The Elite grade, for which pricing has not been announced, will include a standard panoramic roof, heated front and second-row captain’s seats, heated leather steering wheel, ventilated front seats and LED headlights.
Also standard will be the automaker’s suite of safety technologies, dubbed Honda Sensing, which includes forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems, as well as collision-mitigation braking.
The new Elite trim is one of seven Pilot grades for ’16.
The third-generation Pilot going on sale this summer in the U.S. will make 280 hp and 260 lb.-ft. (353 Nm) of torque from its 3.5L direct-injected V-6, up from 250 hp and 253 lb.-ft. (343 Nm) in the outgoing model, which has a non-DI 3.5L V-6.
The updated engine will be paired to new 6- and 9-speed automatic transmissions.
Also new for ’16 is an Intelligent Traction Management system with four modes in all-wheel-drive models (Normal, Mud, Sand, Snow) and two (Normal, Snow) on front-wheel-drive Pilots.
Honda claims the midsize CUV’s Display Audio and navigation systems are “significantly upgraded,” thanks to an available 8-in. (20-cm) capacitive touchscreen with Android operating system and satellite-linked navigation developed in cooperation with Garmin.
The Japanese automaker is anxious to get the new Pilot to market.
The aging second-generation model slowed Honda’s U.S. sales momentum last year, American Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel told WardsAuto in January.
“Our Pilot numbers, in particular, were not what they had been, (and we) need the new one now,” he said of last year’s 14.1% sales decline of the outgoing second-gen model, which debuted seven years ago.