According to a report on Japanese publication CarSensor, Honda is planning a new SUV to slot above the recently launched Honda HR-V, but smaller than the CR-V, with a launch in the home market of Japan in September 2022. The unnamed model (a ‘Honda HR-V Plus’ if you would like) would be meant for global left- and right-hand drive markets too.
Honda HR-V ‘Plus’ akin to the Passport’s strategy
Honda is identifying gaps in its lineup that show growth potential and is plugging them with SUV/crossover models. It made a similar move with the Honda Passport, which sits between the CR-V and Pilot, and with the HR-V Plus, the larger, boxier SUV derivative could be positioned just beneath the CR-V. The crossover body type is showing no signs of slowing, and in the 2020s it is imperative for manufacturers to have a crossover equivalent of even the ever-so-popular hatchback and sedan nameplates that have dominated for decades.
Dimensions & Platform
According to CarSensor, the SUV will measure around 4500 mm long, 1800 mm wide, and 1625 mm high putting it bang in between the new generation HR-V (4,340 mm) and the current CR-V (4,596 mm) which will be replaced with the next-gen model in 2022. The HR-V Plus will be based on the Civic’s platform and will target buyers with an active outdoor lifestyle.
While the second-generation HR-V has gone on sale in many markets, for USA and Canada, Honda is developing a slightly different model with spy shots showing a larger footprint than the HR-V. It emerged last year that Honda would develop two variants of the HR-V – a stylish coupe-roofed model (on sale globally) and a boxy SUV (arriving next year) – to meet the unique demand of the global markets. Will the HR-V Plus be the new HR-V to Americans from next year? We’ll find out next year!
The HR-V Plus could use a variant of the Euro-spec HR-V’s e:HEV powertrain which combines a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle i-VTEC petrol engine with two electric motors for a combined 131 hp and 253 Nm of torque. With CO2 emissions of 122 g/km (WLTP) and fuel efficiency of 5.4L/100 km (WLTP), the HR-V accelerates from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 10.6 seconds.
What powertrain engineers could do for the HR-V Plus is increase the number of battery cells. On the Jazz, the powertrain features 48 cells, increased to 60 for the HR-V e:HEV, and which could get a further revision for the HR-V Plus’s larger size. One cannot rule out the possibility of a pure combustion variant for select markets where the price is an issue.
Honda has announced it will electrify all mainstream models in Europe by the end of 2022, and in the United States, the carmaker targets 40 percent of its sales to come from electric or fuel cell vehicles in 2030.
Featured Image – Honda