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Honda readies small SUV for Detroit

Honda showed off a teaser sketch of a new, small crossover vehicle that it will unveil at the Detroit auto show in January.

Honda Urban SUV concept
Honda's new SUV concept will appear at the 2013 Detroit auto show. Honda

Today Honda sent out a sketch of a new concept vehicle the company intends to unveil at the North American International Auto Show in January. Honda calls the concept an Urban SUV, and it looks like the predecessor to a new, small SUV in the lineup.

The sketch shows the profile of a car with lines similar to the latest CR-V model. However, Honda updated the CR-V for 2012, so the concept is not likely to be a new version of that car.

More likely would be a smaller SUV, similar to the Subaru XV Crosstrek and BMW X1, a type of vehicle that seems to be growing in popularity. The word Urban in the name, automaker shorthand for small, suggests an SUV coming in below the CR-V in the lineup.

Honda released no information about engines for the car, but it would be likely to carry on the company's Earth Dreams initiative, the umbrella brand for new, efficient drivetrain technology. As such, it could host a direct-injection four-cylinder engine.

The profile lacks B-pillars or rear doors, but that is more likely due to minimal details in the sketch rather than a design intention.

In recent years, Honda's concepts have represented almost production-ready new models, so this SUV concept probably points to an entirely new model to be launched in late 2013.

CNET will be on hand during the Detroit auto show to see the Honda Urban SUV concept and other unveilings.