Honda Concept D rocks China auto show Gundam-style

2015 Honda Concept D at China auto show Photo 1

Crosstour-like SUV previews Chinese-market flagship model for brand

Honda unveiled the Concept D at the China auto show in Shanghai this week, a vehicle the company says previews an SUV meant for the Chinese market. The concept, which looks like a fairly stock SUV that has received an aftermarket bodykit made by the same tuner as the Toyota Mirai, features large intakes sitting ahead of exagerrated wheelarches. The rear fascia of the concept, meanwhile, sports large vents leading away from the slabby rear wheelarches. The greenhouse tapers off in the same manner as the Honda Crosstour crossover, which is no longer on sale, while the concept’s rear fascia is bookended by V-shaped taillights that we have seen on a number of other concept and production vehicles from Honda.

The Concept D is meant to preview Honda’s flagship SUV though the proportions of the concept do not suggest anything larger than the departed Crosstour, complete with a rakish rear window. The 21-inch wheels appear well scaled to this concept, though Honda did not say which elements of the exterior design, if any, would make it to the production model. Honda promises that the production version of the upcoming SUV based on this concept will offer the latest safety and convenience tech.

One thing the Concept D doesn’t sport are exhaust tips — it remains to be seen whether Honda will indeed risk an electric car so large even in a market known to be very electric car-friendly. Most electric cars in China that have succeeded in terms of sales are ones built by local manufacturers, aiming at a very specific price point. But the Chinese market has shown a willingness to at least entertain large plug-in hybrids and pure-electrics.

Honda says the production Concept D — whatever it ends up being called — will be available solely in China, which helps explain the adventurous styling. Go big or go home; that’s what it takes to get noticed at the China auto show in Shanghai.

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