Honda confirms new HR-V will be hybrid only

Honda has announced further details about its new HR-V crossover as the brand launches the new hybrid-only model in Europe.

Though revealed in February, Honda kept tight-lipped about many details of the model, including its powertrain and platform.

With Honda aiming to electrify all its mainstream models by next year, the HR-V switches to becoming a hybrid-only model. The powertrain is similar to that found in the smaller Jazz, combining a 1.5-litre petrol engine with twin electric motors. It’s more powerful than the Jazz, with power up from 106bhp to 129bhp, though maximum torque remains the same at 253Nm.

Honda says the motors provide the primary power for the HR-V, with the engine charging the battery – only at higher speeds does the engine directly power the car.

Based on Honda’s ‘Global Small Platform’, the new HR-V brings improvements in space compared to its predecessor, with 35mm more rear legroom said to give the model the space of ‘models one class larger’, despite retaining the same compact dimensions as the outgoing car.

It also features the firm’s clever flip-up ‘Magic Seats’, which, when moved forward, are said to be able to offer room for two 26-inch mountain bikes in the boot.

Key design details on the new HR-V include LED lighting all-round, a full-width light bar and also a bold body-coloured grille. The new model is also said to provide 10mm extra ground clearance than before, while a new hill descent control function helps maintain a slow speed when driving down steep gradients. The roofline has also been lowered by 20mm to give it more of a coupe-like profile.

Inside, the HR-V comes with a new nine-inch touchscreen that has been ‘designed to minimise driver distraction’, with simplified menus and new shortcut buttons compared to the older system. Wireless Apple CarPlay is also included, along with an optional Wi-Fi hotspot. 

Another highlight of the updated HR-V includes a new ‘Air Diffusion System’, which is where L-shaped vents on the dashboard can spread air throughout the cabin, rather than directing it directly at occupants. Honda says the process creates a ‘vortex of air beside and above occupants’.

Safety has also been enhanced, with updates to the adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring systems said to give this Honda ‘class-leading advanced safety technologies and driver aids’.

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