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Hybrids Go Sporty Next Year With The Honda CR-Z


Honda rolled into the Tokyo Auto Show with the latest version of the CR-Z hybrid, a car that may well be the spiritual successor to the CR-X, and said we’ll see it on the road next year.

Judging from the pre-production prototype on the stand in Tokyo, Honda wants to push gas-electric technology deep into sporting territory with the slick two-seater. Power comes from a 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine mated to the latest version of the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid technology found in the Insight and Civic Hybrid. The car also gets a six-speed manual gearbox — the first time you’ll see one in a hybrid.

“The Honda CR-Z will expand our lineup of hybrid vehicles and reinforce the fun-to-drive values associated with the Honda brand,” said Erik Berkman, VP of automobile planning and logistics for American Honda Motor Co. “Beyond great styling and features, CR-Z will bring new levels of engagement and fun to customers interested a small car or a hybrid vehicle.”

Motor Trend cites “a source close to Honda” who says the CR-Z should get 32 to 35 mpg. Honda plans to bring a production model to the Detroit auto show in January and says the car will go on sale in Japan in February. Look for it here in the states in the second half of the year.

Full article found at Wired.com
 

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This 32-35 MPG worries me greatly, if the power numbers that people are banding about are true then this is just a sad level of performance. What is the point of a hybrid with limited power that can't beat a civic. If you are going to deal with the problems of hybrids (battery life, lower resell value) there has to be an upside or why bother.
 

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I can not believe the 32 mpg figure will be accurate. My old CRX got 31 mpg with the same size 1.5 l engine. You would think with the extra boost from the hybrid technology combined with the much more effecient transmissions of today it would certainly exceed that figure.
 

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The real tragedy is that Honda isn't bothering to develop this as an Electric Vehicle with a gasoline generator, a-la the Chevy Volt. You'd get much better performance, reliability, gas mileage, and emissions.

I have been a VERY long time fan of the CRX, and despised the fact that it got replaced by the DelSol. If this is to be it's triumphant return, I doubt I will be hearing any trumpets heralding its arrival.
 
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