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Honda Shows First Glimpse of New HR-V CUV

Executive Summary

New B-segment CUV will share many attributes with the Fit, including second-row “magic” seats and a roomy interior.

American Honda announces its new small CUV will be called HR-V and releases the first image of the model today during the 2014 New York International Auto Show.

Honda has owned the HR-V name for a number of years but in other markets uses the name Vezel for the utility vehicle, built off the Fit subcompact’s platform.

Details are scant on the new peoplemover, which will slot below the midsize CR-V and mid-large Pilot CUVs in Honda’s U.S. lineup.

The automaker describes the HR-V’s styling as “sleek” and notes the CUV has “expressive character lines.”

A uniquely placed center fuel tank will allow for a more spacious interior than what many expect in a B-segment crossover.

The HR-V gets the same second-row “magic” seats as the new ’15 Fit. The bottom seat cushions flip up to create a floor-to-ceiling cargo space, and the seatbacks can be folded flat for even more generous room.

An American Honda spokesman told WardsAuto last year the HR-V would have the most interior space in the segment, with the “smallest possible exterior space.”

The HR-V will be built alongside the Fit at Honda’s just-opened Celaya, Mexico, plant. The CUV goes on sale in the U.S this coming winter.

Also at Honda’s New York show stand is the next-generation ASIMO robot.

ASIMO now can sign in Japanese and American sign-language, hop, jump, balance on one foot, run faster and climb more smoothly than its previous version.

Honda hopes ASIMO, which it bills as the world’s most advanced humanoid robot, someday will be able to assist elderly or disabled people, as well as replace human workers in dangerous situations, such as chemical-spill cleanups or fire suppression.

cschweinsberg@wardsauto.com

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