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Honda is moving ahead with plans to deliver a higher performance version of the CR-Z. In fact, according to a report by Temple of Vtec, CR-Z project leader Norio Tomobe-san has confirmed the car is already in development.
The first rumors of a CR-Z “Type R” came from Honda itself, with the release of the CR-Z Hybrid R concept at least year’s SEMA Show, delivering 200-hp thanks to a turbocharged version of the standard engine. Fast forward 12 months and Honda once again had something to show at SEMA, this time a supercharged version of the factory 1.5-liter 4-cylinder Integrated Motor Assist hybrid engine. Honda PR reps have also hinted to AutoGuide that this supercharged version is the more likely path.
GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Hybrid R Concept
According to AutoExpress, the automotive journalists equivalent to the National Enquirer, Honda is planning a CR-Z Type R model. While a host of modifications would be included, like larger brakes and a stiffer suspension, the real boost will apparently come under the hood.
Instead of the lackluster 122-hp hybrid setup, the CR-Z Type R will make 200 healthy horsepower. Surprisingly, this won’t come as the result of K20 (or better yet, a K24 swap) but due to a more powerful gasoline engine, as well as a larger electric motor. While the stock 1.5-liter 4-cylinder makes 102-hp, the new version will make 150-hp. The 20-hp electric motor will then be replaced by a more powerful 50-hp unit. The result will be a much-improved 0-60 mph time of roughly 6 seconds.
The car will even gain a fourth driving mode, known as Sport Plus, which will deliver maximum performance from the hybrid setup, while firming up the steering and throttle response.
AutoExpress claims the vehicle is being planned for next year’s Tokyo Auto Show with sales beginning in Japan in late 2011 as a 2012 model. We certainly hope this report is right, but knowing AutoExpress and the vehicles Honda has been rolling out lately, we won’t get our hopes up. Prove us wrong… please… prove us wrong.