The Honda SUV e:concept wasn’t the only electrified vehicle making its debut at the Beijing Motor Show this year, as the Japanese carmaker also wheeled out the new CR-V PHEV. This will be the first Honda vehicle introduced in China equipped with a plug-in hybrid system, and it’s set to go on sale in early next year.
In China, the plug-in hybrid model will be marketed as the Sport Hybrid e+, joining the Sport Hybrid and Sport Turbo in the brand’s Chinese line-up. While the CR-V PHEV looks rather similar to its non-PHEV counterparts, there are specific cues to help create some visual distinction. At the front, the LED headlamp clusters feature wavy graphics within them, and they flank a three-slat grille and blue-tinged Honda logo – the latter also applies to the regular hybrid model.
The CR-V PHEV also appears to sport a gloss black finish for the lower apron trim and cladding around the wheel arches, along with a unique wheel design. An “e:PHEV” badge on the tailgate further marks it out as a plug-in hybrid model, with everything else being rather familiar. No shot of the interior just yet, but expect some minor changes and additional controls for the powertrain.
On that mention, Honda says the model will be powered by its dual-motor, Sport Hybrid i-MMD system, which is also found in the Accord Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid. However, the company didn’t reference either of those models, and instead mentions the Clarity Plug-in Hybrid in its press materials.
What we do know is the setup consists of an Atkinson-cycle i-VTEC DOHC petrol engine, an electric motor, eCVT and a lithium-ion battery, with outputs being unknown. Its operation is same as the hybrid versions of the Accord and CR-V, with the engine tasked with generating electricity for the electric motor that drives the wheels in most situations. However, at highway speeds, a lock-up clutch connects the engine to a single-ratio gearbox to drive the wheels directly.
Looking at specifications for the Clarity PHEV sold in Japan, the CR-V PHEV could feature an electric motor rated at 184 PS and 315 Nm of torque, along with a 1.5 litre four-cylinder mill with 105 PS and 134 Nm. The latter is smaller in capacity than what the Accord Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid uses (a 2.0 litre), but this could be done to ensure the CR-V PHEV enters a lower vehicle tax bracket in China.
Honda China also listed the sedan’s Japanese JC08 efficiency figures, which include an all-electric range of 114.6 km – top EV speed is 160 km/h – and max hybrid range of 842.6 km. Key to the impressive EV range is a 17-kWh lithium-ion battery, which has substantially more energy capacity when compared to the CR-V Hybrid’s 1.4-kWh unit.
Based on the uploaded video, the CR-V PHEV will also support AC charging with a Type 2 connection. We’ll only know more when Honda China releases detailed specifications closer to the model’s launch date. Is the plug-in hybrid SUV something that should be offered in Malaysia?
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