Yes, Honda has promised a Fit-based crossover in the future. And yes, this new Honda Fit Twist is, in fact, a Fit-based crossover. That said, this is not the Fit-based crossover Honda previously promised. Instead, it’s a way for Honda to play in an incredibly popular segment in Brazil, and it won’t be sold outside the country.
Subcompact crossovers are incredibly popular with the Brazilian motoring public – and by subcompact crossovers, we mean B-segment hatchbacks gussied up to look like butch off-roaders. Add some cladding here, flared fenders there, toss in larger wheels/tires, lift the ride height, and presto: a super-small, super-cheap, and super-efficient SUV-esque vehicle. This formula has been successfully used several times in South America, yielding vehicles like the Volkswagen CrossFox, the Fiat Idea Adventure, and the first-generation Ford EcoSport.
Predictably, the Honda Fit Twist abides by every step of that formula. Fit Twists receive a slightly more aggressive front bumper fascia, which includes dark black cladding, a faux skidplate, ovoid fog lamps with bright surrounds, and large, vertical , and likely faux air intakes. Matching cladding is applied to the rocker sills, wheel wells, and rear diffuser, and accented with bright trim that echoes the front skid plate. Fit Twists also gain stylized roof rails, clear tail lamps, a little more ground clearance, and larger wheels.
Honda hasn’t released technical specs on the Fit Twist, but Fit hatchbacks are offered in Brazil with either a 1.4-liter or 1.5-liter, 16-valve I-4, along with five-speed manual and automatic transmissions. Fits are offered in several markets in all-wheel-drive form, but not Brazil, meaning it’s quite likely the Fit Twist remains a front-wheel-drive vehicle.
Honda insists the Fit Twist is a Brazilian-market exclusive, but the automaker still plans on developing a Fit-based crossover for global consumption. That vehicle will share its architecture with the next-generation Fit, which should reach the market in hatchback form in late 2013/early 2014. Honda has previously stated its new plant in Celaya, Mexico, will build the Fit and its derivatives, but the automaker tells us it’s still unknown if the global Fit Crossover will find a place in its North American portfolio.