Honda reveals a trio of prototypes set for the European market
The Paris Motor Show has brought about many surprises from its attending manufacturers. Lamborghini, Infiniti and Toyota have all unveiled concepts that may or may not make it to production. Honda, on the other hand, has unveiled not one, but three new prototype vehicles that are set to hit European showroom floors from 2015.
The first prototype in the Honda trifecta is the new HR-V, a European variant of the popular CR-V that marks Honda's entry into the European small SUV market. Designated solely for the European market the HR-V features Honda’s 1.5 liter i-VTEC gas engine as well as an optional 1.6-liter i-DTEC diesel engine. Both engines are paired up with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard to manage power to the front wheels. The petrol powerplant can be fitted out with a semi-automatic CVT transmission if desired.
From the outside, the HR-V presents a decreasing roofline that gives the smallish SUV a coupe-like appearance. Compared to the CR-V, the new HR-V appears smaller and more stylish than its larger sibling. Inside, Honda has moved the fuel tank to the center of the vehicle in order to optimize interior space. The inclusion of Honda's "Magic Seats" take advantage of this, folding in various ways to provide a range of seating configurations, including the ability to fold the second row seats completely flat for added cargo space.
The European HR-V is scheduled to go on sale in the European summer of 2015.
The second Honda prototype on display at the 2014 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris was the new Jazz targeted at the European market. It packs a new 1.3 liter i-VTEC engine that boasts improved fuel economy and higher performance thanks to what Honda refers to as "Earth Dreams Technology." Like the HR-V the Jazz will partner up the wee engine with a six-speed manual gearbox to power the front wheels, or the CVT transmission if requested.
Similar to the HR-V, the Jazz also features a central mounted fuel tank and Honda’s Magic Seats to make the interior more versatile and spacious. The rear seats, which can be folded flat, are mounted further back in order to provide extra legroom and added space when required.
The Jazz prototype shown in Paris utilizes a new body shell that is 15 mm (0.6 in) longer than the previous model and features new styling details. The Jazz’s wheelbase has also been increased by 30 mm (1.18 in) in an effort to push the wheels out to the corners, further freeing up additional interior space.
The Jazz is also set to go on sale in Europe next summer.
The third offering in Honda’s Parisian lineup was the newly updated 2015 CR-V. This AWD model from the Japanese manufacturer will run a new high output 1.6 liter i-DTEC 4-cylinder diesel engine, and when paired with an optional nine-speed automatic gearbox is reported to be cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing 2.2 liter diesel.
Power output for the new diesel four-banger is rated at 158 hp (118 kW) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. When paired up with that nine-speed gearbox, Honda reports CO2 emissions to be 20 percent reduction over the outgoing model. When paired up with the six-speed manual gearbox, CO2 emission are cut by 11 percent over the previous model. The two-wheel drive variant of the CR-V, available with a manual gearbox, will retain a 120 hp (89 kW) 1.6 liter diesel as standard.
On the outside, the new 2015 European CR-V gets a facelift in the form of new headlamps, a newly designed front grille and bumper, fog lights and an integrated skid-plate. At the back, Honda has treated the CR-V to a reworked tailgate and bumper, plus LED combination lamps to finish the deal.
The new European CR-V is set to go on sale in the spring of 2015
Visitors can see the Honda offerings at the Paris Motor Show from October 4 to October 19.