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New Honda HR-V comes with hybrid technology

New Honda HR-V comes with hybrid technology New Honda HR-V comes with hybrid technology
The new Honda HR-V gets a 1.5-litre hybrid powertrain.

Honda is gearing up to launch its new HR-V. Well, actually it's not gearing up, because the HR-V has only the one gear...

Single gear ratio

In fact, the HR-V's 1.5-litre hybrid setup uses a very similar system to that essayed by the larger CR-V, which effectively uses its e:HEV hybrid electric motor to drive the wheels through a fixed-ratio gear, while the petrol engine is really there more as a generator than anything else. That is until you need extra power, when the petrol engine can kick in and directly drive the front wheels. It's clever, fuel-saving stuff and Honda reckons that the fixed gear transmission creates much less resistance through minimised gearing, ultimately consuming less energy when driving purely electric.

Indeed, Honda is quoting 5.4 litres per 100km fuel economy (that's 52.3mpg) on the WLTP cycle, along with CO2 emissions of 122g/km. The hybrid setup will shove the new HR-V from 0-100km/h in 10.6 seconds.

No need to plug in

Rather like rival Toyota, Honda is touting the new HR-V's combination of efficiency and low-stress usability: "With no need to plug-in and charge, the HR-V is suitable for every driving situation, combining the responsive performance and efficiency of an electric vehicle with the usability and flexibility of traditional petrol and diesel powered cars" said Honda in a statement.

Needless to say, the 1.5-litre petrol engine uses Honda's longstanding VTEC variable valve timing system for greater efficiency, and runs on the fuel-saving Atkinson combustion cycle (which holds the intake valves open for a fraction of a second longer than a conventional Otto cycle engine). The hybrid battery is based on that used by the Honda Jazz hybrid, but gets 60 power cells, compared to the 48 cells of the Jazz.

F1 experience

Tying all of that together is an engine control unit that shuffles between Electric Drive, Hybrid Drive or Engine Drive depending on which is the most fuel-efficient drive mode at that specific driving situation.

The driver can also choose between Sport and Normal modes depending on how you feel on any particular day.

And if you think a Sport mode on a fuel-sipping hybrid is a bit pointless, then Honda is here to remind you that its hybrid technology is influenced by its experience designing hybrid Formula One engines for Red Bull and Alpha Tauri. Let's not forget that, at the time of writing, Honda power leads the 2021 F1 World Championship...

Irish buyers will get their chance to sample the new HR-V later this year.

Published on July 30, 2021
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