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New Honda HR-V SUV to bring extra space and latest-gen hybrid tech

Honda has revealed its new HR-V in a virtual event, outlining further details of its latest-gen hybrid technology and upgraded platform.

The new Honda HR-V e:HEV will be available in Europe in late 2021

Marking the latest step in Honda’s commitment to electrify all its mainstream models in Europe by 2022, the third generation of the compact SUV will come with Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain as standard, as confirmed earlier this year; and Honda has now revealed further details.

Already seen in the CR-V and Jazz, the e:HEV-branded hybrid powertrain comprises two electric motors connected to a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, with peak power output of 131hp and maximum torque of 253Nm at 4,500rpm. Performance and efficiency figures are still to be announced.

Most of the time, the petrol engine will serve as a range extender, generating electricity to power the motors; only during high-speed cruising will the car be directly driven by the petrol engine. Honda says this set-up will give a more responsive and feel while maintaining smoothness and efficiency.

Drivers can also choose from Sport, Normal and Econ modes and there’s a drive mode B that can be selected through the gear shifter, giving stronger regenerative braking and a more EV-like experience. Drivers can also adapt the level of energy regeneration and the deceleration effect to suit preferences.

Featuring a new design said to be minimalist and coupé-inspired, the new HR-V sits on an upgraded platform and gets extra space onboard despite being the same length and width as its predecessor. Based on Honda’s ‘Man-Maximum, Machine-Minimum’ principle of using technology and design to fit the needs of drivers and passengers, the HR-V has been engineered to fit the hybrid drivetrain components into the chassis and within the engine bay.

This means there’s greater leg room – including an extra 35mm in the rear – and more shoulder space. Aiding practicality, it retains the rear Magic Seat set-up, which means the seats can be folded flat or flipped up to optimise space, while the tailgate sits lower and the cargo floor is also low and flat.

The cabin has been redesigned for a more light, airy feel, and employs a new driving position that’s 10mm higher than before. It also debuts a new ‘Air Diffusion System’ said to increase passenger comfort.

Equipment includes a 9-inch LCD touchscreen interface – designed to minimise driver distraction and with a simplified and fully customisable menu layer enabling easy access to convenience features and controls. It’s also been developed to make it quick and easy to switch between apps and provides fast response to inputs and commands. It features Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay. Over-the-air updates are also available. The driver can also tailor hybrid information on the 7-inch TFT e:HEV screen to further reduce distraction while driving.

The new HR-V also gets the Honda Sensing package of advanced driver assistance features for the first time. This has been upgraded for the HR-V to include the use of a new and improved front camera and high-speed image processing chips that updates the previous camera and radar sensor combination. Highlights include enhanced night-time operation of the pedestrian collision mitigation steering system and the collision mitigation brake system. It also gets latest-gen adaptive cruise control tech, blind spot information and cross traffic monitor, while the HR-V is also now available for the first time in Europe with Hill Descent Control.

The new Honda HR-V e:HEV will be available in Europe in late 2021.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. Natalie edits all the Fleet World websites and newsletters, and loves to hear about any latest industry news.

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