Setting the stage for what we can expect in a volume-build version on sale here by the end of this year, the first factory image of the 2012 Honda CR-V Concept has been released along with a few bits of pertinent information on the changes due for the fourth generation of the firm's best-selling compact crossover

"The 2012 CR-V Concept introduces the exterior styling for the more sophisticated and dynamic design of the upcoming production model," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. That new look starts with more aggressive overall body sculpting set off by a bolder front fascia which incorporates a more prominent three-bar grille, deeply recessed multi-reflector headlamps and a better-integrated lower bumper element. More prominent fender flares and big five-spoke alloy wheels add additional visual punch flair to the CR-V Concept and are features we can at least hope also will make it the production variant largely intact. While confirming that the existing vertical taillamp design is destined to carry over, Honda says the still-unseen units on the CR-V Concept have a new three-dimensional character.

While Honda remained fairly circumspect on specific mechanical details regarding the production 2012 CR-V, it did promise a vehicle that's lighter and one will be fitted with an even more fuel-efficient engine. An all-new interior also is on the way, with upgraded accommodations, better overall packaging and a lower rear cargo floor. Still open to speculation is whether or not Honda plans to offer the new CR-V with a third-row seat. 

The 2012 CR-V Concept will make its public debut at the Orange County International Auto Show in Anaheim, California, in September. Given its promised roll-out rate that means the production 2012 Honda CR-V almost certainly will have its formal coming-out party at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

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