The new generation of Honda HR-V has been designed with the focus on maximum driving pleasure and comfort. Compared to the previous model, the new HR-V has a more rigid body structure and benefits from major improvements to the suspension, steering and braking system. This ensures a more precise response to the driver’s inputs, to offer a safer, more satisfying and comfortable driving experience. Available only in the Full Hybrid version, the new HR-V has been developed to be extremely efficient and pleasant to drive. The two-engine e: HEV (Hybrid Electric Vehicle) powertrain, also available on the new Jazz, offers innovative solutions developed over the 20-year history of the Honda hybrid. To be fitted to the HR-V, it underwent a series of revisions that had to take into account the size and additional mass of the SUV compared to the Jazz. Power and torque have been increased to 96 kW (131 hp) and 253 Nm respectively, while the final transmission ratio has been reduced for better driving performance. The new HR-V’s e: HEV battery system has a higher energy density which allows the powertrain to generate more power. The number of battery cells has been increased by 25%, from 48 cells in the Jazz e: HEV to 60 in the HR-V. This increased battery capacity allows the new HR-V to deliver driving performance typical of a higher-class SUV. The battery is ideally sized as it not only allows for increased engine power, but is also compact enough not to affect the interior space, providing a totally flat floor. The stiffness and torsional resistance of the steering column is increased, for greater fluidity in changes of direction. Cornering is more direct and precise, with a much more linear feeling when maneuvering than the previous generation, in order to ensure greater safety and handling. The suspension is also more responsive, with improved friction from the very first input at the wheel. For this purpose, the spring offset has been increased to reduce lateral forces on the shock absorber, which now also has reduced internal friction. This, combined with low friction ball joints and optimized bushings, provides smoother, smoother motion. At the rear, the design and construction of the stabilizer bushings have been modified to improve rear wheel control and ride comfort. Liquid bushings offer outstanding low frequency damping performance for improved ride quality. In the revision of the bushing design, a flange was added to reduce lateral movement and a more secure seat was designed, which allowed the bushing to be stiffened further to improve comfort even more. Braking power is ensured by a system that boasts 293mm perforated front discs and 282mm solid rear discs. In addition, a bespoke electric brake booster paired with the e: HEV system controls and modulates the regenerative and hydraulic brakes, to deliver a smooth braking feel. In addition, the HR-V’s brake pedal has been placed more carefully to reduce driver fatigue on long-distance journeys. The current platform has been updated with the use of high-strength steel, for improved body rigidity. In addition, 980 steel with a high lambda coefficient has been applied to the central crossbar of the floor and inside the central pillar to further improve strength, thus reducing the weight by 1.5 kg. Behind the rear pillars, a ring structure has been added for further reinforcement of the frame, to achieve greater control on each individual wheel and offer greater ride quality and better dynamic behavior. In addition to minimizing the impact of the additional weight of the electrical component and improving safety performance, the increased stiffness is combined with the upgrade of the low-friction, longer wheelbase suspension, for impressive stability. This means that the most substantial irregularities and bumps in the road surface are easily absorbed, vibrations are eliminated and engine noise reduced, for the benefit of a smoother and safer ride. Honda’s multidirectional approach to NVH management extends from reducing sound pressure when starting the engine, from EV mode to eliminating engine noise at higher speeds. Engineers also worked to reduce low-frequency noise caused by unevenness in the road surface, further improving the soundproofing and atmosphere in the cabin for a more relaxing drive.