While you were focused on the Honda Urban SUV Concept and the 2014 Acura MDX Prototype at this week’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Honda quietly slipped another concept car out, the Honda Gear, at the Montreal International Auto Show of all places.
Honda says the subcompact Gear is fully customizable, but utilitarian, inspired by the fixed-gear bikes you see hipsters riding around in Portland and Seattle. To our eyes, it looks almost like the first CVCC Honda Civic hatchback, which came to the U.S. in 1973.
“Subcompact cars are usually either utilitarian, but uninspiring or they’re fun, zippy cars that are impractical and too expensive for the Gen-Y buyer,” said Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “Gear Concept tears down those walls–it’s practical but fun, customizable, connected and affordable. Everything that young, discerning urban buyers would want in a car.”
That sounds a whole lot like Scion’s business model.
In any case, details for the Honda Gear are sparse, and with a new Honda Fit on the horizon, we don’t expect the automaker to bring a smaller vehicle to the U.S. for some time. If Honda wanted international exposure, it would have brought the Gear to the U.S. for the Detroit Auto Show; it didn’t. Canada is a niche market with a different set of tastes from the U.S. The Honda Gear represents the sort of car that would sell well within its micro-niche in Canada, much as the Kia Rondo does, despite the fact that vehicle was pulled from the U.S. years ago.
Do you think Honda should build something like the Gear for the U.S., or anywhere for the rest of the world for that matter? Or do you think that this young, hip concept should stay that way? Let us know in the comments section below.