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2020 Honda CR-V Gets New U.S.-Built Hybrid-Electric Version

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  • CR-V is America's most popular CUV over the past 22 years
  • Honda's first hybrid-electric SUV leads plan to electrify light trucks
  • New investments and jobs to build 2020 CR-V Hybrid in Indiana

Detroit September 18, 2019; America's best-selling crossover of the past two decades gets a major boost with the introduction of the 2020 Honda CR-V, sporting freshened styling, new features and upgraded powertrains—including a new CR-V Hybrid to be built in the company's Greensburg, Indiana plant1. The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is the first electrified SUV from the Honda brand in America, joining the Accord Hybrid and Insight as the third electrified Honda manufactured in the U.S. as the company moves to apply its advanced two-motor hybrid-electric system to all of its core U.S. models in the years ahead.

In addition to the new hybrid-electric variant, major upgrades to the 2020 CR-V include bolder front and rear styling, re-designed wheels and standard Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technology (previously available only on EX and above trims). All non-hybrid 2020 CR-V models are now powered by the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo engine, previously available only in EX and above trims. The 2020 CR-V will go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide this fall, followed by the launch of the all-new CR-V Hybrid in early 2020.

Production of the CR-V Hybrid for the U.S. market will take place at Honda's Greensburg, Indiana plant alongside CR-V and the Insight hybrid sedan. The company will invest $4.2 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid. Honda's Russells Point, Ohio, plant will manufacture the CR-V Hybrid's two-motor power unit, and the company's Anna, Ohio, engine plant will produce its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.

"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."

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Honda Electrification Initiative

Honda is targeting two-thirds of its global automobile sales to come from electrified vehicles by 2030. In North America, Honda is focusing on the expanded application of its advanced two-motor hybrid-electric technology as the most effective means to meet customer needs while realizing significant near-term gains in fuel efficiency and accompanying reductions in CO2 emissions that contribute to global climate change.

U.S. sales of electrified Honda vehicles are on track for a third consecutive year of growth. For the first eight months of 2019, sales of Accord Hybrid, Insight and Clarity have reached 42,270 combined sales, propelling Honda electrified vehicle sales to year-over-year gains of 67.9 percent. In 2018, Honda set a new record of 49,914 electrified vehicle sales in the U.S., which were nearly double 2017 results.

Advanced Powertrains

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid promises substantially improved fuel efficiency while maintaining CR-V's award-winning balance of interior space, driving dynamics and comfort that has made CR-V such a success with American buyers. The CR-V's advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, shared with the current Accord Hybrid, combines two electric motors with a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency, the highest for any mass-produced Honda engine.

The CR-V's two-motor system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission for smooth and seamless power delivery similar to a pure electric vehicle, and boasts a broad range of electric-only operation. The compact intelligent power unit (IPU), containing the hybrid battery pack and its control systems, is mounted under the cargo floor, allowing the new CR-V Hybrid to retain excellent cargo utility, including a 60/40 split rear seatback with a flat load floor. Peak total system horsepower is 212, up from 190 HP on the CR-V, along with an anticipated 50 percent increase in the EPA city fuel economy rating compared to the CR-V. 

The CR-V Hybrid also marks the first application of all-wheel drive to Honda's two-motor hybrid system in the U.S. When available traction is low, an electronic clutch activates, sending the appropriate level of power from the electric motor to the rear wheels. Detailed specifications on the new CR-V Hybrid, including EPA fuel economy ratings, will be provided closer to on-sale timing early in 2020.

Also for 2020, all non-hybrid CR-V models, including LX, are powered by the efficient 1.5-liter DOHC, direct-injected VTEC Turbo powerplant rated at 190 horsepower (SAE net), with responsive and refined performance across the engine's full operating range. Available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations, power is transmitted through a smooth yet sporty continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda G-Shift control logic.

Sophisticated Interior and Exterior Styling

Exterior styling updates to the 2020 Honda CR-V result in a more upscale and rugged appearance. In front, broad openings for the fog lights are fully integrated into the bumper, giving the 2020 CR-V a more aggressive look, while the chrome grille is more pronounced. CR-V EX, EX-L and Touring trims get round LED fog lights, while CR-V Hybrid models in the same trims get distinctive bar-type fog lights with five LEDs.

