It's a sign of how important the Chinese car market is becoming, that major automakers seem to show as many new concept vehicles in Beijing as they do at more traditional auto show venues.

The latest to emerge from the Chinese show's halls is Honda's Concept B, previewing a hatchback due on the Chinese market in 2016.

Unfortunately, it's not a replacement for the recently-canned Honda Insight--but the production hatch will offer a hybrid powertrain, sold under the unusual 'FUNTEC' banner.

While there's an element of marketing-speak to the tag, Honda says the model will have both "excellent fuel economy" and provide "excellent driving pleasure".

Unfortunately, there are no details on the hybrid powerplant itself--though it's likely to be a development of Honda's i-DCD single-motor setup used in the Honda Fit Hybrid (available only in Japan) and the Fit-based Vezel Hybrid (likewise).

Honda is keen to introduce hybrid technology to the Chinese market, where regulations are clamping down on fuel economy and emissions limits.

Other Concept Bs should still be frugal, though--the cars will be available with a choice of CVT or dual-clutch transmissions, stop-start tech and Honda's other 'Earth Dreams Technology' engine tweaks.

Honda Concept B hybrid hatchback (Photo: Indian Autos Blog)

Honda Concept B hybrid hatchback (Photo: Indian Autos Blog)

The Concept B itself is aimed at younger customers, with a sporting, dynamic five-door liftback body style.

The look is a lot more striking than Honda's existing offering in the market, the Civic, while a long list of upscale features, including a head-up display and lane departure warning, will be available.

Sadly, as another car specially developed for the Chinese market, it's unlikely the sporty hybrid hatch will be coming to the U.S. upon its 2016 debut.

That, we suppose, is another sign of the importance of the Chinese car market--some of a manufacturer's most intriguing models will be reserved for China, and China alone...

[Image courtesy of Indian Autos Blog]


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