Honda is reportedly planning a range-extender "hybrid" powertrain similar to the one used in the Chevy Volt. The news comes via company insiders through a report by Motor Trend.
Currently Honda relies on its Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup that is significantly behind the times in terms of technology. The system is compact, light-weight and cheaper to produce, but isn't capable of hitting the fuel economy numbers that cars like the Prius can – due to that car's two-mode setup that also allows it to be driven on pure electric power.
A range extender system is actually more of an electric car than a hybrid. It uses both a gasoline and an electric motor, but the electric engine powers the wheels exclusively, with the gasoline engine charging the battery once its energy store is depleted.
In addition, MT is reporting Honda is also working on a hybrid V6 motor, for possible use in vehicles like the Accord Sedan and Odyssey, as well as larger (2.5-liter 4-cylinder) hybrid setup to be used in a new hybrid coupe that would be a step larger than the CR-Z.
More: Report: Honda Planning Volt-Style Range Extender Powertrain on AutoGuide.com