Auto News: Next Honda Fit will spawn small crossover

A report in Japan’s Nikkei business paper said an all-new Fit is set to arrive next year.

Playing catch-up to rivals like the Nissan Juke, Mini Countryman, and Buick Encore, Japan’s Honda will build a small crossover based on the next-generation subcompact Fit platform.

A report in Japan’s Nikkei business paper said an all-new Fit is set to arrive next year. The original four-door hatchback and crossover are expected to be built in a new Honda facility in Mexico.

Honda sells around 800,000 vehicles per year globally off the Fit platform. The new Fit-based crossover is expected to boost that number to over 1.2 million.

Details of next Volkswagen Golf emerging

While the Fit is an important vehicle for Honda, as one of the world’s best-selling cars, so is the Golf for rival automaker Volkswagen. And Automotive News has reported details of what we can expect from an all-new seventh-generation Golf, expected at this September’s Paris Auto Show.

Built off the Volkswagen Group’s new modular platform, the compact Golf will be slightly larger, but weigh a lot less. Its exterior redesign will not be radical.

The familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre gas and diesel engines will return. But a new turbocharged 1.8 L will supplant the current Golf’s 2.5 L five.

Expect the next Golf to go on-sale in Canada sometime in 2013.

Small Nissan sports car is a go

After years of auto show concepts, it looks like Japan’s Nissan has finally given the green light to a spots car smaller than the current 370Z.

Unlike the critically acclaimed and popular rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins, Motor Trend magazine is saying the Japanese automaker is moving forward with a compact, front-wheel-drive sports car.

Interestingly, China is expected to be the new Nissan’s main market.

From a pricing standpoint, Nissan is expected to undercut the Scion and Subaru by as much as 10 per cent, closer to the Honda CR-Z’s under-$23,000 starting price.

Infiniti still searching for a flagship

We thought the Infiniti Emerg-E hybrid super car that debuted at this year’s Geneva Auto Show was on its way to becoming the Nissan luxury brand’s top model. But a report in Inside Line suggests otherwise.

The mid-engine Emerg-E is based on the experimental Lotus Evora 414E hybrid, and could only be built in small numbers, most likely in Britain by Lotus. But the production go-ahead isn’t a given yet.

Infiniti is also considering a new SUV or a large sedan as a new flagship model.

Audi turning to well-off soccer moms for more sales

Just how far is Volkswagen Group’s Audi brand willing to go to meet its aggressive sales forecasts? According to media reports, the luxury brand is expected to launch a new minivan.

Despite the lack of success rival German automaker Mercedes-Benz has had trying to flog its R-Class people mover, Audi is looking at building a “premium” people mover, said Audi sales and marketing chief Peter Schwarzenbauer.

Schwarzenbauer said the traditional minivan “was a boring concept.” But one “designed as an Audi” with six or seven seats was a strong possibility.

  • Auto News: Next Honda Fit will spawn small crossover

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