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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
 |  Oct 12 2010, 11:18 AM

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Last time we reported on Honda CR-Z sales numbers, we got a few incredulous comments from readers who couldn’t seem to fathom why anyone would want Honda’s hybrid/sports car mashup. But the numbers are in and it looks like the CR-Z is actually finding a customer base.

According to a breakdown of September sales figures by blogger and analyst Timothy Cain, the CR-Z sold 1236 units last month, up from 694 in August, a figure that many dismissed as a result of initial enthusiasm for the car. Furthermore, the CR-Z outsold some blue chip sport compacts like the Volkswagen GTI, Mitsubishi Eclipse and Mazda MX-5.

The CR-Z’s strong numbers suggest that consumers are attracted to the idea of a hybrid car in a sporty wrapper, and that figures like horsepower, 0-60 times and lateral gs aren’t the Holy Grail of motoring for many.

[Source: Good Car, Bad Car]

 |  Sep 15 2010, 10:11 PM

Looks like HKS isn’t the only kid on the block looking for big horsepower gains with Honda‘s newest cool hybrid, the CR-Z. And perhaps this really solidifies a changing of the times considering Top Secret is well known for their wicked drift cars and high horsepower 350Zs and Supras. They’re also well known for their blistering high-speed test runs, so to see Smoky Nagata of Top Secret working away on Honda’s ZF1 hybrid powerplant shows that hybrids and tuning are going to go hand-in-hand for decades to come.

Aftermarket manufacturers are going crazy out in Japan over hybrids and seeing what Top Secret is developing for the CR-Z is slightly astonishing. We can’t quite decipher what’s going on from the magazine snippet – and would love if someone could offer us a translation – but Top Secret is definitely underway in producing a single turbo upgrade and even has a titanium induction kit, oil catch tank and tow hook out to the public now. The stuff comes at a price though, with $995.00 as the MSRP for the Ti Induction kit straight from Japan.

We’re sure many enthusiasts are still rolling their eyes about the idea of a hybrid being turbocharged or supercharged. But let’s face it: every automotive manufacturer will be working on developing hybrids for the future to fill out their lineup with mpg-friendly cars. It’s only natural that the aftermarket will find ways to make these eco cars more fun.

GALLERY: Top Secret Honda CR-Z Parts

[Source: CRZ Forum]

 |  Sep 10 2010, 5:10 PM

A large majority of the automotive community decried the Honda CR-Z as neither fish nor fowl, a sporty hybrid that didn’t do anything well. Some even predicted this car to be Honda’s downfall, after having finally lost their way, two decades after producing the sporty and efficient Honda CRX.

In any case, it turns out that the haters were wrong – for now at least. Honda’s CR-Z is actually one of the quickest moving cars on dealer lots, taking an average of 5 days to sell. The 2011 Jetta Sportwagen, a car that was supposedly waitlisted this time last year, took almost double that, with an average of 9 days.

The biggest loser was, not surprisingly, the Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback, with an average sale time of 207 days! If you want to drive a hard bargain, get to your nearest Mitsubishi showroom.

[Source: Kicking Tires]

 |  Sep 02 2010, 8:24 PM

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RJ De Vera and Hondas have become synonymous with streetable performance for over the past decade. De Vera is one of Honda’s most avid enthusiasts, building some of the cleanest, daily-driven projects we’ve seen over the years. So it’s no surprise that Honda has partnered up with RJ yet again for their newest and greatest creation, the Honda CR-Z.

We’ve been preaching since the Tokyo Auto Salon that the hybrid tuning craze is inevitably going to take off in America. While it may never reach the heights of what Japan has done in the last couple of years, the release of Honda’s CR-Z could help shape the new trend.

For SEMA this year, Honda has given away several Honda CR-Zs to car builders around the nation to show off what can be done to the fun, hot hatch. We’ve already teased the Fortune Motorsports and Tjin Edition’s build, and now we’re getting a sneak preview of what RJ De Vera has planned for his CR-Z build.

We spoke to RJ briefly and he stressed to us the focus of the CR-Z is to be a clean and fully functional street car that is fun, hence the name CR-Z Type-F. Naturally the CR-Z wouldn’t quite pull its own weight (for now) as a Type-R model, and naming it as such would just be foolish and downright silly. De Vera told us that he wants it to be fully functional so it can compete in the Source Interlink Super Lap Battle shortly after the show.

