A Man's Car Is His Dog's Castle: Honda Element's New 'Dog Limo'

We're all suckers for our dogs and Honda's no fool. Honda's new concept for the Element, unveiled at the New York Auto Show today, upgrades the safety features and accoutrements for pets to the level of premier class. Just look at this luxury statement... for the dog, if not for you!



While I don't challenge Honda's sincerity in designing the Element's dog-friendly features - after all,  Japan holds its pets in even higher regard than we do in the U.S. -- this concept is a smart competitive move."In an interesting turn of events, cars are now chasing dogs," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "Factory integration of a cushioned pet bed, restraint systems and other components are intended to transform the Element into the ultimate dog car."

And they do.  Honda should throw in a chauffeur's cap with this car!

The new restraint concepts were designed by Takata Corporation, a leading manufacturer of safety systems for automobiles.  Takata gives you a choice of restraints for small to medium size dogs in the Honda Element; either the back seat or the cargo area in the rear.  Larger dogs would go in the cargo area.




Honda not only provides a seat belt, but an entire flexible mesh encasement for your dog to be sure that he is not harmed by a seat belt attachment in a collision.  This encasement also makes it safer for other occupants of the car.   And, if the chauffeur decides to go out on his own, the pet safety compartments fold up neatly for storage.




Here's the impressive list of pet-friendly  features on the concept car, which may be revised before the 2009 Element hits the dealerships in the Fall.

  • a cushioned pet bed in the cargo area with an elevated platform;
  • second row and cargo area pet restraint systems;
  • an extendable cargo area load-in ramps
  • a 12V DC rear ventilation fan;
  • second-row seat covers with a dog pattern design (matches the bed fabric);
  • all-season rubber floor mats with a toy bone pattern;
  • a spill-resistant water bowl; and
  • dog- friendly exterior emblems.

Well, so maybe you can do without the emblems...



... but I think they're sweet.

Besides how cool the Element looks with its extendable ramp and its dog print rubber floor mats, and its dog friendly elements, it looks like Honda has considered all the safety elements we need to protect our very precious cargo.

Honda.com via Jalopnik, via (thanks) Steve!


That's the buzz for today!