Honda is set to provide its CR-Z with an all-new, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine option as part of plans to broaden the compact coupé’s appeal in key world markets, including the UK.
Currently available with just the one engine option — a hybrid that mates a 112bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 14bhp electric motor — the CR-Z is earmarked to receive an all-new turbocharged 1.6-litre powerplant that is currently undergoing development at Honda’s Tochigi R&D centre.
The new engine, which is also planned for the Jazz, Civic and Accord, forms an integral part of a downsizing program instigated at Honda. With forced induction and Honda’s patented VTEC-i fully variable camshaft timing system, it is aimed at providing the performance of a typical 2.0-litre engine from a capacity of just 1.6 litres.
Autocar sources in Japan say the new engine is likely to come in two guises: a standard 160bhp model and a highly tuned 200bhp version aimed at matching the now defunct 2.0-litre VTEC engine in the Civic Type R. This more potent spec is likely to form the basis of a CR-Z Type R, tentatively due out late next year.
Plans for more than a hybrid engine for the Japanese Car of the Year come as sales of the two-door coupé have started to sag in the firm’s all-important home market.
Honda first hinted that it was planning to add another petrol engine when it unveiled the CR-Z Hybrid R concept at the recent SEMA tuning show in Las Vegas. Unlike the proposed production version, though, that car ran a turbocharged version of the CR-Z’s existing 1.5-litre engine rather than the new 1.6.