The year kicked off with the launch of the revised CR-V, equipped with a new more powerful version of Honda’s 1.6-liter i-DTEC engine. This unit can be specified with a nine-speed automatic transmission, the first application of this gearbox in Honda’s European range. Inside, the car benefited from the new Honda Connect infotainment system, providing drivers with next-generation infotainment features and support for the latest smartphones.
The launch of the CR-V was quickly followed by another sub-compact SUV, the HR-V. This release marked the return of Honda to a segment it defined with the original HR-V, providing sporty looks and handling while retaining clever packaging and efficient powertrains. The HR-V has been selling strongly since its introduction, and was recently nominated in the shortlist for the 2016 AutoBest award.
A popular variant or an icon returning to the line-up in mid-year is none other than the Civic Type R. Built exclusively at Honda’s HUM manufacturing facility in Swindon, UK, the car is being exported for sale in the Japanese market. With the majority of the first year’s allocation sold at launch, the Type R has gained widespread critical acclaim, including the Hot Hatch of the year award at the Scottish Car of the Year and Sporty Car of the Year from French magazine Echappement. In the motorsports scene, the Type R topped the year by claiming its first major title: the British Touring Cars Championship drivers and constructors honors.
The year is rounded off by the unveiling of the Jazz, the sub-compact MPV. Building on the strengths of one of Honda’s best-loved variants, the Jazz featured an all-new 1.3-liter VTEC engine, an aggressively restyled exterior design and a full range of Honda SENSING active safety features. The Jazz successfully received a five-star rating from Euro NCAP , following some rigorous testings.
Looking forward to 2016, Honda is expecting a continued resurgence in Europe with two more anticipated variants: the new NSX and the Honda Clarity Fuel Cell. Meanwhile, HUM will be developing its capabilities ready to assume responsibility for global production of the 10th generation Civic five-door from 2017 onwards.
Edited: Honda Europe