According to rumours floating around the interweb, the Japanese automotive producer Honda Motor Company, after waiting on the sidelines for years has finally decided to launch a mid-size SUV in India. Various media reports have recently suggested that Honda is looking to launch an all-new SUV for the Indian market by 2023. The Japanese automaker has also confirmed this news and speculations are that this new utility vehicle could come equipped with the hybrid system that made its debut on the new Honda City e:HEV.
In terms of the drivetrain of the upcoming SUV, many believe that Honda could be giving the mid-size SUV the same hybrid tech that it has given to Honda City e:HEV. The system in the City uses two electric motors, a battery, and a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The hybrid system produces around 126PS and 253Nm of torque in the City which is comparable to a turbocharged petrol engine but far more efficient. So we can expect the same or a little more bumped up power figures for the new SUV if it does get this system. This new hybrid tech can also switch between pure EV, hybrid and engine-only modes to deliver maximum efficiency.
While on the design front, the future Honda SUV may resemble the N7X concept, which debuted in Indonesia in 2021. Additionally, Honda is also very likely to provide the new SUV with advanced cabin amenities like six airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Agile Handling Assist (AHA), auto-dimming inside mirror, Hill Start Assist (HSA), multi-angle rearview camera, lane watch camera, tyre pressure monitoring system, and other modern safety technologies.
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The forthcoming mid-size SUV from Honda has been touted to be the Japanese automaker’s answer to the South Korean manufacturers like Hyundai and Kia’s top-selling SUVs – the Creta and the Seltos respectively. The mid-size SUV segment has been ruled by these SUVs for a very long time in India and with this new SUV Honda wants to grab a chunk of this segment and dethrone these leaders. The segment also recently saw the entry of models like the Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun in 2021 leaving Honda as one of the few carmakers to not have a model in the highly demanded vehicle segment.
In terms of pricing is expected that Honda will also try to offer the new SUV at a competitive price and it could cost somewhere in the vicinity of Rs 11 lakh-Rs 18 lakh. If Honda does manage to provide the model with the hybrid tech and still be in the mentioned price range, this model could become one of the best vehicles in the segment.
In other Honda news, the company recently commenced the production of the new sedan at its Rajasthan facility. Mr. Takuya Tsumura, President & CEO, Honda Cars India Limited said, “It’s a delight to share that we are commencing the production of the City e:HEV from our Tapukara facility in the state of Rajasthan. The milestone also marks our commitment to bring advanced technologies for Indian customers and beginning of our electrification journey in India.”
He further added, “As a company, we have always been aligned with the Government of India’s vision of Make in India as well as bringing environmentally friendly technologies. We have received an overwhelming response to the City e: HEV since its unveil earlier this month. The trust and passion exuberated by our customers highlight their preference for a strong hybrid from Honda. Honda City e:HEV is a very practical and stress free solution for our customers who are seeking electrified mobility.”
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