The CR-Z will be showcasing Wraptivo’s brand of products, a new division of Meguiar’s that focuses on custom car wraps. On the outside will be a matte black wrap with glossy black accents to contrast. Carbon fiber film wrap will be used on the roof, hood and part of the center section of the front bumper to show off just what Wraptivo can do for you.

Naturally a clean aero kit will be utilized along with a set of lightweight Volk Racing TE-37s in an awesome F-Zero Red color. Suspension looks like it’ll come from TEIN while Brembo will be handling the aftermarket brakes. De Vera disclosed to us that he is working closely with HKS on getting a supercharger for the hybrid, while Hondata has been working hard on cracking the ECU to eke out every bit of power.

As always, AutoGuide will be on hand at the 2010 SEMA Show in early November to bring you complete coverage.

Get more Honda CR-Z News and Info at CR-ZCraze.com

Official press release available after the break.

Continue Reading…

 |  Aug 28 2010, 2:21 PM

An unknown builder is currently fabricating up a mid-engine Honda CR-Z, sporting a completely custom widebody and carbon fiber doors. While it may just be a concept car for the upcoming Tokyo Auto Salon, some rumors are hinting that this Honda CR-Z might be being built for the Japanese SuperGT racing series, competing in the GT300 class. Given how popular the CR-Z has already become in Japan, this would be a pretty cool move by Honda.

Currently Honda already competes in the GT500 class with the HSV-010 GT race car.

Obviously the CR-Z that any layman can buy is just a gas-saving, tree-hugging hybrid, but how wicked would it be to see this CR-Z actually perform on the track rather than just being a show car? We’re really curious as to the powerplant that’s being used as a mock up, especially as GT300 class cars make 300-hp. Stay tuned, this is one CR-Z we’re staying on top of!

[Source: GTChannel via Autoblog]

GALLERY: Widebody Honda CR-Z

 |  Aug 09 2010, 4:58 PM

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With the Honda CR-Z just hitting dealerships, plenty of excitement is brewing with all the aftermarket goodies that have already been designed and developed over in Japan. HKS has been producing high quality products for a variety of Japanese vehicles for decades and now they’re focusing on their line of GT Superchargers. And what better way to make the news than to manufacture a supercharger for the upcoming Honda CR-Z hybrid?

Currently HKS’s supercharged CR-Z makes around 170-hp, which is more than respectable for a hybrid. How it affects gas mileage, we’re not sure, since no numbers have been released. But given that it’s all in its infancy, we can expect tuners both in Japan and America to really take advantage of HKS’s GT Supercharger to push power beyond 200 while maintaining mpg when power isn’t needed.

Check out the video of the CR-Z on the dyno after the break. It’s clearly in a fast forward frame rate, but you still get the idea.

Video available after the break.

GALLERY: HKS Supercharged Honda CR-Z

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[Source: Luxury4Play]

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 22 2010, 2:53 PM

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The Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car will slot it at just under $20,000, with a base price of $19,200, not including a $750 destination charge. The EX model with Bluetooth, a leather wrapped steering wheel and and 36-watt stereo will take you to$20,760, while an in-dash navigation unit tops you out at $22,560.

The CR-Z is generating a lot of controversy for its “neither here nor there” approach to blending both hybrid and sporty characteristics, but Honda seems determined to press on with their 2-seater coupe. The ultimate test will be when the vehicle comes to market later this year, and whether the vehicles move off the lot quickly or not.

[Source: Autoblog]

Hit the jump to see Honda’s official press release

Continue Reading…

 |  Jun 18 2010, 8:40 AM

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The new Honda CR-Z will go on sale in the U.S. on August 24th, with a starting price of under $20,000 reports InsideLine. Unfortunately the car will not be eligible for a federal tax credit. Apparently the rules state that only 60,000 tax credits for hybrids are allowed per automaker and Honda spokesman Chuck Schifsky told IL that Honda passed that mark several years ago. Honda is able to offer the car for so little because of the less-sophisticated nickle-metal hydride battery used (rather than a lithium-ion one).

