We now have initial details of the 2015 Honda StepWGN MPV, which will go on sale in Japan in late April. This is Honda’s answer to the likes of the Nissan Serena and Toyota’s Noah, Voxy and Esquire trio. Looks rather interesting, doesn’t it?

While the front is a typical JDM affair (a sportier looking StepWGN Spada will also be available), the rear features what Honda calls the “Waku Waku gate.” The rear door can be opened in two different ways: by lifting up the entire hatch to access the low and wide cargo space, or by opening a half “door” to hop into the third-row seats.

Even more significant is the engine, as the StepWGN is the first model to feature the all-new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo motor. Honda says the force-inducted direct injection unit offers the power of a conventional 2.4 litre engine, but with better fuel efficiency.

No output figures have been revealed just yet, but reports from Japan suggest that the four-cylinder motor could offer as much as 180 PS and 260 Nm of torque. A fuel economy figure of 18.0 km per litre has come out of the rumour mill too.

Moving forward, we could see this new 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine offered in other similarly sized Honda models, such as the next-generation Civic. And since Honda says that it’s the equivalent of a 2.4 litre motor, it could even be offered on the Accord.

Hey, if Ford can run the Mondeo with a 1.0 litre EcoBoost engine, what’s wrong with an Accord 1.5 VTEC Turbo?