Crossover fever has reached the four corners of the globe. Honda is turning its attention to the growing Latin American market with a new concept named WR-V, which previews an upcoming crossover.
The name WR-V puts the soft-roader in line with other members of Honda’s crossover lineup, and the company explains it stands for Winsome Runabout Vehicle. The concept is closely related to the surprisingly practical Fit city car, and it’s about a size smaller than the HR-V. Visually, it stands out with a tall front end characterized by chiseled headlights underlined by a wide grille. A fake brushed aluminum trim on the front bumper and black plastic cladding over the wheel arches add a rugged touch to the overall look.
Technical specifications are unavailable, but the Fit roots shed insight into what we can expect under the hood. In Brazil, Honda’s smallest model exclusively ships with a 1.5-liter VTEC four-cylinder engine that generates 116 horsepower and 110 pound-feet of torque. It’s capable of burning either gasoline or ethanol, a common fuel in Brazil.
The 1.5-liter is offered with either a five-speed manual gearbox or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is the only configuration available. And while the Fit is offered with all-wheel drive in Japan, odds are the WR-V will stick to two-wheel drive for cost, demand, and packaging reasons.
Honda will present the WR-V concept during the São Paulo Auto Show that’s scheduled to open its doors to the press on November 8. The model displayed in Brazil will be a close-to-production design study, so we’re willing to wager its series-produced sibling is less than a year away from hitting showrooms.
The WR-V was developed specifically for the Latin American market in mind. It won’t land in the United States due to its Lilliputian size, but it would fare well in Europe where the crossover segment is also booming. However, as of writing Honda hasn’t announced plans to sell the WR-V outside of Latin America.
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