At that price range Honda intents to target buyers aged 25-35, although initial reports from Japan suggest the car is a bigger hit with an older demographic.

Sadly, for performance enthusiasts who might be attracted to the CR-Z’s small size and styling, Honda says a higher performance Si or Type R model is not in the plans. John Mendel, Honda’s VP of sales wasn’t exactly forceful on the point, however, commenting that there’s “nothing official” in the product plans. There are also no plans for a pure electric model, with Honda holding the belief that for some applications EVs will work, but that for normal use in the U.S., Honda just doesn’t see an EV catching on – at least with the current range capabilities.

Honda’s new CR-Z makes 122-hp and 128 ft-lbs of torque from a 1.5-liter gasoline engine mated to an electric motor, using Honda’s Integrate Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. Fuel economy is expected to reach 31/37-mpg (city/highway) for the 6-speed manual and 35/39-mpg for the CVT automatic.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Mega Gallery

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[Source: InsideLine]

 |  Jun 17 2010, 7:18 AM

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Honda‘s new CR-Z hybrid sports car is proving to be a sales success already in its home market of Japan, but not with the crowd you might expect. Inspired by the CRX, the CR-Z would seem to be the modern embodyment of the early Honda hatch, appealing to a younger generation interested in a small and sporty car, but who are interested in their vehicle’s impact on the environment.

Honda, it would seem, has missed the mark, with the latest numbers from Japan showing that 35 percent of all CR-Z owners are over 40, with the majority of buyers in the 30-to-40 range. As for the youth market, males in their 20s make up just 15 percent of CR-Z buyers.

We have no doubt that contributing factors to the car’s lack of appeal with younger buyers involves its less than impressive power, not to mention its cost – which is directly related to the expensive hybrid system.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Mega Gallery

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[Source: 7Tune]

 |  Jun 03 2010, 5:08 PM

It’s hard to understand the appeal of a burlesque show, seeing as they lack the most important element of a real strip club – the buffet meal. But Honda thought that there’s some value in a burlesque show, and went so far as to have a performance artist, known as Agent Lynch (real name Kate Rawlinson), to come to Paris and do her own show for onlookers in the Place de Tertre. Somehow this was designed to promote Honda’s upcoming CR-Z hybrid sports car.

Lynch’s routine saw her strip down to her undies and cover herself in blue paint before pressing herself against a red and white canvas. The blue paint somehow made the canvas resemble the French flag, but we’ll let you judge the artistic merit of that one. We do know that you all want to see pictures and the video, so without further ado, they’re both below the jump.

[Source: Honda CR-Z]

Continue Reading…

 |  May 12 2010, 5:05 PM

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Nissan‘s Datsun 240Z broke ground in the early 1970′s by offering bulletproof reliability and the performance of a Jaguar E-Type for a third of the cost. The next generation Z-car could be similarly important by mating a hybrid drivetrain into a serious performance car, if reports coming out of Japan are accurate.

While the reports are mostly speculation, rumors of a Nissan GTR hybrid, as well as a Lexus LFA hybrid lend credence to the speculation. If Honda’s CR-Z hybrid sports car does well in North America (it’s currently a hit in Japan) you can expect that Nissan will be eager to get in the market, albeit at a higher pricepoint.

[Source:  Zer Customs]

 |  May 12 2010, 4:01 PM

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Car companies are eternally focused on capturing the all important “youth-market”, some even going as far as to create “youth brands”, like Toyota and their Scion line-up. Honda appears to be taking the opposite track with the launch of their new CR-Z hybrid sports car, hoping to take advantage of the demographic that was in their late teens to late 20′s between 1983 and 1991, when they CRX was, “the ultimate tuner vehicle”, said John Mendel, Honda’s Executive Vice-Preisdent for Automobile Sales. Mendel, who is 55 said that market research showed that the CR-Z was a hit with ” young people and guys my age, because it’s reminiscent of the CR-X.”

Honda’s discontinued products, such as previous generation Civics, Preludes Acura Integras and NSXs still command a huge following, even from consumers who weren’t born when the products were introduced. Honda is hoping to reach the younger generation of automotive enthusiasts through online media and social networking sites. Mendel said that Honda was also looking into sponsoring concerts that had multi-generational appeal.

