In a first for a Honda SUV in Europe, the all-new CR-V will be available with advanced hybrid powertrain technology. The Honda Hybrid Performance system features intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) technology comprising two electric motors, an Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and an innovative direct transmission delivering high levels of efficiency and refinement.
The CR-V Hybrid is equipped with an efficient 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, a powerful electric motor and a lithium ion battery pack. The maximum output is 184 PS (135 kW) with torque of 315 Nm.
Rather than using a conventional transmission, a single fixed-gear ratio creates a direct connection between moving components, resulting in a smoother transfer of torque. This format means Honda’s system is more refined than a planetary e-CVT typically found in other hybrid vehicles.
Honda’s unique i-MMD technology is so-named as it intelligently and automatically switches seamlessly between three driving modes to provide the highest possible efficiency. These modes comprise:
EV Drive – draws energy from the lithium-ion battery pack to power the electric propulsion motor and drive the wheels (with the petrol engine turned off)
Hybrid Drive – the petrol engine powers a second motor/generator that supplements electrical energy from the battery pack
Engine Drive – A lock-up clutch mechanism creates a direct connection between the petrol engine and the wheels.
In most urban driving situations, the CR-V Hybrid will automatically transition between Hybrid Drive and EV Drive for optimum efficiency. In Hybrid Drive, excess power from the petrol engine can also be diverted to recharge the battery via the generator motor. The Engine Drive mode is the most efficient set-up for high-speed highway cruising.
At a moderate cruise, the CR-V Hybrid will typically run in EV Drive for more than half of the time, whilst at faster speeds, the car will be in EV Drive for approximately one third of the time. The control software of the i-MMD system will constantly decide when to shuffle between these modes to maximise efficiency dependent on the situation and environment, without input from the driver.
Engineers on the CR-V Hybrid programme have worked hard to ensure that the transfer between power sources – including the engine stop-start function when stationary – is virtually imperceptible to the occupants. The smooth transfer of torque means there is no driveline shunt or undesirable feedback through the pedals or steering wheel, and the near-silent powertrain means the CR-V Hybrid boasts outstanding quietness.
The i-MMD system has been tuned to provide a linear feel through acceleration, with optimised calibration between throttle input and powertrain response, to ensure the engine noise matches the driver’s expectations.
Honda’s new CR-V Hybrid has a unique Vehicle Driver Information Interface (DII) screen that displays the current drive status and allows the driver to understand how the energy sources combine to power the vehicle. The readout shows the lithium-ion battery charge, a graphic of the current power flow, and the recharging status of the system.
Production of the 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid for European markets is set to start in October 2018, with the first customer deliveries in early 2019.