Honda CR-V Hybrid Coming — But Not to North America

Honda is dipping its toe in the hybrid crossover waters, unveiling a gas-electric version of the CR-V that will go on sale exclusively in the Chinese market later this year.

Unveiled at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show, the Honda CR-V Hybrid will be built and sold by the automaker’s joint venture in China, Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. While few details about the hybrid powertrain were announced by Honda, the automaker said it will be of the two-motor variety and will be dubbed the Honda Sport Hybrid i-MMD system. Honda’s premium sub-brand, Acura, has long produced so-called Sport Hybrid versions of its vehicles, though the current iteration of the MDX midsize crossover features a three-motor setup.

While Honda made no mention of any potential plans to market the CR-V Hybrid in other parts of the world, a quote attributed to its chief executive served as a reminder of what the future holds for the automaker.

ALSO SEE: 2017 Nissan Rogue Hybrid Review

“With a goal to make two-thirds of our global automobile sales from electrified vehicles by around 2030, Honda will pursue the development of electrification technologies more speedily,” Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said in a statement from the automaker.

Whether strictly for the Chinese market or beyond, the arrival of a gas-electric version of the CR-V comes as little surprise. The crossover’s chief rival of the last two decades, the Toyota RAV4, was hybridized for the 2015 model year, while the Nissan Rogue Hybrid went on sale late last year.

The gas version of the Honda CR-V was recently named 2017 Utility Vehicle of the Year.