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Honda To Debut Urban SUV Concept

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On: Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 2:08PM | By: Chris Weiss

Honda To Debut Urban SUV Concept

Honda teased a new concept this week. The Urban SUV Concept will make its debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show (Detroit) next month. It is the latest example of what appears to be a growing trend.

If you think about it, the average SUV will likely see more center-city street than it will ever see dirt road or rock. That's even more accurate for smaller crossovers, which are more road- than off-road-friendly to begin with.

A crossover designed for (or at least marketed toward) urban areas makes sense. Slim down an existing SUV and add some sporty, urban-inspired styling or beef up a sporty hatchback with big wheels and extra interior space, and you have a new type of vehicle designed around the urban commuter. Then, replace those commercials of deep-woods fishing trips and snow-covered ski commutes that many urban dwellers will take rarely, if at all, with the pot-holed, garbage-lined street treks they're taking every day. It's an SUV that actually fits the lives of those driving it.

Indeed, the urban SUV seems to be a concept that's gaining some traction, particularly among Asian automakers. Earlier in the fall, Nissan presented theEXTREMconcept, a sort of repackaged Juke designed for the city. At the recent L.A. Auto Show, Hyundai got even more creative in turning theVelosterhatchbackinto a utility vehicle with a multi-purpose canvas roof.

Honda describes its own Urban SUV Concept as a compact "global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior." From the teaser, it appears to be a two-door set on large wheels. The up-swooping character line on the side meets with the window frame to create an interesting styling effect. Outside of that, things are left to our imaginations.

We'll find out all about the USC in another few weeks. And maybe we'll hear more about the small urban SUV in 2013.


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