Honda has just unveiled the production version of the CR-Z hybrid, looking like and taking after the original CRX. The CRX, after all, was introduced as a fuel efficient model, that quickly became a favorite of enthusiasts and tuners alike due to its sporty driving dynamics.
“The CR-Z is a personal sport hybrid coupe for people with a spirit of adventure and an elevated sense of responsibility toward the environment,” said John Mendel, VP of sales for American Honda. “It’s the first hybrid designed to maximize style and fun, in addition to efficiency and economy.”
The CR-Z uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor to make 122-hp at 6000 rpm and 128 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 to 1500 rm when mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or 122-hp and 123 ft-lbs of torque with a CVT automatic (which features paddle shifters by the way). As for fuel-economy, it’s rated at 36-mpg city and 38-mpg highway.
The CR-Z comes with a three-mode driving system, with buttons on the steering wheel to choose Sport, Normal and Economy driving. Sport mode delivers a more responsive throttle, with tighter steering and the tachometer lights up bright red when in Sport model. Econ mode delivers optimum fuel efficiency with reduced pedal feel. The air conditioning system will also reduce its lag on the engine in Econ mode. Normal mode delivers standard settings, and in both Normal and Econ mode, the tachometer display will light up blue or green depending on how the vehicle is driven – with a green display representing the most fuel-efficient driving.
Like the Insight, the CR-Z offers and Eco Guide to help driver’s keep track of fuel economy.
Two trim levels will be offered in the U.S., a base CR-Z and well-equipped EX model. The six-speed manual is standard, as is Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control. The CR-Z EX includes HID Headlights fog lights, a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. EX models will get the option for navigation.
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