Honda Motor has begun selling a redesigned Life model in Japan, claiming it is the first minicar to include an audio system with a backup camera as standard equipment and the first car with a new type of driver airbag.

As well as the rear view, the 4.3-inch colour LCD display shows audio information, an analogue clock, diary and other details.

A special mobility-assistive version with lift-up front passenger seat will go on sale on 5 December - such derivatives are common in the country.

Honda said the new Life was developed with the concept of "daily smile technology" to achieve a level of drivability and utility customers can enjoy every day.

The automaker also claimed the Life is the world's first automobile with a driver's side i-SRS airbag system with continuously staged inflation, which accommodates a broad range of occupant positions and potential collision situations.

Two engines are available: a 660 cc inline 3-cylinder i-DSI engine and the i-DSI turbo.
Four-speed automatic transmission is standard, four wheel drive is available (for snowy areas of Japan) and three trim levels are offered.