Hot on the heels of the US-specification of the new Honda CR-V being revealed, the Japanese automaker has now confirmed the specification for Europe. And there’s a lot more going on than just a new look for the big-selling crossover SUV.
For the first time in the history of the CR-V, it will now be available with an optional third-row of seating to take its passenger-carrying capacity up to seven. The exterior gets a smart new look that brings the CR-V into line with the latest Honda signature styling, and the 1.5-litre turbocharged VTEC engine that’s been available in American versions of the CR-V for some time will power the new model.
There will also be a hybrid variant this time around, which will feature a 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and a pair of electric motors. One of the motors will be used to propel the CR-V, while the other is an electric generator motor in a system that was first previewed at last year’s Frankfurt show.
Non-hybrid versions will offer a choice between a manual and a CVT gearbox, but the hybrid will feature a new single fixed-gear ratio transmission the manufacturer claims gives a smoother delivery of the available torque.
The new hybrid system is called i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive), and it manages the powertrain so there’s no need for the driver to switch between the three available drive modes of EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. The 2.0-litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine relies on the electric motor for low-end torque, but the motor can also chip in to assist the combustion engine when needed.
Honda has yet to confirm the specific numbers, but it does claim the new CR-V will offer class-leading petrol fuel economy and class-leading access and leg room for the rearmost seats of the seven-seat versions of the crossover. The exterior dimensions have grown in every direction to create the extra interior space, but Honda has yet to confirm the numbers.
There will also be some significant technology upgrades with the new model, such as a pair of 7.0-inch displays where one replaces the traditional analogue dials and the other serves as the infotainment display.
Due to the increased size and enhanced technology, we have to expect prices to rise when the petrol version goes on sale in the autumn. But if you want to go for a hybrid version of the new CR-V you’ll have to wait a little longer as that one isn’t due to land until next year. – AFP Relaxnews