Honda promises an "EV-like" driving experience.
Honda unveiled its distinctive fully electric SUV e-concept at the Beijing Motor Show yesterday, but something a bit more conventional was also on display in the shape of the CR-V plug-in hybrid. There are many things to like about the strong-selling Honda CR-V, and the PHEV variant adds even more appeal to the range.
The CR-V PHEV becomes the first plug-in hybrid to be offered by Honda in China. It'll reportedly be powered by the same two-motor hybrid system that's found in the Honda Clarity PHEV, which gives us some idea of the CR-V's potential outputs. In the Clarity, the combination of a 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and an electric motor produces a combined output of 212 horsepower.
Assuming the same output in the CR-V PHEV, that would make it more powerful than the conventionally powered version of the crossover, but a lot less powerful than the Toyota RAV4 Prime with its 302-hp plug-in hybrid powertrain. Honda says that the Sport Hybrid i-MMD system mimics the feel of an EV in most driving conditions while claiming a pure electric range of over 80 km (just under 50 miles). That's a bit better than the 42-mile electric range for the RAV4 Prime.
Other than the powertrain, the CR-V PHEV differs visually from the regular CR-V in a couple of aspects. The characteristic blue Honda badge is complemented by a grille with horizontal chrome slats. At the back, the e: PHEV badging appears just below the CR-V name.
While there is no official word yet on the CR-V PHEV coming to the US, the model is expected to go on sale in China in January next year. However, at least North American customers can buy the CR-V Hybrid, which produces 212 hp (exactly the same figure as the Clarity PHEV) and manages EPA-rated figures of 40/35/38 mpg on the city/highway/combined cycles.
With even greater efficiency and the ability to complete journeys without the use of the gas engine, the CR-V PHEV would be a great addition to the local lineup.