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New 2018 Honda CR-V hybrid prototype previewed at Frankfurt

Honda’s CR-V hybrid prototype has featured at Frankfurt, showing styling clues set to feature on the European version of the new SUV

Honda have previewed the CR-V hybrid prototype SUV at the Frankfurt Motor Show, which will launch in the UK at some point in 2018.

We’ve already seen the new CR-V – the American market model was revealed in October last year – but the prototype that will take to the stage at Frankfurt is the first time the firm’s next Hyundai Tucson rival has been seen in Europe, and will boast a number of tweaks specifically for the European market.

The ‘Hybrid Prototype’ specifically boasts a handful of unique styling changes drawing attention to its electrified powertrain. Under the skin it features an all-new Intelligent Multi Mode Drive (i-MMD) two-motor hybrid setup, composed of an electric motor, a 2.0-litre petrol engine, plus a separate electric motor generator.

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The new system disposes a conventional gearbox in place of a single-fixed gear ratio, in a bid to reduce weight and size. It’s the same powertrain we drove in prototype form earlier this year, but now it’s being readied for production in Honda’s next SUV.

The system automatically shuffles between its three driving modes depending on conditions and how the car is being drive. A pure EV mode and a hybrid drive setting are tuned for low speed and urban driving, but range on electric power alone won’t challenge that of the many plug-in systems already on sale. The petrol engine can kick in to power the wheels on motorways, but is also used to deliver power to the electric motor and recharge the battery pack.

Alongside the hybrid reveal, Honda has announced that the European C-RV will be available with a 1.5-litre VTEC turbo petrol mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a CVT transmission. There will be no diesel option in European markets. More in-depth detail will be revealed when the production specification car is unmasked early next year.

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