The Honda ZR-V e:HEV has been unveiled overnight in Japan. While it’s essentially a rebadged American HR-V there are a host of small changes, and few big ones under the bonnet.
Compared to the American HR-V that debuted in full at the beginning of June, the Japanese ZR-V has a different front bumper that’s smoother and doesn’t feature the large gloss black faux air intakes of its American sibling.
The grille shape is largely same, but is filled with a series of vertical black slats instead of a honeycomb mesh.
Along the sides the ZR-V has body-coloured wheel arch protectors and side skirts rather than the HR-V’s gloss black treatment.
At the back body colour has again replaced gloss black for the bumper. Unlike the US HR-V, which has hidden exhaust tips, the ZR-V features chrome-tipped finishers surrounded by a silver faux bash-plate element.
Similar differences appear inside the cabin too. The ZR-V’s dashboard can be had with a top section that’s colour-coded to the seat, centre console, door and arm rest trims.
Ahead of the driver there’s a completely digital instrumentation display, whereas the American HR-V pairs a 7.0-inch info screen with a physical speedometer.
Compared to the all-black interior of the North American HR-V, the ZR-V looks like a classier and more upscale proposition.
The hybrid ZR-V pictured here also junks the petrol-only US HR-V’s traditional gear shifter for a line of buttons and switches.
Under the bonnet the ZR-V e:HEV comes with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder hybrid system that’s borrowed from the Civic. The automaker hasn’t published the ZR-V’s outputs, but we know the Civic e:HEV makes a total of 135kW.
While the Civic hybrid is a purely front-wheel drive proposition, the ZR-V e:HEV will be available with both front- and all-wheel drive.
In Japan the ZR-V will also be sold with a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine driving the front or all four wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Again Honda has yet to publicly reveal how many ponies the ZR-V turbo will have to its name. Depending on model and market, the 1.5-litre turbo is available in 95kW/180Nm, 131kW/240Nm, and 149kW/260Nm guises.
American HR-V buyers, for now, only have engine to choose from, a 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine making 118kW at 6500rpm, and 187Nm at 4200rpm.
Honda Japan will begin showing the ZR-V to the public from August, with sales and deliveries likely to start later in the year.
Like the American HR-V, the ZR-V should be around 4567mm long, 1839mm wide, between 1610mm and 1621mm tall, and ride on a 2654mm wheelbase.
This places the new crossover squarely between the 4.35m HR-V available in local showrooms, and the upcoming sixth-generation CR-V that’s nearly 4.7m long.
Honda Australia has confirmed it will launch a crossover to sit between the HR-V and CR-V. Although it has yet to officially announce its name or any other details, it would be surprising if it’s not the ZR-V or something very, very similar.
The company has also indicated both the upcoming CR-V and ZR-V will be available locally with a hybrid drivetrain option.