Following the premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show earlier this year, the Honda Vezel small crossover goes on sale in Japan on December 20. While the name may not be carried over to the U.S. and Europe, the car will eventually be available in these markets as well sitting under the CR-V in the carmaker's crossover and SUV lineup.
The model is due to launch in the U.S. next year and in Europe in 2015, with Yoshiharu Itai, the crossover’s chief engineer, telling Automotive News that the company is considering a 1.5-liter turbo for the States.
“We haven’t decided yet what model year it will be, but we have that in our plan,” said Ito. “We are creating a package so that turbocharging could be installed with this model.”
Currently, the Honda Vezel is available in Japan with two powertrain options: a 1.5-liter gasoline unit and a hybrid model combining a 1.5-liter direct injection gasoline engine with a high-output electric motor.
Honda didn’t provide output figures, but said the hybrid delivers “overwhelming high power that is equivalent to that of the 2.0 liter engine”, although we don’t know what 2.0-liter engine the carmaker is referring to.
In addition, the hybrid is expected to have the highest fuel economy in its class in Japan – always according to the release. Real Time All-Wheel-Drive will be offered as an option for all models, with the Vezel Hybrid to be the first ever Honda hybrid offered with AWD.
The Vezel boasts a boot capacity of 453 liters (16 cubic feet), enough to hold three regular golf bags, according to Honda. The volume includes the capacity of the cargo box under the cargo room floor for the FWD petrol version. The hybrid FWD model has 404 liters (14.2 cubic feet) of cargo volume.
All Vezel variants feature technologies such as Electric Parking Brake and Automatic Brake Hold as standard equipment. Prices in Japan start from 1,870,000 Yen ($17,950) for the base 1.5-liter FWD model.
By Dan Mihalascu