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Auto Show:  2012 Beijing Auto Show

Honda Concept Cars: Beijing Auto Show

author photo by Jeffrey Archer April 2012
  • Honda says new concepts were designed with China in mind
  • Concept C is a muscular midsize sedan that could preview next Accord
  • Concept S is a striking minivan with futuristic look and hybrid drivetrain

Honda chose this year's Beijing Auto Show to debut two concept cars designed with Chinese buyers in mind. Honda says the Concept C sedan and Concept S minivan preview future production models intended for the Chinese market, although the new vehicles could eventually be available worldwide.

The more realistic of the two concepts is the Concept C, which is a muscular sedan Honda says was inspired by the words "cool," "challenge" and "China." While Honda provided few details about the Concept C except to announce that it was styled in China and will be built there, the sedan is noteworthy for its flowing design language, massive front grille and oversized - yet handsome - taillights.

While Honda has not announced what the Concept C will be called when it goes into production, we think the model could preview the automaker's next generation Accord sedan. In addition to sharing approximate dimensions with the Accord, the Concept C bears a striking resemblance to the recently released Accord Coupe Concept, which was released earlier this year at the Detroit Auto Show.

Undoubtedly the more striking of the two models is the Concept S, a futuristic minivan that draws its name from the words "stylish," "smart" and "surprise." Shown in a vivid shade of teal, the van features cutting edge styling all around, from its low-slung stance to a long, flat windshield, enormous curved taillights and striking blue fog lights integrated into a diamond-shaped cluster in the front bumper. While Honda provided few details about the Concept S and didn't show off its interior, the automaker did reveal that the van features a hybrid drivetrain.

While the Concept S is unlikely to see production in any form, the concept could preview the styling direction Honda plans to take with its global minivan platform. While Honda sells its popular Odyssey throughout the world, the North American model is different from versions sold in Europe and Asia, which could be replaced by a production-ready version of the Concept S.

Regardless of which future models are previewed by Honda's newest concepts, the automaker's decision to unveil them in China proves the brand is serious about making inroads into the rapidly expanding market. Other automakers undoubtedly have similar intentions, as several rival brands - including Nissan and Toyota - also unveiled new models in Beijing designed for Chinese buyers.

What it means to you: Honda is getting serious about China - but we wouldn't be surprised to see a production version of the Concept C find its way stateside.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Honda Concept Cars: Beijing Auto Show - Autotrader