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Auto blogWed, 17 Sep 2014 16:28:00 EST
The quirky, utilitarian little hatchback that we know as the Honda Fit in the US carries the more melodious Jazz name in Europe. And while the newest Fit is already on sale in our market, folks are still waiting for it across the pond. Honda is unveiling its new Jazz Prototype to the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October, and it's nearly identical to what is currently on sale in North America. In fact, it's hard to image Honda changing much from this "prototype" before launching it for Europeans.
The Jazz's design is exactly what you would expect after even a glance at the current North American Fit. Except for a different wing at the rear, a shark fin antenna and a new set of wheels, this Jazz plays the same tune we've heard before.
The one thing keeping the Fit and Jazz from truly being identical siblings is that the European model packs Honda's new 1.3-liter i-VTEC Earth Dreams engine under the hood, rather than the 1.5-liter used in North America. But just like our Fit, the Jazz will be available with a six-speed manual or CVT. The Japanese automaker says that the Jazz goes on sale in the summer of 2015. Scroll down to read the company's announcement for its upcoming hatch.
Honda's freshening of the Civic line isn't just limited to the North American market, as proven by these images of the Euro-spec model testing on Her Majesty's motorways.
According to our spies, this new Civic boasts a heavily restyled front fascia, with headlights and taillights that draw a quite a bit of inspiration from the Civic Type R Concept from the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.
The restyled front fascia has a sportier lean, with more significant lateral intakes and what looks like a slightly larger lower intake. It's more difficult to make out details on the rear of the car, although we can spot a modest little diffuser and a larger integrated spoiler.
Our friends at Autoblog Canada have just come away with a closer look at Honda's surprise Gear Concept at the Montreal Auto Show. The little three-door hatchback is arguably the automaker's first real shot at the North American city car market (the Gear is much smaller than the Fit) and may be an indication that Honda is getting serious about going after Scion on this side of the world after the CR-Z hybrid failed to deliver. Honda says the Gear Concept takes its inspiration from the fixed-gear bicycle scene, and should allow buyers an unprecedented level of customization. Designers also wanted to show that a car can be both fun and practical.
We're all for a compact stylish three door with functional room inside, but given Honda's propensity for draining the personality from its concepts on the way to production (at least the ones that don't look showroom ready), we don't hold much hope for the Gear. You can check out the full press release below for more information.