The boss of Honda has confirmed a new Civic Type-R hot-hatch, a Jazz-based baby SUV, a new Legend flagship sedan and a successor to the S2000 convertible sports car will all go in production within the next three years.
Honda CEO Takanobu Ito made the exciting revelations during his mid-year speech, in which he outlined the Japanese company’s plans and ambitions for much of the next decade.
Headlining the presentation was confirmation of the return of the Honda Civic Type-R, which Ito said is being developed with the goal of becoming the fastest front-wheel drive vehicle around the Nurburgring. Honda plans to launch the fourth-generation Civic Type-R by 2015.
Starting the showroom revolution will be an all-new Honda Jazz city car, which will be reach international markets in 2013.
Within two years of its launch, Honda will introduce a new light-sized City sedan and a sub-compact SUV based on the same platform, with the latter sitting below the CR-V in the line-up to take on the likes of the upcoming Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax.
Honda says each model built off its new Jazz platform will feature its own unique design and characteristics.
The next-generation Honda Legend will launch in Japan in 2014 featuring an innovative three-motor hybrid system dubbed Sport Hybrid SH-AWD (super handling all-wheel drive). The new propulsion system, which will also underpin the long-awaited second-generation Honda NSX and the new Acura RLX sports sedan for North America, promises to deliver high levels of handling performance and fuel economy.
Adding to Honda’s growing list of upcoming sports cars is a spiritual successor to the S2000, which the manufacturer says will hit the market by 2014. Honda describes the new model as an “open-top sports car with strong vehicle dynamics”, potentially drawing inspiration from last year's EV-STER concept (below), targeting the likes of the Mazda MX-5 and Mini Cooper.
The new compact convertible will be one of six new “mini-vehicle” models introduced by Honda in Japan before the end of 2015, the first of which, the Honda N-One, goes on sale in November.
Honda also plans to diversify its range in developing markets – particularly Thailand, Indonesia, India and Malaysia – with a sedan and a “utility-type” model built on the platform of the sub-light Brio hatch.
Seven years after it introduced the hydrogen-powered FCX Clarity to the market, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric vehicle across Japan, Europe and the US from 2015. Honda says the vehicle will showcase “further technological advancement and significant cost reduction” compared with the first-generation FCX Clarity.
The brand is also working hard on future single-motor electric and dual-motor plug-in hybrid vehicles, similar to 2011's AC-X concept (above), as it strives to achieve the highest average fuel economy of any hybrid manufacturer.
Under the broad product expansion plans, Honda is aiming to grow its sales in mature markets (namely Japan, Europe and the US) from 2.06 million last financial year to more than three million units in the financial year ending March 31, 2017.
It also plans to double its sales in emerging markets to more than three million by the same time to take its global automotive sales to in excess of six million.