At the outset of the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Honda has announced that it has begun work on launching as many as six new models in the course of the next three years. These new models will be all-new vehicles and not mere mid-cycle facelifts.
Starting off with the new-model offensive, Honda will bring in the next-gen CR-V to our market in 2018, confirmed Honda India CEO Yoichiro Ueno, when speaking to Autocar India. The big talking point about the 2018 CR-V is the provision of a diesel engine under the hood. A 1.6-litre twin-turbo unit, the diesel engine will output 158hp at 4,000rpm and 350Nm of torque at 2000rpm, and will be paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Honda will localise this motor for our market to help keep costs in check.
Also due next year is the second-gen Amaze sub-four-metre compact sedan. The new Amaze will be a global model, just like its predecessor, and will take on the likes of the popular Maruti Dzire, the Hyundai Xcent and the Ford Figo Aspire in our market.
Honda confirms Civic launch in 2019
In 2019, Honda is expected to launch two of its much-awaited models, with the Civic being the first one to make it to our shores. The car will be launched when it receives the mid-cycle refresh, globally, to ensure that the latest version of the sedan is in our market. The Civic for India is likely to be powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder petrol motor and a 1.6-litre diesel engine as well.
The second new model, the much-speculated Honda HR-V, will also come to India in the same year. This five-seat crossover will take on the likes of the Renault Captur, the Mahindra XUV500, Hyundai Creta, lower-variants of the Jeep Compass, and may also compete with the upcoming Tata Q501 SUV range and the Nissan Kicks crossover. Under the hood, the India-bound HR-V could share the same 1.8-litre petrol and the 1.6-litre diesel from the Civic.
Furthermore, Honda has already begun work on the next-gen City sedan which is due in 2020. The carmaker is also readying an India-launch of the 10th-generation Accord sedan, which has just been unveiled for the North American market.
Focus on Hybrids, no EVs for now
Honda is planning to bring hybrid powertrain versions of these models in India. The carmaker already sells hybrid models of the Civic, Accord, CR-V and the HR-V abroad.
Honda’s global CEO has announced that they will need more clarity on India’s EV policy before they bring in electric vehicles to our shores.
No Honda compact SUV in the near future
Honda is not sure about the long-term sustenance of the currently booming compact SUV market and, hence, won’t be bringing in any model in that segment in the near future. The company will continue to focus on the sedan segment as it thinks that’s what it is best at.