Honda is launching a hybrid variant of its CR-V for the first time; it is also ditching diesel from the range
Rachel Burgess
12 September 2017

Honda will launch a hybrid version of its CR-V SUV next year as part of a new line-up for the model.

On show at the Frankfurt motor show, the CR-V Hybrid Prototype is a precursor to the production model that will go on sale in mid-2018.

The Hybrid Prototype also shows the new styling of the broader CR-V line-up for the first time in Europe. 

The fifth-generation CR-V, which rivals the Volkswagen Tiguan, will first go on sale with Honda’s 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo petrol engine with a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. The hybrid powertrain will be introduced later. 

Honda has ditched a diesel engine option for the model in Europe, explaining that the move was because the focus of its "R+D activity, investment and expertise is away from diesel and towards electrification. The first example of which is the launch of new CR-V".

It added: "From this point onwards, all new Honda models launched in Europe will feature electrified technology."

The new hybrid has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and two electric motors – one electric propulsion motor and one electric generator motor - fitted with a single fixed-gear ratio, all of which Honda said creates “a seamless feeling of power and torque”. No power figures have yet been provided.

It uses a system called Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD). This, Honda claims, determines how to use fuel and electrical energy in the most efficient way, meaning drivers do not need to adjust between the three driving modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. 

i-MMD can use as many as all three motors in its quest to produce the most fuel efficient propulsion. The main motors are a 2.0 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a separate generator that occasionally doubles as a motor to provide the 2.0 with an efficiency enhancing load.

It's an ingenious system designed to allow the Atkinson engine to operate within its optimal power range as often as possible. Atkinson engines are very efficient, operating close to the ideal fuel:air ratio, but do not produce strong low-end torque, this compensated for by the electric motor.

Honda has yet to release power outputs, performance and consumption figures, but they should be good. The system is also compatible with plug-in technology, which Honda says it is developing.

The new CR-V is wider, taller and longer than the previous version. It has thinner A-pillars and a larger wheel and tyre combination. There are also sharper contours on the bonnet and rear quarters, and the nose adopts the latest Honda family look with its signature headlight graphic. 

The hybrid CR-V will go on sale in early autumn, shortly after the new CR-V goes on sale in the UK. It will replace the diesel in the CR-V range, and is expected to cost slightly more. Europe will be among the first regions to get the hybrid, which will be some compensation for the very delayed introduction of this CR-V generation, which has been on sale in the US for many months. The outgoing entry-level petrol CR-V costs £23,475.

Honda has previously sold four hybrid models in the UK: the Insight, CR-Z, Jazz hybrid and Civic hybrid, none of which are still on sale. The CR-V Hybrid is the first time the manufacturer has offered a hybrid in an SUV. 

Read more:

Honda CR-V review

Honda Civic Type R review

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5 September 2017

I got all excited when this article popped up as I am looking forward to hearing some details of the hybrid, but on reading I know no more than previous conjecture,  you don't actually know anything either!

5 September 2017

Ditching diesel from a big SUV. And when they say in 'ditching it in Europe' there's no bigger market so where will they sell one in significant numbers to justify a diesel model at all.

The writing was on the wall for Honda's Diesel effort when they LAUCNHED the Civic without a diesel engine, Suzuki has also removed the option from the new Swift. Looks like the 15% level for Europe will be reached sooner than I thought.


Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 September 2017

This must be a bitter pill for Honda to swallow given the huge investment it made in advanced diesels a decade or so ago and the abandonment of its IMA hybrids.

This CR-V Hybrid looks to be a completely new system, quite different to IMA. It would  be interesting to know much more avout it because at first sight, since it uses a separate motor and generator, it lacks the elegant simplicity and inherent lightness of the previous system. No doubt that it will have its advantages however, and the CR-V is the ideal first application.

After years of decline, could this be the start of Honda taking the European market seriously?

5 September 2017
It all depends on what realistic range you can get out of battery. 30 miles seems to be the norm then it's lugging a big battery pack around with an inefficient petrol engine generating power . Starting to see more sense in the tesla model now , particularly since we picked up a zoe yesterday ....all very good .

5 September 2017

It's never economical to have two expensive sytems doing the same job, usually at different times, as Hybrids do. Why take an EV and add a ICE engine, gearbox, clutch, exhaust, rads, electrics, petrol tank, starter battery. In most cases a bigger battery would do the job more efficiently.

May have a commercial worth in the short term but long term 90% of the market will want either an EV or ICE. Having said that Hybrids have been thrown a lifeline by the lawmakers regarding the banning of pure ICE cars circa 2040, for a minority range will always be an issue but will ALL the big boys be interested in dwindling market   


Hydrogen cars just went POP

5 September 2017

on a multi year deal, then chop it in early for a Renault.

5 September 2017

on a multi year deal, then chop it in early for a Renault.

5 September 2017

Not a car I'd get but in terms of design this looks much better from Honda, however the rear lights is  mish mash of Lexus, BMW,, Volvo..

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