19 November 2011

Fourth Generation 2012 Honda CR-V launched in LA

After a long series of spyshots, leaked patent, an a very orange concept study and a teaser in Honda Japan website, the fourth generation of Honda CR-V has finally debuted, albeit for now only in LHD form in LA motorshow. It will be on sale in America from December 15, and will be launched in Japan shortly after. European market will gets in sometimes in 2012, while us in Malaysia might have to wait similarly long.

The latest generation CR-V follows the same silhouette profile of its predecessor, where they both ditched their ancestor angular looks in favour of more crossover kind of sleeker profile. However, the awkward "double-mouth" of third gen has been ditch, replaced by more conventional grille opening.  The front fascia are more sculpted and the bumper's smooth-flowing lines are highlighted by a horizontal three-bar grille and deeply set multi-reflector headlights. The lower front bumper wraps smartly upward to convey SUV capability with a generous approach angle as well as  for an improved aerodynamics.
The rear end still featured a horizontal rear lights, a nod to the tradition sets from the first generation of Honda CR-V. However, the tail lamps now is more intricate in detailing and more 3D in its wraparound  joining the tailgate the side panel. The raked rear screen and reversed-angle rear light bottom made a more than passing resemblance of the Volvo XC60.
The side profile is more distinctive than the current generation. The wheel arches are more flared, the side panel retained both character lines running at the waist and sill level, but they are raised towards the rear, instead of horizontal like current model, giving a wedge-line profile. This is further accentuated with the kinked D-pillar which is parallel with the rear bumper shut-line and rear light housing angle. More details and photos after the jump.

Dimensionally, the car retained its 2,620mm wheelbase and 1,565mm wheel track of 3rd generation CR-V, but the length is an inch shorter at around 4,530mm. Width stays at 1,820mm. The height of the new CR-V has been dropped by an inch, meaning that it is around 1,650mm. The slightly smaller body resulted in weight reduction of between 11.4kg to 36.3kg, depending on model to model. The weight reduction is also the resulting from greater optimization of structure design which capitalized more on high strength steel especially in the sensitive areas such as front dashpanel, wheel arches and A,B,C and D-pillars. The new body structure design is also more pedestrian friendly, in case of unfortunate event happens. Specific pedestrian injury mitigation features include:
  • Deformable hood 
  • Sufficient clearance exists between the hood and hard engine parts
  • The windshield base has a unique section structure for efficient impact energy absorption
  • Energy-absorbing fender mounts and supports
  • Deformable windshield wiper pivots
  • Deformable hood hinges

For the US market, the new CR-V continues to be powered by the familiar K24 engine family. In this case, the updated engine, dubbed K24Z7, is the 2.4l i-4 engine with 16v and high-volume intake manifold. The engine produced 185bhp@7000 rpm and 220Nm@4400 rpm of power and torque respectively. Drive is channeled via an automatic transmission with 5 forward ratios.  The gearbox is essentially a carried over item, saved for some revision in reducing the drive friction and a slightly taller final drive ratio.  The more efficient drive and kerb weight reduction results in greater fuel economy. Century sprint can be completed in 9.4 seconds.

The 2012 Honda CR-V rides on McPherson struts front suspension and independent multilink rear suspension. The steering is of rack and pinion system with Electric Power Steering assistance. It rides on 226/65 R17 tyre and wheel combo.

Inside, the Honda CR-V offers a low cargo floor for ease of loading along with an increase in passenger and cargo volume. It also benefits from a more car-like driving position compared to the previous generation CR-V due to a slightly lower and reconfigured seating position. The body side sills are also shaped to further improve ingress and egress ergonomics.

The 2012 CR-V also demonstrates new attention to the in-vehicle driving experience, with sophisticated and precise instrumentation and a full-color "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that offers a range of customizable features via fingertip controls on the steering wheel.
The CR-V's audio systems offer a new level of connectivity, led by a Pandora® internet radio interface. There's also a convenient SMS text messaging function that, when paired with a compatible phone, can read incoming texts aloud through the audio system and allow the Honda CR-V's driver to respond with any of six factory preset text messages. For 2012, the Bluetooth phone interface is standard on all models, and offers intuitive hands-free calling convenience. For the first time, the CR-V is also available with DVD Rear Entertainment System.

Below is the small gallery of the 2012 Honda CR-V.