CR-V Hybrid models will also get hybrid badging and a distinctive blue Honda logo in the center of the grille. In the rear, all CR-V trims feature sophisticated new dark-tinted taillights and a new dark chrome treatment for the garnish below the rear glass, better integrated with the more darkly tinted rear window. In addition to hybrid badges on the hatch, CR-V Hybrid Touring trims receive a unique rear bumper. CR-V Hybrid also has a hidden tailpipe, while non-hybrid CR-V Touring trims get new chrome exhaust finishers for a sporty appearance. All CR-V EX and EX-L trims, including Hybrid, get newly designed 18-inch wheels with a dark gray and machined finish, and Touring trims get a new, larger 19-inch wheel and tire (+1 inch).

Three new exterior colors are available for 2020: Sonic Gray Pearl and Radiant Red Metallic on standard and Hybrid models, and new Aegean Blue Metallic is available exclusively on non-hybrid models.

Inside, the new CR-V Hybrid is distinguished from non-hybrid models through its unique interior trim. Most apparent is the new push-button gear selector flanked by three switches for Econ, Sport or EV mode. Econ mode alters throttle inputs to help driver's maximize fuel efficiency, while Sport enhances throttle response for a more aggressive feel, with the engine sound enhanced by Active Sound Control for a sportier note. EV Mode allows the CR-V Hybrid to operate under electric-only power when the hybrid battery has a sufficient charge.

The instrument panel also is unique to CR-V Hybrid models, and features a display for power/charge status, as well as a driver-selectable display for power distribution and regeneration. CR-V Hybrid models also receive deceleration selector paddles on the steering wheel. By clicking the left paddle, drivers can increase the amount of regenerative braking from the hybrid system's electric motor when decelerating.

All 2020 Honda CR-V models and trims benefit from a redesigned center console bin that is easier to use and offers more flexible storage options, and CR-V Touring trims now come standard with Qi-compatible wireless cell phone charging. Additional in-vehicle technology includes a color TFT driver-information interface (DII) center meter display, available 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio interface with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto integration, and an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. Also available are remote engine start, dual-zone climate control, an Electric Parking Brake (EPB), rear USB charging ports, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment, driver's seat with 8-way power adjustment and 4-way power lumbar support, and heated front seats. All CR-V models, including the hybrid model, continue to offer top-class interior space with legendary Honda versatility.

Advanced Safety and Driver-Assistive Technology

With the 2020 model year, all Honda CR-Vs now come standard with the Honda Sensing® suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, including:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and pedestrian sensing capability
  • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed follow
  • Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS)

Additional driver-assistive technologies include the available blind spot information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam headlights.

CR-V Hybrid models benefit from a new Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) designed to increase awareness by pedestrians when travelling under electric-only power. A speaker mounted in the front bumper generates a distinct audible alert that varies in volume depending on vehicle speed and is easily noticeable to pedestrians, but nearly inaudible to the driver or passengers under most circumstances.

The 2020 Honda CR-V also incorporates Honda's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, helping CR-V achieve the highest possible collision safety ratings, including an NCAP 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and targeting a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  

Chassis Technology

The 2020 Honda CR-V and CR-V Hybrid maintain the same agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and superior overall versatility versus its competition. Its front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension use specially tuned low-friction dampers, with both FWD and AWD models including tubular front and solid rear stabilizer bars that promote responsive turn-in and flatter cornering. Dual-pinion, variable ratio Electric Power Steering (EPS) also contributes to the CR-V's direct and satisfying steering feel. For CR-V Hybrid, an electronic servo brake pedal maintains a firm and linear brake feel like its non-hybrid sibling.

About CR-V
With U.S. retail sales of the Honda CR-V approaching 5 million units since its U.S. launch in 1997, the CR-V has been America's best-selling crossover SUV over the past 22 years. The current-model, 5th-generation CR-V is manufactured in plants in North America, in Marysville and East Liberty, Ohio; Greensburg, Indiana; and Ontario, Canada. Retail sales of CR-V this year tally more than 200-thousand units, putting CR-V on-pace for its seventh year in a row for sales of 300-thousand units or more. 

