Next Honda CR-V getting hybrid drivetrain, seven seats?

The next CR-V won\'t debut until late 2017.

Honda has published a teaser sketch that previews the next-generation CR-V.

The Japanese car maker has big changes in store for its popular crossover. For starters, designers have tossed out the vertical tail lamps that have characterized the CR-V since the first-generation model arrived nearly two decades ago and replaced them with smaller units inspired by the ones found on the new tenth-generation Civic.

The CR-V will continue to offer space for five passengers in its standard configuration, but IndianAutosBlog believes that Honda will expand the lineup with a longer model fitted with seven seats. Both variants of the crossover will be built on the same platform as the aforementioned Civic.

Mechanically, the big news is that the CR-V will be offered with a plug-in hybrid drivetrain for the first time ever. Japanese website Response reports the powertrain will be built around a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors. The plug-in CR-V will presumably be capable of driving on electricity alone for short distances, but technical specifications haven't been finalized yet.

Other engines will include an evolution of the current CR-V's 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and a smaller four-banger fitted with a turbocharger. Front-wheel drive and an automatic transmission will continue to come standard on most trim levels, while all-wheel drive will be offered at an extra cost.

The next-generation Honda CR-V is expected to make its debut at a major auto show in the fall of next year, and it will go on sale shortly after as a 2018 model.

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