Honda Vezel Hybrid

"Vezel" may sound like the latest miracle cure from Big Pharma, but in truth it's the long-awaited Fit-based crossover from Honda. Unfortunate name aside, this four-door CUV looks ready for production, because it is.

Shown here in hybrid guise, the subcompact Vezel looks quite sporty, with boldly upswept sheetmetal contours, an aggressively raked backlight, "hidden" rear doorhandles borrowed from the JDM Civic hatchback, and an expressive face with LED headlamps.

Honda is presently confirming that the Vezel will go on sale in both hybrid and gas-only guise in Japan, but it isn't offering anything in the way of specifications other than to say that both models will make use of a 1.5-liter direct-injected engine, the "Sport Hybrid i-DCD" powertrain of course getting a "high-output motor" of unspecified power and what could be a dual-clutch transmission. Honda has declined to make clear whether this is the new 1.5-liter turbocharged VTEC engine we told you about yesterday, but it's a good bet that it is indeed the same new Earth Dreams powerplant. Critically, there's no mention of whether all-wheel drive will be offered.

The Vezel will also be launched in Europe sometime in 2015, and we are expecting that a version will come to North America shortly, likely carrying a different name. What do you think, does the Vezel appear to have the makings of a proper rival to entry-level crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson and Nissan Juke? Have your say in Comments.
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Honda Unveils Planned Production Model Named VEZEL
at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013


TOKYO, Japan, November 20, 2013 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today unveiled the planned production model named the VEZEL, a new vehicle that belongs to a new category of automobiles that fuses together multifaceted values at a high level. The VEZEL is on display at the Honda booth during the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013 (press days: November 20 - 21, 2013, public days: November 23 - December 1, 2013).

More details about the VEZEL will be announced on December 19, 2013 and the vehicle will go on sale in Japan on the following day, December 20, 2013.

The VEZEL is a completely new model that goes beyond the boundaries of automobile categories by fusing together multifaceted values at a high level, including the dynamic qualities of an SUV, the elegance of a coupe and the functionality of a minivan.

The exterior design of the VEZEL expresses SUV-like stability in its lower body and coupe-like styling in its upper body. These two different types of styling are fused together by the sharp character lines to create an inspiring and emotional exterior design. The interior design creates a coupe-like, high-quality personal space for the front seats and minivan-like elbowroom, comfort and functionality for the rear seats.

In Japan, both the hybrid and gasoline models of the VEZEL will go on sale. The hybrid model will be equipped with SPORT HYBRID i-DCD* that combines a 1.5 L direct injection engine with a high-output motor, and the gasoline model will be equipped with a 1.5 L direct injection engine. Adopting the new-generation powertrain technologies, the VEZEL realizes a dynamic driving character and excellent fuel economy at the same time for both models.

Honda also unveiled the VEZEL exterior design on the Honda website starting today prior to the official announcement of the model. Honda is planning to continue providing updated information on this website prior to the formal launch of the vehicle.

URL: http://www.honda.co.jp/VEZEL/new/ (only in Japanese)

* i-DCD stands for Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive