Honda R&D chief Tomohiko Kawanabe has confirmed that the firm is working on a high-performance CR-Z hybrid.
In an exclusive interview with Autocar, Kawanabe admitted that development work on the more powerful two-door has started, and that — contrary to earlier reports — it will keep its IMA hybrid system.
“It’s true: we are working on a more powerful CR-Z,” he said. “Our problem with the car as it stands is that it looks very good, but it doesn’t have the performance some customers expect.”
Autocar’s sources suggest that Honda might turn to a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine for the new CR-Z, but Kawanabe refused to confirm this.
"The decision on the engine hasn’t been made,” he said. “Turbocharging is an option, but a high-compression petrol engine would work better in tandem with a hybrid assist system.”
It is highly likely that the faster CR-Z will use Honda’s next-generation IMA system, which will appear first in the US-market Civic Hybrid next year.