The Honda CR-Z’s chief chassis engineer claims the new hybrid sports car has been inspired by the Lotus Elise.
In a short video released on You Tube, Terukazu Torikai said the basic concept of the CR-Z had been to create a fun-to-drive sports car featuring some of the driving charecteristics of the Elise, as well as the Mini and Volkswagen Scirocco.
“We wanted to realise the agile handling of the Mini and easy-to-drive performance for daily use, which we believe we achieved,” he said.
“During the development of the CR-Z we have driven many cars and have also bought many cars for comparison and benchmarking: the Mini, the Scirocco but also a Lotus Elise. The performance of the Elise kept on inspiring us throughout the whole development process.”
Torikai said emphasis had been put on ensuring the electric power steering was sufficiently sporty, and that he wanted the car to have predictable control from its Insight underpinnings. The body stiffness, he claims, is of a similar level to the Civic Type R's.
Explaining the development process, he said, “This car was brought to Europe at each prototype stage to be tested under various road conditions to evaluate whether the desired performance had been achieved.”
Norio Tomobe, CR-Z project leader, believes the hybrid element of the CR-Z will make it a guilt-free sports car.
“We carried out extensive research on our prospective customers and we believe that these customers feel proud of possessing a car with values you can talk about with others,” he said.
“We believed that these values come from the design, from the IMA hybrid technology and from the performance itself. I believe that driving the car provides exhilarating drive pleasure.”