The Japanese crossover is embracing hybridization.
Whenever Honda reveals a new SUV it's a pretty big deal, considering the fact that they sell tens of thousands of them in the US alone. The big story at the moment is the next-generation Honda HR-V which has now been officially revealed, both in Europe and in Japan, where it's known as the Honda Vezel. We recently revealed some leaked pictures of what the car would look like, and we've also got a good idea of the interior design, but the actual car looks even better than what we could have imagined, and now we finally have all the juicy details regarding its powertrain and features.
The new HR-V is described by Honda as having "the power of an SUV with a coupe-like flow", perfectly describing the exterior design, which features a sleek headlight setup and grinning front grille, while the rear features the same minimalist aesthetic. Exterior features will include LED headlights and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Officially dubbed the HR-V e:HEV, the new HR-V's powertrain comprises a 1.5-liter engine, assisted by a 2-motor hybrid system, a CVT automatic transmission, and available real-time AWD in place of standard FWD. The powertrain will offer three power delivery modes, namely EV mode which will run only the electric motor for maximum efficiency, Hybrid mode which will combine both electric and gas motors for excellent EV acceleration and top-end gas power, or engine-only mode for high-speed cruising. The HR-V will also have three driving modes: Normal mode for comfortable, smooth driving on ordinary roads, Sport mode for winding roads and "agile acceleration", and finally Econ mode for smooth highway cruising.
In Japan, the Vezel lineup will consist of the e:HEV Z, the e:HEV PLaY, the Vezel G which will be gas-only, and finally the e:HEV X. Honda is yet to announce pricing for the new car, but the American variant will differ, as we've already had confirmation that it will be designed specifically for the US market.
The interior of the new car has been designed around Honda's HMI (Human Machine Interface) concept and has been optimized for occupant visibility. The interior design reminds us of a contemporary design from Mazda, which is not a bad thing at all, and will feature a panoramic roof for an added sense of interior room, heated seats in higher trim models, 60/40-split folding rear seats, ambient LED interior lighting, and the latest Honda Connect infotainment and navigation systems will keep the driver connected at all times. For increased practicality, the car will also feature Honda's beloved Magic Seats that offer both 'fold-flat' or 'flip-up' seat flexibility.
Tech features include in-car Wi-Fi, Honda remote operation, Honda digital key, and a dedicated emergency support center. The Honda Sensing safety suite provides short-range forward collision mitigation, adaptive cruise control, auto high-beam control, pedestrian detection, traffic sign recognition, and more.
With production of the current HR-V now finished, it's just a matter of time before we see the US-spec debut.