Honda launches HR-V to complete ‘power of 3’ SUVs

BY: Seth J. Bokpe, ABU DHABI, UAE

The applause was long and took time to die for Honda’s latest brand new sleek crossover, HR-V, when it was launched last Wednesday at the plush Park Hyatt Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirate.

The launch dubbed the ‘Power of 3’ completes Honda Motor Company’s range of SUV’s which includes an updated version of two of its popular nameplates—the Pilot and CR-V.

The Japanese automakers took the two vehicles to the auto theatre coming out of the surgery with bold new designs and tech upgrades including a hands-free tailgate.

To be available in the Ghanaian auto market in April, the five-seater HR-V, made its debut in the auto market 20 years ago but it is the first time it was launched in Honda’s Africa and Middle East Region.

It will be available in three grades—EX, LX and DX, which has the standard features.

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It is powered by 140hp 1.8 i-VTEC petrol engine which delivers 16.9km/l or over 800 kilometres on a full tank, according to its makers.

Mr Nakamura Yoshinori, Honda Motor Company HR-V Project Lead

Making a case for the HR-V, Mr Nakamura Yoshinori, the Honda Motor Company HR-V Project Lead, said the vehicle has high tech features that made it easy to drive while at the same time offering a sense of security.

On a night car enthusiasts and VIPs added to the glamour and sparkle of the event, the Honda shared the HR-V’s spotlight with the refreshed CR-V, which boasts bold new styling, a premium interior and a host of features and technologies meant to maintain the CR-V status as outright benchmark for the competitive compact SUV segment.

The final model to complete the ‘Power of 3’ line up, which was showcased at the event, was the redesigned and re-engineered 2019 Honda Pilot.

The Pilot
The Pilot brings with it a long list of upgrades to Honda’s award-winning 8-seat SUV, with changes including more aggressive front styling, the option for a new hands-free power tailgate, major upgrades to available connected-car technology, with a new Display Audio touchscreen system. Honda’s comprehensive suite of safety technologies called “Honda Sensing” has been expanded to the 2019 Pilot Touring grade.

Alongside the newly unveiled SUVs was the completely new “NEO CAFÉ CB1000R motorcycle, and a brand new Drive By Wire BF 250 marine engines. The much-loved CB1000R has been completely redeveloped and includes a striking modern CAFÉ racer-inspired design, showcased at the event.

The bike has been in huge demand since its launch, outstripping supply, with additional bikes ordered to meet customer demand. Honda also announced the arrival of the CB1000R+ model, which is equipped with many standard features, such as Quick shifter. The new boating season also sees the newly developed Honda’s flagship outboard motors, the BF175, BF200, BF225 and BF250 engines. All engines are equipped with the latest V6 engines featuring mechanical or Drive By Wire system. The BF175 is only equipped with Drive By Wire.

Drive By Wire is a semi-automatic and typically computer-regulated system for controlling the engine, handling, suspension, and other functions of a motor vehicle

Commenting on the Power of 3 launch, the General Manager – Business Development and Marketing, Honda Motor Company, Africa and Middle East Office, said the company was “excited to be able to introduce the HR-V to the market here in the Middle East and Africa, as this is such a key market for SUVs. One in two cars purchased in the region is an SUV, and so we’re pleased to launch the HR-V alongside the updated popular CR-V and Pilot models. This expands our range of having an SUV to suit the needs of each of our customers.”