Honda Vezel Hybrid

While Honda gears up to unveil the new Fit to the US market at the Detroit Auto Show next month, back in its home market, the car's crossover cousin is just going on sale. The Vezel was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show last month and already has a three-month waiting list in Japan, where Honda projects that 90 percent of customers will opt for the hybrid version. Not so in the United States, however.

When the Vezel reaches American showrooms, there'll be a number of key differences. For starters, it will carry a different name, though Honda isn't saying what that will be. For another, it will be built for North American consumption at Honda's new plant in Mexico, roughly half of whose production capacity is reportedly being allocated to the new crossover. And finally, it'll have a different engine.

In Japan the Vezel is being offered with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, with or without electric assist. Honda won't offer the hybrid version here – at least not initially – but it is preparing to offer a turbo option. Although it has yet to announce US specifications and options, the 1.5-liter turbo four (also unveiled at the Tokyo show) is considered a stronger likelihood than the 1.0- or 2.0-liter versions.