The Urban SUV concepts sits on the same platform as the next-generation Jazz and will provide the company with a rival to the likes of the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008, Ford EcoSport and Renault Captur when it goes on sale in Europe in 2015.
The concept provides strong styling cues to the new model with an appealing blend of curves, a low roofline and a squat stance. “Dynamic and sporty, but spacious and functional” was how Honda described it. Hidden rear door handles help give the model a coupe-like appearance.
The Urban SUV is 4300mm long, which is 228mm shorter than the CR-V, and will slot in beneath the big-seller in the company’s line-up.
Vice president of marketing for Honda US Mike Accavitti told Auto Express: “This is a very fair representation of the production vehicle. Honda has a history of doing concepts that are very close.”
And he denied that the company is late to the market with the Urban SUV, which will wear a new badge when it makes production.
“I don’t think we are late at all. The CR-V is such a strong product and when we first launched, it was considered compact. Now this will slide in below it.”
The engine range is likely to closely mirror that of the new Jazz, and feature Honda’s fuel-efficient Earth Dreams units, including the Civic’s 1.6-litre diesel. That will mean emissions well under 100g/km.
With the same Magic Seats as the current Jazz, the Urban SUV promises to be practical, too, with a host of different seating configurations possible.
The production car will go on sale in Japan first in 2013, followed by North Amercan in 2014 and then Europe.
The US model will be built at Honda’s newest North American plant near Celaya in Mexico.