A completely reinvented Honda CR-V will land next year with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain

The next generation of the Honda CR-V will be more of a revolution than a mere evolution, a new report finds.

A teaser sketch published by Honda’s Japanese division suggests the next CR-V will share more than a passing resemblance to the tenth-generation Civic that was introduced last year. Notably, it will ditch the elongated vertical tail lamps that have characterized the CR-V since the original model was introduced in 1997 and adopt much smaller units with C-shaped LED inserts.

The Japanese car maker has confirmed that the next CR-V will ride on an evolution of the platform that underpins the vaunted new Civic. The standard model will continue to offer seating for five passengers, but rumors claim Honda will expand the CR-V lineup with a longer version capable of seating up to seven passengers.

More changes will be found under the hood. Japanese website Response reports the CR-V will be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain made up of a gasoline-burning 2.0-liter four-cylinder and at least two electric motors. The first-ever plug-in CR-V will be sold alongside non-electrified variants. The palette of engines will allegedly include an evolution of the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that powers the current model, and a small-displacement four-banger equipped with a turbocharger. Both front- and all-wheel drive models will be available, though every CR-V will ship with an automatic transmission.

The next-generation Honda CR-V is tentatively scheduled to arrive in 2017 as a 2018 model, a time frame that indicates we’ll see it debut at a major American auto show next year. Honda has a long tradition of previewing its upcoming cars with thinly-veiled concepts, so it’s reasonable to speculate we’ll get a preview of the next CR-V either later this year in Los Angeles or early next year in Detroit.

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