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Shanghai show: Honda goes green with CR-V hybrid

Green dream: The hybrid version of the CR-V will not be coming Down Under, as it is a China-only model.

Hybrid Honda CR-V unveiled at Shanghai not for Australia

Honda logo20 Apr 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

HONDA has unveiled a hybrid version of its upcoming all-new CR-V mid-size SUV at this week’s Shanghai motor show, but the green soft-roader will not be coming Down Under as it will be a Chinese market only model.

Details of the hybrid’s powertrain are yet to be announced, with the Japanese company only announcing the vehicle will use Honda’s Sport Hybrid i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) two-motor hybrid system.

It is possible that the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol unit borrowed from the Civic that will be used on the new CR-V could provide internal combustion power for the hybrid system, while the other option is an aspirated 2.4-litre engine carried over from the previous model.

Honda Australia public relations manager Neil McDonald told GoAuto that if the hybrid CR-V were to eventually be offered to other markets, it would be hard to justify offering it Down Under.

He added that while Honda is always looking at what is available in other markets, the low take-up of hybrids, lack of incentives and the improved fuel efficiency of modern internal combustion engines made it difficult to put together a successful business case.

Honda has previously blazed a trail with hybrid vehicles in Australia, with variants of the Jazz, Civic, Accord and Insight as well as the hybrid-only CR-Z sportscar all introduced in recent years only to be discontinued.

The only hybrid model left in the Australian Honda line-up is the $420,000 NSX supercar.

Honda Motor Co president, CEO and representative director Takahiro Hachigo said that electrified vehicles play a large part in Honda’s future development.

“With a goal to make two-thirds of our global automobile sales from electrified vehicles by around 2030, Honda will pursue the development of electrification technologies more speedily,” he said.

“In China, where dynamic change is happening, we will continue proposing new forms of mobility products by utilising our global and local development capability to the fullest extent and quickly introducing new technologies such as electrification and intelligence technologies.”

The CR-V Hybrid will go on sale in China in the second half of 2017, about the same time that the new-generation CR-V goes on sale in Australia.

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