Like a flying sports car, the HondaJet (which went into service about three years ago) is small, sexy, and highly capable—and now it’s even better. Earlier this week, Honda Aircraft announced that the very first HondaJet Elite, the upgraded version of the company’s signature very light jet, has been delivered to its first new owner.
Though it shares the same DNA, the Elite has some big shoes to fill in replacing the original HondaJet, which was the most delivered jet in its category last year as well as in the first two quarters of this year. And while the exterior remains the same (who would mess around with that sleek beauty?), the new jet boasts a plethora of improved features, both in terms of performance and passenger comfort.
On the mechanical side, the biggest advantage of the Elite over its predecessor is its range increase, which takes the jet from a maximum range of 1,407 miles to around 1,654 miles, an increase of about 17 percent—enough to make it farthest flying jet in its class. The new plane still cruises at about 486 mph and maintains its lauded fuel efficiency.
Inside, your passengers will be able to relax more comfortably thanks to new inlets on HondaJet’s signature over-the-wing engines that help reduce noise—especially of the high frequency variety—in the cabin. New options available to owners include a galley with a coffee machine, two-toned leather seats, and a belted lavatory that increases the number of passengers it can accommodate to six. Perhaps the coolest upgrade is the new speaker-less sound system from Bongiovi Audio, which (much like the Sony Bravia A8F) uses transducers to vibrate the interior panels of the plane to produce audio waves. Talk about surround sound!
Luckily for Honda Aircraft, the new jet is already proving popular. In fact, the company announced that it had recently sold 10 planes in Japan alone—a region it first started servicing in June.
The HondaJet Elite starts from $5.25 million.
Launch Gallery: In Pictures: HondaJet Elite Light Business Jet Revealed