The all-new Honda HR-V will hit showrooms later this year, bringing with it a unique proposition to the crossover segment. Combining the dynamic styling and lavish interior of a coupe with the size and practicality of an SUV, the Honda HR-V is part of Honda's latest range of vehicles actively demonstrating the brands pioneering approach to technological advancements.
Project Leader Masaki Kobayashi, who has been part of the design team from the start, knows the HR-V better than anyone. He is familiar with every line, curve and material in its class-leading interior space and is proud of how the Honda team have managed to blend practicality, precision and emotion into the design to create something truly unique.
“We didn't want to just create a downsized SUV," explains Kobayashi. “Honda already has the CR-V, which combines the virtues of an SUV and a lighter, more nimble conventional car, so the HR-V needed to offer something different. The development team set a goal to create a new value of theme from the very start of the project."
Honda's new theme was the combination of elegance and fluidity found in a top of the range coupe with the practicality and strength of an SUV.
“Combining high eye-point and toughness – core values of an SUV – with a new level of emotion was the key. So we came up with an exterior concept encapsulated by 'Emotionality and Toughness' and an interior concept called 'Personal Cockpit and Expansiveness.' We wanted to fuse apparently conflicting values to create something fresh."
Kobayashi and his team identified the target market for the HR-V as 'active people who enjoy both their work and home life' indicating that they would have a high sense of balance between practicality and fashion.
“It was very difficult to create the desired interior space, ease of use and sheer capaciousness hand-in-hand with dynamic and emotional design... The designers and engineers discuss everything on a millimetre level... You might even call them arguments! But by having these open discussions the project can really take shape."
One of the biggest testaments to the intense and highly-detailed process is the cohesiveness of the HR-V design, something that Kobayashi is extremely proud of. “Fusion of a cabin shape with good aerodynamics and a strong lower body became the basis of HR-V's dynamic form, and what's satisfying is that we were able to create a product with no compromise in terms of function and design."
The all-new HR-V is the end product of Honda's determination to offer something unique and innovative to the SUV market that will affect the lives of real people and families.
“Honda is a place where we use our will to create new values without being bound by the past," says Kobayashi. “That is our driving force. From a creator's perspective it is an interesting and stimulating environment. That sense of moving forward and also listening to the users who live with our products around the world is very exciting."
The HR-V will be powered by a 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine mated to a newly-engineered six-speed manual transmission, returning fuel economy figures from 71 MPG whilst emitting just 104g/km of CO2.
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