DETROIT, MI – Honda says small cars are the key to its future, so the brand plans to pad that portion of its lineup with the addition of a small, five-passenger crossover based on the Fit platform, late next year.
A hint of what’s ahead was revealed at the Detroit auto show (NAIAS) with the global debut of the Honda Urban SUV Concept.
It’s just 4,300 millimetres long, which is a dramatic 229 mm shorter than the current CRV crossover. That compact package makes it ideal for city use, negotiating congested streets and tackling tight parking situations.
The production version will be an addition to Honda’s Global Compact Series, joining the Fit, and the City subcompact sedan, which is not sold in North America. Like its siblings in the series, the new crossover is said to be fun to drive, deliver superior fuel efficiency and provide excellent, functional packaging.
The Urban SUV Concept uses the Fit’s centre-tank layout, which allows the inclusion of Honda’s Magic Seat in the second row. This feature can be configured in several ways, including a folded flat position, to accommodate a range of passenger and cargo possibilities. Honda says the vehicle will have a spacious and functional interior design and will be fitted with the latest in connectivity and infotainment features.
In addition to the gasoline-fuelled version, Honda dropped hintsthat a hybrid and a diesel engine may be offered as well.
The small SUV, as yet unnamed, will be launched in Japan later this year, with its introduction in North American slated for later in 2014, once Honda completes construction of a new assembly plant currently being built near Celaya, Mexico.
The facility, which will also be building the Fit, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014, when the next-generation 2015 Fit is expected to make its debut.
Honda expects production of its Global Compact Series vehicles will double worldwide to more than 1.5 million units by the end of 2016.