Sunday, January 20, 2013

Honda Gear Concept

While all attention and lots of excitement have been focussed on the updated 2G NSX Concept in the NAIAS, Honda quietly slipped in a new concept car, the Honda Gear in the Montreal Motor Show which was running concurrently with the NAIAS.

To many long-time Honda fans, this Honda Gear is no less as exciting as the updated NSX Concept and in some ways even better as it promises something all real-world Honda fans can actually look forward to owning - IF Honda is smart enough to listen to feedback and put it into production (without messing it up of course).

To many of us, the Honda Gear reminds us of the great classic Honda cars of the 70's, 80's and even early 90's, before Honda cars become changed into mass-market cars meant everyday Joe's, just to keep up with the industry instead of changing it. Many long time Honda fans talk about cars like the original CVCC Civic, or even the legendary EF/EG Si/SiR Civics of old. Some even talked about the original Honda City Turbo.

According to posts on our TOV forums, the Honda Gear concept was designed by the American Honda's (AHM's) own R&D (Honda R&D Americas or HRA) with Dave Marek as the head of design dept. They did quite a few notable "open study concept" Honda models in the past, like the P-Nut and the FC-Sport. Both of those models got their styling cues put into Honda production cars, especially the front fascia (the 9th gen Euro Civic is one example).

According to Honda, the GEAR Concept is supposed to be a back-to-basics design, inspired by the popular Civic hatchbacks of the 1970s.

But Dave Marek also called the GEAR Concept a study, looking at what the next subcompact vehicle could look like, and what appeals to buyers. Marek explained that even though the Urban SUV Concept debuted in Detroit just a few days ago, the GEAR aims to show the local market what Honda can design with small cars.

The GEAR Concept was also specifically debuted at a Canadian auto show instead of Detroit, likely due to the Canadian buyers being more welcome of small cars.

“This Concept could sit in the studio for five years, or we can look at it and say ‘Oh people really liked these proportions or these design cues’ and put them in our next vehicles,” he said, making sure to point out that the GEAR Concept isn’t based on any other Honda platform, and isn’t hinting specifically at any new models. With its two doors, the GEAR looks to be smaller than the Fit, and could be a preview of a micro-subcompact vehicle to take on the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ.

Designed at Honda’s California studio, the GEAR Concept looks retro, although the interior is supposed to be high tech and customizable. “The colors of the interior change based on drive mode.” He said, giving an example of the lighting turning red in Sport mode. There is also a customizable center screen that drivers can choose how information is displayed. “You could have a retro looking speedometer if you wanted,” Marek said.

No comments:

Post a Comment