We 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.
The 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.
It’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?