Honda plans to build Fit-based crossover

Article by Anita Panait, on July 18, 2012

Honda is planning to develop and produce a crossover built on the new platform that underpins the next generation Honda Fit, according to report by Nikkei business daily. The plan is part of Honda’s strategy to sell more than a million vehicles that are based on the Fit platform, the report said.

The Japanese carmaker earlier said the Fiat will pioneer a new regional R&D strategy, which calls for producing global nameplates that will signal a respite from its one-size-fits-all approach. The Fit-based crossover will be marketed in the United States and in countries in Europe, with global volume expected to hit 400,000 units, according to Nikkei.

If the report is true, we could expect the U.S. version of Fit-based crossover to be built at Honda’s new Mexican plant slated to open in 2014. Honda’s new Mexican plant has been set to produce the Fit hatchback.

Nikkei noted that Honda produces around 800,000 vehicles based on the Fit platform, including the Fit hatchback and its City sibling, around the world. If Honda pursues the crossover, it would push the production number of Fit-based vehicles over the 1 million mark.

While the next generation Fit is expected to be rolled out in the U.S. in 2014, the crossover version needs to be refitted to match the specs demand of American drivers to be successful in North America. Honda has already managed to create the tall-wagon variant of the Fit, the Freed, for the Japanese market.

Honda Fit stands proudly on its laurels for 2012 with improved design on the Honda Fit Sport, interior enhancements on all variants, and added basic features.

The Fit's small size and steep turning diameter (34.4 feet, curb-to-curb) can easily move in tight urban spaces and fit in parking slots that are just as tight. But a spacious and flexible cabin gives comfort and load volume that is almost the same as a large car.

Matched with any other car in the subcompact segment, the Fit can house five passengers and it gives the flattest, lowest cargo floor and the biggest cargo volume of 57.3 cu-ft. when the back seats are folded. Its four specific seat configurations are built to house huge objects like bikes and surfboards, as well as house plants.

Honda Fit Sport body upgrades for 2012 come with a new style for the front bumper and grille, black headlamp bezels and a dark colored "machined surface" for the alloy wheels. The basic setup of the Fit keeps its exclusive front appearance, and for 2012 it gets body-color outer mirrors (which were previously black) and upgraded wheel covers.

The interior of the Honda Fit Sport is improved with dark metallic dashboard elements for a cohesive color theme (a replacement for the previous black and gray combination). Honda Fit Sport's instrument displays get added chrome detailing.

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