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Honda CR-V

Originally launched at the 1995 Tokyo Motor Show, the Honda CR-V was one of the first of the modern generation of 'soft roaders'. It became a benchmark for this fast growing segment with its practical size and excellent utility. The CR-V was designed primarily for on-road use, but with SUV styling and the quality customers expect from a Honda product. Sales began in Europe in 1997 and the CR-V quickly became a firm favourite with buyers. Production of European specification CR-Vs started at Honda's plant in Swindon, United Kingdom in 2000.

Launched in late 2001, the second generation CR-V took many cues from the original, retaining all of its best features including the rugged 4x4 styling and the 'on demand' Real Time Dual Pump 4WD system. It offered improved performance and economy, achieved through the introduction of Honda's 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, while the new body structure delivered increased interior space.

A further sales boost came in 2005 with the introduction of Honda's much acclaimed i-CTDi diesel engine. Perfectly complementing the petrol engine, the high output, high torque engine significantly enhanced the CR-V's all-round appeal.

In 2007, the introduction of the third-generation CR-V marked the first CR-V to feature a vertically opening tailgate, a feature made possible by removing the spare wheel from the back door. Lower in height, shorter in length and wider than its predecessors, it offered improved on-road dynamics. A mid-life facelift in 2009 introduced the new generation i-DTEC diesel engine and saw a diesel engine combined with an automatic transmission for the first time in the CR-V.

Over five million CR-Vs have been sold across the world since its introduction in 1995 and the new, fourth generation builds on the success of its predecessors with even greater quality, practicality and refinement. The model that helped define the compact-SUV sector has been comprehensively redesigned for the European market.

For the first time in Europe, the new CR-V will be offered with a choice of both two- and four-wheel drive, while improvements to both the petrol and diesel engines have resulted in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions.

Sales of the new Honda CR-V will begin in Europe in October 2012 and, as with previous generations will continue to be built at Honda's production facility in Swindon, United Kingdom.

Ryouji Nakagawa, the Large Project Leader (LPL) for the CR-V commented: "The first generation set out to combine the best elements of a car and an SUV. For the new CR-V, we have now achieved a perfect, centred balance between the efficiency of a car and the functionality and security of an SUV. In doing so, we have created a model that is efficient, versatile and capable."

EXTERIOR DESIGN

The pursuit of the perfect balance between a car and an SUV influenced every element of the development process, including the exterior styling.

Exterior Designer Manabu Konaka explains: "The Honda CR-V has always been a car for every occasion. It can be both casual and formal, but the aesthetic must always convey solidity and reliability."

The length and height of the car have been reduced by 5 mm and 30 mm respectively compared with the current model, without reducing the interior space.

"This is only one example of the new CR-V's improved efficiency," says Konaka. "This is a functional, efficient and confident car and we've tried to express that in the design."

While the fourth generation model is instantly recognisable as a member of the CR-V family, it still manages to assert its own identity. The new model takes on a more aggressive and aerodynamic stance with deeper sculpting of the bodylines and a bolder nose section. The front bumper's smooth, flowing lines are joined by a horizontal three-bar grille and deep-set headlights. The lower front bumper is designed to convey SUV capability with a generous approach angle. The signature vertical rear brake lights, which have featured on every generation of Honda CR-V, remain but the fourth generation introduces a more three-dimensional style. The CR-V's large wheels and bold wheelarches further emphasise its dynamic presence and capability.

The CR-V has been designed as a global car but the European model features a number of exterior refinements developed specifically for this market. A revised front bumper emphasises its dynamic appeal, while front LED daytime running lights and rear LED lights are other stylish additions.

The position of the windscreen has been brought forward by 60 mm (measured from bottom of the windscreen) relative to the overall length of the car. As a result, the size of the engine compartment has been reduced.

"At Honda, every project leader pursues our man-maximum, machine-minimum philosophy," says Nakagawa. "It is always our goal to reduce the size of the mechanical parts in order to provide more space for the occupants. It is a big challenge for our engineering and production teams, but one that we must take on."

The repositioning of the windscreen and the new bonnet design have provided a second benefit: the area of the nose of the car that cannot be seen from the driver's seat has been reduced to improve visibility and make the CR-V easier to manoeuvre.

A 10 mm increase in both the steering wheel and seat height adjustments has also ensured that a broader range of drivers can achieve an ideal driving position.

