Honda’s Shot in the Arm: the CR-Z Hybrid

September 30th, 2009

2009 Honda CR-Z PreproductionWe last talked about this one in July. But today bloggers are babbling like babies about the Honda CR-Z concept, which reportedly is finally to be released for production, first in Japan (February 2010), then in Europe and the U.S. They are right to be excited: This is (I think) the world’s first hybrid sports car slated for production in any quantity. It looks good, and what specs have been revealed sound good.

2009 Honda CR-Z Preproduction2The Integrated Motor Assist system, upgraded from the Insight, couples with a 1.5 liter 4 and a 6-speed transmission, with CVT optional, so performance should be decent. Hushed acceleration, typical Honda handling, plus an expected 32-35 mpg should make this the sports-performance winner for next year. (I should be writing copy for these guys.) The low-end torque will be there.

Honda CR-Z Concept InteriorIt’s about time that Honda has decided to rise from the dead. We don’t need an NSX, and we certainly don’t need a Crosstour, but a serious, small hybrid sports car? Yeah, we could handle that. Says Cartech:

I know what you’re thinking, oh CRX enthusiasts. When we last saw the Honda CRX Si in 1991, it was packing a 150-horsepower 1.6-liter four and a lightweight, tossable chassis. It’s not likely the CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain will output much more than that; so with the additional weight and complexity, will the CR-Z be able to recapture the small car joy? Only time will tell.

We hope so. Do you think the CR-Z will sell well in the U.S., and what will it cost?

—jgoods

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