According to Honda, the GEAR Concept unveiled today at the Montreal Auto Show in Canada is supposed to be a back-to-basics design, inspired by the popular Civic hatchbacks of the 1970s.
But Honda director of design, Dave Marek, also called the GEAR Concept a study, looking at what the next subcompact vehicle could look like, and what appeals to buyers. Marek explained that even though the Urban SUV Concept debuted in Detroit just a few days ago, the GEAR aims to show the local market what Honda can design with small cars.
The GEAR Concept was also specifically debuted at a Canadian auto show instead of Detroit, likely due to the Canadian buyers being more welcome of small cars.
“This Concept could sit in the studio for five years, or we can look at it and say ‘Oh people really liked these proportions or these design cues’ and put them in our next vehicles,” he said, making sure to point out that the GEAR Concept isn’t based on any other Honda platform, and isn’t hinting specifically at any new models. With its two doors, the GEAR looks to be smaller than the Fit, and could be a preview of a micro-subcompact vehicle to take on the Fiat 500 and Scion iQ.
Designed at Honda’s California studio, the GEAR Concept looks retro, although the interior is supposed to be high tech and customizable. “The colors of the interior change based on drive mode.” He said, giving an example of the lighting turning red in Sport mode. There is also a customizable center screen that drivers can choose how information is displayed. “You could have a retro looking speedometer if you wanted,” Marek said.
Since there haven’t been any images released of the vehicle’s interior, we’ll have to take his word for it.
GALLERY: HONDA GEAR CONCEPT
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[Photo Credit: MontrealRacing]