Sporty new Honda SUV in pictures
Tomorrow - 20 December - Honda will unleash this sporty-looking new crossover on the domestic market with the rather unfortunate name of Vezel.
Whatever the predatory connotations of the name, Honda is hoping to take a bite out the SUV, coupé and minivan markets - particularly as all-wheel-drive versions be available in Japan of both petrol and hybrid variants.
Based on the Fit platform (sold in South Africa as the Jazz), the Vezel's interior has been laid out to create a 'coupé-like' personal space for the front seats, while the centre-mounted fuel tank (a Honda design feature) and rear seats that fold absolutely flat combine to provide Tardis-like cargo capacity.
Even with the rear seats up, Honda says the 453-litre luggage compartment will swallow three golf bags.
The Sport Hybrid i-DCD variant combines a 1.5-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a high-output electric motor to produce about the same power and torque as a conventional two-litre engine, and Honda expects that it will post the best fuel-consumption figures in its class in Japan.
It's also the first Honda Hybrid with electronically-controlled 'Real Time' all-wheel-drive.
Standard kit (in Japan anyway) includes an electric parking brake, and hill hold, as well as extra sound-proofing and special bushings for outstanding quietness and ride stability.
The Vezel vill be launched in Europe - and South Africa - in 2015. Details of trim levels, engine options and badging for export markets are still to be confirmed - maybe the SA-market Vezel will be badged as the Muishond!