[Source: Automotive News]

 |  Apr 28 2010, 3:10 PM

2010 Honda Civic Hybrid

Strong demand in emerging markets like India and China, as well as a recovering U.S. economy helped Honda post a quarterly profit of $774 million. The Japanese automaker reported a 28 percent increase in sales, to $24.5 billion. Honda is forecasting a $3.7 billion profit through the coming fiscal year (which ends March 31, 2011), and sales of $100.4 billion, a 9 percent jump.

The strong results come days after Honda’s CEO admitted that the company had become “complacent”. However, strong demand for small, energy efficient models like the Fit and the upcoming CR-Z hybrid sports car helped the company back into the black. Honda’s motorcycle division also reported strong sales, adding to the company’s fortune.

[Source: Detroit News]

 |  Apr 28 2010, 2:58 PM

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It seems like we’re going crazy with Honda‘s new CR-Z, showing off Mugen’s initial release, TEIN’s CR-Z and  Spoon Sports’ rendition of the popular hybrid in Japan. There’s absolutely no denying the popularity of tuning and customizing hybrids in Japan, and the trend is slowly catching on in North America.

It will be mighty interesting to see how things change when Honda’s CR-Z makes it over to North America. The hatchback has become a hot contender, being a pleasant substitute to the Honda Insight or Toyota’s Prius.

We were so excited to find these new photos of Mugen’s Demo Honda CR-Z all stickered up and on display in public. The accessories offered back in February included a full aero kit, carbon fiber mirrors and choice of wheels. Interior amenities included shift knob, gauges and floor mats. Engine performance were simple bolt-ons from cat-back exhaust to air filters. Suspension and brake upgrades are typical offerings from Mugen as well.

But now it seems that Mugen is possibly going beyond as is evident with this race-inspired Honda CR-Z full of stickers. The most interesting theme is the green accents on the car that sort of remind of Takata’s infamous shade. The wheels and mirrors have been refinished, contrasting the rest of the white car but flowing well with the “Honda Green Machine” theme. It is clear that both Honda and Mugen are pushing going green and it’s even possible that they will be pushing the limits of this CR-Z Hybrid out on the track. We’ll keep our eyes out, but for now we’ll salivate over the photos.

[Source: Jon Sibal]

GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z

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 |  Apr 20 2010, 2:42 PM

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In love with Honda’s new CR-Z? Then we have a treat for you. Honda Europe has just released a mega-gallery of CR-Z photos, showing the new hybrid sports coupe from so many angles we forget what the CRX looks like.

There’s not much new to report about the car, other than the fact that like in Japan, the Euro-spec CR-Z will get a 2+2 arrangement, rather than just being a two-seater like in North America.

The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor to make 122-hp at 6000 rpm and 128 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 to 1500 rm when mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or 122-hp and 123 ft-lbs of torque with a CVT automatic (which features paddle shifters by the way). As for fuel-economy, it’s rated at 36-mpg city and 38-mpg highway. (U.S. EPA).

The CR-Z comes with a three-mode driving system, with buttons on the steering wheel to choose Sport, Normal and Economy driving. Sport mode delivers a more responsive throttle, with tighter steering and the tachometer lights up bright red when in Sport model. Econ mode delivers optimum fuel efficiency with reduced pedal feel. The air conditioning system will also reduce its lag on the engine in Econ mode. Normal mode delivers standard settings, and in both Normal and Econ mode, the tachometer display will light up blue or green depending on how the vehicle is driven – with a green display representing the most fuel-efficient driving. Like the Insight, the CR-Z offers and Eco Guide to help driver’s keep track of fuel economy.

Of note, at the end of a VERY lengthy press release (see below), Honda reiterates its commitment to building a hybrid Jazz (Fit).

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Euro Spec

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 16 2010, 10:29 AM

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Honda has just released a new commercial that will be used to help promote the CR-Z hybrid when it goes on sale later this year. The 90 second spot was filmed in southern Spain and will reportedly be run on networks in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

As for the car itself, the CR-Z made its world premiere at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this year, using a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor to make 122-hp at 6000 rpm and 128 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 to 1500 rm when mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or 122-hp and 123 ft-lbs of torque with a CVT automatic (which features paddle shifters by the way). As for fuel-economy, it’s rated at 36-mpg city and 38-mpg highway.

