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Report: Honda CR-Z was almost killed twice, U.S. dealers didn't want it

Norio Tomobe, chief engineer of the Honda CR-Z, said "The CR-Z is supposed to be an intelligent sports car." We can spend a fair bit of time debating the 'intelligence' of a sports coupe that gets from 0-to-60 in 9.7 seconds and has just two seats but gets worse gas mileage than a Toyota Prius. However, we won't really be able to decide on the issue until we drive it, and that is apparently what it takes to feel the love for it.

According to Automotive News, back when the CR-Z was being designed to house a traditional gasoline-only drivetrain, Tomobe said he and his team dug deep to come up with a new idea for the car, which ended up being a hybrid drivetrain and a six-speed transmission. But that wasn't until after they had tried to kill the project. Twice. And that didn't stop the president of American Honda Motor from repeatedly telling Japan the U.S. didn't need or want a sporty hybrid, which he thought would confuse customers. Until he drove it, and then all was go.

The hybrid's compromises remain a subject on everyone's minds. Tomobe wants more horsepower, and rumors began a month ago about a Type-R iteration. Even though Tomobe claims "We are not pursuing absolute maximum speed," we can't help but wonder if this first version of Honda's 122-horsepower future satisfies his own aspiration that "What we aim for is a car that is exhilarating to drive."

Article Found At: Auto Blog
 

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i hate how all people want is more power. (most people)

its a little honda. not a big challenger.

plus i think that having a car with a lot of power out of factory is not fun. what ? i can upgrade my 600hp stock car to 750hp. wow. im already faster than anyone on the street with a stock car but hey i can be even faster by modding.

how about take a slow car thats fun to drive cause its extremely agile, and make it faster so it becomes a fast (realitively fast) car thats fun to drive cause its fast AND agile

anyways. glad its alive. i like it even tho its slow.
 

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sorta interesting, and i think the president of american honda is underestimating the US public. Increased gas mileage is increased gas mileage. Why do all of the current hybrids have to focus on taking a little tiny 10 second 0-60 car and increase from 35 mpg up to 50 mpg? Why cant they take a 7 second 0-60 car that gets 25-30 mpg and increase it to 35-40 mpg using hybrid tech? That is why i was so excited when i first heard what Honda was going to TRY to do with the CRZ. I thought that they were going to be the first company to realize that hybrids dont have to just be for hippies and people that dont care about having fun in their car.... though it is still up in the air whether Honda will actually succeed or not (still dont like that 9.7 second 0-60 on those leaked pamphlets......).

One example is that hybrid that Porsche had at the Geneva auto show. There was an article that said it could go 0-60 in 3.2 seconds and supposedly just cruising at highway speed on a test track they got 78 mpg.... now that would be at least like 10X the price of a CRZ, but still my point is why cant we get a hybrid that has the handling AND some straight line power.....
 

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dorifuto, I am just curious how tough it will be to mod a hybrid. I dont know enough about exactly how the computer manages the two engines, etc. I am just wondering if someone mods the internal combustion engine if that will throw off the computer at all and maybe cause some rather odd acceleration....
 

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thanks for the post :hi5:

i agree to an extent with the above posts... some people just prefer to have a car that kills anything on the street from the factory b/c they maintain great performance and factory warranty...

after driving my friends '10 GT-R i'm thoroughly convinced that it is one of the best built cars on the road today...

take my other friend with his '06 SRT-10 Viper... tons of power but lacks the technology to keep that power under control... heck when i first drove it i almost slammed it into the guard-rail just by pressing the gas down in 1st gear lol... raw power behind that thing for sure but no real technology behind it...

i like Honda's approach with the "Sporty Hybrid" CR-Z... it'd be great to see other companies focus on maximum efficiency while achieving great performance numbers too... i'm sure Honda isn't going to stop at just the CR-Z... i hear they're working on a new FULL-HYBRID system for the larger vehicles which will obviously flow over to the smaller vehicles and eliminate the current mild-IMA system...
 
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