The synergy between form and function has played a critical role in the development of every generation of the Honda CR-V and this latest model is no exception. The expansive glass area of the windows reveals the spaciousness of the cabin.

Konaka says, "I am particularly proud of the rear window design. We wanted to extend it to the edge of the vehicle to emphasise the sleek proportions, and this also had the advantage of increasing the boot space."

With the rear seats folded flat, the boot capacity of the CR-V has grown by 147 litres to 1648 litres. If the space-saver spare wheel is specified, the volume increases to 1669 litres with the seats folded up, or 589 litres with the seats in place. The load length has been increased by 140 mm to 1570 mm, while the height of the load lip has been reduced by 25 mm to make it easier to load heavy or awkward items. The boot of the CR-V can now accommodate two mountain bikes or four sets of golf clubs.

A keyless entry system and power tailgate (unique to the European specification CR-V) provide enhanced practicality.

INTERIOR DESIGN - QUALITY AND FUNCTIONALITY

The interior design concept for the new Honda CR-V continues the man-maximum, machine-minimum philosophy. "The first thing that we wanted to achieve with the interior design was a feeling of openness," says the Interior Designer, Takehiro Ishibashi. "I wanted to communicate the feeling you get when you stand on top of a mountain, looking down on the valley and seeing a panorama of the landscape. It's a feeling of freedom, space and timelessness."

The influence of this thinking can be seen in the fascia design. "There are a number of horizontal layers which help emphasise the feeling of space," says Nakagawa. "We call this 'lean-layered' design. By arranging the major functions in a series of layers, you create an ergonomically-efficient environment that is very intuitive." The major controls have been further grouped according to their function, with a 'driver interface zone' behind the steering wheel and an 'information interface zone' in the centre of the cabin.

The materials used within the new CR-V have been carefully chosen for the European market. "The high quality finish on the top of the fascia was inspired by the marble-like pattern you find on Japanese Kobe beef," says Ishibashi. "On the decorative strip that flows across the fascia we used a special film that creates a 3D effect. I am really proud of our attention to detail in every aspect of this vehicle."

Care has also been taken to achieve a significant reduction in the engine and road noise entering the cabin. Sound insulation material has been applied to the floorpan below the passenger compartment, while sound absorption material has been fitted to the rear door, rear wheelarches, door frames, front bulkhead and bonnet. The doors also now feature a double seal. The net result is a 3dB reduction in cabin noise compared to the current CR-V.

This high quality ambience is further enhanced by an impressive range of equipment. In the cabin attention focuses on the 5in "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID), which controls the audio, telephone and navigation systems (where fitted). Also fitted as standard are Honda's acclaimed ECON mode which helps to minimise fuel consumption and Eco Assist system which advises drivers on how their driving style is impacting on fuel economy (see Efficiency).

In order to emphasise the feeling of space inside, the door casings have been sculpted to create a concave shape. This has also allowed the occupants of the front seats to be moved closer to the sides of the car, making it easier to step in and out. As a consequence, more space has been liberated between the seats for a centre console that houses three cupholders, a storage compartment, an armrest and air vents for the rear seats.

The hip point of the rear passenger seats has been lowered by 38 mm compared to the current model, resulting in a more comfortable seating position and increased headroom. A change in the design of the rear seats has also allowed Honda's engineers to introduce easy fold-down 60/40 Split Rear Seats, which can be folded flat in one movement. At the pull of a handle, the CR-V can be transformed from a five-seater passenger car into a versatile load-lugger. "This is a feature of which I am particularly proud," says Ishibashi. "It will make a big difference to how our customers use their CR-V."

EFFICIENCY

The CR-V has always been one of the most efficient SUVs on the market and Honda's engineers have worked tirelessly to hone every aspect of the fourth generation model. Improved aerodynamics and sophisticated electronics combine to achieve significant reductions in fuel consumption and exhaust emissions.

AERODYNAMICS

As with so many elements of the new CR-V, form and function go hand in hand in the aerodynamics of the car. The adoption of a flat under floor and sculptured wheelarches have smoothed the air flow under the car, while a longer roof combined with aerodynamically optimised front bumper and rear spoiler help to manage the air-flow over the body. The result is a reduction in the drag coefficient of 6.5% compared with the current CR-V benefitting performance, fuel economy and reducing exhaust emissions.

