Honda at Frankfurt Motor Show 2017

While Honda didn't steall all the headlines in Germany, they didn't turn up empty handed. hasn't turned up empty handed. Starting small, there is a minor update to Jazz which is being shown with a styling refresh, along with a new 128bhp petrol engine. There is also the new CR-V, due to be launched later this year, which is aiming to follow on from the last model in offering buyers a dependable, practical SUV.

However, there is some excitement around the Honda stand thanks to the Urban EV concept.One of the unexpected highlights of the show, this compact, sporty city car has styling that harks back to the golden age of the hot hatchback. Honda followed-up on its cute concept car by announcing a bold plan to offer full-electric or hybrid tech on every model by 2025. Read more below.

Urban EV Concept

This adorable concept has received an inordinate amount of attention from the press, given that it’s ostensibly yet another all-electric urban mobility concept. The difference, however, is twofold: firstly, it looks fantastic, and secondly, it’s actually destined for production, with potential to go on sale as early as 2019.

It’s reminiscent of Giorgetto Giugiaro’s Mk1 Golf and Marcello Gandini’s Autobianchi A112, though its designers would prefer us to refer to the first and possibly second generation Civic. It would join a small but growing number of retro-styled cars, such as the immensely popular Fiat 500, despite being Honda’s most progressive car to date.

Honda Jazz

A fresh-faced Honda Jazz has been shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show, updating the exterior styling, interior trim, and fitting a new petrol engine under the bonnet of its supermini, injecting a little performance into the range. 

Styling changes are minor but just about noticeable. A revised front grille is joined by headlights with new lighting signatures, which all sits above a fresh front apron with more aggressive contours. Around the back, Honda has shrunk the grilles in the rear bumper and has added a revised lower section, complete with a new gloss black strip linking the grilles. The colour palette has been broadened with the addition of a new metallic blue hue.

Additionally, the refreshed Jazz will be available in a new, sporty looking trim level. Called Dynamic, these cars get a front splitter and rear diffuser finished with contrasting red accents, front fog lamps, new side skirts, a hatch lid spoiler, and gloss black 16-inch alloy wheels. LED headlights are also included as standard. 

The Jazz will benefit from the addition of a 128bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, offered exclusively on the new Dynamic car. Honda has not yet revealed any performance figures, but it’ll be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, with a CVT automatic on the options list. 

Honda claims that the new engine returns 52.3mpg with CO2 emissions of 124g/km when fitted alongside the CVT transmission. Elsewhere, the rest of the Jazz range will continue with a 1.3-litre, 101bhp unit with a five-speed gearbox as standard. 

Follwoing its debut in the metal at Frankfurt, the updated Jazz will be on sale in the UK this November, but deliveries won’t take place until early 2018.

New CR-V

Currently described as a “prototype”, the car shown is actually the model already available to buyers in the USA – but the Frankfurt Motor Show car is fitted with a new hybrid system.

The new CR-V goes on sale in the UK in mid-2018, with prices expected to start at around £25,000.

The show car’s hybrid powertrain is the first to be fitted to a European market SUV by Honda. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine linked to a pair of electric motors. The system can operate in Engine Drive, Pure EV and Hybrid modes depending on the situation, adapting automatically to react to the driver’s needs.

The hybrid powertrain will arrive after the initial launch of the CR-V, joining a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This will be sold with a choice of manual or CVT transmissions, but power and torque figures, along with economy and emissions data, are to be confirmed. There won’t be a diesel version.

A production-ready version of the new CR-V is expected to appear in early 2018 – probably at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show – so you can expect more detail about onboard technology economy to be announced then.

However, since the new car has already been launched in some markets, some things are known. The new car is bigger than the outgoing model, with a larger cabin and more space for rear seat passengers, plus a bigger boot than the previous car. 

New Civic Diesel

Honda to add 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel to Civic range in March 2018, with new WLTP test cycle promising strong fuel economy

Honda has announced a new 1.6-litre diesel engine will be added to the latest Civic in March 2018. The 118bhp unit, unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show, promises 76mpg on the new, more realistic fuel consumption test. 

The Civic's diesel engine is a heavily revised version of the one found in the outgoing car's powertrain, with engineers reducing friction for greater efficiency and claiming to have improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels. 

The economy figures are actually slightly down on the previous model's economy claims, however. That's because the new Civic diesel is one of the first cars to be tested on the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure, a test that uses real driving data instead of the lab-based tests the controversial NEDC cycle uses. 

New NSX GT3

This new carbonistic GT3 racing car hints at another incarnation of the original NSX-R. The low, wide profile is unmistakable. The NSX GT3 is optimized for high-speed aerodynamics – its larger front cooling intakes, underbody diffuser and large rear wing are the most obvious adjustments – but the NSX family resemblance is clear. And beneath the skin, the GT3 shares the same clean-sheet design, multi-material space frame that gives ultimate rigidity to the production car.

After leading its class at 24 Hours of Daytona and winning the Grand Prix of Detroit and the Six Hours of Watkins Glen, NSX GT3 is now available to customers and race teams. Homologated to compete in over two dozen FIA-sanctioned racing series globally, the production-based 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged V-6 racing engine is mated with a 6-speed, sequential-shift racing gearbox. The chassis, including the multi-material body structure and TIG-welded chrome-molly roll cage, is built alongside the production NSX at the Performance Manufacturing Center in Marysville, Ohio.

The Civic diesel's economy promises are said to be more achievable in daily driving as a result. Nevertheless, the unit's 300Nm of torque means it's capable of getting the Civic from 0-62mph in 10.4 seconds. No pricing details have been announced yet.  

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