In a first for a Honda SUV in Europe, the all-new Honda CR-V is available with advanced hybrid powertrain technology. The Honda Hybrid Performance system is enabled by Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) technology, comprising two electric motors, a power control unit, an Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, lithium-ion battery and an innovative fixed gear transmission delivering high levels of refinement, responsiveness and efficiency.
At a 40mph cruise, the CR-V Hybrid will typically run in EV Drive for more than half of the time. At 62mph the car will be in EV Drive for approximately one third of the time, whilst achieving the CRV’s maximum speed, the car will run in Hybrid Drive.
Honda’s unique i-MMD technology is so-named as it intelligently and automatically switches between three driving modes to provide the highest possible efficiency when driving. These modes comprise: EV Drive, where the lithium-ion battery supplies power to the electric propulsion motor directly; Hybrid Drive, where the engine supplies power to an electric generator motor, which in turn supplies it to the electric propulsion motor; and Engine Drive, where the engine is connected directly to the wheels via a lock-up clutch.
In most urban driving situations, the CR-V Hybrid will shuffle between Hybrid Drive and EV Drive for optimum efficiency. In Hybrid Drive, excess power from the petrol engine can also be diverted to recharge the battery via the generator motor. EV Drive permits pure-electric propulsion and gives the CR-V a zero-emissions range of around 1.2 miles (2km) depending on the driving condition and battery charge. The Engine Drive mode is the most efficient set-up for cruising at higher speeds and it can be supplemented by an on-demand power ‘boost’ from the electric propulsion motor to supplement engine torque under certain conditions
Rather than using a conventional transmission, a single fixed-gear ratio creates a direct connection between moving components, resulting in a smoother transfer of torque. This format means Honda’s system is more compact than a planetary eCVT typically found in other hybrid vehicles, as well as being more refined.
Engineers on the CR-V Hybrid programme have worked hard to ensure that the transfer between power sources – including the engine stop-start function – is virtually imperceptible to the occupants. The smooth transfer of torque means there is no driveline shunt or undesirable feedback through the pedals or steering wheel, and the near-silent powertrain means the CR-V Hybrid boasts outstanding NVH management.
The fixed-gear format of Honda’s i-MMD system has been specifically tuned for the European market to provide a linear feel through acceleration, with optimised calibration between throttle input and powertrain response, to ensure the engine sound matches the driver’s expectations. In addition, the first application of Active Sound Control to CR-V also enriches the drivers experience delivering the natural sound of acceleration relative to the engine speed.