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Honda unveiled a new Urban SUV Concept at the 2013 Detroit Motor Show that acted as a glimpse of a compact crossover / SUV that the Japanese carmaker is planning for 2014. The Urban SUV Concept’s production model will be based on the next generation Jazz platform and will be produced keeping in mind the lost-cost, compact crossover segment that is gaining popularity around the world. The concept measures a little over four meters in length, which means that it won’t be able to attract the tax cut in India, unlike the Ford EcoSport - which will be the Honda vehicle’s sworn rival. But that also means that the Honda Jazz-based crossover will be larger and roomier.
Since it is based on the all-new Jazz platform, the Urban SUV’s production model will be ready for Honda’s new ‘Earth Dreams Technology’ laden line-up of engines, which include clean diesels as well as highly fuel efficient petrol mills. The diesel engine powered version of the compact crossover is what Honda India will be more interested in, to take on cars like the Renault Duster, Ford EcoSport and the upcoming Maruti Suzuki XA Alpha. We expect this diesel engine to be the same 1.5-litre mill that powers the Amaze sedan, however, in a different state of tune. While the 4.3-meter length may not allow the compact crossover to gain tax benefits, the 1.5-litre capacity of the diesel engine will definitely let it save some money and therefore target a competitive price tag.
The Jazz-based compact crossover will make its debut in Japan by the end of 2013 and we expect the India launch to be scheduled by early 2014.