Honda Automobiles: All-New 2012 Honda CR-V Chassis Tuned for Smooth Ride and Quick Response

The 2012 Honda CR-V chassis is designed to maximize driving enjoyment and passenger comfort with its fully independent front MacPherson strut suspension and rear multi-link suspension. Advanced technologies include Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS), a new feature for CR-V, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®), which has been standard since 2005 on every CR-V.

Innovations for 2012 include significant reductions in weight to many of the chassis components, resulting in an overall reduction compared to the 2011 model. The suspension’s compact design contributes to the CR-V’s outstanding packaging efficiency and low cargo floor.

New Chassis Technology

  • Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Hill Start Assist

Chassis Summary

  • Fully independent front MacPherson strut suspension and rear multi-link suspension
  • Wheelbase 103.1 inches; track front/rear 61.6/61.6 (EX and EX-L), 61.5/61.5 (LX)
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®)
  • 4-wheel disc brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • 17-inch alloy wheels (EX and EX-L), 16-inch steel wheels (LX)
  • Front and rear stabilizer bars

The 103.1-inch wheelbase, wide front and rear track dimensions, fully independent suspension design, and features such as VSA® and new Motion-Adaptive EPS all contribute to the CR-V’s objective to provide a premium driving experience. The CR-V’s suspension system uses a MacPherson strut design in the front and a precise multi-link rear suspension. The compact multi-link suspension helps maximize second-row seating and cargo space, while also providing outstanding handling characteristics and ride quality.

Front MacPherson Strut Suspension
The front suspension is specially designed and tuned for compact packaging, supple ride comfort and the long wheel travel and ruggedness necessary to meet harsh roads. Primary components of the front MacPherson strut suspension consist of a subframe-attached lower control arm and heavy-duty wheel hub connected to a shock absorber and coil spring assembly. The damper and coil spring assembly acts as one unit and is attached to the wheel hub at its base and a reinforced portion of the of the vehicle body at its top.

The front suspension geometry incorporates a high caster angle along with inversely wound springs for confident straight-line tracking and excellent toe-control dynamics for sharp and responsive steering. When cornering, the inner wheel is designed to remain close to perpendicular (relative to the ground plane) throughout a wide range of travel, which improves tire adhesion. To improve ride comfort, the compliance angle on the lower control arm is tuned to transmit minimal harshness. Specially tuned bushings and precisely calibrated suspension geometry ensure optimal ride, handling and steering feel in a wide variety of road conditions.

Rear Multi-Link Suspension
The CR-V is equipped with a rear multi-link suspension that helps provide a smoother ride, improved handling and additional cargo space. The dynamics offered by the three-link suspension create excellent stability under cornering and braking. The rear independent multi-link suspension system with aluminum knuckle fits compactly underneath the rear seating and storage areas while providing excellent ride and handling characteristics, with low NVH. The suspension uses large-diameter trailing-arm bushings to reduce harshness and improve ride comfort. Front and rear stays increase the subframe mounting point rigidity, to the benefit of stability and steering feel.

Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars
All models feature front and rear stabilizer bars to reduce body roll during cornering. The diameter of the tubular front stabilizer bar measures 20 mm, and the solid rear stabilizer bar measures 19 mm.

Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
Following the 2012 Civic, the new CR-V is the second Honda in the North American market to use Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS). Standard on all 2012 CR-V models, this sophisticated new system incorporates driving stability technology which initiates steering inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction during cornering and in slippery road conditions.

Using vehicle speed and steering angle data, Motion-Adaptive EPS works with Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in slippery road conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction. This new advanced technology supports the driver’s action in operating the vehicle more safely and comfortably.

Three examples of how Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) functions in conjunction with VSA are:

Stabilizes Braking — Corrects the driver’s steering input to reduce vehicle instability when the driver is braking hard on road surfaces with different friction coefficients (such as pavement that is only partially covered with dirt or snow)

Mitigates Understeer — Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate understeer and help the driver trace the curve

Mitigates Oversteer — Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate oversteer and help the driver trace the curve

With Motion-Adaptive EPS, a sophisticated electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system takes the place of a conventional hydraulic power steering system. EPS responds instantly to steering input and automatically changes the amount of power assist appropriate to the vehicle’s speed.

The Motion-Adaptive EPS system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor installed concentrically around the steering rack. To control the level of assist the Powertrain Control Module receives signals from a speed sensor and, coupled with a steering sensor for torque and rotation, then calculates the optimal amount of assist and sends a signal to the electric motor.

When compared to the operation of a conventional hydraulic pump power steering system, the more simple and lightweight Motion-Adaptive EPS increases efficiency because it does not draw a continuous amount of power directly from the engine. Other advantages of electric power-assisted steering include its simplicity and compactness (no hydraulic system is needed to power it) and its lower power consumption, which helps improve fuel efficiency.

The steering ratio on all CR-V models is 16.7:1 (previously 15.7 in 2011), resulting in 3.2 turns lock-to-lock (previously 3.0 in 2011) and a turning diameter of 37.0 ft. (37.3 ft. EX) curb-to-curb (previously 37.8 ft. in 2011). All 2012 CR-V models have a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel.

4-Wheel Disc Brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
All CR-V models are equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes (front ventilated disc and rear solid disc) for confident braking. The system incorporates 4-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist as standard equipment. A power brake booster offers a solid feel with high pedal rigidity. The ventilated front disc brakes are 11.7 inches in diameter and the solid rear disc brakes are 12.0 inches in diameter.

The 4-channel ABS independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking. EBD automatically optimizes braking force between the front and rear wheels, helping to ensure that the CR-V stops in the shortest distance possible, regardless of the number of passengers or amount of cargo that it is carrying. Brake Assist recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force when appropriate.

For 2012, the CR-V wheel hubs receive improvements. The rear hubs in all models feature low-friction bearing seals, while the rear brakes in AWD models additionally feature low-drag springs. The enhancements contribute to the CR-V’s improved fuel economy.

Hill Start Assist
New for 2012, Hill Start Assist helps to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal while the vehicle is stopped on a hill. Hill Start Assist automatically activates when the vehicle senses a certain incline and is fully stopped in any forward or reverse gear. The system uses a longitudinal G-sensor along with a wheel speed sensor and steering angle sensor to control the hydraulic brake modulator. While activated, the brakes are released when the driver depresses the throttle to make the vehicle move.

Wheels and Tires
CR-V EX and EX-L models are equipped with 225/65R17 all-season tires with 17×6.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The CR-V LX is equipped with 215/70R16 all-season tires with 16×6.5-inch stamped-steel wheels.

Space-Saving Spare Tire
The spare tire is a space- and weight-saving temporary unit for all CR-V models. Mounted on a steel wheel, it is located under the carpeted floor in the trunk.

Fuel System
The 15.3-gallon fuel tank is molded of high-density polyethylene for low weight, corrosion elimination and impact resistance. It is positioned immediately ahead of the rear wheels to help guard against collision damage. Corners of the tank are rounded and the inside of the tank is baffled to diminish the likelihood of sloshing-fuel noise. A new fuel pump housed inside the fuel tank is lighter and more efficient compared to the previous generation’s fuel pump. The fuel-filter is a lifetime design that never needs replacement. The CR-V’s minimum fuel grade requirement is regular unleaded.

When equipped with a Honda dealer-installed accessory towing package, the new 2012 CR-V can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The available towing package includes a Class II hitch, towing kit, ATF cooler and wiring harness.

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®)
(Please see Safety section for more information.)

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
(Please see Safety section for more information.)

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