The Honda Inspire is a mid-size sedan introduced by Honda in 1990 derived from Honda Accordchassis. The first Inspire debuted in 1990 as the Accord Inspire, a sister nameplate to the Honda Vigor, but sold at different retail channels in Japan, known as Honda Verno for the Vigor/Saber, and the Inspire at Honda Clio stores. The Inspire was developed during what was known in Japan as the Japanese asset price bubble or "bubble economy".
In 1995 the Inspirs updated by the second generation model, on a platform it shared with the Honda Legend, and exported to the US as the Acura 3.2 TL, while the Vigor nameplate was replaced with the Honda Saber. The longitudinal 2.5 L straight-5 engine layout and platform remained and was sold as the Acura 2.5 TL.
In 1999 these cars were replaced by the third generation TL that was based on the US-spec Accord platform, and largely designed and engineered in the US by Honda R&D Americas, Inc. in Raymond, Ohio. Manufactured in the US, these were imported into Japan as the new Inspire and Saber.
In June 2003, the fourth generation Inspire was introduced in Japan derived from the North American Honda Accord V6. This Inspire marks the first time Honda introduced their Variable Cylinder Management technology. In October 2005, the fourth generation Inspire received a mild restyle, with new headlights, new taillights, revised interior and new colors. The Inspire targeted the Nissan Teana, the Toyota Mark X and numerous other entry level luxury cars from Japan.
In October 2007, the fifth generation of the Inspire was previewed at the Tokyo Auto Show. It is essentially a rebadged 2008 North American-market Accord with minor exterior and interior modifications.
In September 2012, after 6 generations and the introduction of the ninth generation Accord, the Inspire ended production for a short period after 23 years before relaunching in 2018 as a China-only model based on the tenth generation Accord.
On October 12, 1989, the Honda Accord Inspire was introduced. The platform was shared with the Honda Vigor, a JDM Honda Accord derived five-cylinder luxury sedan available only at Honda Verno dealerships. The Inspire was introduced before the recession developed in Japan in the early 1990s (known in Japan as the "bubble economy"), and Honda wanted a car that would compete with the Toyota Cresta and Nissan Laurel, with the unique inline 5-cylinderHonda G engine, in a front-wheel-drive configuration. This 5-cylinder engine was also used in the JDM Honda Rafaga, which was a shorter sedan shared with the second generation Honda Ascot. In Japan, the smaller G20A engine used regular grade fuel, while the larger G25A engine used premium grade fuel.
The bodystyle was a four-door hardtop, but it wasn't a true hardtop, using a "B" pillar between the front and rear passenger compartments, and instead it used frameless doors. The Inspire was available in two versions; a shorter and narrower version badged as the Accord Inspire, with a G20A 2.0L engine in compliance with Japanese vehicle size requirements for cars classified as "compact". The CB5 Inspire was offered in three trim levels, the base AZ-i with manual transmission, AG-I with fog lamps and optional sunroof as well as central locking, and the top spec luxury AX-I with leather upholstery, more safety features and full cruise control as well as power seats. A longer and wider version with the 5 cylinder G25A 2.5L engine debuted in early 1992, similar in dimensions to the first generation Legend. The larger CC2-CC3 Inspire was a mild refresh of the first CB5 Inspire, featuring updated full-width boot lamps (the updated Vigor had conventional single lamp units) with less chrome, larger bumpers with new wrap-around cornering lamp design (instead of the optional separate units like the CB5) and mesh alloy wheels. Following the 1992 refresh, the Inspire offered fewer trim levels and the inline-five received upgrades (power was up from 118KW to 140KW). The CC2 Inspire shared more features with the Acura Vigor under a 'wide-body' marketing campaign with minor differences.
The Inspire offered a luxurious approach to the interior as a lower price alternative to the top level Legend, and both vehicles were sold at Honda Clio dealerships. Interior appearance was provided by the Japanese furniture company, Tendo Mokko, offering unique leather interior and a choice of genuine wood inserts for the dashboard and center console.
The SOHC four valves per cylinder G20A inline-five engine was all new, with a choice of 2.0 L or 2.5 L engine displacement. Japanese buyers had a choice of two engine displacements which was a consideration as to how much annual road tax they were willing to pay. The car with the larger engine had a much higher level of standard and luxury equipment to justify the expense.
The transmission is attached behind the engine, with a driveshaft that sends power to the front of the car to an asymmetrically installed limited-slip differential which then supplies power to the front wheels using half shafts; this allowed the powertrain to remain slightly behind the front wheels. This also gave the car a 60:40 front to rear weight distribution. The turning radius of the Inspire also was not as tight as its competitors due to the use of Constant-velocity joint installed on the front axle half shafts, but the Inspire did have an advantage in adverse traction conditions.
