The 2021 Honda HR-V will follow its Civic sibling in getting a crisper, more conservative look.
Set to be revealed on February 18, patent images shared by Facebook user Vanhoe Rage appear to reveal the production version of the next-generation Honda HR-V, or Vezel as it’s known in markets like China and Japan.
The grille is no longer bisected by a thick bar hosting the Honda logo and instead has a shield shape to it with a 3D-style insert.
There also appears to be a horizontal chrome bar across the lower fascia, with more conservative fog light cutouts.
Along the sides, the sweeping, curved crease of the current car is gone, replaced by a neat, horizontal crease that sits just below the sill line and connects the tail lights to the headlights.
Notably, the C-pillar rear door handles look much the same as the current car.
Down back, there’s still a sloping rear window but the tail lights have shrunk, though a light bar now extends across the tailgate to the logo.
In Europe the new HR-V — as with all new Hondas launched there — will be sold solely with electrified drivetrains, in this case a hybrid.
Honda has yet to reveal which hybrid drivetrain it will use in the HR-V, but the most likely candidates are the 80kW/253Nm 1.5-litre system from the new Jazz, or the 158kW/315Nm 2.0-litre setup from the CR-V and Accord.
While the current HR-V is one of the most global Honda models, being offered in markets like Europe, Australia, North America, China and Japan, there’ll be a second, distinct HR-V for North America.
Honda currently offers two different versions of the HR-V in China – the Vezel (HR-V) and XR-V – for its two different joint-venture partners.
Notably, the current XR-V has a similar tail light design to the car revealed in the patent images.
Battery-electric versions of the HR-V are sold there as the Everus VE-1 and Ciimo XN-V, while the premium Acura brand sells a restyled version called the CDX.
The Australian-market HR-V is currently sourced from Thailand, along with the Jazz, CR-V, Accord and Civic ranges, excluding the Type R.
Introduced in 2015, it’s proved more successful than the quirky first-generation HR-V sold here from 1999 to 2001.
Offered only with a naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine, the HR-V was the fifth best-selling vehicle in the hotly competitive Small SUV segment last year.
It’s been a consistent seller for Honda, too, with the company selling around 11-12,000 examples most years except for last year, where it and most rivals saw double-digit declines.