ENGINES

Under the bonnet of the Honda CR-V, customers will find either a 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine or a 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine.

Both are developments of the engines found in the third generation CR-V but both have been comprehensively redesigned with a focus on reducing CO2 emissions. "We have placed a key emphasis on applying new technologies to reduce the friction in the engines and improve their efficiency," explains Nakagawa. Idle-stop technology has also been introduced on all models fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox. Improvements in fuel economy and a reduction of CO2 emissions in the new CR-V have been achieved without compromising driving pleasure.

i-DTEC DIESEL ENGINE

The power and torque outputs of the i-DTEC engine remain at 150PS and 350 Nm respectively, but the CO2 emissions have fallen from 171 g/km to 149 g/km (12%) for the manual version, and from 195 g/km to 174 g/km for models equipped with the five-speed automatic transmission.

The i-DTEC engine is all-aluminium, transversely mounted, with 4-cylinders, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, a variable nozzle turbocharger, piezoelectric injection and a second order balancer shaft. A continuously variable swirl control valve, located in the intake manifold, provides fine control of the swirl ratio, to give the ideal combustion environment within the cylinders at all times. This helps to reduce noise levels ( through reduced knocking) and produce smoother performance. A standard particulate filter (DPF) and Exhaust Gas Recirculation technology contribute to a reduction in NOx levels and further improvements in efficiency.

i-VTEC PETROL ENGINE

The power output of the 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine has risen from 150PS to 155PS. Despite this increase in performance, CO2 emissions have fallen from 192 g/km to 173 g/km for the manual version, and from 195 g/km to 175 g/km for the automatic.

Customers opting for the two-wheel drive version (only available with a petrol engine) will see a further reduction in emissions to 168 g/km. The introduction of a front-wheel drive CR-V responds to changing market conditions. Across Europe, two-wheel drive models now account for 51% of the petrol-engined compact-SUV market according to a survey conducted in 2011.

The Honda CR-V's petrol engine uses Honda's long-established VTEC system, which is able to adjust the lift and opening duration of the valves. The system is complemented by Variable Timing Control (VTC), which monitors the engine load and controls the phasing of the inlet camshaft. These work together to produce a remarkably broad and smooth power band. Based on input from a position sensor located at the rear end of the inlet camshaft, the engine's ECU varies the inlet camshaft position relative to that of the exhaust camshaft. In this way it can advance and retard the opening of the inlet valves.

During acceleration, VTC is set at a relatively small degree of valve overlap to provide the optimal output, the valve opening angle using the inertia of the intake air. In addition, as engine speed builds, the VTEC mechanism switches from the low speed cam to the high speed cam, but with the same degree of overlap.

At high engine speeds, there is much greater valve overlap, which reduces pumping losses, maximises exhaust gas recirculation, and provides the best balance between fuel consumption and power output.

At idle and low engine speeds during light load conditions, inlet valve opening is retarded for minimal overlap, generating strong swirl and therefore stable combustion.

ECON MODE

The new CR-V is equipped with an ECON button as part of the Eco Assistâ„¢ system. When activated, ECON mode alters the mapping of the drive-by-wire throttle system to ensure a smooth increase in torque for a more relaxing drive and greater fuel efficiency on the 2.0 litre i-VTEC models only. In addition, it alters the operation of the cruise control on the 2.0 litre i-VTEC models and the air conditioning systems, allowing for slightly increased variances with the set speed or the set temperature in order to conserve fuel whenever possible. For all models, the air conditioning controls the compressor and decreases the voltage of the fan drive to reduce the load on the engine, improving fuel efficiency.

ECO ASSIST

When Honda developed the 2nd Generation Insight hybrid, the engineers discovered that different driving styles could create as much as a 15 per cent variance in fuel economy.

In response to this they developed ECO Assist, which helps drivers optimise their driving efficiency. It uses the car's speedometer to advise drivers how their driving style is impacting fuel economy. If the car is being driven economically, the dashboard glows green. If the driver slightly exceeds the best level of throttle control, the dashboard will glow white/green. Finally, it will glow white during heavy acceleration and deceleration. A variation (different colours and/or different parts of the dashboard would light up) of this system was implemented on subsequent hybrid models (CR-Z and Jazz) as well as onto the current Civic. The system helps driver's improve their efficiency.

