Brazil is indeed experiencing a rush of crossovers as auto majors unveiled their offerings at the on-going 2012 Sao Paulo International Motor Show. To tap into the crossover market, Hyundai launched HB20X, the Brazilian crossover version of the i20, Nissan unveiled its Extrem Crossover Concept, Volkswagen made the global debut of the Taigun small SUV and not holding back, Honda too lifted the veil from the new Jazz Twist (Fit Twist in Brazil). The Honda Jazz Twist Crossover is the first vehicle from the Japanese automaker which has been specifically developed for the Brazilian market.
The exteriors have got some major changes. The new Honda Jazz Twist flaunts bigger 16-inch alloy wheels, a re-styled front grille, dark headlamps and clear tail lamp fixtures. It has also got plastic cladding on the front and rear bumpers and over the wheel arches and side sills, a matte aluminum finish for the protective guards, mirror caps and taller roof bars. Not much has been done to the interiors. Waterproof floor carpet in the boot area, chrome accents on the dashboard, air vents and handbrake are the only ones worth the mention.
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It comes as quite a surprise that Honda has not changed the suspension setting of this new vehicle. It is powered the by the same 1.5-litre flex-fuel engine which powers the regular hatchback. While running on ethanol, this engine produces a power of 116 HP whereas the one running on gasoline can produce 115 HP of peak power output. It would come in both manual and automatic transmission mode. It is expected to hit the showrooms in Brazil by end of this month and would come with a starting price of approximately Rs. 15.3 lakhs.
It is almost certain that Honda will bring the Jazz Twist to the Indian market as it looks at tapping into the increased demand for compact crossovers and SUVs. The launch will not take place before 2014 though as Honda will concentrate on bringing the Brio based sedan and diesel power to Indian roads. The Jazz Twist might not be a full blown SUV, but not every compact SUV buyer is looking for off-road ability. The macho appearance is enough for the Jazz Twist to become a success.