Honda has added a new Sport model to its HR-V small SUV lineup in Europe, as part of the 2019 range upgrades.
Powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged gasoline engine lifted from the Civic range, the newcomer is designed to offer sportier styling and more dynamic driving experience.
Externally, the Sport model is set apart by its black grille, which differs from the chrome fitted to the standard car. It’s an aesthetic that continues at the back of the vehicle, with a glossy black trim piece stretching across the tailgate and a ‘smoked’ look to the tail lights.
There are wheel arch mouldings, too, along with a more aggressive rear bumper, dual exhaust pipes and black door mirror caps. The look is finished off with model-specific 18-inch black alloy wheels.
Inside, meanwhile, the car gets the standard 2019 HR-V’s new seats, which are designed to be more supportive, but garnishes them with black and dark red upholstery, while the usual pale roof lining is replaced with sportier black trim.
Gallery: 2019 Honda HR-V Sport
Full specifications are yet to be announced, but Honda’s publicity images appear to betray the fitment of satellite navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity and cruise control, as well as two-zone climate control and heated seats.
Under the skin, there are equally sizeable changes. Not only is the new 180-horsepower engine shoehorned under the hood, but the suspension and chassis have been tweaked to improve the car’s ride and handling.
Honda has applied what it calls "Performance Damper" technology to the HR-V Sport. Fitted to both the front and rear suspension, the system counteracts the car’s movement through corners and over lumps and bumps, keeping the car flatter and improving both handling and ride comfort.
The Sport also has a model-specific steering set-up with Honda’s Agile Handling Assist system. By using a variable electric power steering system to change the amount of feel through the wheel depending on parameters such as speed and steering angle, Honda says the car delivers "a steady response at on-centre and near-centre steering angles, and a smoother response at off-centre steering angles."
As standard, the car will come with a six-speed manual transmission, but customers who prefer automatics will be able to specify a CVT auto version.
Honda is yet to announce a starting price for the new HR-V Sport, and the car won’t even arrive until the spring in European dealers.
Gallery: 2019 Honda HR-V Sport
HONDA ANNOUNCES NEW HR-V SPORT WITH 1.5 VTEC TURBO ENGINE
- New version for HR-V range equipped with 182 PS petrol engine
- Sport grade car fitted with advanced 'Performance Damper' technology
- Dynamic styling pack with black chrome elements; 18-inch alloy wheel
Honda has revealed details of the new HR-V Sport, a specific grade for the revised 2019 model equipped with the 1.5-litre VTEC TURBO petrol engine as well as dynamic upgrades to the chassis and suspension. The HR-V Sport benefits from the refreshed exterior styling and interior upgrades of the standard 2019 HR-V, with additional bespoke design features.
The 1.5-litre VTEC TURBO engine in the new HR-V Sport was first seen in the latest generation Honda Civic. The muscular four-cylinder engine gives the 2019 HR-V enhanced performance, with peak power of 182 PS (134 kW) at 5,500rpm for 6MT and 6,000 rpm for CVT . Equipped with a six-speed manual (6MT) as standard, maximum torque of 240 Nm is delivered between 1,900 rpm and 5,000 rpm. With the optional CVT, 220 Nm is delivered between 1,700rpm and 5,500 rpm.
Honda developed the HR-V Sport to cater to buyers who want a more dynamic driving experience from a subcompact SUV. As part of a package that aims to deliver an optimised balance of body rigidity, suspension control and steering feel, the HR-V Sport is equipped with bespoke 'Performance Damper' technology. The damper system is integrated at the front and rear of the car and works by counteracting the relative lateral and torsional movement through the chassis. It keeps the car flatter through corners, enhances stability during sudden lane changes, and reduces vibration over uneven roads.
The steering set-up is unique to the model, employing a variable ratio electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system, which is complemented by Honda's Agile Handling Assist technology. It delivers a steady response at on-centre and near-centre steering angles, and a smoother response at off-centre steering angles.
Upgrades to the elegant exterior design include a new interpretation of Honda’s 'Solid Wing Face’ graphic, with a high-gloss black chrome panel that replaces the darkened chrome of the standard 2019 HR-V. An exclusive black honeycomb finish is applied to the front grille garnish, which also carries over into the fog light surrounds.
The HR-V Sport comprises dynamic styling elements, including a slim front splitter, side skirts, plus wheel arch mouldings and a more aggressive rear bumper – all finished in black. Sport trim also includes black door mirror caps, dual exhaust pipes and 18-inch alloy wheels in a unique design.
LED headlights come as standard and incorporate high and low beams, LED indicators and LED daytime running lights. At the rear, a black chrome garnish across the tailgate mirrors the trim at the front, while the tail lights are enhanced with a dark ‘smoked’ effect and black inner bars as the standard 2019 HR-V.
Inside, new seats for the driver and front passenger – carried over from the standard 2019 HR-V – provide enhanced support in the seat cushion and back rest. The dynamic styling continues in the interior with exclusive combi seats in black & dark red combined with black roof lining to enhance the sporty appeal.
Production of the 2019 model year Honda HR-V Sport is set to start in December 2018, with the first customer deliveries in Spring 2019.