At the start of the year Honda unveiled a concept vehicle previewing a new economy car the company was developing specifically for emerging markets and scheduled for sale in 2011. The concept was the simply titled the Honda New Small Concept and it featured a fairly conventional hatchback design with enough space to seat five.

Today Honda has announced plans to debut a new prototype version of the upcoming economy car, which will happen at the end of this month at the 2010 Thailand Motor Expo. The latest vehicle builds on the previous Honda New Small Concept but represents vehicle packaging that is closer to the production model due next year.

Honda New Small Concept

Honda New Small Concept

Not much else is known about the prototype vehicle but expect it to be devoid of most luxury and safety features we all take for granted back home.

While such vehicles may seem irrelevant to the U.S. market, changing economic trends and greater environmental awareness among new car shoppers may start to change the types of vehicles sold here, sooner rather than later. In fact, Honda used last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show to unveil  a new minicar concept dubbed the Personal-Neo Urban Transport, or P-NUT for short, which we could envisage selling alongside cars like the Smart Fortwo and upcoming Scion iQ.

[Honda]