The CR-Z 's exterior styling is formed around a 'one-motion wedge' concept with a low bonnet line and wide stance giving the car a confident, athletic look. Signature Honda design features, such as the split level rear glass hatch and aerodynamic, shallow raked roofline have been referenced in the design of the sleek coupe and then combined with a curvaceous and deeply sculpted exterior form.
For the first time, a fuel efficient, low emission parallel hybrid system is combined with a precise and driver focussed 6-speed manual gearbox. The new CR-Z teams a conventional manual gearbox with a petrol-electric drivetrain for the first time since the 5-speed 2003 Civic IMA and is possible only because of the flexibility of Honda's IMA parallel hybrid system.
The manual transmission is complemented by a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder engine, which is new to the EU and is a key component in the CR-Z's unique character. The eager to rev nature of the medium capacity engine, is enhanced by the additional 78 Nm of torque provided by the 14 PS electric motor, which is situated between the engine and transmission.
The 1.5 litre engine combined with the power and torque of the IMA parallel hybrid system gives an overall power output of 124 PS and 174 Nm of torque. The peak torque figure is identical to that of the 1.8-litre Civic and with 35 g/km lower CO2 emissions of just 117 g/km.
The electric motor gives the CR-Z an unusually flat torque curve with the maximum arriving at just 1500 rpm, unusually low for a naturally aspirated engine. Teamed with a 6-speed manual transmission, the IMA assisted engine provides great in-gear flexibility, excellent exhaust emissions and a sporty exhaust note.
To maximise driver choice and enhance the day to day drivability of the car, the CR-Z has been fitted with 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.
In developing this 3-Mode Drive System, Honda allows the driver to choose whether they wish to maximise enjoyment, economy or strike a balance between the two. Honda's engineers wanted to give customers more choices in how the CR-Z would drive, depending on their needs and desires at the time.
Uniquely, the European version of the CR-Z has day time running lights with eight LEDs accenting the lower line of the sweeping headlights. This is the first time DTRL's have been fitted to a production Honda, and combined with the EU only front fog lights provide a tailored look to the European specification CR-Z.
The interior of the production car has been developed from the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show CR-Z Concept, with its 3D displays and driver focussed cabin. The high-technology instrument binnacle places all of the commonly used controls close to the driver's hands, allowing full concentration on driving at all times.
Driver enjoyment was a core part of the design brief and the CR-Z's chassis plays a key role in creating the character of the car. The platform shares some components with the Insight, but the wheelbase, track width and set-up are all bespoke for the new hybrid. Forged aluminium MacPherson struts have been used in the CR-Z to reduce weight and increase strength over the pressed steel items used in the Insight.
Overall the CR-Z has a 115 mm shorter wheelbase and is 295 mm shorter in overall length than the Insight, enhancing agility and reducing kerb weight by 44 kg compared to its 5-door, five-seat, family car cousin. The CR-Z suspension features new, spring and damper settings and the tolerances are individual to the compact coupe.Mugen builds high-performance Honda CR-Z
17 March 2011 Honda CR-Z receives five Euro NCAP stars
25 August 2010 Honda's new TV advert for CR-Z Hybrid
11 June 2010 Honda CR-Z pricing announced
2 March 2010