Back in March 2022, Honda announced that it would release a new C-segment SUV in Europe in 2023. Now, with the launch date looming large, the Japanese brand has confirmed the car’s name and offered some basic details about the its specifications.
It’ll be called the Honda ZR-V – and it’ll sit between the HR-V and the CR-V in the brand’s line-up, adding yet another vehicle to the hotly contested family SUV class. Key rivals will include the Peugeot 3008, Skoda Karoq and Volkswagen T-Cross.
Honda has already pledged that all of its mainstream European cars will be electrified by the end of 2022 – and the new ZR-V will be no exception. It’ll be powered by the brand’s clever dual-motor e:HEV hybrid powertrain, versions of which are also found under the latest HR-V and the eleventh-generation Civic.
Earlier this year, Honda released some teaser images of the new ZR-V – and the sketches look suspiciously similar to the next-generation version of the US-market HR-V, which is set for launch later this year. Compare the image at the top of the page to the image of the North American HR-V below. Uncanny, isn’t it?
Honda has already confirmed that this US car will be based on the same platform as the latest Civic, suggesting it’ll be powered by the 2.0-litre version of the company’s e:HEV hybrid powertrain. In the Civic, the system develops 181bhp and 258lb/ft of torque. For comparison, the European HR-V’s smaller 1.5-litre e:HEV system develops 129bhp and 187lb/ft of torque.
Honda’s e:HEV system is fairly unusual as hybrid powertrains go, as the petrol engine isn’t directly connected to the wheels. Instead, the engine works like a generator, producing electricity to drive the motors. There’s also a small battery on board, which allows the powertrain to travel short distances on electric power alone.
The ZR-V will also lift its interior from the Civic, sharing the same 10.2-inch digital gauge cluster and 9.0-inch infotainment system. The driving position will also be lifted up to suit the new SUV body, while the boot should be a little more practical as it won’t have the same rakish tailgate as the hatchback.
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