Honda HR-V – February
One of the pioneers of the sub-compact crossover segment, the Honda HR-V, will return to Australian showrooms in February – albeit as a very different car launching into a now hugely competitive market.
The Jazz-based baby SUV gets the 105kW/172Nm 1.8-litre petrol engine from the Civic, which (at least initially) will power the front wheels via an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). A manual is understood to arrive later in 2015.
All 2015 HR-V models come standard with alloy wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with the Display Audio system (includes multi-angle reverse-view camera, phone-linked navigation, and more), and Honda’s versatile Magic Seats system.
An impressive list of advanced safety features are available in higher-grade variants, such as active city braking, blind spot monitoring, forward collision and lane departure warning systems, and auto high beam.
The Honda HR-V is likely to be priced from about $22,000 to $30,000 plus on-road costs.
Read more about the Honda HR-V.
Honda Civic hatch update – Q2
Honda’s UK-sourced Civic hatch will get a facelift before the middle of 2015, refreshing the outside and inside of the brand’s Golf rival.
New at the front is a pair of lightning bolt-inspired headlights integrated into a sharp-edged trapezoidal grille and new foglight housings, while the rear gets revised tail-lights with a body-colour spoiler and a reworked bumper.
An infotainment touchscreen will find its way onto an overhauled centre stack, while safety will get a boost from the addition of active city braking, among other features.
Read more about the Honda Civic hatch.
Honda CR-V diesel update – Second half 2015
Sourcing its diesel-powered CR-V variants from the UK means Honda Australia will have to wait a long time to gets its hands on the facelifted model (the Thai-built CR-V petrol facelift has been on sale since the beginning of December).
The diesel model will bring substantial changes when it arrives in the back half of 2015, including trading its 2.2-litre diesel engine for a 1.6-litre unit with 118kW and 350Nm (up 8kW) and gaining a nine-speed automatic transmission in place of the current six-speed unit.
The CR-V diesel will also benefit from a series of cosmetic changes to bring it into line with the facelifted petrol range, including updated headlights, grille and bumpers, while also gaining Honda’s Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system.
Read more about the Honda CR-V diesel.
Honda Jazz Hybrid – Second half 2015
Despite struggling to shift stock of its hybrid vehicles, Honda Australia has reason to be optimistic about the new Jazz Hybrid.
The 2015 model benefits from an entirely new petrol-electric powertrain, which teams a 1.5-litre four-cylinder Atikinson-cycle petrol engine with an electric motor and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Combined power rises to 100kW and 170Nm (up 28kW and 3Nm) while Honda claims fuel economy improves 35 per cent, which should translate to consumption of roughly 3.0 litres per 100 kilometres.
Unlike it predecessor, the new Jazz Hybrid can also operate in pure-electric mode over short distances, as well as hybrid mode with both the petrol engine and electric motor engaged, and engine-only mode.
Read more about the Honda Jazz Hybrid.
Honda Civic Type R – Q4
Honda still isn’t quite sure when, but the important news is that the new-generation Civic Type R is definitely on its way to Australia.
With its UK launch scheduled for May, we’re hoping to see the reborn hot-hatch on our shores before the end of the year.
The production model will closely resemble the updated concept version that was shown at October’s Paris motor show.
The Type R’s turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine will produce in excess of 206kW, will redline at 7000rpm, and will be paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
The cult classic will also debut Honda’s new ‘+R’ performance mode button. When pressed, Honda says the steering wheel-mounted button heightens engine response by altering the torque mapping, makes the steering more responsive, and tweaks the new four-point adaptive damper system for enhanced handling performance.
The model is currently undergoing an extensive development program designed to make it the fastest front-wheel-drive car around the Nurburgring.
Read more about the Honda Civic Type R.