia, any local launch would likely see it priced between the new $60,000 Hyundai Genesis and the likes of Mercedes-Benz's $80,400 E 200 sedan.
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