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LA Auto Show – Honda Step Bus Concept

Honda Tries to Out-xB Scion with Step Bus
Shown at the LA Auto Show on Wednesday, November 28 the Honda Step Bus Concept appeared to be a clear appropriation of the Scion xB rolling box. Maybe it can thought of as a mix between the Honda Element and the Honda Fit… both of which have solid followings in the USA. The VehicleVoice and AutoPacific crew were on hand when the Step Bus was unveiled.


Man Maximum, Machine Minimum
With a mid-mounted engine and a wide-opening sliding side door on the driver’s side of the concept (clearly built for the Japanese domestic market with right hand drive), Honda positions this vehicle as “man maximum, machine minimum”.

Honda claims that the Step Bus is designed around high energy lifestyles. To achieve “man maximum”, Honda uses a mid-engine design and a fully maximized and quickly adaptable interior. The mid-engine design, common in many Japanese market small vans, allows for a spacious front seating area without engine intrusion into the passenger space.


The highly configurable interior with high tech touches provides ultimate urban utility from the outside in. Sliding front doors with a space efficient design let people enter and exit in tight spaces. Although micro in exterior size, the cavernous interior can carry large amounts of band equipment, sports gear and other bulky items.

From Honda’s Press Release: “Following the traditional Honda theme of ‘man maximum, machine minimum,’ the Step Bus seeks to create the largest possible interior with the smallest possible exterior,” said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This innovative concept vehicle shows how large functionality can easily exist within small vehicle packages.”

The Step Bus Concept is a product of the Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Wako design center in Saitama prefecture, Japan. Purely a styling concept, the vehicle uses a mid-engine, rear wheel drive platform with a small displacement power plant. The 5-passenger interior features modular construction with a spacious interior. The modular construction is highlighted by tracks in the door that can hold beverage containers, cell phones and more. Advanced technology includes a next-generation navigation system. The tall body provides room for a ceiling-mounted storage tray. Painted in light green metallic, the body design embraces a bold vertical architecture style that creates a large presence within a small space.


  • Marcelo P Guimaraes| November 26, 2007 at 7:30 am

    This is one of the few concept cars that address core universal design principles. The large sliding door allows easy access even to rear seats. Considering minor adaptations to steering wheel position and seat arrangement, this concept car can be easily usable by drivers who are also wheelchair users.
    This is certainly a car for next generations (old and young…) I am looking forward to seeing other manufacturers pick up the trend. Congratulations, Honda!!!

  • Basia Belroy| August 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    I love the Step Bus. When is it coming to the US? I’ve been looking it up since 2006!

  • Adrian Dozier| January 18, 2007 at 8:58 am

    i love this car. Small cars lke the rest of the world drives! i’m 18 years old and all of my friends love micro cars. It’s something new an different!!! The only thing that I would change is the inside. It’s to plain and boring. You should make it more hi-tech looking like the Toyota F3R. And give it some unique gadgets and lights to give the Honda a huge edge GOOD luck!!!!!!!!!
    Hi Adrian
    This is just the kind of input we are looking for. Thanks. Maybe your comments will help Honda decide what to do.

  • jim| January 15, 2007 at 4:38 am

    love it! reserve one for me…………

  • Bob| January 6, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    Awesome…when is it coming to U.S.A….

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