Concept S is a global concept model of a new-value passenger mover that was developed primarily for the Chinese market and will go on sale first in China. The “S” stands for “Stylish,” “Smart” and “Surprise.” Adopting a hybrid powertrain, this concept model realizes both the “fun of driving” and excellent environmental performance at the same time. A spacious cabin was realized by Honda’s packaging technologies, which is one of the distinctive strengths of Honda. A mass-production model based on this Concept S is scheduled for introduction to the Chinese market through Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. Ltd. in 2013, followed by a global release.
The Honda S concept is very compelling as it will enter the global market, beginning with emerging markets like China, and will almost assuredly come to North America to compete with the Prius v. As that statement implies, the five door hatchback will be a hybrid with a larger, roomier size to accommodate more passengers and versatility.
As a “tall hatchback,” the S has an inspired design with a front grille that seems to smile broadly at the viewer with grille-toothed joy. The long hood and windshield make the car look shorter than it really is in a design that seems inspired by Mazda. The overall body shape is a jelly bean like the Prius v and its market position would be the same, putting it as the next step up from Honda’s Insight Hybrid.
Outside of it being a hybrid, though, Honda remained tight-lipped about power train specifics. Honda has previously promised a next-generation hybrid system for the Insight and it could be assumed that this would also appear in the S. If the S comes to the States, it would not likely be until 2014 or 2015 at earliest. It is more likely that it will compete with the Prius v in Asia and Europe first, though if Toyota’s v continues doing well here, that might change.