Honda has just confirmed that it will build two additional hybrid models that will go on sale in Japan starting in February 2010. The first is the highly-anticipated CR-Z hybrid and the second is a hybrid version of the sub-compact Fit.
Both models will use Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid system, a less sophisticated setup to the one currently running in cars like the Toyota Prius and Ford Fusion Hybrid. Honda did say, however, that it is developing a new hybrid system, which will most likely be an updated two-mode system capable of running for a certain distance on just electric energy. That system will initially be used in mid to large -sized vehicles, like the Honda Accord.
The CR-Z first launched at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show and now that the Insight has been introduced the resemblance is obvious. We just hope the CR-Z stays true to the fun driving dynamics of the CRX and doesn’t use the out-dated torsion beam rear suspension of that the Insight uses.
Honda did not say if either model would be available outside Japan.
GALLERY: Honda CR-Z
Official release after the jump:
Honda to Begin Sales of Two More Hybrid Models in 2010
TOKYO, Japan, July 13, 2009 – Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to begin sales in Japan of the CR-Z sporty hybrid model in February 2010 and Fit Hybrid before the end of 2010. By combining these two models with the currently available Insight and Civic Hybrid, Honda will further enhance its lineup of compact hybrid models, which leverage the unique characteristics of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), including compact size, lightweight and high efficiency. In addition, Honda is currently developing a new hybrid system which is intended to be installed on mid- to large-size vehicles.
Honda also announced that, in addition to the No. 1 line at its Suzuka Factory, the production of Insight also began on Suzuka’s No. 3 line in mid-June 2009, leveraging Honda’s flexible production system.
In order to continue contributing to the global effort to reduce CO2 emissions, Honda will continue to focus on research and development of technologies which improve fuel-efficiency and strive to deliver products with improved environmental performance to as many customers as possible by making such products more accessible to all people.
The CR-Z concept vehicle made its world debut at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in 2007. The CR-Z sporty hybrid will feature advanced technologies that deliver enjoyable driving for all while reducing the vehicle’s environmental footprint.