This is the 2012 Honda CR-V Concept that made its public debut at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, California. It officially shows us the styling direction for the all-new, fourth-generation CR-V, which has been spied testing before. It’s set to go on sale in the US by the end of the year and the production car will debut at the LA Auto Show in November.

Compared to the current CR-V, the concept takes on a bolder look with deeper sculpting of the body lines and a stronger front fascia, which ditches the “double grille” look. The front bumper’s smooth-flowing lines are highlighted by a horizontal three-bar grille that encroaches into the multi-reflector headlight cluster. The lower bumper wraps upward to convey SUV capability with a generous approach angle; the design also improves aerodynamics.

The CR-V’s signature vertical rear taillights remain, but it’s now wrapped into the body, and the result hints at the Volvo XC60. The side glass area also sees a change in shape – the upper line falls all the way down in the current car, but both meet in the middle on the concept. The section aft of the rear doors appear bigger here, too.

We don’t expect the production model to look significantly different from this, perhaps with less showy wheels and a more subtle sump guard. Do you like where Honda is heading with the CR-V?