Honda CR-Z hybrid concept  (Source: Honda)

  (Source: Honda)
Honda revives the CRX's spirit with a small hybrid concept

In early February, DailyTech first brought you news that Honda was working on a small sports car to take some of the "green" spotlight that has been hogged by the Toyota Prius since 2000. Honda later unveiled the vehicle as the Small Hybrid Sports Concept (SHSC) in March.

The radical-looking concept was powered by an efficient 4-cylinder engine, Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system and paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The SHSC's powertrain was rather conventional, but its design was a bit too far reaching to be taken seriously as a production model.

Honda is at again and today showcased a new small hybrid sports car in the form of the CR-Z. The CR-Z recalls the lightweight CRX hatchback and features more production-worthy styling than the SHSC.

Honda simply describes the CR-Z as a "design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car," and notes that the powertrain is a carryover from the Honda Civic Hybrid. Given the compact dimensions (and hopefully light weight) of the CR-Z, its fuel economy could end up being even greater than that of the Civic Hybrid which is rated at 40 MPG/45 MPG city/highway.

If the CR-Z were to reach production, it would join Honda's Global Small Hybrid (GSH) which is due to arrive in 2009 with a $22,000 price tag. The GSH will be a five-seater with unique styling to tackle the ubiquitous Prius.

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