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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 Keeir on 10/21/2009 4:39:34 PM , Rating: 2
Or how about the 2010 VW Golf? Both for the 2.5 and the TDI the Auto gets slightly better than the manual, despite a good 50 lbs of extra wieght.

I think the issue is that Automakers can tune thier CVTs and Automatics to drive "perfect" through the EPA testing cycles. Manuals will always be the more efficient gearbox, but its takes a skilled driver to use one.


RE: CRX is dead, long live CRZ
By Samus on 10/21/2009 7:39:32 PM , Rating: 2
CVT vehicles will often get better fuel economy since the engine computer is tuned differently, usually with significantly less torque. Often times, different engines entirely are used for CVT applications. Understand that a CVT is basically a starting gear, with the remaining 'gears' made up of two cones and a band. A band. As in overdrive band. If anybody has had an overdrive fail, they're probably aware they aren't reliable in high-torque applications. Now imagine the same technology being used for much higher gears, with much higher torque.

I haven't seen a vehicle with more than 150 lb/ft torque with a CVT. The VL300 CVT transmission is the only high torque CVT in production and it handles 205 lb/ft torque, but is for heavy duty applications (quite large) and very expensive.

The manual counter-parts of all the vehicles you listed I'm sure are A) faster and B) have substantially more power. It's an apples to oranges comparison. CVT's are made for saving fuel. Manual's still get better fuel economy than conventional slushboxes but are mostly benificial because of simplicity, reduced weight, low cost, ability to push-start, improved safety/control, engine braking and overall reliability. They are obviously more fun for those that care about driving, too :P

*on the topic of engine braking...I've built many car engines over the years, and rebuilt more. Engines tied to manual transmissions are consistantly cleaner (specifically, the head; valves) because engine braking creates a vacuum that sucks crap out through the exhaust that normally isn't sucked out in any other condition.


RE: CRX is dead, long live CRZ
By Keeir on 10/21/2009 8:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
Errr...

I listed no CVTs at all.

But I am afraid you are quite wrong about CVTs in some respects.

Nissan has CVTs with both the 180 ft-lb I4 and the 258 ft-lb V6 in the Altima.

Audi pairs it "Multi-tronic" CVT to engines up to its 2.0T I4 which is again 258 ft-lbs of Torque. Audi's Multitronic actually goes up to 300 ft-lbs.

But since this whole treat is "CVTs are more (fuel) efficient than Manual" I choose to address those issues. Not only are CVTs advertised as more (fuel) efficient in EPA testing, Some other types of Automatic transmissions are also now more efficient in EPA testing.

CVTs should be slower, but its almost impossible to find good comparison models.


RE: CRX is dead, long live CRZ
By ND40oz on 10/22/2009 6:08:58 PM , Rating: 2
The TDI's don't have an option for an auto, they get a 6 speed or a DSG. So either way you have a gear box that's directly connected to the engine, in one, you're operating the clutch, in the other the computer is operating both clutches, the computer and dual clutches come out ahead in the fuel efficiency department.

I believe the 6 speed tiptronic in the 2.5 has a torque converter that allows earlier lockup, which boosts efficiency. Most of VW/Audi tiptronics have moved to this in the past few years.


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