It appears as though Honda's Fit-based crossover will drop the "Vezel" name in favor of "HR-V" when it comes to the States, as the Japanese automaker has filed the name with the U.S. trademark office.
The compact crossover was introduced as the Vezel (pronounced veh-zul) at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show late last year and is now on sale in Japan with the same name, but when it comes to the U.S., it will wear an HR-V badge. The name change makes more sense since it coordinates with Honda's top-selling CR-V, which was recently crowned the best-selling compact crossover in 2013. The automaker also sold a subcompact crossover by that name in the European market from 1999 to 2006. Based on the same platform as the Fit compact hatchback, the HR-V is an answer to the Nissan Juke.
The Honda HR-V will slot below the Honda CR-V and likely be priced accordingly. The CR-V starts at just under $24,000 in the U.S., while the Fit starts at just over $16,000. Although we don't yet know what will power the Honda HR-V, the Vezel is a good indicator. The Vezel ditches the JDM Fit's base 98-horsepower 1.3-liter engine in favor of the more-powerful 1.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder, good for 130 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. The Vezel is also offered with the Fit Hybrid's powertrain, which pairs the direct-injected 1.5-liter four-cylinder with an electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. That powertrain's good for 150 hp, and the Vezel is also offered with all-wheel drive.
The HR-V will likely be built in Honda's new factory in Mexico along with the new 2015 Fit, and we can expect to see the new compact crossover next year.
Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Automotive News (Subscription required)