The new Honda CR-Z Hybrid Coupé is proof that modern day sports cars can also be clean and green.
The production version of the compact 2+2 coupé has just been unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, and is expected to be in UK showrooms this summer.
CR-Z redefines the sports car
The Honda CR-Z is a mild parallel hybrid sports car, meaning it uses both a 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and a 13bhp electric motor to power the front wheels. Their combined efforts produce 188bhp, which is the same power output as Honda’s larger capacity 1.8-litre petrol engine.
Further, the Honda CR-Z produces 35g/km fewer emissions, with a CO2 figure of just 117g/km, and boasts a combined fuel consumption of 56.4mpg. However, previous experience in the mechanically similar Honda Insight makes the Which? Car test team think you won’t quite match this in real-life driving.
Sporty to look at, sportier to drive
The CR-Z certainly looks sporty with its LED lighting, low bonnet and rising belt line, but Honda also promises the Coupé will be agile to drive. Although the Honda CR-Z shares its platform with the bigger and more family-friendly Insight, the wheelbase has been shortened (by 115mm) and the track widened to offer a much sportier driving dynamic.
Add new springs and dampers plus a six-speed manual gearbox and Honda goes as far as describing the driving experience as ‘kart-like’.
Three driving modes
Drivers will be able to choose from three driving modes at the touch of a button, depending on whether you want to maximise fun, fuel economy or a combination of both. All settings will alter the throttle response, steering, idle stop timing, climate control and electrical assistance accordingly.
Prices for the Honda CR-Z are expected to start from £18,000 putting it in direct competition with the highly accomplished Volkswagen Scirocco – and possibly also VW’s New Compact Coupé, also showing at Detroit.
We’ll bring you our first impressions of the CR-Z as soon as we can get behind the wheel, but Honda’s official video reveals the car’s background.