By Steve & Tamami Laser
The production version of Honda’s new Asian market BR-V has been introduced at the 2015 Thailand International Motor Expo in Bangkok. As expected, the new model looks similar to the BR-V concept revealed in August at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show.
“Honda BR-V stands out with its sturdy exterior, sporty look, and high ground clearance that make it ready to challenge all paths,” said Pitak Pruittisarikorn, COO of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. “This is the first SUV in its class to offer seven seats in three rows. It is being unveiled to you for the first time today before its official launch early next year.”
This BR-V teaser video asks the question, “How BRaVe are we?” (video: Honda Thailand)
The BR-V looks sporty with styling cues including a large chrome grille, dropped beltline, projector headlights with LED positioning lights, LED taillights in a C-shape design, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Honda says BR-V is powered by a 1.5-liter SOHC, 4-cylinder, 16-valve i-VTEC engine that delivers 117 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 146 N-m at 4,700 rpm. A new Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) developed under Honda’s “Earth Dreams Technology” is said to deliver “powerful driving performance and fuel efficiency.”
The interior offers two seating styles: seven seats in three rows with multi-adjustable functions, and five seats in a two-row configuration with large utility space. It’s equipped with automatic air conditioning and rear-passenger air vents between front and second rows to help distribute airflow throughout the cabin.
Honda says that to provide products that respond to the needs of customers around the world, it has been focusing on strengthening R&D in each region to create more self-reliant operations. Based on its capability to develop regional models, Honda R&D Asia Pacific Co., Ltd. (HRAP) in Thailand developed the new BR-V for the Asian market as its third production model.
It appears that BR-V is based on the Honda Mobilio, also developed by HRAP. The Mobilio (not related to the Japanese market Mobilio) is a seven-passenger MPV that’s already on sale in the Asian region.
Could the BR-V come to America? We don’t think there’s room for this model since Honda already has its bases covered here with the Pilot, CR-V and HR-V. However, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to add a third row to the CR-V, if needed, to compete with the likes of the seven-passenger Nissan Rogue plus an upcoming new entry from Subaru.
News, photo and video sources: Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and Thailand Motor Expo
Story ©2015 CarNichiWa.com