Honda revealed its new CR-V plug-in hybrid-electric (PHEV) crosover this week. The reveal took place at the 2020 Beijing Motor Show. While details from Honda are presently limited, we can make some assumptions and do a preliminary comparison to the hot 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime PHEV.
CR-V PHEV - What Honda Told Us
So far, Honda has not divulged the full specifications for the new CR-V PHEV. Nor has he company said when it will arrive in the U.S. (or if it will at all). However, Honda did say this: "The CR-V PHEV uses Honda’s original 2-motor hybrid system, SPORT HYBRID i-MMD, with further improved efficiency of the battery and converter system. This system realizes the “most EV-like feel” in virtually all areas for everyday driving, including driving performance, responsiveness and quietness.'
So, we can surmise that the CR-V PHEV will have a system similar to the 212 total hp system the Clarity PHEV now has. While the CR-V is a bit larger and a bit heavier, it is not meaningfully so. However, it would be a surprise if Honda did not enhance the power and perhaps also battery size for the CR-V.
CR-V PHEV - Our Projections
We would expect the CR-V PHEV for the American market to have a total system power between 220 and 250 hp. Honda has no need to match the RAV4 Prime's 300 hp. Torque is what really matters, and the CR-V will have plenty from its electric motors.
We would expect a range between 40 and 50 miles on a fully-chaged battery, and that the battery and range would satisfy the requirement for the full EV federal income tax benefit of $7,500.
All-wheel drive is typically a requirement for crossovers, but Honda may opt to keep the PHEV front wheel drive and leave the AWD market to its current Hybrid trim. Hopefully not, and the AWD system would be part of the CR-V PHEV.
One thing we can almost be certain will not make an appearance in the Honda CR-V PHEV is a spare tire. If that is a priority for you, the Toyota RAV4 Prime may be your best bet.
Honda says that the CR-V PHEV will become the first Honda vehicle in China equipped with a plug-in hybrid system. This model is scheduled to go on sale in January 2021. Our bet is that the CR-V PHEV debuts in the U.S. in Q1 2021 and goes on sale mid-year.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin
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