IDLE STOP

Idle Stop technology is standard on all new CR-V models with a manual transmission and this seamless system can contribute up to a 5 g/km of CO2 saving for the diesel engine. When the driver reaches a standstill and selects neutral, the engine will automatically stop when they release the clutch. It automatically restarts when they depress the clutch to select a gear. A display on the dashboard indicates the operation of Idle Stop and the system can be disabled using a button on the fascia.

RIDE COMFORT AND HANDLING

The new CR-V marks the introduction (in Europe) of a two-wheel drive model as well as upgrades to the car's suspension, steering and four-wheel drive system. The new CR-V development team undertook an extensive test program on European roads, focusing on ride comfort and high speed stability.

"Europe is a very different environment to Japan or the US," says Nakagawa. "The road conditions and the opportunity to drive at unlimited speed on the autobahn in Germany changes what is needed from a car. That is why we have tested the new Honda CR-V extensively in Europe and used our proving ground in Takasu, Japan, which replicates sections of the Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit. The suspension has been tuned specifically for Europe, with a key emphasis on high speed stability."

SUSPENSION

The McPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension has been upgraded with a 10% increase in damper volume. An increase in the body's rigidity - bending rigidity is up 7% and torsional rigidity up 9% - allows the suspension to operate more effectively.

The front suspension has been designed to be compact, while delivering the wheel travel necessary to provide off-road versatility and a comfortable ride. The McPherson strut front suspension consists of a subframe-attached lower control arm and wheel hub connected to a damper and coil spring assembly. Specially tuned bushings and precisely calibrated suspension geometry ensure optimal ride, handling and steering feel in a wide variety of road conditions.

The CR-V is equipped with a rear independent, multi-link suspension system with an aluminium knuckle, designed to optimise the ride and handling while maximising cargo space. The three-link system uses large-diameter trailing-arm bushings to reduce harshness and improve ride comfort.

All models feature front and rear anti-roll bars to reduce body roll during cornering. The diameter of the tubular front bar measures 23 mm, and the solid rear bar measures 17 mm.

6-SPEED MANUAL

Honda's gearboxes have always been renowned for their slick, positive action. The new CR-V is available with a compact and lightweight 6-speed manual transmission.

The new manual transmission CR-V features a Shift Indicator Light (SIL) function in the driver display area. Taking information from the engine management system, which detects whether the level of torque is appropriate to the current driving conditions, the SIL uses a visual prompt to advise the driver when to change gear to maximise fuel economy.

5-SPEED AUTOMATIC

The new CR-V is also available with a 5-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control. This sophisticated torque-converter automatic delivers near-seamless shifts yet retains good throttle response and a secure feeling of control.

For 2012, the transmission incorporates a range of features that help improve the CR-V's fuel economy. A new, lower viscosity Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) warmer uses the heat of the engine coolant (which warms more quickly after a cold start-up) to help bring the ATF up to operating temperature faster.

To reduce gear "hunting" and unnecessary shifting, Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control systems are used. Grade Logic Control reduces shift frequency while travelling uphill or downhill. Using inputs monitoring the throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration, Grade Logic Control compares the operating parameters with a digital map stored in the transmission computer. When the system determines the Honda CR-V is on a hill, the shift schedule is adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.

Shift Hold Control prevents upshifts to higher gears (4th and 5th) on winding-roads where the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied.

This improves stability on the entry to a corner, and ensures adequate power is available without the need to shift down a gear. In doing so, it reduces unnecessary shifting , thus improving efficiency.

STEERING

The CR-V features a next generation Motion Adaptive electric power steering system (MA-EPS), which has been refined to combine easy manoeuvrability with increased feedback and response at higher speeds. This sophisticated system also works with Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) to detect vehicle instability in slippery road conditions and automatically initiates steering inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction (See safety).

With MA-EPS, electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering takes the place of a conventional hydraulic power steering system. The system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor installed concentrically around the steering rack. A Control Module receives signals from sensors measuring the steering torque and rotation and uses them to calculate the ideal amount of assistance required. It then activates the electric motor, ensuring that the steering system offers the optimal amount of assistance at all times.

"The technology has improved significantly in recent years," says Nakagawa. "An electric system gives you more control than the hydraulic alternative."

