Honda has given the HR-V a sporty edge to help the baby SUV tackle European rivals.

Far from being a limited-edition sticker pack, the new HR-V Sport brings a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine which replaces a standard 1.8-litre unit usually fitted to the compact crossover.

Offering up 134kW and 240Nm outputs (significantly more than the 105kW and 172Nm peaks found in Australia), the new model should bring reasonably brisk acceleration.

European customers can choose between manual or CVT automatic transmissions driving the front wheels.

Retuned steering and sports shock absorbers join new 18-inch wheels, along with a range of black and dark chrome exterior elements that follow a similar theme to Australia’s HR-V RS.

Red trim throughout the cabin livens up the interior.

Asked whether such a model might arrive in Australia, Honda spokeswoman Naomi Rebeschini says “we have no new engine plans for current generation HR-V”.

“That said were always looking for whats possible for next-generation models and this engine will be just one part of our considerations,” she says.

Honda’s contender ranks among the top three vehicles for private sales in its class this year.

Source: Drive

December 4, 2018