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Honda to unveil CR-V Hybrid in Frankfurt

New look compact SUV to have unique styling between hybrid and gasoline

Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype

Honda has announced plans to debut a CR-V Hybrid at the IAA Frankfurt Motor Show this week. It marks the expansion of distribution to the European market for the compact hybrid SUV, which had been previously announced at the Shanghai Auto Show for the Chinese market.

Of big news to Europe is the exterior styling of the prototype, which bears differences to that of the North American CR-V. Honda says the hybrid will have different styling cues from the gasoline-fed model (a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder).

The hybrid will use a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder gasoline engine supplemented by Honda’s Intelligent Multi Mode Drive 2-motor hybrid system — one of the motors is a propulsion motor to drive the wheels; the other acts as a generator to supply electricity to the propulsion motor or charge up the batteries. The hybrid does not have a transmission.

The 1.5-litre turbo uses a 6-speed manual or continuously variable automatic.

The hybrid system switches seamlessly between three drive modes — EV Drive (where the propulsion motor is powered by the batteries), Hybrid Drive (where the propulsion motor is driven by the integrated generator motor, which is powered by the engine, and which also diverts excess power for battery charging), and Engine Drive (where the wheels are driven by the engine, with acceleration assist from the propulsion motor).

Wider, taller and longer than the previous version, the CR-V Hybrid rides on a larger wheels and tires than the gasoline model. Other changes include sharper creases on the hood and hind quarters.

The production 2018 CR-V, which won’t differ too much from this prototype, will be launched early next year. More details will be available then. There has been no decision on whether to bring the hybrid to North America but we anticipate an announcement will likely be made at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November or in Detroit in January.

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