UPDATE 1: U.S. specs released (see below)


So the embargo has been officially lifted on Honda's new products for 2007 and Honda Motor Europe has released details of the new CR-V, which, except for choice of engines, should be identical to the U.S. model. Before we begin, we thought you should know that Honda refers to the CR-V's softer side window outline as a "coupe-like tapering side window profile". Whatev, on with the deets.

The new CR-V is powered by a 166-horsepower inline four generating 161 ft-lbs. of torque. The only thing swapping cogs on the U.S. version will be a standard five-speed automatic. The ute is lower to the ground by 1.37 inches and wider than its predecessor by 1.18 inches, which, along with suspension and chassis tweaks, should make the CR-V handle even more like a car. Honda has also revised its Real Time 4WD system, which can now send 20% more torque to the rear wheels if slip is detected.

We've already talked our tongue's off about the new CR-V's appearance, so we'll just add that the rear-mounted spare tire has been moved to beneath the rear cargo floor (yay!) to make room for a rear liftgate that now opens vertically.

Some of the more advanced technology on the new CR-V that might give it an edge over the competition includes a radar-based Adaptive Cruise Control system coupled with a Collision Mitigation Braking System. The first can maintain a set distance between the CR-V and a car ahead when cruising, while the second will warn the driver of an impending collision before actively applying the brakes itself. The new CR-V also has Active Front Lighting that turns the HID lamps along with the vehicle. It's impressive to find these features on a small SUV, as less than a year ago they were only available on premium luxury cars.

Honda Motor Europe's full press release can be found after the jump, along with 40 pics of the new CR-V.

[Source: Honda]

UPDATE: First thing we noticed is that the Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking System and Active Front Lighting are not mentioned at all in the U.S. press release, leading us to the conclusion that those high-end options will not be available here. Regardless, the CR-V will be available in the U.S. in three trim levels – LX, EX and upscale EX-L. Above the standard features included on the LX, the EX gets a one-touch power moonroof, chrome grille, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, the dual-deck cargo shelf, a six-disc CD stereo and 17-inch alloy wheels. The EX-L adds leather trim, heated front seats, body-colored heated side mirrors and door handles, XM satellite radio, and a subwoofer. A satellite navigation system with rearview camera is only available on the CR-V EX-L. EPA estimated mileage will be 23/30 mpg on the CR-V LX 2WD model. Honda will be announcing the CR-V's price at a later date. Check out the full U.S. press release after the jump.


















Press release:

HONDA ANNOUNCES ALL-NEW CR-V

An entirely-new CR-V goes on sale in the UK from January 2007. It promises a driving experience as good as a D-sector saloon car, improved equipment levels and Honda's latest advanced safety technology. All this, and the CR-V remains as practical as ever.

The outgoing model dominated retail sales charts since launch, set new standards in the SUV sector and remains the benchmark vehicle for its impressive road manners and versatility. With the market becoming increasingly crowded, Honda has raised the bar further – the latest CR-V is even better on the road, has a more sophisticated interior and it's even more practical.

A lower centre of gravity (reduced by 35mm), wider stance (increased by 30mm) and a number of changes to steering and suspension geometry have all helped to enhance the CR-V's handling characteristics. Steering response is faster and feels more direct, while directional stability and all-round agility also benefit from further development to the car's chassis.

While the on-road capabilities of the CR-V are much-improved, its off-road skills have been tweaked as well, with a revised Real Time 4WD system that detects front wheel slip and promptly sends torque rearwards. The new system – which, like the outgoing model, features a quiet, dual-pump system with a one-way cam unit – can transfer 20 per cent more torque compared to the existing unit. This 4WD set-up not only allows light off-road driving, but also helps maintain stability on the road – in snow or other slippery conditions, for example.

