This is it – Honda’s big gamble in Southeast Asia has been revealed in the shape of the SUV RS Concept, a thinly-veiled preview of the car that will take on the Daihatsu Rocky and Toyota Raize (and our Perodua Ativa, of course). Designed in Thailand, the small five-seater crossover has just been revealed at the 2021 Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show (GIIAS) and will likely be offered throughout the region.
Details remain as scarce as the images (some of which were lifted from the reveal livestream), but we do know that the production version – tipped to be called the ZR-V – will be based on the seven-seater BR-V, itself built on the bones of India’s Amaze sedan. Despite this, the SUV RS has a much more youthful design that should sit well with its target demographic.
Up front, you have slim and sharp LED headlights that flow into a broad grille that features a chequered pattern that goes over the border – much like the facelifted Peugeot 3008. The aggressive look is helped along by the downturned centre air intake and triangular vertical inlets.
Along the side, there’s a simple shoulder line, a rising character line down the flanks and a sharp beltline kink. Despite previous teasers, the C-pillars are not blacked out – instead, they’re painted in body colour and rise up to meet the black roof, resulting in the in-vogue “floating roof” aesthetic. Full-width “dotted” taillights, a deeply-contoured rear bumper and front and rear skid plates complete the look.
Honda has not released any specifications but we can assume that the ZR-V will share the BR-V’s 121 PS/145 Nm 1.5 litre DOHC i-VTEC engine and CVT (the Thai City‘s 122 PS/173 Nm 1.0 litre turbocharged three-cylinder is also possible given the forced-induction competition, as is the e:HEV hybrid powertrain).
Also expect the car to come with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features, including autonomous emergency braking and adaptive cruise control. In India, the ZR-V will likely replace the Jazz-based WR-V, giving the market a bona fide SUV for a change. What do you think – are you digging the SUV RS Concept, and should Honda Malaysia bring it in to compete with the Ativa? Sound off in the comments after the jump.
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