Spy shots taken in Germany earlier in 2021 suggested that Honda's next Vezel, which is known as the HR-V here in the States, would arrive with a much sportier design. While a new model is indeed on its way with a fastback-like roof line, the company told us that the crossover will not be sold in America. Instead, we'll get a different version designed specifically for our market.
"The development of a successor to the Honda HR-V for the United States market is underway. This new HR-V will be designed to meet the distinct needs of American customers, and it will differ from the Vezel/HR-V that will be introduced in other regions," the company explained in a statement, nipping any and all speculation in the bud.
Precisely what this means for Honda's smallest crossover — which doubles as its entry-level model since the Fit retired — is up in the air. We're guessing it will wear a market-specific design that will lean more towards ruggedness than sportiness. It might also be a little bit bigger than the model it replaces. At about 170 inches long, the HR-V has room grow without overlapping with the 180-inch long CR-V, the next model up in the range.
Across the pond, the HR-V will enter its second generation as a more stylish crossover characterized by a tall, upright front end and a steeply-raked roof line (pictured). Surprisingly, the crossover-coupe body style is becoming much more popular in Europe than in the United States; even Citroën, the self-appointed king of unconformity, planted a stake in the booming segment in 2020. Under the sheet metal, the European variant of the next-gen HR-V will receive a hybrid system consisting of a gasoline-burning engine and two electric motors.
Honda will introduce the European-spec HR-V online on February 18, and sales will begin shortly after. It hasn't published the American model's unveiling date yet, but we expect to see it in the metal before the end of 2021.