Honda has made it official; The 2020 CR-V Hybrid will arrive in the United States early this coming year. And yes, it does offer all-wheel drive. This new greener CR-V could well challenge the current top-selling green vehicle in America, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD. "The Honda CR-V is the best-selling CUV over the past two decades and the updates we've made to the 2020 model, including a new hybrid-electric variant, solidify its position as a leader in the compact SUV market," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The CR-V Hybrid also signifies our direction to bring Honda hybrid-electric technology to all core models and to invest in the production of electrified vehicles in America."
The new 2020 CR-V Hybrid will be powered by the two-motor system that Honda now uses to propel the Accord Hybrid. The engine will be a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency. Honda says buyers should expect a 50% increase in the city fuel economy compared to the conventionally-powered CR-V. Expect a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 41 MPG. The RAV4 Hybrid AWD presently offers a 40 MPG Combined rating.
The CR-V's two-motor hybrid drive system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission. It provides smooth and seamless power delivery similar to a pure electric vehicle. The CR-V Hybrid will be capable of EV-only operation in certain situations. The intelligent power unit (IPU) is very compact and contains the hybrid battery pack and its control systems. Mounted under the cargo floor, it allows the new CR-V Hybrid to offer excellent cargo utility, including a 60/40 split rear seatback with a flat load floor. Peak total system horsepower for the CR-V Hybrid will be 212, making it the most powerful CR-V offered.
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The CR-V Hybrid will be the first application of all-wheel drive to Honda's two-motor hybrid system in the U.S. When the available traction is low, Honda says an electronic clutch activates, sending the appropriate level of power from the electric motor to the rear wheels. This will enable all-weather operation.
The new 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will be an almost entirely-American-Made vehicle. Honda's Russells Point, Ohio, plant will manufacture the CR-V Hybrid's two-motor power unit and the crossover will be assembled in the company's Greensburg, Indiana plant. Dealers will have inventory on-hand in early 2020.
In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.