It was during the 2013 North American International Auto Show, held annually in Detroit, when Honda first unveiled to the world the new Urban SUV Concept vehicle. Considered as being both youthful and dynamic, this concept model gives hints as to how this small SUV will move forward in terms of style. For Honda, the Urban SUV Concept will become the symbol of the brand’s expansion of its models based on the Global Compact Series. This series includes, among others, the Honda Fit subcompact and the Honda City subcompact sedan.
The latter in particular is sold in various markets outside the U.S. The goal of the Urban SUV Concept is to be a small SUV that is not only fun to drive around but is also fuel efficient. It would also be an SUV that comes with a flexible packaging, ambitious design, and connectivity that is truly next-generational. This concept model is aimed mainly for customers who have active lifestyles. The Urban SUV Concept reveals a style that is sophisticated and clean with dynamic character lines. This model also shows a strong stance and with the handles of the rear door being hidden, it gives this SUV a bearing much like a coupe.
Compared to Honda CR-V, the Honda Urban SUV Concept is shorter by 9 inches having an overall length of 169.3 inches. However, this makes it excellent to drive on open mountain roads and even better on crowded streets in urban areas. American Honda Executive Vice President of Sales John Mendel said that Honda has long experienced excellent success when it comes to small cars and the Urban SUV Concept is expected to bring new value to the small-SUV segment.
The brand has continued to expand its manufacturing operations in North America, he added. Honda believes, he said further, that small cars that are fun-to-drive and fuel efficient will play an important part in giving customers in the U.S. what they want. The Honda Urban SUV Concept is expected to be launched towards the end of 2013 in Japan with a U.S. market release by 2014. Indeed by 2014, customers in the U.S. will get the chance to own a new small SUV inspired by the Honda Urban SUV Concept. It will be equipped with the Earth Dreams Technology, known for its fuel efficiency.
In terms of price, Honda revealed that it will be priced slightly lower than the CR-V but within the light-truck range. Since this new small SUV will be part of the Global Compact Series, it will have the center-tank configuration like the Fit, an original from Honda. Features in this model include the Magic Seat which has a configurable setup allowing both passengers and cargo various choices. A fold-flat mode is available for those who want to maximize cargo capacity.
Among other features customers can expect is an interior that is more contemporary with telematics that are truly apt for the next-generation. Honda disclosed that manufacture of this SUV will be done at the brand’s newest facility in North America, which is somewhere in the vicinity of Celaya, Mexico. This plant is scheduled to begin operations by the spring of 2014 and is the same facility where the Fit will be manufactured as well. The brand expects that by expanding and growing the small-vehicle range, the worldwide production of the Global Compact Series will double. Specifically, at least 1.5 million units will be made towards the end of 2016. This will ensure that Honda will retain the lead when it comes to small cars.