The new third-generation Honda HR-V will be revealed in full on 18 February, and Honda has given us a glimpse inside the cabin of its new compact SUV for the first time.
When it reaches Australia, the new HR-V will be available with a version of Honda’s new e:HEV hybrid powertrain. Along with the new Jazz, it’ll form part of the company’s vision to electrify all of its mainstream models by 2022.
Honda’s latest teasers suggest the new HR-V will receive some significant technology improvements, including a new infotainment system that’s identical to the unit the company recently previewed with the Mk11 Civic prototype.
The old HR-V’s touch-sensitive climate control panel will be replaced with a set of rotary dials and, judging by the smartphone in the image, the car will also offer support for Honda’s dedicated remote app. It looks like buyers will be able to spec the SUV with a full-length panoramic sunroof, too.
Honda’s previous teaser image offered a glimpse at the HR-V’s rear-end styling. The crossover looks set to take on a more coupe-like appearance, borrowing some styling cues from the pure-electric Honda e, with a similarly shaped tailgate and spoiler. Spy shots have also shown that the new car will retain the old model’s C-pillar-mounted rear door handles.
Little else can be gleaned from Honda’s teaser images – although our previously spied test mules provide a better indication of how the finished product will look. The HR-V’s nose seems to take inspiration from the 11th generation Civic prototype, with a similar headlight setup and more pronounced radiator grille.
Honda has now confirmed that the HR-V will feature its new e:HEV hybrid powertrain, which could see the newcomer steal a march over the petrol-only Nissan Juke. We’ve already seen the system on the new Jazz. It combines a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, two electric motors and a dinky lithium-ion battery pack.
The petrol engine can power the wheels via a single-speed gearbox and a locking clutch, or it can be used as a generator. The latter setting sends electricity to either the battery pack or, if the cells are depleted, to the electric motors directly.
In the Jazz, the system has an output of 80kW. However, it’s likely that the system fitted to the taller, heavier HR-V will be tweaked to generate more power, offering a catch-all alternative for both petrol and diesel crossover buyers.
Like the new Civic, Honda will probably launch the HR-V on the Japanese market first, with an Australian launch yet to be confirmed.