2012 Beijing Auto Show: Honda Concept S
Look out, Toyota Prius V! Honda may be working on a hybrid competitor. By Alexander Stoklosa
Honda brought two obliquely named concepts to the 2012 Beijing aut show; the first is the Concept C sedan and the second is this Concept S tall hatchback. Like the Concept C, the S previews a new production model—in this case, a hybrid people mover. However, while the Concept C’s production offshoot will stay in China, the S’s descendant will go on sale globally.
Hello, Toyota Prius V
The Concept S bears a passing resemblance to Toyota’s new Prius V. The Prius V joined Toyota’s Prius family this past year as the go-to hybrid option for families or people whose junk won’t fit in a regular Prius hatch. The Concept S also is a hybrid, and its jelly bean–shaped profile is similar to that of the Prius V. The two also happen to have single-letter portions of their names, and we’ve heard they are BFFs and tell secrets late into the night during regular sleepovers. Not really, but you get the idea. If the Concept S ends up battling the V here in the States, it likely would be positioned above Honda’s current Insight as the space-efficient and larger hybrid option in the lineup.
Aside from saying it’s a hybrid, Honda didn’t reveal much about the Concept S. The good news is that compared to both Honda’s own Insight and both versions of the Toyota Prius, the Concept S is a looker. The front end incorporates cues from several recent Honda concepts, including the cool EV-STER small sports car and AC-X sedan, and the look is nice even with the Concept S’s rotund body.
A pair of rather uniquely shaped taillights manage to pull off the near-impossible, which is to make the butt of a tall hatch look wide, low, and cool. Those afterburner-style nacelles for the rear reflectors, however, likely will never see the light of day. Otherwise, if the Concept S’s design manages to make its way into production relatively unscathed, Honda could have a—dare we say it—attractive hybrid carryall. As far as the U.S., Honda has yet to confirm whether we are among the car’s global markets.
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