Honda wants to make sleek, small coupe concept reality as soon as possible
24 October 2007

From Chas Hallett in Tokyo

Honda’s CR-X replacing CR-Z is ‘highly likely’ to make full production, according to company boss Takeo Fukui. He also admitted that it would help make hybrids more desirable and he ‘wants to bring it to market as soon as possible’.The production version, likely to arrive in 2009 and already signed off, could well share the same platform as Honda’s forthcoming low cost hybrid family hatch which will arrive at the same time. Honda is still staying tight-lipped about exactly which engines will be joined with the IMA-hybrid electric motor, although the company’s new 1.3-litre 100bhp motor also making its debut at the Tokyo show is a likely candidate. With electric assistance it should be capable of the ‘casual sporty driving dynamics’ that Honda’s engineers are promising.The company isn’t ruling out non-hybrid versions of the coupe, either. You could even predict that a high-revving petrol-only Type-R version could eventually surface. Honda is also developing a small capacity ultra-clean diesel that would also be a contender to power it.High-level sources are also saying that the CR-Z’s design will change in order to get it into production. It’s likely that the front end will stay the same but the split glass hatch, echoing the original CR-X, is likely to be heavily modified. Honda reckons that the two small coupe concepts it has already shown in the past 12 months, the Remix and the Hybrid Sports Concept, also give clues to some of the design cues of the finished model. Inside, the more extravagant concept car touches will go but the basic architecture is likely to remain.

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