In comparison to the operation of a conventional hydraulic pump system, an electric solution delivers improved efficiency because it does not draw a continuous amount of power directly from the engine. Other advantages of electric power-assisted steering include its mechanical simplicity and its compact size.

The steering ratio on all new CR-V models is 16.8:1, resulting in 3.16 turns lock-to-lock and a turning radius of 5.5 m (at wheel centre).

REAL TIME AWD WITH INTELLIGENT CONTROL SYSTEM

The majority of the new CR-V model line-up will continue to operate using all-wheel drive and the latest version of Honda's Real Time AWD system. The hydraulically activated "dual-pump" system found in the third generation CR-V has been replaced by an electronically activated system that provides a faster response when a loss of traction is detected. This electronically activated system weighs 17% less (reducing the weight of the total system by approximately 16.3 kg) and minimises internal friction by 59%. These improvements help to further minimise the negative impact on fuel economy common to virtually all four-wheel-drive systems.

The previous-generation Real Time 4WD system was mechanically actuated using a pair of hydraulic pumps (one driven by the front wheels and one driven by the rear wheels) along with a ball cam mechanism to operate the clutch, which sent power to the rear wheels. If the front wheels began to turn faster than the rear wheels, the difference in pressure between the two pumps would cause the clutch to be engaged, sending power to the rear. The system was designed to react quickly to front wheelspin.

The new Real Time AWD still uses a multi-plate clutch, similar to the clutches used in Honda automatic transmissions, to connect the propeller shaft to the rear differential. But in place of the twin hydraulic pumps and ball cam mechanism used in earlier systems, it now uses an electric motor, driving a single hydraulic pump, which operates the clutch. The electric motor is controlled by the Intelligent Control System, which allows the system to apportion power based on the conditions. The new system detects rotational speed changes much more quickly compared to the old system helping to prevent wheelspin This can be particularly beneficial on low grip surfaces such as snow.

The system can also detect when the new Honda CR-V is climbing a hill and send additional torque to the rear wheels in cooperation with the new Hill Start Assist feature. Hill Start Assist maintains brake pressure briefly after the brake pedal is released, giving the driver time to accelerate and smoothly move away. The Intelligent Control System instantly assesses the road's slope angle using a sensor and uses the VSA system to assess the available grip, providing additional rear torque where necessary to ensure a smooth take off.

Also debuting on the CR-V is Hill Descent Control (HDC). Available on automatic models, it operates at up to 8-20 km/h and helps the CR-V descend difficult terrain safely and consistently.

"Hill Descent Control uses autonomous braking to control the speed of the vehicle on a steep, difficult descent," says Nakagawa. "When the driver lifts off the brake at below 8 km/h, the system will automatically hold the speed. It's an important function on vehicles with an automatic transmission, which lack the engine braking of the manual alternative.

FUEL SYSTEM

The 58 litre fuel tank is moulded from high-density polyethylene which makes it light, eliminates corrosion and resistant to impact. It is positioned immediately in front of the rear wheels to help protect it from damage in the event of a collision. The corners of the tank are rounded and the inside of the tank is lined to minimise the noise of fuel moving around within the tank. A new fuel pump housed inside the fuel tank is more efficient than the system fitted to the outgoing CR-V.

ACTIVE SAFETY

The new CR-V's advanced suspension and braking systems are joined by a range of electronic systems designed to make driving both easier and safer.

VEHICLE STABILITY ASSIST (VSA) with TRACTION CONTROL

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is an electronic stability control system that works in conjunction with the CR-V's Drive-by-Wireâ„¢ throttle and its 4-channel ABS systems to assist the driver in maintaining control during accelerating, braking or cornering. VSA functions by applying brake force to one or more wheels independently while also engine torque managing the throttle, ignition and fuel systems to help the driver maintain their intended direction of travel.

The driver can deactivate the VSA stability enhancement and traction-control functions via a switch on the instrument panel but ABS remains fully operational at all times.

TRAILER STABILITY ASSIST (TSA)

Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) is fitted to all models in the Honda CR-V range to enhance driver's safety when towing. The system is an enhancement of the Honda Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system which detects when the trailer is starting to oscillate while being towed at speed. TSA utilises a combination of torque reduction and individual wheel braking to bring the car and trailer back under full control.