About Honda
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive vehicles with advanced safety technologies sold through over 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Fit, Civic, Insight, Accord and Clarity series passenger cars, along with the HR-V, CR-V, Passport and Pilot sport utility vehicles, the Ridgeline pickup and the Odyssey minivan.

Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 35 years and currently operates 19 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In the first half of 2019, nearly 90 percent of all Honda brand vehicles sold in the U.S. were made in North America, while nearly two-thirds were manufactured in the U.S., using domestic and globally sourced parts.

Honda Executive Remarks from the 2020 Honda CR-V Debut

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Detroit September 18, 2019; Art St. Cyr
Vice President, Automobile Operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

Good morning, everyone. It's great to be back in Detroit. My last visit was in June, when our Honda-powered Indy Car teams swept the dual on Belle Isle. 

I know we're all looking forward to next June and a different kind of "Dual in Detroit", the Detroit Grand Prix and the new Detroit Auto Show. And I think Steve and Sage will back me up, Honda will be here in force for both.

But now let's get to the business at hand – the unveiling of our new 2020 CR-V Hybrid, our first hybrid-electric SUV for the Honda brand. 

A few months back, our sales leader, Henio Arcangeli, spoke at an APA lunch about our "cars still matter" story. Honda took over as America's retail #1 passenger car brand in 2018 and this year we've picked up more share than any other mainstream brand, with nearly 20 percent of the retail market. Cars are still major volume players in our lineup, at around 47 percent of our mix.

They're also critical for bringing new young buyers to our brand, with Civic as the best-selling model, car or light truck to Millennials, to Gen Z and to multicultural buyers. And Accord is close behind in all the same categories.

But this morning, I want to focus on several other key aspects of the business – fortifying our light truck lineup, asserting Honda's leadership in vehicle safety, and expanding our electrified vehicle portfolio and the CR-V Hybrid speaks to each of these areas.

On light trucks in the past year, we had major refreshes for the ‘19 Pilot and HR-V, and we launched an all-new Passport. These models along with continued strong results for CR-V, have been driving our growth.

We've booked 7 straight years of record sales for Honda SUVs and CUVs with 9 years of continuous growth.

And while minivans aren't the story of the day, as a former development leader for the Odyssey, I have to mention that the current Odyssey is now running at 43 percent of retail minivan sales. And it's on track to be the #1 minivan in America for the 10th straight year.

On safety, we're moving aggressively to fulfill our Safety for Everyone commitment, which includes making Honda Sensing standard on every vehicle in our lineup. We now have over 2.5 million Honda Sensing-equipped-vehicles on U.S. roads, which is helping reduce both the frequency and severity of collisions. 

These technologies are also helping build customer understanding and confidence for the highly automated vehicles of the future.

For the 2020 CR-V, we're bringing Honda Sensing down to our LX Trim, which will take us to 90% application of Honda Sensing for the Honda lineup.

Finally, on electrification, we're moving to electrify virtually all of our core models, cars and light trucks.

By 2030, we want two-thirds of our global vehicle sales to come from electrified products, as part of our effort to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. We're approaching this challenge with a realistic view of both a gradually evolving market and the business challenges that still remain in bringing electrified products into the mainstream.

Our main focus will be hybrids, accounting for around half of global sales by 2030.

But there will be growing numbers of BEVs as well, as we target 15 percent all-electric vehicles in that same time frame.

The Honda E that we're getting ready to launch in Europe and Japan is a great example of how we can make exciting and appealing BEVs that are unique to Honda.

We recently showed a new Honda EV architecture, based on these same ideas, great styling and packaging, accommodating rear- or all-wheel drive and enabling performance, utility and range to meet U.S. market needs.

And using this architecture, we intend to introduce appealing and affordable BEVs for the U.S. market in the years ahead.

For the immediate future, however, we see hybrids as the best way to bring electrified powertrains further and more quickly into the mainstream and in the process, we are creating customers for the full-electric vehicles of the future.

With our two-motor system, we can significantly improve fuel economy and lower GHG emissions while also delivering the performance, refinement and utility that our customers need and expect.

So, with all of these things in mind, strengthening light trucks, advancing safety and expanding electrification, it's my pleasure to introduce the all-new CR-V Hybrid!

This new CR-V brings electrification to our best-selling model, building on 22 years of CR-V success and market leadership.

