Honda has had a lot of trouble in the press recently, with 5 recalls in less than a year for its latest all-new model and a serious airbag recall leading to more delays for its upcoming HR-V crossover already giving the Japanese automaker plenty to think about. Earlier this week, Honda got even more bad news when Swedish magazine Teknikens Värld posted video of the 2015 Honda CR-V utterly failing its all-wheel drive performance test.
The video (shown, above) is pretty damning at first glance. Indeed, Jalopnik sub-forum Truck Yeah! ran the video under the headlie “Looks Like The 2015 Honda CR-V’s AWD System Doesn’t Work At All“.
The basic premise, for those of you who don’t want to watch the video, is this: with its front wheels on rollers, a 2015 Honda CR-V equipped with the company’s AWD system starts spinning the fronts madly, with no power going to the rears at all. From a dead stop to how ever many MPH the test driver takes it to, the front-wheel-drive Honda CR-V doesn’t make an inch of forward progress.
The magazine reached out to Honda for comment, and Honda spokespeople responded by saying that, “in real conditions, regardless of the surface, there is a certain amount of friction always available for both front and rear wheels,” and that “the AWD system benefits therefore torque between front and rear wheels in order to achieve optimal driving force … (so that), in real conditions a scenario (like this) roll test, with such a high difference in grip between the front and the rear wheels, is highly unlikely.”
As for me, I can imagine any number of situations in which you’d have almost no grip under the front wheels- patches of ice on a hilly road, snow on a long driveway, etc.- in which a high difference in grip between front and rears could happen. Still, this is Honda, and if they say the 2015 Honda CR-V works, you have to imagine it does, you know? Right? Maybe?
You can read Honda Sweden’s official response to the AWD test video, below, then let us know what you think of Honda’s “unlikely scenario” response in the comments section at the bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Official Response From Honda, in re: 2015 Honda CR-V AWD Test/Video
The Honda AWD system uses a compact, lightweight and fuel-efficient rear differential. The design requires a certain torque limitation for the device to be able to work effectively in real conditions, but at the same time, it must not exceed the total capacity of the AWD drive.
In real conditions, regardless of the surface, there is a certain amount of friction always available for both front and rear wheels. The AWD system benefits therefore torque between front and rear wheels in order to achieve optimal driving force.
In the roll test non-existent grip is simulated in the front and maximum grip at the rear. If all the available torque required to move the vehicle forward would be transferred to the rear differential then the limit for the torque of the unit would be exceeded.
If the vehicle continues to run in this state (the front wheels spinning and the rear wheels standing still) the system senses the high speed variation and that the differential clutch slips and reduces the available torque to the rear wheels to prevent overheating. That is why the vehicle moves backward in the video.
In real conditions a scenario like the roll test with such a high difference in grip between the front and the rear wheels is highly unlikely.
In other words Honda does not see that the roll test fairly highlights CR-V’s AWD performance. Teknikens Värld has done a winter test where CR-V was tested on icy roads, as well as steep paths such as a ski slope.
Honda believes that these tests in real environments should be enough to show that the CR-V is a great winter car and would like to stress that there are no known customer complaints on the CR-V’s traction from the Swedish market or in other markets with similar conditions.
On Teknikens Värld’s question whether the update is made, we can with measuring instruments upon request show that for both customers and media.
Since it is important for Honda that customers feel safe and have confidence in ourselves we did an update of the software of all CR-Vs for the Swedish market.
CR-V customers were able to get the software, free of charge, updated at our dealers from April 15 and in production from July 8 in 2013.
Honda CR-V is a global car and has sold over 5 million copies. It is the world’s best-selling SUV* and the sales in Europe is growing steadily, 6 percent in comparison with last year. The CR-V therefore has many satisfied customers around the world.
head of communications, Honda Sweden
Source | Images: Teknikens Värld, via World Car Fans.