Honda Sketch Previews SUV Concept That’s Headed for Shanghai
Honda announced that it would be unveiling an all-new concept vehicle at Auto Shanghai 2015, which the company says was developed exclusively for the Chinese market. The SUV concept borrows much from the company’s current design themes, with a broad upper chrome grille bar tying neatly into what look like LED headlight elements, while a gaping lower grille extends nearly to the pavement.
The face looks a lot like that of the Accord Plug-In, especially with the two air inlets flanking the large center grille opening. It definitely takes some getting used to, as it’s not a simple, beautiful design. But it’s definitely aggressive, which is something that generally plays well in the Chinese market.
The new Honda concept is a crossover, but rather than emphasizing vertical height and (perceived) off-road abilities, the CUV instead looks long and low, somewhat like the company’s Crosstour segment-bender. Unlike that vehicle, the new concept has significant body-side sculpting—including flared fenders and character lines galore—to give it an athletic stance. And unlike the Crosstour’s long, sloping roofline, the concept looks like it has a more conventional profile, which should pay dividends in rear-seat and cargo space. Even so, the narrow side glass provided by the high beltline gives the concept a very interesting, chopped-top look.
Show-car details like the huge wheels, chrome side scallops, and sideview cameras replacing mirrors probably won’t make it to production—if the concept gets the green light. Although Honda says it previews a China-specific vehicle, there’s a chance we could get it in the United States. Chinese and American market tastes often run similar to one another, and an attractive two-row crossover would give Honda a great foil for the Ford Edge and Nissan Murano.
There's no word as to what powertrain sits under the concept's skin (if any), but we'd guess it'd be something similar to the 2.4L I-4 available in China's version of the Honda Accord Crosstour and CR-V. The concept will debut during the Shanghai show, which runs from April 20 to April 29.