Earlier this year, Honda announced that the HR-V would be given an update for the 2019 model year in Europe, which includes a new engine option in the form of the Civic‘s 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo engine. This is now being presented in the HR-V Sport, a new variant that differs quite a bit from a regular HR-V beyond what’s under the bonnet.

We’ll focus on the obvious first. The HR-V Sport gets a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbo four-cylinder unit, which is paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission. With the manual, peak horsepower of 182 PS arrives at 5,500 rpm, and at 6,000 rpm with the CVT.

The manual option also gets a higher torque figure of 240 Nm from 1,900 to 5,000 rpm, while the CVT gets just 220 Nm from 1,700 to 5,500 rpm. Here in Malaysia, the Honda HR-V is powered by a 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine with 142 PS and 172 Nm of torque, for comparison.

Honda says the new (and sportier) model is targeted at those who want a more dynamic driving experience, and so, the HR-V Sport gets ‘Performance Damper’ technology. Essentially, the car comes with adaptive roll bars at the front and rear to counteract the relative lateral and torsional movement through the chassis to keep it flatter through corners and enhance stability.

The variable ratio electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system is also unique to the new model, and is claimed to provide a steady response at on-, near-, and off-centre steering angles.

Mechanical changes aside, the HR-V Sport gets a high-gloss black chrome panel for its ‘Solid Wing Face’, plus a black honeycomb finish for the front grille garnish and fog lamp surrounds. Other styling revisions include a slim front splitter, side skirts, wheel arch mouldings and a more aggressive rear bumper – all with a black finish.

The model also comes with black door mirror caps, dual exhaust pipes,18-inch alloy wheels in a unique design, LED headlamps, black chrome tailgate garnish and smoked taillights. As for the interior, the seats follow a black and dark red colour scheme, coupled with black roof lining. Production of the HR-V Sport is slated to start in December 2018, with the first customer deliveries in spring 2019.