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  (Source: Edmunds)
Honda refines the design of its CR-Z concept

With Toyota hogging all of the spotlight when it comes to hybrid vehicles in the United States, Honda often has to fight for attention to let the buying public that it too has hybrids on dealer lots and in its upcoming product pipeline.

Honda currently offers the more sedate-looking Civic Hybrid along with the hybrid-only Insight. Honda initially had high hopes for the second generation Insight, but has seen its latest foray into the hybrid market clobbered by Toyota's third-generation Prius in sales.

Not one to back down from a fight, Honda is prepared to assault Toyota and all other hybrid manufactures with two more hybrids which DailyTech has discussed previously. The first is the 2010 Fit Hybrid which is based on the popular Fit subcompact currently available.

The second model, the CR-Z, is also due out for the 2010 model year. Thanks to the folks at Edmunds, we now have another look at what the production version of the CR-Z will look like. Honda calls this latest version of the CR-Z a "95 percent" representation of what the production model will look when it is unveiled at the Detroit Auto show next January.

If the previous CR-Z concept reminded you of Honda's beloved CRX from the 80s and early 90s, this revised CR-Z concept simply reinforces that image. The CR-Z clearly looks like a CRX for the 21st century and is quite compact at just 161 inches long -- for comparison, a Mini Cooper S and Mazda Miata are roughly 146 inches and 157 inches in length respectively.

According to Edmunds, the production CR-Z will be sporting a 1.5-liter i-VTEC four-banger combined with Honda's latest Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid powertrain. Purists will be glad to hear that a 6-speed manual transmission will be paired with the hybrid powertrain. It's almost a guarantee, however, that Honda will makes its continuously variable transmission (CVT) available as an option.

It's still to early to know how Honda plans to price the CR-Z when it hits the market next year, but Honda would likely price it in the $19,000 to $25,000 range.

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wow.. ugly..
By IlllI on 9/30/2009 1:32:57 AM , Rating: 3
what the hell did they do to it?? the concept model was awesome! it looked amazing.. now this? eh.. not so much. i wish they would have stayed closer to the concept model instead of fugly-izing it

RE: wow.. ugly..
By StevoLincolnite on 9/30/2009 2:39:28 AM , Rating: 2
I personally think most concepts look better than the retail product 90% of the time!

I don't understand which they have to botchidize it all up every time!

RE: wow.. ugly..
By strikeback03 on 9/30/2009 8:23:37 AM , Rating: 2
Generally has to do with making it meet all necessary safety and environmental regulations and making everything a shape that can be mass-produced at a reasonable cost. For example with the current Dodge Challenger the lead engineer said they had a long fight with the styling dept because the original shape generates excessive lift, while taming that lift took away from the retro look.

I'm wondering what this CR-Z weighs without powertrain and batteries and if a K series will fit.

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