Honda Motor Co Ltd has announced that it will be presenting a prototype small vehicle at the 27th Thailand International Motor Expo 2010, which will start for the public on the 1st of December 2010. The prototype vehicle will be based on the Honda New Small Concept which was first unveiled to the world in India early this year, and the Thai Expo prototype will represent a version that’s closer to production.
The single model will spawn two different versions that will share the same basic design – the Thai-built version will focus on fuel efficiency while another version for India will suit the country’s growing small car market.
I suppose the Thai version will be a little more high specced – even Suzuki has two different Altos on sale, an Indian version and a seemingly more refined version sold in Japan. For some reason we’re getting the Indian version though.
For pretty much the entire world outside Japan, Honda’s smallest offering so far has been the B-segment Honda Jazz, so this new small car will likely be an A-segment similarly sized to vehicles such as the Suzuki Alto, the Kia Picanto and the Hyundai i10. Honda is not without experience though, as in Japan they sell cars smaller than the Jazz such as the Honda Zest and the Honda Life.
These small JDM Hondas have some pretty interesting powertrains thanks to Japanese regulations – there’s a 660cc i-DSI Turbo engine available in Japan that has 64hp and 93Nm of torque – pretty much equivalent to a 1.0 litre normally aspirated engine. But we’re probably not going to be able to taste those engines as the rumour is that this new small Honda will receive a 1.2 litre normally aspirated engine.
If it’s going to be offered in the Thai market, I’m pretty sure the ASEAN region is in plans, which includes Malaysia. Pretty soon, the cheapest way into Honda ownership may not be the Honda City any longer!
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