Honda CR-Z: Hybrid and sporty
In 1999 Honda was a pioneer in production hybrid cars with the ‘subcompact’ Insight, a lightweight ultra-aerodynamic two-seater with sporty airs and modest performance level that never got true popular acceptance. With the CR-Z, conceptual heir of the compact 2+2 CR-X of the ‘80s, Honda has taken big care in avoiding the negative traits of its first street hybrid. It’s an appealing coupe, 4.08 m long, roomy enough in the front and with two seats for children in the rear. Easy-to-read 3-D dials and dash design contribute to the nice cabin. There is also some rear cargo space that may be extended by folding the seat backs. With a 0-100 km/h in around ten seconds, CR-Z has good acceleration and speed (200 km/h) when both engine and electric power are demanded. And, of course, very low fuel consumption can be achieved -especially in city traffic- when that is the aim.
Econ, Normal and Sport drive modes may be selected from the cockpit, adapting not only the hybrid system to the requested performance level, also the weight of the steering and the throttle reaction. Good aerodynamics also help. Combined fuel consumption is homologated at 5.0 l/100 km, equivalent to CO2 emissions of 117 g/km. IMA system similar to the one in Civic and Insight hybrids is used. But CR-Z has a 1.5 petrol engine with 114 HP while the electric motor adds to a combined maximum power of 124 HP. There is also a combined maximum torque of 17.7 mKg at low revs with good flexibility that enables a high top ratio in the 6-gear manual transmission.
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