Improvements made to the driving dynamics are reflected in the styling of the vehicle – a coupe-like tapering side window profile gives the CR-V a similar shape to a car. The front has been given a bold presence, with a distinctive double grille as the focal point, flanked by projector-style headlights and a large bumper. It all makes for a muscular front end, emphasised by the car's wide track and 17- or 18-inch wheels. At the rear, a vertically-opening tailgate is the main design feature, sandwiched between roof-high strips of lights, and notably, the spare wheel has gone – it's now hidden under the load compartment floor.

Two active safety systems are available on the new CR-V, and they're unique to the SUV segment. The first, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a radar-controlled cruise control function which maintains a set distance to the vehicle in front, while Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) predicts collisions and warns the driver, before applying strong braking and retracting the front seatbelts if the situation becomes critical. Both these systems are optional depending on grade.

Elsewhere, a full complement of passive safety measures includes dual stage SRS front airbags, side airbags for front seat passengers, full length curtain airbags, front and rear seatbelt reminders and active front headrests – all fitted as standard.

The new CR-V also incorporates Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) as standard which together with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) ensures that towing safety is continuously monitored and corrected. Importantly, towing capacity on the diesel-engined CR-V is increased from 1500kg to a very competitive 2000kg.

Honda anticipates a class-leading Euro NCAP 5-star rating for occupant protection, 4-stars for child protection and a 3-star pedestrian rating. It achieves excellent levels of safety through a strong body structure design, made from 58 per cent high tensile steel.

Active Front Lighting (AFS) – headlights that turn to illuminate the road in the direction the vehicle is heading – also make their way onto the CR-V for the first time. This system uses High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps.

Inside the cabin, accommodation remains generous and the dimensions are similar to the previous CR-V. Load space, however, is extended backwards to take up the space left by the former tailgate-mounted spare wheel. Access has been improved by larger doors that open wider, and lower sills.

The interior is high quality, featuring metallic elements on the dash and doors that contrast with soft textured black trim. Front seats are larger and more comfortable and the steering column is adjustable for reach as well as rake. Relocation of the gear lever to the base of the centre stack brings it closer to the steering wheel and creates more floor space.

Depending on grade, more premium equipment is available, including a driver's 8-way adjustable power seat, leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and a rear view camera.

Top spec CR-Vs are equipped with a panoramic glass roof – similar to that found on the Civic – which provides an even lighter cabin. This can be closed off by two electric blinds which are covered in the same material as the roof lining.

The rear seat (split 60:40 at base, 40:20:40 seat back) is able to slide forward to maximise leg room or luggage space and can also recline for added comfort. The centre section folds flat to enable longer items to be carried while still accommodating two rear seat passengers. A huge load area is created by tumbling forward the seats, storing them upright. This is big enough for two mountain bikes with their front wheels still in place.

Added flexibility is provided by a novel 'Double Deck' luggage area, created by a shelf that sits at a height of 330mm above the load floor. It means luggage can be subdivided, with that on the lower level more easily accessible. The shelf is also hinged across its width for added convenience. When not in use, the shelf can either be removed or stored snugly in a recess in the floor.

Power comes from a new 2.0-litre petrol or a 2.2 diesel engine. Honda's celebrated 140PS 2.2-litre i-CTDi diesel continues; but as aerodynamic efficiency is improved by 12 per cent, fuel economy proves even better.

The petrol engine is an all-new unit based on the 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC from the Civic range. And like that engine the 2.0-litre features latest VTEC and friction reduction technologies, plus the delayed closure of the intake valves combined with a wide open throttle valve during low-load driving conditions. This helps to reduce pumping losses and thus boost fuel economy. Petrol engine models are also equipped with brand new transmissions: all manual gearboxes are 6-speed, while a 5-speed automatic is also available.

Maximum power is 150 PS at 6,200 rpm (lower in the rev range than the current 2.0), while torque is 190Nm (140lb.ft) at 4,200 rpm. The efficiency of the engine, together with improved aerodynamics and new gearboxes, have boosted fuel economy figures. Performance is also enhanced, with the 0 to 62mph time dropping from 10.8 to 10.2 seconds (manual) and from 13.1 to 12.2 seconds (automatic).

The new CR-V will receive its international show debut in Paris on 28 September.



