The new Honda CR-Z is an interesting car. We are not saying that’s any good, but it has already attracted a lot of attention. As a matter of fact, it should turn out to be a rubbish car, I mean it’s got only 128 horsepower for God’s sake and it’s a hybrid which in a petrolhead’s dictionary is the equivalent of dull and boring and disgusting! Despite all this, we secretly like it a lot, and we don’t even know why! Maybe that’s what they call the charm.
Anyhow, as the car gets ready to hit the market in a couple of months, Honda has released new press materials about it. Watch this new official video of the car and also hit the jump for more details on it.
2010 Honda CR-Z Hybrid Sports Coupe:
- World’s first 6-speed manual hybrid car
- Wide track, short wheelbase chassis for agile and responsive handling
- All-new, sporty, aerodynamic, 2+2 coupe form
- 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine coupled to Honda IMA hybrid system
- Emissions of 117 g/km** and fuel economy of 56.4mpg**
- Unique 3-Mode Drive System to tailor steering, throttle response and IMA assistance as the driver requires
- Flexible 2+2 seating arrangement in European models only
- Daytime running lights (DTRLs) with eight LEDs that bring out the lower line of the sweeping headlights, exclusive to European models
“The CR-Z is a great-looking, sporty car – that’s also a hybrid,” said Tom Gardner, Head of Marketing, Honda (UK). “Kart-like handling and direct steering will make it great fun to drive, but the hybrid system means exhaust emissions are kept low. With the torque boost of the electric motor, it’s ideally suited to ‘point-to-point’ driving in British towns and cities.”
3-Mode Drive System
To maximise driver choice and enhance the day to day drivability of the CR-Z, it has a 3-Mode Drive System. This unique feature allows the driver to choose between three driving modes, which alter the responses of the throttle, steering, idle stop timing, climate control and the level of assistance provided by the IMA system.
The 3-Mode Drive System allows the driver to choose whether they wish to maximise enjoyment, economy or strike a balance between the two. The aim of Honda’s engineers was to give customers more choice in how the CR-Z would drive, depending on their needs and desires at the time.
Sport buttons have become commonplace in cars to offer drivers the choice between normal throttle response and a sharper response for more enthusiastic driving. Honda’s 3-Mode Drive System is far more than just a button to sharpen throttle response, with the behaviour of the hybrid drivetrain and the power steering assistance also changing between the three modes.
When the CR-Z driver is away from the town or city and wanting to enjoy their drive, they can put the coupe into SPORT mode. This sharpens the throttle response, changes the behaviour of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance and increases the weight of the electric power steering. Our engineers recognise that even cars designed to excite the driver may still be driven in heavy traffic where enthusiastic driving is not possible, or desirable. In these situations ECON mode can be selected, which prioritises fuel economy in the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. At all other times the car can be run in NORM mode, which provides a balance between performance, economy and emissions and suits most driving situations.
The ambient lighting of the speedometer is used in the same way as in the Insight, to guide the driver in driving more economically. In addition to the Eco Assist function, the CR-Z’s meter lighting is linked to the 3-mode drive system. Changing from red to blue and then green depending on whether SPORT, NORM or ECON is selected.