Theme: Concepts – 2013 Honda Gear

It seems Honda didn’t think too much of this little concept car. They showed it at the Montreal Motor Show in 2013, at the same time the Detroit Motor Show was being held.

2013 Honda Gear concept car
2013 Honda Gear concept car

To be honest, I found this by accident. In 1992 or 1993 Honda showed a small concept car with a feature that has become a very common, the false reverse-raked c-pillar. I wanted to see the originator of this idea and then show a few of the cars that have used it these last 20 years: Mercedes A-Class, Peugeot 407 SW and the Toyota Picnic among several others.

2013 Honda Gear front three quarter

I haven’t found that car yet but I found the 2013 Gear which Honda say is aimed at young people in the Generation Y bracket. What attracted my attention were the distinctive graphics of the grille and lamps and the very simple, sheer surfacing, almost done to suggest the last 10 years of swoops, swages, grooves and bone lines hadn’t happened. Honda do this from time to time, a show car that is actually quite unlike anything else in the show car class of the given moment.

I suppose I ought to come clean and also say that in idle moments I have drawn small cars pretty much like this. The Honda Gear is what I would produce if left alone with a CAD programme, some modellers and €300.000 of development costs. It’s my kind of small car though I might add some more chrome. Particularly attractive is the way the surfaces from the wheel arch cut-outs are handled; I also approve of the transition from the bonnet to the side of the front wing. Perhaps the rear is not so nice but it’s at least as acceptable as many other cars while also looking like it belongs to the same car as the front.

2013 Honda-GEAR_rear three quart

Honda have no plans to produce anything like this car at all.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

6 thoughts on “Theme: Concepts – 2013 Honda Gear”

  1. I agree that it’s a pity. The front conjures up the sort of neat but distinctive styling that Mercedes could have used on their A Class, if their designers weren’t so misguided in their attempts to make it look aggressive/important.

  2. It´s a pity the back end is so untidy compared to the front but the surfacing overall is good. The rear lamp shape doesn´t quite gel with the form of the bumper just below it. The highlights cross from the body colour to the clear plastic in an odd way.

  3. It’s really rather neat. I wonder how I could remain completely unaware of it until now.

    Thanks, Richard!

  4. I’ve always loved this concept, the clean surfacing, the wedge-shaped profile, the simple graphics. It could have become a really exceptional Jazz, but apparently Honda have decided it wasn’t weird enough.
    I do think the curvy back detailing is quite a bit off the mark, but this could be easily fixed.

    1. Thanks for reviving this thread. It is a wasted design.
      Alexei Sayle wrote a story about a writer whose projects never got made. Is there a paid car designer who has gone from show car to show car but never to production?
      Do you have a professional interest in design, may I ask?

    2. I do graphic design and music for a living, but my childhood dream was to become a car designer. I had drawers upon drawers of imagined new car brands’ catalogues (as I recall, the ranges of models were usually waaay to extensive). Sadly, Poland is no place for a car designer, since we don’t have an automotive industry to speak of.

      The interest has been lively ever since, so this site is a very lucky find for me, especially the insights and your prevailing taste for clean, honest and harmonious design. I’m a minimalist at heart, so it’s great to meet likeminded people.

      Closing the off-topic – wouldn’t it be a great base for an article? Excellent designs, which were never used. Be it the Gear, the McGovern Lincolns or the Saab X concepts – it would be interesting to see which ones you feel were unjustly abandoned.

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