The CR-Z comes with a three-mode driving system, with buttons on the steering wheel to choose Sport, Normal and Economy driving. Sport mode delivers a more responsive throttle, with tighter steering and the tachometer lights up bright red when in Sport model. Econ mode delivers optimum fuel efficiency with reduced pedal feel. The air conditioning system will also reduce its lag on the engine in Econ mode. Normal mode delivers standard settings, and in both Normal and Econ mode, the tachometer display will light up blue or green depending on how the vehicle is driven – with a green display representing the most fuel-efficient driving.

Like the Insight, the CR-Z offers and Eco Guide to help driver’s keep track of fuel economy.

Two trim levels will be offered in the U.S., a base CR-Z and well-equipped EX model. The six-speed manual is standard, as is Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control. The CR-Z EX includes HID Headlights fog lights, a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. EX models will get the option for navigation.

Pricing for the CR-Z will be released closer to launch.

[Source: Carscoop]

See after the jump for the new Honda CR-Z ad:

Continue Reading…

 |  Apr 15 2010, 5:53 PM

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Before Tein made their way to North America in the form of Tein USA, the green-branded suspension products were a rarity and collectibles amongst the JDM-fanatics. Oddly enough, when Tein did get established in America it seemed that the goodness of their products got diluted. Once items like their srings became readily available, the prestige of having some of the world’s finest suspension products didn’t seem to be as great. But at the end of the day, Tein still produces some of the world’s finest suspension products and today they’ve turned their attention to what all other JDM tuners out there are also beginning to focus on – hybrids.

The Tein 06 Honda Civic Si was one of those projects that garnered a ton of attention here in North America, especially after it was reported that it got stolen. But it was one of Tein’s finest projects, touching on all bases and perhaps made North Americans associate Tein to its eye-catching graphics found on their project cars. One thing to be aware of however is that Tein only designs and manufactures suspension products. This ranges from regular lowering springs to full coilover systems with in-car dampening control (EDFC). So most Tein projects are often unlikely to see any other major modifications unless they plan on hitting the track to showcase their suspension goods.

Thanks to the power of Google Translate, we have been keeping our eyes out on Tein’s CR-Z Special Blog page where the tuner has been showing off its testing and tuning on the new hatchback from Honda. Tein currently has Mono Flex suspension out sporting 5.0k spring rates in the front and 5.0k spring rates in the rear while lowering the car 40mm front and rear and supporting EDFC.

They also announced that the Super Street dampening system isn’t far out – a release in mid-May that has softer spring rates of 3.0k (front) and 4.0k (rear). These will have similar lowering profiles as the Mono Flex but will not support EDFC. These are probably catered much more to the street.

For regular lowering springs offerings, Tein has their High Tech springs available lowering the car 25mm in the front and 30mm in the rear unless you have an automatic, in which it’ll be 30mm in the front and 30mm in the rear. Spring rates on those are 2.2k and 4.0k for the front and rear, respectively.

It looks like by the time the Honda CR-Z goes on sale here in North America there will be plenty of products readily available for the tuner market.

GALLERY: Tein Honda CR-Z

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[Source: Tein Japan CR-Z Special Blog]

 |  Apr 13 2010, 2:50 PM

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With the overwhelming amount of aftermarket manufacturers tuning hybrids at this year’s Tokyo Auto Salon, it’s no surprise that C-West has also hopped on the bandwagon. Interestingly enough, we haven’t heard much news from C-West over in North America. Several years back they made a strong push and presence Stateside with their full-carbon record-setting Time Attack S2000 in addition to the popularity of their kits, especially amongst the Honda Civic EK crowd.

Perhaps to gain some momentum back in North America, C-West is current developing new kits for Honda’s popular hybrids, the Insight and the CR-Z. Mazda’s RX-8, though probably not the most popular chassis around, will also get a kit that is reminiscent of traditional C-West styling. C-West is definitely hitting the mark on the Honda bodies with these renderings. Keeping with the theme of being conservative with a hybrid, both the Insight and CR-Z kit aren’t over-the-top, having subtle lines that accentuate the natural body lines of both cars. We are excited to see these in person!

