While some automakers go loud at motors shows, Honda’s presence at this year’s Shanghai Motor Show was far more understated. Bordering on being a wallflower, in fact, though strangely enough their North American sub-brand Acura did show off their TLX-L, a long wheelbase version of the Accord-sized sedan.
Enter the CR-V Hybrid that was on display there which, from the outside looks exactly like the fifth-generation popular Honda SUV except that instead of the expected turbocharged motor from the Civic, uses the petrol-electric hybrid system from the Accord to power its wheels.
Specifically, it’s a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder that’s augmented with a two electric motors fed by lithium ion batteries. Total output stands at 135kW, transmitted via the company’s widely used CVT.
Its appearance in Shanghai heralds its imminent arrival into that market, earmarked for the second half of 2017 and manufactured locally by partner Dongfeng. Once that happens, it should be the most powerful version of the CR-V on sale anywhere, not to mention the most emissions-friendly and possibly most fuel efficient (upon confirmation it edges out the 1.6-litre turbodiesel offered in some ASEAN markets).
No numbers have been released to confirm this, however, and Honda has remained rather mum about the CR-V Hybrid aside from some requisite powertrain details. Seeing as how the Accord and CR-V have comparable kerb weights and drag coefficients, there’s little reason to doubt that it’s just as much of a fuel sipper.
Of course, the appeal of a more powerful but also more economical CR-V has appeal far beyond China, and Honda North America has already strongly hinted that it will be joining the US line-up, most likely as a flagship variant.
It’s still a toss up, however, if Honda will include it in the CR-V range of many other markets. Once the all-new CR-V makes an Australian debut, it will likely not offer would-be owners the option of buying it as a hybrid, though we’ll stop short of ruling it out entirely.