Honda CR-V Hybrid On Its Way to Frankfurt Motor Show
Prototype Previews European Version of the Powertrain
Honda will unveil a hybridized prototype of the popular CR-V crossover at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, incorporating an electric motor and Atkinson-cycle 2.0L I-4.
Unlike some hybrid vehicles, the CR-V Hybrid Prototype eschews a conventional transmission, instead opting for a single fixed-gear system. The powertrain incorporates an electric motor for propulsion and a separate electric generator to charge the batteries. The whole system requires no intervention from the driver, as an “Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive” (i-MMD) controls the powertrain as appropriate.
Using i-MMD, the CR-V will theoretically operate in one of three modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive. Predictably, EV Drive propels the vehicle only using electric power, although Honda didn’t publicize range or speed limitations while driving in this mode. It will likely only be good for low-speed trips around town, and we presume the gasoline engine will fire up under anything other than very gentle acceleration.
When that happens, the CR-V will operate in Hybrid Drive, in which the gasoline engine supplies power to the electric generator, which in turn runs the propulsion motor. Any excess power in this mode is diverted to the battery to keep it charged. When the driver calls for max-attack driving, Engine Drive engages and the 2.0L I-4 drives the wheels directly, with the electric motor kicking in for a power boost. Honda says most urban situations will call for either EV or Hybrid Drive.
The prototype also marks the debut of the fifth-generation CR-V in European markets, where it will also be available with the 1.5L turbocharged I-4 found in most CR-Vs sold in the U.S. Unlike previous versions of the SUV, the new CR-V will not be available with a diesel in Europe, nor will it get the 2.4L naturally aspirated I-4 found in the Stateside CR-V LX. Official details for the CR-V Hybrid will be revealed early next year, and the newest version of the SUV will launch in Europe in 2018.
There’s no official word from American Honda Motor Co. about whether we’ll get a chance to buy a hybridized CR-V on our shores, but we wouldn’t be surprised if something like that comes our way eventually, perhaps as soon as the 2019 model year. Honda’s two biggest rivals, Nissan and Toyota, both offer hybrid versions of the Rogue and RAV4, and Ford is slated to offer a hybrid Escape when it redesigns the compact SUV for 2020.