MOTION-ADAPTIVE ELECTRIC POWER STEERING (EPS)

In addition to improving efficiency and optimising driver feedback, the Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) provides important safety benefits. It works in conjunction with the VSA system to:

Stabilise Braking — Corrects the driver's steering input and assist driver to trace the curve to reduce vehicle instability when the driver is braking hard on road surfaces with different friction coefficients (such as a road that is only partially covered with dirt or snow)

All new CR-V models are equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes (front ventilated discs and rear solid discs) for confident braking. The system incorporates 4-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist as standard. The ventilated front disc brakes are 315 mm in diameter and the solid rear disc brakes are 302 mm in diameter.

The 4-channel ABS independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking. EBD automatically optimises braking force between the front and rear wheels, helping to minimise stopping distances. Brake Assist recognises emergency braking situations and applies added autonomous braking force when appropriate. It is supplemented by the Emergency Stop System (ESS), which automatically activates the brake and hazard warning lights (indicators) when it detects an emergency stop situation. The lights blink rapidly to warn following vehicles that the new CR-V is stopping abruptly, reducing the risk of a collision.

ADVANCED DRIVER ASSIST SYSTEMS (ADAS)

The new CR-V employs Honda's Advanced Driver Assist Systems, (ADAS), including Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), All ADAS systems are designed to complement the driver, not to replace their input.

ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL (ACC)

Buttons on the steering wheel operate the ACC system allowing the driver to choose both their speed and their preferred distance from the vehicle in front. Using a millimetre-wave radar in the front grille, ACC monitors the distance to the car in front and can apply up to a quarter of the maximum braking force autonomously when needed to maintain the set speed and distance. If more braking is required, the system provides a visible and audible warning. ACC operates between speeds of 30 and 180 km/h.

LANE KEEPING ASSIST SYSTEM (LKAS)

This is the first time that LKAS has been available on the CR-V. Designed for dual carriageway or motorway use, Honda's Lane Keeping Assist System helps keep the car in its lane. The system detects the lane markings using a camera mounted at the top of the windscreen. If you indicate, the system will switch to standby mode, but if it senses that you are about to leave your lane without indicating, it will automatically apply corrective steering, while issuing a visual and audible warning. The system applies up to 80% of the steering force required, with the driver providing the final 20%.

LKAS maintains the position of the car in its lane by providing steering torque when necessary - significantly reducing driver fatigue and helping to prevent accidents. For the system to work, the driver has to keep contact with the steering wheel - if the system fails to recognise the driver's input on the steering, it will switch itself off.

LKAS can operate between 72 and 180 km/h on roads with clear and visible left and right lane boundary markings where there are no really sharp bends. 

COLLISION MITIGATION BRAKING SYSTEM (CMBS)

Honda's Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) monitors the following distance and closing rate between your vehicle and the car directly in front of it, warning the driver when a collision is likely and helping reduce impact when a collision becomes unavoidable.

At speeds above 15 km/h, moving and stationary vehicles are detected along a path up to around 100 m ahead of your vehicle by radar. If the system senses that the car is likely to hit one of these obstacles then the driver is alerted by visual and audible warnings. If the system determines that a collision is still likely, three sharp tugs are given on the driver's seat belt and some autonomous braking is applied. Finally, if a collision is unavoidable, CMBS tightens the front seat occupants' seatbelts and applies a high level of braking force. This braking can be supplemented by the driver up to the maximum that the car is capable of.

All of the actions taken by CMBS are reversible: if an accident is averted (for example if the vehicle moves out of the way at the last moment), the tension is removed from the seatbelts and the visual and audible warnings stop.

Even if no prior warnings have been given, if at any time the system senses that a frontal collision is unavoidable it will tighten the front seat belts and automatically apply strong braking to help reduce the impact velocity and collision force. However, the system is not designed to bring the vehicle to a complete stop by itself.

In 2010, Honda received a Euro NCAP Advanced reward for its CMBS technology. CMBS has been recognised as amongst the best safety innovations available, offering research proven benefits. By studying accident statistics in Germany and extending the figures across Europe, Honda estimates that, if all cars were fitted with CMBS, between 200,000 and 250,000 accidents could be either prevented or mitigated every year.

