By Drew Johnson
Monday, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 2:00 pm
 

Honda will soon grow its crossover lineup with a new, entry-level model about nine inches shorter than the automaker's existing CR-V.

Previewed today at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the Urban SUV Concept gives us a very close look at a model that will go on sale in Japan by the end of this year before hitting the market in the United States in early 2014.

The concept's basic proportions and shapes certainly look production-ready, although the large alloy wheels and the LED head lamps will be replaced with more cost-effective and real-world-friendly units. But we do anticipate that the hidden rear door handles to make production.

Tight-lipped Honda isn't talking about powertrains right now, but the next generation Fit is due to receive a new, direct-injected 1.5-liter four-cylinder. A slightly larger version of that engine seems like a natural fit for the as-of-yet-unnamed production version of the Urban SUV.

The production version of the Urban SUV concept is set to be built at Honda's new Mexican plant in Celaya, Guanajuato.

The Urban SUV Concept could be just the first of two Fit spin-offs. In an effort to double its sales to 6 million units by 2017, Honda is also considering a sedan version of the new Fit, which is due out sometime next year.


Live photos by Chris Doane.