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New Hybrid-Only Honda HR-V Revealed

Honda’s sleek, coupe-like HR-V SUV has been given a radical new makeover for 2021.

And there’s a bold new direction when it comes to what’s under the bonnet, too, with traditional engines being jettisoned for hybrid-only powertrains.

The last incarnation of the HR-V crossover could be had with pure petrol and diesel power plants.

But Honda is on a much-stated mission to electrify all its mainstream models in Europe by 2022.

And therefore the 2021 incarnation of the HR-V will be ‘e:HEV’ only, in a bid to lower CO2 emissions and to prevent owners being stung in the wallet at the petrol pumps.

Honda is yet to reveal what, precisely, the e:HEV will comprise, but what we do know is that it’ll be a self-charging system that makes use of two motors, as well as a 1.5 litre petrol engine, that ‘intelligently switches between three driving modes’ to conserve fuel.

There’s a similar system at play in the new Honda Jazz e:HEV, which returns up to 62 miles to the gallon. If the HR-V can get anywhere near that figure, lease customers will be smiling.

And then there’s the way the new HR-V looks. Honda says the vehicle is a product of a ‘seamless, clean design philosophy in line with recent Honda models’, while it still retains all the class-leading space and versatility of the outgoing model.

There’s a new integrated grille, longer bonnet and sharper, more vertical sides, which maximise interior space. The bonnet centre is also low and flat, with a shoulder line that flows to the base of the A-pillars, ‘projecting a sense of stability and security that further enhances the SUV aesthetic’, says Honda.

As with the exterior, the interior has been given a premium overhaul, with soft-touch materials, a horizontally-swept instrument panel, and a sense that everything has been designed to look as uncluttered as possible.

Also new for 2021 is a ‘diffusion system’ that creates a ‘curtain of fresh air’ beside and above passengers, flowing from unique L-shaped vents positioned in the top corners of the dashboard.

And HR-V fans will be pleased to note that the trademark Honda ‘Magic Seats’ have also been retained, which can either fold flat or flip up depending on the amount of space you need.

A Honda spokesperson adds: “The all-new HR-V delivers exceptional hybrid efficiency and advanced safety and technology features, all incorporated into a bold and sleek coupe-inspired form designed to enhance the class-leading interior space and comfort the nameplate is known for.”

It’ll be available in Europe from late 2021.

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Thursday, 30/06/2022