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Honda gives CR-V a hybrid heart for Frankfurt


On sale in a number of markets since late last year but in South Africa from last month, Honda has unveiled a prototype hybrid version of the CR-V expected to make its official debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week.

Essentially serving as a replacement for the 1.6-litre turbodiesel model sold in Europe, as well as being its first electric SUV to go on sale on the continent, the CR-V Hybrid employs a normal 2.0-litre normally aspirated petrol engine combined with an electric motor and a separate electric generator motor, Honda refers to as i-Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD).

While no further technical details or indeed power output have yet been revealed, Honda has stated that the setup does without a conventional transmission, instead offering a fixed single gear ratio allowing for a smooth delivery of torque, as well as a direct connection between the various moving components.

As part of the i-MMD, the hybrid CR-V offers three driving modes that the vehicle automatically activates to create the perfect balance between power and efficiency. In EV Drive, power comes solely from the electric motor, while the next step-up, Hybrid, powers the electric motor using the petrol unit. In Engine Drive, power is provided only by the petrol engine with "on-demand" boosts available for short periods from the battery.

Sales of the CR-V Hybrid is expected to commence in Europe next year, although the chances of it being offered in South Africa are slim.       

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