Honda is developing two all-new SUVs based on the Amaze platform: a compact SUV to replace the WR-V and a midsize SUV to compete with the Creta.
While Honda may have dropped the ball in the SUV department, we can now confirm that work on not one, but two all-new SUVs has begun. The Amaze platform will be used for both SUVs in India. Honda had originally planned to use the City platform for its midsize SUV, but we now know that it will instead use an updated version of the Amaze platform for both. Internally referred to as PF2 and PF2S, the latter for the larger Creta-sized SUV, this platform shares a lot of similarities with the fifth-generation Honda City (third-generation in India), which featured a centrally located fuel tank.
Part of the design and engineering work will be split between Japan and India. This arrangement should allow Honda to complete a significant amount of re-engineering without significantly increasing the price.
Honda SUVs are Divided into Two Categories: Compact SUVs and Mid-Size SUVs
The compact SUV will be the first to see the light of day, around mid-2023. According to sources, the design of this compact SUV (Codename: 3US) is nearly complete, and engineering work is now well underway. Honda India needs to get the design right if it wants to compete with the Kia Sonet, the new Maruti Brezza, and others in its class. SUVs like the BR-V were not well received, and Honda will need to move away from the low bonnets and swooping rooflines in favor of a more robust look and a high-riding stance if it wants to attract Indian buyers.
However, with SUVs like the new BR-V concept, it appears to be on the right track. Being the last compact SUV on the market may give Honda an advantage, and the fact that it will most likely come with Honda’s own 1.5 diesel engine will also help. Honda is one of India’s few companies still producing mass-market diesels, which the company hopes to exploit as a competitive advantage.
The 1.2 petrol engine that powers the Amaze is likely to be included in the lineup, and it may get a hybrid boost. Then, similar to the Maruti Brezza, Honda could forego the sub-4m excise sop in favor of its more powerful 1.5 petrol. According to sources, Honda expects to sell around 6,200 SUVs per month.
Honda SUVs: Up Next: Midsize SUVs
The larger 3RA – Honda’s midsize SUV – is also on the way at a later date. It will be 4.3 meters long, use Honda’s new electronic architecture and screen system, and share its powertrain with the new City, City diesel, and City hybrid. It is expected to hit the market in early 2024. It’s critical to use a diesel in this situation, as diesel is still purchased by 50% of Creta buyers. Furthermore, if Honda is able to offer a localized version of the City Hybrid’s powertrain, it may be able to offer yet another highly efficient model. This is another strong possibility; keep in mind that Toyota and Maruti will both have a strong hybrid on the market by the end of the year. However, as with the Honda City Hybrid, boot space for this hybrid version may be impacted, and using a hybrid drive system will also raise the price. Honda will also need to give its larger SUV a distinct personality. According to sources, Honda is also considering three-row, 6- and 7-seater variants for a broader appeal. Internal sales estimates for this vehicle are lower than for the compact SUV, with projections indicating that the larger SUV will sell 4,100 vehicles per month.