Honda is on course to launch its sportiest hybrid model yet, the sharp-edged CR-Z road car, in 2010 – and to endow it with more power and performance, and a much more entertaining drive, than next year’s Honda Insight.
In an interview given exclusively to Autocar at the 2008 Paris motor show, Honda designer Motoaki Minowa confirmed that work was continuing on the CR-Z road car ahead of a proposed launch in early 2010.
“The design of the road car will be mostly the same as the CR-Z concept,” Minowa said. “We have to consider the practicality and functionality of a few of the concept car’s more elaborate features quite carefully.” He also hinted that the concept’s CR-X-inspired split glass hatchback will not make it onto the finished road car.
Although it’s a much smaller car than the new five-seat Insight, the CR-Z will indeed share the larger family hatchback’s front-drive, transverse-engined platform. It will be powered by the same new 1.3-litre, 100bhp petrol engine, but battery-driven assistance should boost its total to around 130bhp and close to 200lb ft of torque.
Performance should be spirited rather than searing - think 0-62mph in around 9.0sec – but it should be delivered alongside fuel economy of around 55mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of close to 100g/km.