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Shanghai show: Honda’s China-only Concept D unveiled

Futuristic: Honda's extreme-looking Concept D will form the basis of a future production SUV for China.

Honda’s previewed its China-only SUV, the Concept D at the Shanghai show


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21 Apr 2015

HONDA’S next step in the growing Chinese new-car market has been previewed with the unveiling of its Concept D, a full-sized SUV with an extreme exterior.

Honda China, a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary, used Auto Shanghai 2015 to show its primary market what its next-generation large SUV might look like, calling the Concept D “a concept model for a new SUV model under development”.

“The Concept D shows the direction of a mass-production SUV model which is currently being developed exclusively for the China domestic market as a top-end SUV,” according to Honda China.

The new model, which appears to be a full size larger than the brand’s biggest model in Australia, the CR-V, is destined to offer “high-quality driving and a spacious cabin.” Adopting some styling inspiration from the current Honda SUV line-up, as well as the Acura MDX on which it is likely based, there is also some hints of the Lexus RX rear-end and vehicles from long-archived space-based TV series.

The Concept D features an unbroken light surrounding the LED headlights and spanning its protruding nose and gaping front air intakes.

The D also features an angular rear end and cross-drilled brakes beneath oversized alloys, suggesting it might be more focussed on sealed surface running than off-road prowess.

Equipped with (un-named) advanced safety technologies and other advanced features, a Concept D-based SUV production model will go on sale as a new flagship model for Honda in China, perhaps with some of the extreme styling cues toned down.

HMCI president Seiji Kuraishi said the Concept D was an example of Honda’s aim of continuing its leadership in the SUV market.

“Including this Concept D, which is a proposal for a new value that only Honda can provide as the pioneer of the SUV market in China, we would like to continue providing attractive products equipped with our advanced technologies to our customers in China,” he said.

“Toward this end, we will accelerate the localization of our business in China.” Last year about four million of the 19.7 million passenger vehicles sold in China were SUVs – double the SUV count two years previously, so it’s not difficult to understand the desire for more SUV product.

Passenger sedans still account for the bulk of passenger vehicle sales, with 12.4 million sold last year, but that segment’s growth has not matched that of SUVs.

The Chinese industry expects passenger-vehicle sales to rise eight per cent to 21.3 million vehicles this year.

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