Lotus Elise inspired the development of the hybrid sports car, according to its chassis engineer
20 January 2010

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.”

Honda CR-Z interior and exterior pics

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.”

Honda reveals production CR-Z

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.”

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Our Verdict

Hybrids aren’t usually cars to quicken the blood

The Honda CR-Z is as intriguing and appealing to drive as hybrids currently get

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20 January 2010

Sadly, all of the cars they have bench marked have independant rear suspension, and for what ever reason (presumably cost) the CR-Z doesnt, so although i hope i am wrong, i doubt the CR-Z will drive as well as a Mini, let alone an Elise.

Also if they actually asked potential customers what they wanted, i am very suprised they didnt give it rather more performance.

I must admit to still being interested in it, but no where near as much as i thought i would be when the first information was available.

20 January 2010

[quote Autocar]The Honda CR-Z’s chief chassis engineer claims the new hybrid sports car has been inspired by the Lotus Elise.[/quote] Yes, i don't think that Honda seriously benchmarked the Elise, otherwise it might have put the engine in a different place and built the car from plastic and old milk bottle tops... On a more serious note, it's disappointing that the CR-Z is about 50% heavier (and with correspondingly worse fuel consumption/ exhaust emissions) than the original Honda Insight which it vaguely resembles. So much for a decade's progress... Then again the CR-Z looks a lot better than its ugly predecessor, and if it makes money for Honda (rather than loosing it), then all is well!

20 January 2010

Looks to me like they also got a lot of inspiration from the Renault Avantime!

20 January 2010

Lotus inspired them my a*se; it would be under 750kg if they really had. Mini and Scirocco? That'll be the interior packaging and pricing will it?

  • If you want to know about a car, read a forum dedicated to it; that's a real 'long term test' . No manufacturer's warranty, no fleet managers servicing deals, no journalist's name to oil the wheels...

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