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Honda CR-Z pictured here is close to production model  (Source: Autoblog)
CR-Z hybrid sport coupe will debut in Japan in February

Hybrid automobiles are all the rage right now with consumers looking to save at the pump and become more eco-friendly. The clear leader in the hybrid realm is still Toyota with its Prius, but for car enthusiasts that like sporty vehicles, the Prius is hardly appropriate.

In September, Honda pulled the wraps off its revamped CR-Z hybrid sports coupe concept. The vehicle is designed to remind of the CR-X that was popular in the 1980's to 1990's for Honda. Honda was vague about the details of the vehicle when it revealed the concept car other than to report the car was only 161 inches long and would use a 1.5-liter i-VETEC 4-cylinder with Honda's IMA hybrid power train. The car is pegged to sell in the $19,000 to $25,000 range.

Autoblog reports that Honda has confirmed that the CR-Z will be coming to the U.S. in the fall of 2010 with a six-speed manual transmission. The vehicle should be the first hybrid vehicle to hit the states sporting a 6-speed manual transmission. Autoblog also notes that the images seen here of the concept are close to what the production vehicle will look like.

The LED lighting will likely change slightly and the mirrors will likely grow. As for official specifications for the powertrain, pricing, and performance; Honda offers no details at this point. The vehicle is set to go on sale in Japan in February so details should be coming around that time.

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RE: CRX is dead, long live CRZ
By walk2k on 10/21/2009 1:03:42 PM , Rating: 2
It's clutch-by-wire isn't it? Anyway I don't think there would be any point since if the starter-battery is dead you could still use the IMA to start it.

I'd like to see more details on the drivetrain. Is it strictly FF? What kind of differential? Or will they go with something fancier like the SH-AWD system (electronic center diff with twin clutch rear LSD)?

I'd like to see the concept system Honda showed a few years ago in the NS-X hybrid. This is where the gas motor drives the rear wheels and the electric drives the front. But I doubt they will go that way for the much lower priced CR-Z.

Then there's the suspension, the new Insight uses a front Mac-strut and rear torsion bar setup, for simplicity and reduced weight, but it's not a very well handling setup, particularly the rear torsion bar. Will the CR-Z get a fully independent front rear? Or Mac strut front/independent rear?

Of course I'd really love to see an all-gas version of this with the K20A from the Civic/Integra Type R.. Wow that would really move!

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