Honda might say the new HR-V has been developed specifically for North America, but the ZR-V unveiled today in Japan is nearly identical. “Z Rabout Vehicle” has already been introduced in China where it looks pretty much the same. It will also launch in Europe next year to put between the market-only HR-V and the next-generation CR-V that was unveiled earlier this week at US.
The JDM model has a grille that differs from its US sibling by switching from a honeycomb pattern to vertical slats reminiscent of the Maserati Grecale Trofeo. The front bumper has also been reshaped while the mandatory orange side markers have been removed. At the rear, the new Honda ZR-V gets a dual exhaust system with a very large finish that gives the crossover a sporty look.
The interior is more the same in a sense carried over from the HR-V, which shares most of the cabin with the latest Civic. However, we see the ZR-V eschewing the bulky gear lever for the automatic transmission in favor of a button which gives it a more modern and cleaner layout. It’s also got a burgundy theme with orange stitching creating a cozy atmosphere.
Compared to the US-spec HR-V, the most important difference is under the familiar skin. While the North American model is powered exclusively by a 2.0-liter petrol engine that produces 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, the spec JDM ZR-V gets a hybrid setup from the Civic e:HEV. This is the car shown here, with the blue Honda logo and the e:HEV badge on the tailgate. Alternatively, the compact crossover will also be offered with a 1.5-liter petrol unit, and both will get AWD in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Full technical specifications will be revealed in the coming months leading up to September when Honda will open the order book for the ZR-V in Japan. The equivalent European model is destined for a 2023 launch and will also be electrified to echo the Euro-spec HR-V. Speaking of hybrids, the upcoming Civic Type R will be the company’s last ICE-only car on the Old Continent.