- nobody can actually visit the tokyo auto salon this week, thanks to covid-19, but if you check out the honda booth online starting on january 15, you'll see two concepts that expand the limits of a small car.
- a modified honda fit called the e:hev crosstar custom gets the little hatchback ready for more time in the outdoors with a slightly raised suspension and all-terrain tires, along with a rougher—but still cute—look.
- the n-van custom, a.k.a. the "3rd place van," is ready to tackle urban duties like operating as a food truck or a "third place" for adventures that's not work nor home.
good things come in small sizes. especially when they're modified japan-domestic-market hondas that have been transformed from basic transportation options to quirky multi-use vehicles. we'll take one of each, thank you.
up first is the black-and-tan fit e:hev crosstar custom, an adapted hatchback based on the fit e:hev crosstar. honda has discontinued the fit in the u.s., but even before it canceled the car here, we were not getting the hybrid version. the crosstar is a cuv-ish trim level for the regular hybrid fit, and for this custom version, the show team raised the fit's suspension a bit, threw on a rugged yakima roof rack, and added toyo all-terrain open country tires on black steel wheels to emphasize the fact that even small cars sometimes deserve to drive off the beaten path.
when you're back in the city and feeling peckish, head on over to the other customized honda, a food truck version of the n-van. the metallic silver n-van custom, called the "3rd place van," is meant to adapt to whatever boxy functions users might need. with a large roof rack on top and a string of inviting lights out back, its main work use is as a café, selling food out of the side door that's covered by a red and white awning. then, when it's time to play, it can be used (if our translation is accurate) as a place to rest—a "third place" to be away from both work and home.
we expect to get more details on both of these cars once the tokyo auto salon opens, virtually, on friday, january 15. during the event, honda will also make an announcement regarding participation in four-wheel motorsports in 2021. for its virtual visitors with a need for speed, the company will showcase some of the vehicles that raced for the brand during 2020. the list includes the aston martin red bull racing rb16 and scuderia alphatauri honda at01, both of which raced in the 2020 fia formula 1 world championship' the rahal letterman lanigan racing ir-12 from the 2020 indycar series; and the team kunimitsu raybrig nsx-gt from the 2020 super gt series gt500 class.