The first-gen CR-V arrived in 1997 as one of the first of a new breed of crossovers, before the word even existed.

Over five generations, CR-V has steadily evolved and brought a whole generation of Honda buyers along with it.

It's the outright best-selling crossover in America over the past 22 years. In fact, we're just shy of the 5-million-mark for U.S. sales, which we'll hit sometime in the next month or two. 

Of course, there is no shortage of competition today but we're happy to see CR-V still winning comparisons against new models like the RAV4, which goes to show how far ahead of its time our 5th-gen CR-V really was.

But time stands still for no car, so we've made some important improvements for 2020.

First, our LX trim now gets the 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engine that's already in our EX and higher trims, which means more power, torque, and fuel economy.

Second, as I mentioned before, Honda Sensing will be standard. These are two big upgrades for LX, which makes up about a quarter of all CR-V sales.

All CR-Vs also get design updates, including a new grille and new lighting designs for all trims, new projectors for LX, EX and EX-L, and new LED headlights and fog lights for Touring.

In back, smoked taillights, new darker chrome trim and a darker rear glass create a more sophisticated look. And Touring adds new dual chrome exhaust finishers as well.

There are also new 18-inch wheel designs for EX and EX-L, and for Touring grades, we've redesigned and upsized the wheel and tire from 18 to 19 inches.

For the hybrid, we have unique 5-lamp LED fog lights and a blue Honda logo, and in back we've got concealed exhaust finishers. And, of course, there's hybrid badging on the front quarters and tailgate.

Moving inside, there's a redesigned center console for all grades with more conveniently placed USB ports and more flexible storage. Our Touring trim also gets wireless charging, wood accents, and a heated steering wheel.

For the Hybrid, there's an exclusive push-button gear selector, drive mode buttons, and steering wheel paddles to select regen braking levels and also a new driver's meter, and remote engine start for all trims.

Moving to the hybrid powertrain, CR-V gets the latest version of our two-motor system. It's very similar in design to the Accord Hybrid, with a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine operating primarily as an electric generator with two motors, a generator motor, and a 181-horsepower drive motor.

Peak system output is 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque.

EPA ratings aren't final, but we're expecting a substantial increase in efficiency over the gas model – almost 50% in the city. This will make the CR-V Hybrid the most refined, quickest off the line, and of course most fuel-efficient CR-V in our lineup.

Additionally, it spends a relatively high amount of time in EV mode compared to the competition, adding to around-town efficiency. 

With the batteries packaged under the rear floor, the CR-V Hybrid retains the same great utility as the gasoline model, with folding-flat rear seats… and the same top-class rear passenger comfort.

It's also worth noting that this is our first Honda Hybrid with all-wheel-drive. In fact, all-wheel-drive will be standard on all hybrid trims.

In terms of the trim lineup, the Hybrid will look just like the gasoline model, from LX up to Touring.

And as you can see on the slide, we've got hybrid-exclusive features on all trims and all that detail is captured in your press materials as well.

Now, in terms of on-sale, the gas-powered model will launch this fall, and it will continue to be produced at four plants in North America, in Ohio, Indiana and Canada.

The new Hybrid will follow early next year, and pricing and EPA numbers for each will be coming out a little closer to launch.

One final piece of news, and this is especially timely, given that just last week we marked 40 years of building products in America.

Our new CR-V Hybrid for the U.S. market will be built exclusively at Honda Manufacturing of Indiana.

We're investing an additional $4.2 million and creating 34 new jobs to support production of the CR-V Hybrid in Indiana, with production starting early next year.

This will be our third U.S.-made hybrid, along with the two cars here in the room – Insight, also made in Indiana and Accord, from our Marysville Auto Plant. 

Our Ohio transmission plant will supply the two-motor unit for CR-V, and the Anna Engine Plant will make its 2.0-liter engine.

As you can see, as we advance electrification through our core model lineup, so, too, are we advancing our ability to produce electrified vehicles and components at our plants here in America. And, this is key to the future of our electrification strategy.

So that's our story today.

We're making important strides with this new CR-V to support light truck growth, to advance our commitment to safety, and move us forward into the electrified future. 

Before I invite you up for a closer look, we're going take 30 seconds to reposition the car for better photos.

Thanks, everyone!