Honda adds Brio to '12 line-up
NEW MINI HONDA: Sharp and small, but haven't we seen those parallel lines on a competitor's product?
Honda believes it is about to set the South African budget car segment alight with the upcoming launch of an all-new, value-added, entry-level hatchback.
It's the "bright and bold" Brio - another name in line with the automaker's musical names theme that started with the Ballade. It means to play the scored music with vivacity, verve, vigor. OK, we get it, Honda!
The Brio’s arrival is Honda’s first car to join the entry-level A segment - regarded these days as "increasingly important for budget-conscious buyers". Honda says: "It will allow such buyers to experience Honda’s famed product quality in a new and affordable package."
It will go up against Hyundai's i10 (that's the one with the similar diagonal parallel kinks through the doors), Kia's Picanto and other similar-sized products.
"The new Brio’s arresting mix of young and funky styling, zippy dynamics, interior space and modern, efficient technology," Honda attests, "will please and entice buyers seeking affordability, value and style in a contemporary and efficient package."
Power comes from a 1.2-litre i-VTEC (same tech as its bigger siblings) engine capable of 65kW and 109Nm of torque and a choice of manual or auto gearbox - another example of small engine, big power, the most recent of which is the 1.2 in VW's just-launched New New Beetle, though that unit makes 77kW with the help of a turbo.
Honda... Turbo? Go on, give it a bash!
Whatever, the four-cylinder Honda engine uses "intelligent, electronically controlled, variable valve timing, with four valves per cylinder". Like most of the rest of its cars.
Yoshiaki Nakamura, MD of Honda Motor SA, told Wheels24: "We are extremely excited to be able to offer the new Honda Brio to our southern African customers. The Brio is poised to become a trendsetter in the entry-level segment and will for the first time allow us to introduce the Honda motoring experience to a wider audience.
"The Brio’s combination of styling, affordability, quality and, above all, motoring fun, will offer young first-time buyers an attractive budget-motoring option.”
The Honda Brio will be in SA showrooms in early December. Prices and final specifications are still to be announced.