Five months ago, Honda showed a hybrid version of its CR-V compact crossover utility vehicle at the Shanghai auto show.
Now, a European version of the Honda CR-V Hybrid is being shown at this week's Frankfurt auto show.
Having teased it twice around the world, will the hybrid crossover come to North America too?
It seems a pretty likely bet that it will.
After the Chinese version appeared in April, Green Car Reports asked Honda directly if it had plans to bring the CR-V Hybrid to the U.S. market.
Like most makers, the company doesn't like to answer questions about future products—and Honda can be particularly opaque about plans for electrified vehicles.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: This article, originally published on September 11, 2017, has been updated with photos of the CR-V Hybrid as shown at the Frankfurt motor show.]
2017 Honda CR-V TouringEnlarge Photo
In April, we received the follow response from Honda to our question about U.S. plans for the CR-V Hybrid:
We have already announced our intent to electrify core volume models, including light trucks. CR-V will logically be a part of that, and we'll announce timing for the U.S. at a later date.
That's essentially Honda saying, "Yep, it's coming here too," before it makes the actual announcement.
Honda's April release for the hybrid CR-V said very little about the powertrain beyond its use of the company's "Sport Hybrid" two-motor hybrid system.
We have a few more details now from the Frankfurt version, and they're not terribly surprising.
The European CR-V Hybrid appears essentially the same as the compact SUV Honda sells in the States, with changes only to the wheels and badges compared to its conventional counterpart.
But Honda says it will be powered by a 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle inline-4, paired to the latest generation of Honda's clever two-motor hybrid system that will launch in the 2018 Honda Accord.
That drive unit, which substitutes entirely for a transmission, incorporates two electric motors, one essentially inside the other.
One motor powers the car, alone or with the engine assisting, while the other acts as a motor-generator to recharge the battery both from engine power and during regenerative braking.
CHECK OUT: 2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: Gas Mileage Review
Like the hybrid version of the Honda Accord mid-size sedan, a third generation of which will arrive in the redesigned 2018 Accord, it can be driven as in EV mode as an entirely electric car, though only for short distances of 1 mile or so under light power.
For the CR-V Hybrid, the default Hybrid drive mode makes the car behave like any other hybrid, while an Engine Drive mode turns the electric drive motor into a kind of added boost for what is essentially a conventional gasoline-powered Accord.
Honda's U.S. arm has long promised that more vehicles beside the Accord would employ the two-motor hybrid system, and the CR-V is a logical second recipient.
2016 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Feb 2016Enlarge Photo
The top four compact crossovers in this year's U.S. sales charts are the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.
Two of those now offer hybrid versions: the Nissan Rogue Hybrid and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.
The 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid is rated at 32 mpg combined, and the Nissan Rogue Hybrid comes in at 33 mpg combined with all-wheel drive or 34 mpg combined with front-wheel drive.
While the hybrid Ford Escape model ended with the new generation small SUV that debuted in 2013, rumors have emerged of an Escape Hybrid returning for 2019.
Meanwhile, we'd bet the 2018 Honda CR-V will debut for the U.S. market at either the Los Angeles auto show in November or the Detroit auto show in January.