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Detroit show: Premature birth for Honda’s baby

Urban mystery: Honda’s Urban SUV Concept will be revealed in full at the Detroit motor show this week.

Honda ‘HR-V’ pops up on internet in official-looking images ahead of Detroit

Honda logo14 Jan 2013

HONDA’S Jazz-based Urban SUV Concept – the spiritual successor to the defunct HR-V – appears to have surfaced mysteriously in leaked pictures on the internet ahead of its Detroit show unveiling.

The source of the two pictures – a front three-quarter view and another taken from the side – is unknown, but they appear to be official studio shots of the five-door crossover that is set to be produced at a new factory in Mexico from 2014.

The distinctive crease running diagonally from the C pillar to the front wheelarches matches the same feature on an official drawing of the vehicle released as a teaser in December for the Detroit event that kicks off tonight with media previews.

The photos give the first look at the front of the vehicle, revealing LED headlights and a black slatted grille.

The Urban SUV Concept is expected to take on vehicles such as the Nissan Juke, Subaru XV, Mitsubishi ASX and upcoming Holden Trax, sitting below the bigger CR-V in the Honda range.

Honda Australia is yet to formally commit to the vehicle, which might also be made in other plants around the world and could revive the HR-V nameplate.

The Japanese-built HR-V was discontinued in July 2002 after a disappointing run in Australia. The vehicle helped to pioneer the light SUV segment, which has bloomed into one of the fastest-growing segments in the country.

For North America, the little SUV will be made alongside the Fit (as the Jazz is called in that market) and a sedan (City), all built on the new-generation light-car platform in the new plant currently under construction in Mexico.

The Urban SUV Concept will be joined on Honda’s stand by the new Acura MDX luxury large SUV, which is unlikely to make it to Australia as it is not planned for right-hand drive.

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