U.S. Press release:

All-New for 2007, Honda CR-V Delivers Upscale Style, Refined Dynamics and Advanced Safety in a Versatile Entry Crossover SUV Package

Torrance, Calif. 09/01/2006 --

The Honda CR-V is a highly-versatile four-door entry crossover SUV with a spacious five-passenger interior, sedan-like handling and ride comfort, and a reputation for offering the highest levels of standard safety features in the segment. The all-new 2007 Honda CR-V injects a dynamic sense of style and refinement, bridging the space between sport and utility better than any CR-V yet - while adding collision compatibility safety enhancements like Honda's exclusive Advanced Compatibility Engineering(TM) (ACE(TM)) Body Structure.

Cloaked with distinctive and dynamic exterior styling, the 2007 CR-V debuts with a wide assortment of new technology and standard comfort and convenience features. The sophisticated interior design delivers near-luxury style along with improved refinement. The highly acclaimed Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System(TM) with voice recognition and rear view camera is available on the CR-V for the first time.

Top-of-class standard safety equipment includes side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), active front head restraints, Vehicle Stability Assist(TM) (VSA(R)), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).

"The original CR-V helped establish the crossover entry SUV segment with its practical size and amazing utility," said John Mendel, senior vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "For 2007, Honda has built on the CR-V's best strengths and added a new dimension of first-class style and refinement."

A highly rigid body and fully independent suspension result in a quiet cabin and smooth, agile handling performance. The 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine and standard 5-speed automatic transmission provide an excellent balance of power (166-horsepower) and fuel economy (EPA-rated 23/30 city/highway mpg, 2WD).

A dynamic and emotional forward cabin blends the familiar CR-V identity into a sculpted lower body with a rugged lower body appearance. A new double grille and a side profile with an arched window shape accent the CR-V's distinctive and upscale presence. Adding to the clean lines, the spare tire now resides under the rear floor as opposed to the exterior of the tailgate; benefiting aesthetics, visibility and garage-ability.

The previous generation CR-V (2002 - 2006) set a new standard for vehicle safety when the 2002 CR-V became one of the first few vehicles ever to earn the federal government's top five-star crash safety rating for both frontal and side impacts. The 2007 CR-V builds on Honda's industry-leading emphasis on safety and outdistances the competition by implementing new technology and features that go beyond conventional industry standards with innovations such as the ACE Body Structure and a pedestrian safety design, just to name two.

The 2007 CR-V has an entirely new body design. The exterior width has increased by 1.4 inches to 71.6 inches while the body length has decreased by 3.1 inches (due mostly to the relocation of the spare tire from the rear bumper to underneath the rear cargo area). The length of the vehicle minus the spare tire remains nearly the same.

The unit-body construction features extensive use of strategically strengthened areas with expanded use of high strength steel to provide high levels of rigidity. Improved NVH was also targeted and the new model features extensive use of the latest noise absorption materials to help reduce engine and road noise for an ultra-quiet cabin.
Comprised of a front MacPherson strut layout and a rear multi-link suspension, the highly rigid body and independent suspension offer an engaging driving experience rare for this class of vehicle.

The CR-V is available in three trim levels - the well-equipped LX, the fully-featured EX and the upscale EX-L.
(new items in italic)

CR-V LX:

166 hp, 2.4-liter 16-valve i-VTEC engine, 5-speed automatic transmission, available Real Time 4WD(TM) system, 4-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control, 17-inch steel wheels, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System, side curtain airbags with rollover sensor, daytime running lights (DRL), Maintenance Minder system, AM/FM/CD audio system with MP3/WMA playback and four speakers, MP3/auxiliary audio input jack, air conditioning with air-filtration system, tilt and telescoping steering column, conversation mirror with sunglasses holder, power windows with drivers auto up/down, programmable power door locks, power side mirrors, retractable center tray table, upper and lower glove compartments, under-seat storage bin, 60/40 split sliding fold and tumble rear seats, ambient console lighting, remote entry system