[Source: 7Tune]

GALLERY: C-West Body Kits for Honda CR-Z, Insight and Mazda RX-8

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 |  Apr 08 2010, 11:10 AM

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With sales of the Honda CR-Z starting soon in North America, the new hybrid is already far exceeding its sales targets in Japan, which has Honda looking to repeat its success with another model. According to a report by Motor Trend, Honda is working on a larger hybrid coupe that would use a version of Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid setup, mated to a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. That engine is a solid liter larger than the one used in the current CR-Z. The car would be roughly the size of the Accord Coupe.

According to MT’s same source, the car was originally slated to use a V6 hybrid setup but that has no been down-sized. The V6 Hybrid powertrain is still being developed, however, for possible use in larger vehicles like the Honda Odyssey. In addition, Honda’s hybrid development seems to be pushing forward with big advances, with word that the company is currently testing a range-extender powertrain like the one found int he Chevy Volt.

[Source: Motor Trend]

 |  Mar 17 2010, 11:02 AM

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Honda has already locked down 7,000 orders for its CR-Z hybrid sports car, more than half of the car’s annual sales target of 12,000 units. Still, Honda should be cautiously optimistic as last year sales of the new Insight model started out strong but started to dwindle once Toyota released its third-generation Prius – a direct competitor. Overall, Honda still managed to move 92,283 Insights in 2009, 50 percent more than the sales target. In the U.S., sales of the Insight weren’t nearly as good, with Honda missing the mark of 100,000 units by a fair margin. The good news for Honda is that the CR-Z will have no competitor in the near future, when it goes on sale in the Summer.

Honda is hoping to sell 15,000 CR-Z models in the U.S. this year.

The CR-Z stands alone in the marketplace, as a two-seater hybrid, using a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and electric assist motor, to deliver 122-hp and a 36/38 mpg (city/highway) rating. The car’s biggest potential problem is that as good as those numbers are, they aren’t as good as the standard Insight and performance is less than impressive with a 0-62 mph time of 9.7 seconds. Still, as the only hybrid on the market with a six-speed manual transmission and Honda’s reputation for driving dynamics, we’ll hold off on a final comment until we get to drive it.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z

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[Source: Automotive News]

Detroit 2010: Honda CR-Z World Premiere

New hybrid Honda hatch gets 36-mpg city, 38-mpg highway

 |  Jan 11 2010, 2:23 PM

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Honda has just unveiled the production version of the CR-Z hybrid, looking like and taking after the original CRX. The CRX, after all, was introduced as a fuel efficient model, that quickly became a favorite of enthusiasts and tuners alike due to its sporty driving dynamics.

“The CR-Z is a personal sport hybrid coupe for people with a spirit of adventure and an elevated sense of responsibility toward the environment,” said John Mendel, VP of sales for American Honda. “It’s the first hybrid designed to maximize style and fun, in addition to efficiency and economy.”

The CR-Z uses a 1.5-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor to make 122-hp at 6000 rpm and 128 ft-lbs of torque at 1000 to 1500 rm when mated to a slick-shifting six-speed manual transmission or 122-hp and 123 ft-lbs of torque with a CVT automatic (which features paddle shifters by the way). As for fuel-economy, it’s rated at 36-mpg city and 38-mpg highway.

The CR-Z comes with a three-mode driving system, with buttons on the steering wheel to choose Sport, Normal and Economy driving. Sport mode delivers a more responsive throttle, with tighter steering and the tachometer lights up bright red when in Sport model. Econ mode delivers optimum fuel efficiency with reduced pedal feel. The air conditioning system will also reduce its lag on the engine in Econ mode. Normal mode delivers standard settings, and in both Normal and Econ mode, the tachometer display will light up blue or green depending on how the vehicle is driven – with a green display representing the most fuel-efficient driving.

Like the Insight, the CR-Z offers and Eco Guide to help driver’s keep track of fuel economy.

