Due in the second half of 2007, a Honda CR-X-sized crossover, codenamed H45, has involved Briton Anthony Grade, design vice president for Renault-Samsung.
He says the newcomer is more of “softroader” than an “out and out 4x4.” It will use Nissan X-Trail running gear, and engines include Renault’s 130bhp 2.0-litre dCi diesel.
It is likely to be followed by a larger SUV, closer in size and concept to Lexus’s RX300. It is one of three projects under development by Grade’s design team.
Low production costs are expected to generate higher profit margins for manufacturer and retailer alike.