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
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
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.