Hot on the heels of the big North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the show that immediately follows in Montreal sometimes gets overlooked. Not this year though. Honda decided that the Montreal International Auto Show was the place to hold the world premiere of it's newest offering, the Honda Gear concept.
Despite the subcompact Gear not being a model in production, it's a rare treat for any car to make it's debut in Canada unless it's a specific model with no plans for it to be offered in the United States. Originally the diesel Smart, and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class made their North American debut in Canada.
Targeted at an audience of younger, urban discerning buyers, the Gear is intended to demonstrate that new car ownership is not only affordable, but that Honda can fulfil the needs of this particular demographic with the car's connectivity and personalization. While the Gear is not tied to any upcoming production model as of yet, if they see a surge of interest they might reconsider. Honda is in the midst of developing a new family of subcompact Fits in Mexico, but the much smaller Gear is not related to them. If it ever evolved into a production model, it would be a tough competitor for Scion iQ and the Fiat 500.
A tiny three-door hatchback, the Gear takes it's inspiration from fixed gear bicycles, and was designed to be both practical and fun while maintaining it's affordability. It's interior can be customized and offers the most recent electronic connectivity features. This cute little car rolls on chunky wheels, has a quad exhaust and hidden handles, and seems a little reminiscent of the old Honda Civic- one of the original grocery getters.
Honda has no plans to put the Gear into production. Instead, it's a true "concept car" and acts as a design study to show Honda's approach to offering a new automotive solution to the urban, young Gen-Y crowd.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca