The new generation HRV uses two electric motors driving the front wheels to assist the regular 1.5 litre Atkinson cycle petrol engine but it’s not a plug-in hybrid.
The 131 PS maximum powertrain develops 253 Nm (187 lb.ft) at 4,500 rpm and is essentially a boosted version of that in the Honda Jazz. It comes as the Japanese brand commits to electrifying all mainstream models by 2022. It’s also announced today plans to phase out petrol and diesel engines by 2040.
A massive fifth door opens from knee-height with hands-free technology and Magic Seats are fitted to dramatically increase capacity and versatility of the five-seater.
Inside, big windows give a feeling of space and a new type of climate control filters and distributes air without blowing in faces. For the driver, controls are close to hand and unlike most newcomers the touchscreen does not include essential features which are still managed by switches below the display and what is done on-screen has efficient shortcuts to minimise distraction.
Seamless connectivity is provided by the 9-inch touchscreen and there’s a seven-inch instruments display infront of the driver. Safety systems now utilise the latest visual and Artificial Intelligence technology to “read” the road ahead and behind, identifying dangers and other road users and warning the driver.
For the first time on the SUV it is fitted with hill descent control to assist in off-road or winter road conditions and the e:HRV has a 1 cm (0.39 in) lift to its ground clearance, but it’s not all-wheel-drive.
Further details will be released closer to the car’s on sale date.