Honda has pulled the sheets off of its new small-car prototype at this year's Thailand International Motor Show. Called the Brio, the vehicle is slated to hit the market in India and Thailand in 2011. Honda says that it intends to develop unique models for various markets, noting that the Thai version will be more efficient than its Indian counterpart. Likewise, the Indian market Brio will come with a bigger focus on driving performance to suit customer demands. As of right now, there's no indication as to what engine powers the Brio, but early reports lean heavily toward the company's 1.2-liter four-cylinder mill.
The Brio should help Honda tap into the growing consumer interest in economical small cars in Asia. The Japanese automaker says that the Thai version will carry an MSRP of around 400,000 baht, or around $13,200 at current conversion rates.
Still, competition at that level is fierce. Honda can expect to square off against metal from Suzuki, Hyundai and Kia just to name a few. Hit the jump to watch a video and to check out the full press release.
[Source: Honda via PaulTan]
Honda Exhibits World Premiere of Honda BRIO Prototype, Honda's New Small Vehicle Developed for Asian Markets at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo 2010
Bangkok, Thailand, November 30, 2010 - Honda debuted the world premiere of a prototype of Honda BRIO, the new small-sized vehicle developed for Asian markets and scheduled to be introduced in Thailand and India in 2011, at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo starting November 30, 2010 (press day: November 30, public days: December 1-12.)
Honda BRIO Prototype is being developed with Honda's advanced technologies, while further advancing Honda's "man maximum, machine minimum" concept*1. Being developed as a commuter which is easy-to-use even in urban areas, the Honda BRIO prototype adopts an easy-to-handle compact body (length 3,610mm x width 1,680mm x height 1,475 mm) while ensuring enough cabin space achieved by highly efficient packaging. With this vehicle, Honda thoroughly pursued the creation of an advanced exterior form, which is compact while asserting a strong presence.
For the mass-production model, which will be an entry-level car, for which demand is increasing in newly emerging nations, Honda will develop unique versions for Thailand and India to reflect different customer needs in those markets. Moreover, with this vehicle, Honda will leverage the resources Honda has cultivated through its motorcycle business and utilize local sourcing of parts and materials such as sheet steel.
For the Thai model that is scheduled to be introduced in March 2011, the fuel economy of more than 5liters/100km*2 will be targeted so that the vehicle will qualify as an eco-car by the Thai government, and a starting price of approximately 400,000 baht will be targeted as well. For the Indian model that is scheduled to be introduced within 2011, local customer needs for a small car will be reflected and local content will be increased to create a model that achieves a good balance between vehicle performance and price.
"Honda would like to expand the joy of mobility to more customers in Thailand, India and other Asian countries through the introduction of a new small vehicle with compact and highly efficient packaging by utilizing our own experiences cultivated by motorcycle business here in Asia," said Takanobu Ito, President and CEO of Honda Motor.