Honda wants a share of the supermini segment. Are they too little too late? Let’s hope not. At the Philippine International Motor Show, Honda Cars Philippines has launched the all-new Honda Brio hatchback and its sedan sibling, the Brio Amaze.
The Honda Brio and Brio Amaze is set by Honda Cars Philippines to be wholly distinct from its competitors, especially when it comes to the car’s powertrain. While the competition offers three-cylinder engines, the Brio and Brio Amaze is equipped with the 1.3 liter 4-cylinder from the third generation Honda City, putting out a class-leading 98 hp and 127 Nm of torque. There are two transmission choices. A 5-Speed manual, and unique to the Honda Brio, a 5-Speed automatic, while the rest of the competition uses a 4-Speed automatic. Combined with the Brio hatch’s shorter but wider stance, increasing agility, the Brio hatch is developed by Honda to be the sportscar of the supermini segment.
A lot is expected from the Honda Brio siblings, especially since Honda has moved the City and Jazz upmarket, even making the said vehicles have a purely 1.5 liter engine line-up. In a country were value is highly appreciated, simply adding a powerful engine won’t easily drive buyers away from the Toyota Wigo, Mitsubishi Mirage and Mirage G4. Buyers also want a lot of features too. The Honda Brio comes standard with power windows, mirrors, and door locks on all variants, while power mirrors are unavailable in the base Brio Amaze E. Safety hasn’t been left out as well. Driver and passenger airbags, and ABS with EBD is standard across the range. A 2DIN navigation system with Bluetooth and DVD is equipped in the top trim V variants. Unique to the Brio V variant, the navigation system is also equipped with a built-in internet connectivity with WiFi, a first-in-class feature. Externally, only the top trim 1.3 V Variants of the Brio and Brio Amaze is equipped with a 14-inch alloy wheels.
Aside from Honda Cars Philippines using the Philippine International Motor Show in order to launch the Brio and Brio Amaze, they pulled out two huge surprises to the discerning crowd. Setting the Filipino’s excitement at Honda’s return to Formula 1, Honda displayed to the public their 2013 championship winning Super Japan Formula SF13, which was driven to victory by race car driver Naoki Yamamoto of Team Mugen.
But the true star of their racing and sporting heritage display is the successor to what is known as one of the world’s most iconic supercars. One of Japan’s best, which first introduces aluminum construction in a production car, and Honda’s first application of VTEC in their engines. They premiered to the Philippine public the Honda NSX Concept, the successor to the original NSX. It will be powered by a mid-mounted V6 engine with three electric motors. An innovation that will be first seen in the NSX once it is released in 2015 is the ability to send negative torque to the inside wheels when cornering, ensuring grippy cornering at high speeds.
The Brio and Brio Amaze was crowded, which made taking clear photos difficult. The following photos show the exterior of the Brio Amaze, and the interior plus engine of the Brio hatch.
Honda Brio Pricing:
1.3 S: P599,000 (MT), P639,000 (AT)
1.3 V: P679,000 (MT), P719,000 (AT)
Honda Brio Amaze Pricing:
1.3 E: P629,000 (MT)
1.3 S: P689,000 (AT)
1.3 V: P729,000 (MT), P769,000 (AT)