Honda CR-V Hybrid Prototype Set For Frankfurt Debut

Shopping for a compact crossover with a hybrid powertrain? Honda may soon have an answer for you.

The Japanese automaker is set to unveil its CR-V Hybrid Prototype at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show, previewing the popular crossover’s electrified powertrain. While this Hybrid Prototype is technically a pre-production version of a model planned for Europe, it does provide significant clues as to future Honda offerings in North America.

The compact crossover market is set to be awash with hybrid powertrains in 2018 and with American consumers steadily moving toward crossovers as their vehicle of choice, an electrified CR-V in American showrooms seems like a logical step.

The CR-V Hybrid Prototype deploys an Accord-Hybrid-derived Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive system, dubbed i-MMD. It is comprised of a 2.0-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder gasoline engine for electrical energy generation and propulsion, an electric propulsion motor, and a separate electric generator motor.

The i-MMD system determines how to use fuel and electrical energy most efficiently, meaning there is no requirement on the driver to adjust between the three driving modes. Honda has called the three modes EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive.

In EV Drive, the propulsion motor draws its power solely from the batteries, delivering zero-emissions driving. When set to Hybrid Drive, the gasoline engine supplies power to the electric generator motor, which in turn delivers power to the electric propulsion motor. In this mode, excess power from the gasoline engine is diverted back via the generator motor to recharge the battery pack. In Engine Drive, the wheels are directly driven by the gasoline engine, with an ‘on-demand’ boost available from the electric propulsion motor.

READ MORE: Honda Reveals CR-V Hybrid in China

Uniquely, Honda’s hybrid system does not use a conventional transmission, instead utilizing its electric motor drive as a virtual transmission enabling a smooth transfer of torque.

Toyota already offers an electrified version of its RAV4 which, it should be noted, currently outsells the aging, but more-efficient Prius c and Prius v. Ford has recently committed to stuffing the Escape full of electrons. Nissan is joining the party with a Rogue Hybrid.

Honda has previously stated that it intends to have a full two-thirds of its fleet electrified in one form or another by the year 2030. The CR-V Hybrid is scheduled to go on sale in European markets early next year.


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