It’s been rumored before, and now Honda is preparing a hybrid version of its popular CR-V.
Unveiled this week in Shanghai, and to be built by its joint-venture partner Dongfen, then released in China after the midway point of this year, the CR-V Hybrid is expected to utilize a dual-motor powertrain.
Whether it would also be built and produced in other markets has not yet been stated, but it would make sense for Honda if it did.
If you’ve not noticed, the sedan market has declined, and the crossover and SUV market are on the rise. In the U.S., the Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid has catapulted over former heavyweight sellers to second or third place monthly. Nissan also is launching its Rogue Hybrid to get in on the act.
Honda knows it needs to fortify its hybrid assortment in North America, and otherwise has announced ambitious global plans for its product line to be two-thirds electrified by 2030.
Honda media representative Chris Martin told HybridCars.com Honda has also said the dual motor powertrain used in the Accord would find its way into other U.S. models.
The automaker is already preparing to launch the Clarity PHEV this year with a 1.5-liter engine version of the Accord Hybrid’s system that itself is paired with a 2.0 liter.
Honda has not announced the size of the dual motor powertrain in the pending Chinese-market CR-V Hybrid.
It has said the system in the Accord Hybrid is the most sophisticated available, and a massive 18-22 mpg jump in efficiency is provided compared to the regular 4 cylinder Accord.
In the world of crossovers that can include AWD, the mpg improvements by hybridization have not however tended to be so great. The RAV4 Hybrid is only 6-8 mpg more efficient than the RAV4 non-hybrid four-cylinders.
Likewise the Nissan Rogue Hybrid is only 4-7 mpg more efficient than four-cylinder conventional stablemates.
That said, Honda’s dual motor powertrain is incrementally more efficient than the Camry spec system in the RAV4 Hybrid and perhaps it has more headroom above its base 27-30 mpg?
Assuming a comparable increase or slightly better, an eventual U.S. market CR-V Hybrid might push upper 30s, even low 40s depending on how energetic Honda’s engineers are.
No word yet has been given on a plug-in CR-V variant.