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AIMS: Honda Australia locks in CR-V debut

On show: The Jazz Hybrid will co-headline the Honda Australia stand at AIMS 2012 alongside the new CR-V (pictured below).

Honda to stage two Australian debuts at AIMS with the CR-V and Jazz Hybrid

Honda logo2 Oct 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

HONDA Australia has announced the crucial new-generation CR-V compact SUV will make its first local appearance at the Australian International Motor Show on October 18, one month before it hits showrooms in mid-November.

The fourth-generation ‘soft-roader’ will be one of two new Honda models making their Australian premiere at AIMS, alongside the long-awaited petrol-electric Jazz Hybrid.

The company today confirmed its vital new CR-V will come in three specification levels, two of which will be available in cheaper front-wheel-drive configuration (a first for the car Down Under), allowing Honda to better compete with key compact SUV rivals.

All models at launch will be sourced from Thailand and will be powered by a revised version of the old model’s 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, developing 138kW and 221Nm.

However, in another first for the company’s Australian subsidiary, the CR-V will be available with a 110kW/350Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel version from mid-2013 which – as we revealed in July – will sourced from the UK alongside the Civic hatch.

Honda Australia sales and marketing general manager Stephen Collins said the company expected the new model to follow in the tracks of its predecessors, which have sold 133,000 units in Australia since the pioneering first generation was launched here in 1997.

“We are really looking forward to the CR-V’s Australian debut,” he said. “The fourth-generation CR-V has been a great success so far around the world and we know Australians will embrace the upgrades to its styling, features and handling Honda’s engineers have made.

“The CR-V has been one of Honda Australia’s most successful models. The segment has been rapidly expanding since the introduction of the CR-V back in 1997 and it has performed very well for us in that time.”

Sales of the current-shape CR-V – launched here at the start of 2007 – are down 45.8 per cent this year due to the hangover from Thailand’s devastating floods that crippled CR-V supplies in the first half.

Meanwhile, as GoAuto exclusively reported in August, the pint-sized Jazz Hybrid will make its local premiere several months before it hits Australian showrooms in early 2013 – where it will become the fourth Honda-badged hybrid alongside the CR-Z coupe, Civic sedan and Insight hatch.

The Thai-sourced petrol-electric hatchback features a drivetrain that combines a 65kW/121Nm petrol engine with a 10kW/78Nm electric motor, and sends power through the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Honda claims fuel consumption figures of 4.5 litres per 100km – a saving of 1.3L/100km over the base Jazz petrol – although this figure falls short of the 3.9L/100km achieved by the $23,990 Toyota Prius C, its only petrol-electric light-car rival.

Joining the CR-V and Jazz Hybrid at AIMS will be the rest of Honda’s Australian range, sales of which have recovered by 5.6 per cent this year as supply out of Thailand has returned to normal following the disastrous floods of 2011.

These models include the CR-Z – the current model, not the facelifted version shown in Paris last week – Civic sedan and hatch, Accord, Accord Euro, Odyssey, Insight, Jazz and City.

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