Honda Introduces 2018 CR-V Hybrid at Auto Shanghai 2017
Electrified CR-V Could Presage American Model
Honda introduced the 2018 CR-V Hybrid today, giving the world a look at the first-ever electrified version of Honda’s popular crossover. Shown at Auto Shanghai 2017, the CR-V Hybrid will be a China-only model built by Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., going on sale later this year. American Honda all but confirmed a U.S. version of the CR-V Hybrid in an emailed statement, saying:
“We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks. CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we'll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date.”
As for the Shanghai debut, there’s not much we can tell about that market’s electrified CR-V from the company’s press release, and photography is likewise scarce, for now. Branded Honda Sport Hybrid i-MMD, the name of the CR-V’s propulsion system suggests it will likely improve both performance and efficiency over the current crossover’s 1.5L turbocharged I-4. On the other hand,Green Car Reports suggests the CR-V Hybrid might use a version of the Accord Hybrid’s drive system, which packages a lithium-ion battery pack, electric motor, and 2.0L I-4 together for a total output of 212 hp and at least as much torque.
Those numbers would give a theoretical CR-V Hybrid impressive performance, particularly if the Accord Hybrid’s scant, 200-pound weight gain holds true for the crossover. In the blockier, all-wheel-drive CR-V, we’d expect fuel economy to take a slight dip from the Accord to around 38 mpg in combined driving. Such numbers would outstrip the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (32 mpg) and Nissan Rogue Hybrid (34 mpg).
American Honda has no firm timeline for when we might see a U.S.-market CR-V on display, but we wouldn’t be surprised if we see it for the first time at the 2017 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. With an expanding lineup of alternative-fuel and electrified offerings, Honda would do well to include the hot-selling CR-V into that plan sooner rather than later.
Sources: Honda, Green Car Reports