From 1983-1991, Honda produced what some say is their most iconic car, the CR-X. The front wheel drive, two seat sports compact car was small, stylish, affordable and fun to drive. Motor Trend went so far as to honor it as Import Car of the Millenium for 1990. Honda tried but hasn’t managed to find the same formula since. The current CR-Z, said to be the spiritual successor to the CR-X includes a hybrid powertrain and suspension developed on European racetracks. All fine but missing is the bold simplicity of the original.
In a surprise move, Honda opted to debut a new concept at the 2013 Montreal Auto Show, which runs concurrent to the Detroit Auto Show. The Honda Gear Concept looks about as close as we’ve seen yet to what a true next generation CR-X might be. The car is small with an exterior design that is strong and simple.
We have no idea why Honda chose to avoid unveiling this car at Detroit. It probably would have been the star of the show. There aren’t any further clues in the very brief press release:
At today’s Montreal International Auto Show, Honda Canada provided the world with its first look at the new GEAR Concept Study Model – a vehicle that demonstrates Honda’s innovative approach to providing the automotive answer for young, urban, Gen-Y lifestyles.
Inspired by fixed-gear bicycles, GEAR is a concept that represents an entirely new way of looking at the sub-compact vehicle. It is simple and utilitarian, but also customizable, connected and full of personality.
“Subcompact cars are usually either utilitarian, but uninspiring or they’re fun, zippy cars that are impractical and too expensive for the Gen-Y buyer,” said Dave Marek, Design Director at Honda R&D Americas, Inc. “GEAR Concept tears down those walls – it’s practical but fun, customizable, connected and affordable. Everything that young, discerning urban buyers would want in a car.”