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Honda CR-V Hybrid Debuts in China, Waits to Leap Across Pacific

2017 Honda CR-V - Image: Honda

It’s really a matter of when, instead of a question of “will it?”

This week’s Shanghai auto show saw the premiere of an electrified Honda CR-V that should hit Chinese dealers in the second half of this year. When that vehicle will get a chance to battle rivals on American turf remains a secret, but it’s abundantly clear that the model has a future on this continent.

Built in China by the Dongfeng Honda Automotive partnership , the model’s exterior doesn’t diverge from the gas-powered model we saw arrive for the 2017 model year. That’s because it’s what’s underneath that makes the vehicle extra marketable.

The hybrid version of the wildly popular compact crossover uses Honda’s i-MMD two-motor system — a setup found on the upgraded 2017 Accord Hybrid. Honda didn’t release specifications for the CR-V, though the Accord version makes a combined 212 horsepower from a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and two electric motors. That model stores its juice in a 1.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.

The Accord Hybrid also gets 49 miles per gallon in the city and 48 mpg combined, though a less-svelte crossover would see worse fuel economy, assuming the unit is a direct carryover.

At the auto how, Honda president Takahiro Hachigo reiterated the company’s pledge to draw two-thirds of its global sales from electrified vehicles by 2030. A lofty goal, and one that makes the CR-V Hybrid’s entry into the U.S. a given.

When Green Car Reports asked Honda if we can expect this model, a company spokesperson replied, “We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks.  CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we’ll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date.”

With this model in its stable, Honda would find itself better armed to battle two chief rivals — the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue — each of which offers a hybrid variant.

[Image: Honda]

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