Honda greeted the internet a Merry Christmas after announcing the new HR-V Sport – a high-performance grade of the 2019 model. The HR-V Sport is powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged V-TEC extracted straight from under the hood of the Civic.
So, now that Honda’s subcompact crossover is glorified with the muscular 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, power output now peaks at 180 hp and 240 Nm of torque (220 Nm for the CVT variant). Compare that to the 140 hp that the local-spec HR-V has. The HR-V Sport will be offered with a selection of a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT) variant.
Another technical update is the bespoke ‘Performance Damper’ technology for a more optimized rigidity, suspension, and handling. Integrated at the front and rear of the car, the technology counteracts the lateral and torsional movement through the chassis. As a result, the subcompact crossover has less body roll on corners, more stable on lane changing, and has minimal vibration on bumps.
In addition, the steering set-up supports Honda’s Agile Handling Assist technology, apart from having a variable ratio electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion system. This unique set-up makes the car able to achieve steady response at on- and near-center angles, while making the off-center angle smoother than ever.
For non-car enthusiast eyes, changes on the interior may be unnoticeable as these were minor facelift. The most obvious change is the fog lamp vent, which instead of featuring a strip of LED light, now has a single round fog light on the side closer to the grille. Another obvious detail upgrade is the high-gloss black chrome ‘Solid Wing Face’, replacing the darkened chrome on the standard model. A black honeycomb finish is boasted in the front grille, as well as in the fog lamp vents on the bumper.
Other minor details include black side mirror caps, dual exhaust pipes, and a set of 18-inch alloy wheels in Sport-exclusive design. The headlights celebrate LED low and high beam functionalities, apart from the LED daytime running lights. Same treatment was done in the rear, as the tailgate features black chrome garnish. The taillights, on the other hand, boast enhanced dark ‘smoked’ effect and black inner bars.
There are little changes inside the cabin, though. The seats are carried over from the standard 2019 HR-V. However, if we’re talking about the looks, the seats give out this sportier appeal compared to the standard ones. This is because they are upholstered with a combination of dark red leather and black fabric.
Honda said that the production of the 2019 HR-V Sport is set to happen this December 2018. Meanwhile, deliveries are expected to begin around March to April 2019. Do note that this particular grade is announced in Europe but that does not mean there are no reason for it not to make it in the Philippines. Can Honda Cars Philippines Inc. be able to shed light on bringing the turbocharged HR-V Sport in the country? Your guess is as good as ours.