Second generation series UA1 through UA3 (1995–1998)
The second generation Inspire was almost identical in its dimensions to the first generation 1986 Honda Legend, with that vehicle having been updated and enlarged to better fit the role of flagship for the Honda and Acura brands. The second generation Inspire was available with the Type I 3.2 L V6 offered in the Legend on July 6, 1995, while still offering the straight 5 in both 2.0 L and 2.5 L versions. The profile of this vehicle was reduced somewhat to 1,405 mm (55.3 in). The luxury approach was enhanced. A carryover from the previous generation saw marginal increases in length, width, and height dimensions for vehicles installed with the V6 engine, but the smaller dimensions were not in compliance with Japanese government regulations concerning dimensions and maximum engine displacement, thereby giving buyers an incentive in interior accommodations when purchasing the V6 model. Each engine choice obligated the Japanese buyer with increased annual road tax liability, and one trim level package was designated with the engine choice, offering stepped levels of standard and luxury equipment for each selection..
The Inspire, sold at Honda Clio dealerships, was also known as the (Japanese: Honda Saber) and sold at the Honda Verno sales network, and mechanically identical to the UA1-UA3 Inspire. Starting with this generation, all Inspire and Saber vehicles were manufactured at Honda's Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio, USA.
November 8, 1996 saw the introduction of dual airbags for front seat passengers and anti-lock brakes as standard.
The third generation Honda Inspire/Saber was introduced October 15, 1998, and was the first Honda designed and built in the USA and exported to Japan. In North America, this vehicle was sold as the Acura TL, while in Japan it was the second model that accompanied the flagship Honda Legend at Honda Clio Japanese dealerships. The Saber version of this car was sold as the top level sedan at Honda Verno. Honda's internet-based navigation system Internavi was introduced with this generation.
The Inspire no longer offered the Straight-5 engine, and instead offered the 3.2 L J32A V6 and 2.5 L J25A V6 with VTEC, and a choice of a 4- or 5-speed automatic transmission. The bodystyle was changed from hardtop to sedan as a result of the USA-spec Accord having been upgraded to meet USA requirements for improved side impact protection. A cabin air filter, also known as a pollen filter is introduced with this generation and is located behind the glove compartment for all vehicles sold internationally.
The Honda Saber was discontinued April 2003 along with the consolidation of the Honda Japan sales networks Primo, Clio and Verno.
2003 Honda's Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS, although originally introduced with the initials CMS) introduced in on the Inspire uses a radar-based system to monitor the situation ahead and provide automatic braking if the driver does not react to a warning in the instrument cluster and a tightening of the seat belts. The Honda system was the world's first production system to provide automatic braking. The 2003 Honda system also incorporated an "E-Pretensioner", which worked in conjunction with the CMBS system with electric motors on the seat belts. When activated, the CMBS has three warning stages. The first warning stage includes audible and visual warnings to brake. If ignored, the second stage would include the E-Pretensioner's tugging on the shoulder portion of the seat belt two to three times as an additional tactile warning to the driver to take action. The third stage, in which the CMBS predicts that a collision is unavoidable, includes full seat belt slack takeup by the E-Pretensioner for more effective seat belt protection and automatic application of the brakes to lessen the severity of the predicted crash. The E-Pretensioner would also work to reduce seat belt slack whenever the brakes are applied and the brake assist system is activated.
A styling update appeared on November 4, 2005, changing both the front grille and rear tail lights. LED was introduced for the rear tail lights.
In September 2002, a straight-4DOHCi-VTEC 2.4 L K24A engine was made available on the USA-spec vehicle only.
This model was also sold in parts of Southeast Asia as the Honda Accord with the 2.0L, 2.4L and 3.0L I-VTEC engines.
The fifth generation Honda Inspire was released on December 19, 2007 in Japan. Honda technologies such as "CMBS", Adaptive Cruise Control, called IHCC, and HDD navigation with Honda's telematics subscription service Internavi is included. The power steering is now electric power assisted to reduce power demands on the engine, thereby improving fuel economy.
The Inspire has over the previous generations grown in all dimensions in that it is larger than the first and second generation Honda/Acura Legends built between 1985 and 1996, with a larger and more powerful V6 engine. It matches the dimensions of the fourth generation Honda Legend/Acura RL.
There are few exterior and interior differences between this Inspire and the Southeast Asian Honda Accord. In Japan, the Inspire competes with the Toyota Crown, and the Nissan Fuga.
Sales of the Inspire ended September 2012 in Japan but would continued in 2014 as Proton Perdana in Malaysia. It was replaced by the ninth generation Accord.
The Sixth generation Honda Inspire differs from the Honda Accord from the rear
The Sixth generation Honda Inspire shares the same design as the Honda Accord except for the front and rear DRG
The sixth generation Inspire was released in 2018 as a sedan designed exclusively for the Chinese market. It is based on the tenth generation Accord with a redesigned front and rear DRG. The sixth generation Inspire is made by Dongfeng-Honda to replace the Spirior.
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