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Sao Paulo show: Honda teases WR-V small SUV

Jazz hands: Although Honda revealed little more than a sketch, the WR-V small crossover features similar styling and proportions to the Jazz micro car, leading to speculation both cars will be built on the same platform.

Jazz-based WR-V small SUV to be revealed next month, but not confirmed for Aus

Honda logo19 Oct 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

HONDA will reveal a new small-size SUV at next month’s SaoPaulo motor show, dubbed the WR-V, that will sit as the entry point into its SUV range below the HR-V and CR-V.

Revealing just a single design sketch, the WR-V looks to be wearing a heavily sculpted front end and proportions reminiscent of the Jazz micro car, likely because both cars share the same underpinnings.

Angular headlights, a beefy front bumper, a sloping roofline, subtle roof railings, plastic wheel-arch moulding and an increased ride height characterise the WR-V, while the signature Honda family grille sits prominently on the nose.

No engine specifications were revealed, but the WR-V could be powered by the same 88kW/145Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine as its Jazz cousin.

According to Honda, “based on the research of customers’ needs in South America, Honda R&D Brazil developed the WR-V as a vehicle that realizes both a ‘tough and urban’ SUV design, which is popular among people who enjoy active lifestyles, and excellent utility within a compact body size”.

With the WR-V being specifically designed for South American markets, an Australian debuts seems unlikely given the success of Honda’s other small SUV, the HR-V.

Honda Australia public relations manager Neil McDonald said there are “no plans” for the WR-V to make its way Down Under.

“It’s a South American specific vehicle,” he said. “My understanding at this point is that, it is a very interesting vehicle, but we’ve got no plans for Australia.

“I think currently we’re really happy with the performance of HR-V and CR-V and at this point in time, those are the core (SUV) models for us in Australia.”

So far this year, Honda’s HR-V has been its best-selling model, with 9260 new registrations to the end of September. The Japanese brand’s next best seller is the CR-V mid-size SUV with 6133 sales followed by the Civic small car – refreshed in May – with 4403 sales.

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