CR-V EX adds or replaces LX features:

One-touch power moonroof with tilt feature, chrome grille and rear license trim, rear privacy glass, security system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, dual-deck cargo shelf, AM/FM/6-disc in-dash audio system with six speakers, exterior temperature indicator, 17-inch alloy wheels

CR-V EX-L adds or replaces EX features:

Leather trimmed seats and armrests, heated front seats, body-colored heated side mirrors and door handles, XM Satellite Radio, available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation with Voice Recognition(TM) and rearview camera, AM/FM/6-CD changer audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer (with navigation)

The inside of the 2007 CR-V blends Honda's renowned ergonomics and clever storage integration with classy, modern and efficient architecture. More standard features and available new features like a navigation system with voice recognition highlight the dedication to taking the interior to an entirely new level. The increased body width allows the seats to be wider and more supportive, and a newly-designed retractable center tray table not only provides the prerequisite beverage holders, but EX and above models also contain an additional 12V power outlet and auxiliary audio jack. CR-V models outfitted with a leather interior (EX-L) provide a spacious multi-function center console that can accommodate up to 24 compact discs (on models without the navigation system).

On EX and EX-L models, a dual-deck cargo shelf provides additional storage options in the cargo area and can hold up to 20 pounds, while providing enough clearance underneath for grocery bags or items such as a folded stroller. Key interior dimensions remain similar to the generous proportions of the 2006 model.

The latest generation of the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and rearview camera, available on the CR-V EX-L, features a 6.5-inch motorized display that opens and closes for access to the internal single-disc CD player and a digital audio card reader that can play MP3 and WMA files from CompactFlash(R) cards. The navigation system features more than 7 million points of interest and can control the audio system. The voice recognition is capable of recognizing and entering numbers, street names and cities.

For 2007, all audio systems are more powerful with at least 160 watts (LX, EX). Auxiliary audio input jacks are standard equipment on all trim levels, allowing for portable music device playback through the audio system. Each audio system also features MP3/WMA CD playback capability and Speed-sensitive Volume Control (SVC) that automatically adjusts the volume based on vehicle speed. The LX trim level has a four-speaker 160-watt audio system with a single-disc CD player. The EX and EX-L add two speakers (tweeters) and an in-dash 6-disc CD changer (console mounted on navigation-equipped models). XM Satellite Radio is standard on the EX-L. The EX-L with Navigation audio system increases power output to 270 Watts and delivers sound through seven speakers, including a subwoofer.

Powered by Honda's 2.4-liter, Dual-Over Head Cam, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine, the CR-V offers refined and responsive performance with good fuel economy and low emissions (CARB LEV II ULEV). A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment on all CR-Vs, and a traction-enhancing Real Time 4WD system is available. The engine produces 166 horsepower and 161 lb-ft. of torque - a 10-horsepower increase and a broader torque curve compared to the 2006 CR-V. The power upgrade is attributable to a slight increase in compression ratio and enhanced valvetrain, intake and exhaust tuning. From a refinement standpoint, the Drive-by-Wire (DBW) throttle control works closely with the transmission for extremely smooth shift points and intuitive gear holding on hilly roads.

The fully automatic Real Time 4WD system (available) enhances the CR-V's all-weather capabilities when driving in rain, snow, dirt roads and sandy conditions - without the significant weight, fuel economy and handling performance drawbacks of a conventional four-wheel-drive system. For 2007, enhancements have been made to the system for improved torque transfer to the rear wheels - making the CR-V even better in rain, snow and sand.

The CR-V is truly a global product for Honda sold in 160 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and Africa. In fact, the CR-V is sold in more countries than any other Honda automotive product. Worldwide, cumulative sales are approximately 2.5 million (since 1996) with 1.2 million sold in the United States (since 1997). Worldwide, 334,000 units were sold in 2005 with 150,000 sold in the United States. Worldwide, the CR-V is built in seven countries at eight factories, and for the first time it will be assembled in North America at Honda of America Manufacturing in the East Liberty Plant.