Two trim levels will be offered in the U.S., a base CR-Z and well-equipped EX model. The six-speed manual is standard, as is Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control. The CR-Z EX includes HID Headlights fog lights, a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. EX models will get the option for navigation.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Word Premiere

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GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Official Images

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Read more on the 2011 Honda CR-Z after the jump:

Continue Reading…

Leaked: Honda CR-Z Video Stills Slip Out

New images give even closer (if grainier) look at upcoming hybrid sports car

 |  Jan 04 2010, 11:38 AM

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***See AutoGuide’s LIVE 2010 Detroit Auto Show Coverage Here***

We’ve already seen several images of Honda’s upcoming CR-Z thanks to a leaked company brochure and now we have more images of the hybrid “sports car” thanks to some leaked video stills. There’s not a lot new here, but we do get to see several new angles. And while the photos are low quality, we can get a better idea of the futuristic (and busy) dash.

Powering the CR-Z is a more powerful version of Honda’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) powerplant, which consists of a 112-hp and 107 ft-lbs of torque 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine, which is mated to an electric motor, producing an additional 14-hp and 57 ft-lbs of torque. Honda claims a 0-62 mph time of 9.7 seconds.

As for fuel-economy, the CR-Z is rated at 52/59 mpg (City/Highway) in the Japanese test cycle. Those numbers aren’t expected to be nearly so high in North America once the EPA gets a hold of the CR-Z.

There’s no official word, but Honda may debut the production version CR-Z at the Detroit Auto Show on January 11th.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Video Stills

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[Source: Gazoo via Autoblog]

 |  Dec 22 2009, 1:50 PM

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New photos of the Honda CR-Z have surfaced online, this time showing the new hybrid sports car’s interior and engine. Inside the cabin looks quite premium and has a typically Honda design. The seats look extremely well bolstered, although head room doesn’t exactly look plentiful. There are photos showing both the manual and automatic (likely CVT) shifters, as well as a LCD display screen and several images showing the speedometer and how it changes color to reflect the driving efficiency.

There’s also a shot of the IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) powerplant, which consists of a 112-hp and 107 ft-lbs of torque 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder gasoline engine, which is mated to an electric motor, producing an additional 14-hp and 57 ft-lbs of torque. Honda claims a 0-62 mph time of 9.7 seconds.

As for fuel-economy, the CR-Z is rated at 52/59 mpg (City/Highway) in the Japanese test cycle. Those numbers aren’t expected to be nearly so high in North America once the EPA gets a hold of the CR-Z.

There’s no official word, but Honda may debut the production version CR-Z at the Detroit Auto Show on January 11th.

GALLERY: Honda CR-Z Hybrid

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[Source: TOV]

 |  Dec 10 2009, 11:12 AM

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Hot on the heels of a leaked brochure outlining the many details of Honda’s upcoming CR-Z hybrid sports car, a similar brochure showing a modification package by famed Honda-tuner Mugen has appeared online.

No details on the kit have been confirmed but judging from the photo we’re looking at a new aero package including front and rear bumpers, side skirts and a roof-mounted spoiler that really gives the CR-Z an aggressive look. A larger set of light-weight wheels is also a part of the package and we expect a few added goodies to also be included.

As for the CR-Z itself, we have learned that it will be powered by an Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) gasoline/electric setup with a 1.5-liter engine and electric motor. Engine power is 112-hp and 107 ft-lbs, while the electric motor kicks in 14-hp and 57 ft-lbs. With either a six-speed manual or CVT gearbox, the CR-Z can hit 62 mph in an unimpressive 9.7 seconds – just a tenth faster than the Prius.

Different driving modes will be available, including Eco, Normal and Sport. And while the CR-Z doesn’t get sports car performance, it certainly does seem to get hybrid fuel economy. In the Japanese test cycle the car is rated at 52/59 mpg. At first this seems to put it way ahead of the Insight which is rated at 40/43 mpg in the U.S., but in Japan the Insight rates at between 61 and 70 mpg on the Japanese test cycle, meaning that the CR-Z is likely to come in below the Insight in terms of fuel economy.

We’ll have to wait for the car’s North American debut to get the official numbers.

GALLERY: Mugen Honda CR-Z

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GALLERY: Leaked Honda CR-Z Official Brochure

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[Source: TOV]