It would be a shame if this doesn't make it Stateside, given America's appetite for SUVs and hybrids.
Ahead of its debut at next week's Frankfurt Auto Show, Honda has revealed a new prototype for a hybrid version of its best-selling CR-V SUV. Due to go on sale in Europe sometime in 2018, the Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype will preview the automaker's first electrified SUV powertrain for Europe, and will also mark the first time the all-new CR-V has been shown across the pond. Powering the hybrid is a two-motor Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive system comprising an electric motor, a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, and a separate electric motor generator.
Instead of a conventional transmission, the hybrid is fitted with a single fixed-gear ratio to reduce weight and size. Honda says the IMMD system automatically determines the most efficient way to use fuel and electrical energy, so you don't need to switch between the three driving modes. An EV Drive mode will enable the CR-V to operate purely on electric power, while Hybrid Drive uses the gasoline engine to supply power to the electric generator motor, which in turn delivers power to the electric propulsion motor. Excess power from the gasoline engine is then back through the generator motor to recharge the battery pack.
In Engine Drive, the wheels are directly driven by the gasoline engine, although the electric motor can provide an on-demand peak power boost. The CR-V hybrid is currently only slated for Europe, but the SUV provides possible clues for Honda's future styling direction for cars in the US. In fact, the styling looks nearly identical to the current US CR-V, aside from the lower LED light bar replacing the fog lights. Given America's unrelenting appetite for SUVs and hybrids, as well as the CR-V's strong sales in the US, we wouldn't be surprised to see a production model make it Stateside.