ADVANCED COMPATIBILITY ENGINEERINGâ„¢ (ACEâ„¢) BODY STRUCTURE

Developed in the car-to-car crash testing facility at Tochigi, the ACEâ„¢ body structure is now a well-established weapon in Honda's safety armoury. Progressively introduced throughout the Honda range, it provides significantly enhanced occupant protection in a variety of real-world crash conditions. A front-mounted polygonal main frame is designed to prevent cabin deformation by distributing forces through multiple major load bearing pathways - and away from the passenger compartment. Additionally, ACE Body Structure helps to minimise the potential for under- or over-ride situations, this is particularly important where a frontal collision occurs between vehicles of differing heights, weights or frame construction.

PEDESTRIAN INJURY MITIGATION DESIGN

The construction of the front of the new CR-V is designed to help absorb energy in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. Specific pedestrian injury mitigation features include:

An unobstructed area beneath the bonnet that allows greater space for deformation.

Both the driver and front passenger are protected by advanced front airbags (SRS) that incorporate dual-stage and multiple-threshold activation technology. One or both of these airbags will be deployed only in the event of a frontal impact of sufficient force. If deployed, the airbags can be inflated at different rates depending on a number of factors including the severity of the crash and if the occupants are wearing their seatbelts. Like in other Honda vehicles, the driver's front airbag is located in the steering wheel and the passenger airbag is located on the top of the dashboard.

The front passenger airbag can be deactivated to allow a rear facing child seat to be fitted.

DRIVER and FRONT PASSENGER SIDE AIRBAGS WITH FRONT PASSENGER OCCUPANT POSITION DETECTION SYSTEM (OPDS)

Driver's and front passenger's side airbags are mounted in each front seatback and are designed to provide pelvis and thorax protection in the event of a severe side impact. In addition, the front passenger's seat is equipped with the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), an innovative system designed to deactivate the side airbag if a child (or small-stature adult) leans into the side airbag deployment path. When the passenger returns to an upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates so it can deploy to help protect the occupant in a side impact.

SIDE CURTAIN AIRBAGS WITH ROLLOVER SENSOR

All outboard seating positions include a side curtain airbag with rollover sensor system. The side curtain airbags deploy from modules in the roof in the event of a sufficient side impact, providing a significant level of head protection in the window area. In the unlikely event that the vehicle rolls over, a roll-rate sensor, along with multiple G force sensors determine the rate of roll and deploy the side curtain airbags accordingly.

SEATBELTS

Honda uses three-point seatbelts in all seating positions in the new Honda CR-V, the front seatbelts also have load limiting pretensioners. ISOFIX fittings ensure correct installation and provide secure child seat mounting points.

For added confidence Honda also use an innovative seat belt reminder system for passengers. After the engine is started, a weight sensor detects whether the front passenger seat is occupied. If the driver or front passenger has not already fastened the seat belt, an icon in the cluster illuminates and a chime sounds as a reminder to do so.

WHIPLASH MITIGATION SYSTEM

The front seats of the new CR-V incorporate a whiplash mitigation system, which is designed to help mitigate the severity of neck injuries in the event of a rear impact.

Slits in the urethane portion of the seat back, folds in the cushion spring and a rotating mechanism on the cushion spring combine to absorb the occupant's energy in the event of an accident, alleviating the risk of whiplash injuries. Honda's engineers have also worked tirelessly to provide a greater spring range in the seat design, providing a more even dispersal of impact forces in the event of a rear impact. For greater comfort the head restraints have been pushed back 9 mm compared to previous model.

The whiplash mitigation system work in conjunction with the CR-V's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACEâ„¢) body structure.

PACKS

Urban Pack - Enhances the CR-V's sporty looks. Front and rear bumpers with matte silver finish make it look lower to the ground. A rear tailgate spoiler and matte silver door mirror covers highlight its sporty profile.

The new Honda CR-V will be built at Honda's UK manufacturing facility, Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd (HUM), which was established in 1985. The CR-V was first produced at HUM in 2000. Honda is committed to manufacturing in the UK and the many awards won by the products built at HUM demonstrate the plant's ability to produce high quality products for the European market.

Over the last 25 years, Honda has invested over £ 1.4 billion into its manufacturing operation in Swindon and currently employs 3,500 Associates who will build the new Honda CR-V alongside the Civic and Jazz.

HUM is a fully integrated car manufacturing facility, producing the whole car (casting, engine assembly, pressing, welding, painting and frame assembly) on one, 370 acre site (1.5 million m2) site in Swindon, Wiltshire.

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