Two years ago this car was on display at Detroit Motor Show as a study concept, and now it is on the same stage this this time in full production trim. This is the new Honda CR-Z Hybrid, which is supposed to be a green sportscar. And it looks fine for the job, but you will be disappointed when you find out more about its powertrain!
You see the CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine with Honda’s compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system which has a combined peak output of 122 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 128 lb-ft. of torque at 1,000 to 1,500 rpm. My food blender has more power than this car!
It can be had with either a six-speed manual transmission or an optional CVT gearbox which performs a little better. EPA-estimated fuel economy rating for the CR-Zs with manual box is 31 city/37 highway mpg. The car’s hybrid powertrain also has a clever management sytem which allows you to choose between three Sport, Normal and Economy driving styles.
Honda says that on the Sport mode enhances multiple vehicle systems for performance including the engine throttle responsiveness, electric power steering effort and the electric motor power assist and the inner ring of the tachometer illuminates red, but with only 122hp, it cannot make much difference!
Apart from the engine, other things about the CR-Z are quite sporty. It comes with MacPherson strut front and H-shaped torsion beam rear suspension system. It’s also fitted with 6×6-inch aluminum wheels with 195/55 R16 86V tires, while 17×7 alloy wheels with 205/45R17 84V tires are available as option. You also get a powerful braking package with anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD) and ventilated front discs and solid rear discs.
As for the equipments, The CR-Z is a feature rich car available in two normal and EX trim levels. Standard features on the Honda CR-Z include Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry, cruise control, and more. The Honda CR-Z EX adds, High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights with Auto-On/Off, fog lights, a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more. The Honda CR-Z EX is available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition.
The car will go on sale in summer 2010 as a 2011 model, pricing to be announced later.