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Honda‘s CR-Z sports hybrid has won the distinction of being voted Japan’s Car of the Year. Honda narrowly missed out on last year’s award when their Insight hybrid was beaten out by the mighty Toyota Prius.
Hybrids enjoy a level of popularity in Japan that far exceeds the warm reception that they’ve been given in North America. The CR-Z’s mix of sportiness and fuel efficiency no doubt helped sway jurors, who also nominated the Toyota Marx X, Nissan March, Mazda Premacy, Suzuki Swift, Volkswagen Polo, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series, Peugeot RCZ and the Jaguar XJ. The award for Japan’s Import Car of the Year award has yet to be announced.
Honda’s President CEO, Takanobu Ito accepted the award, stating “We are very proud that the CR-Z has been selected from the strong contenders of new models as the Car of the Year Japan 2010-2011. This award shows that the public has accepted Honda’s aspiration to supply exceptional environmental performance in a fun-to-drive hybrid car at an affordable price, as well as Honda’s desire to spread the joy of owning and driving a car. We also believe that this award for the CR-Z reflects the true value of the combined efforts of our business partners and the many others who supported CR-Z development and production. Going forward, Honda intends to bring more joy to an even larger number of customers.”
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.
Hit the jump to see Honda’s official press release
A Nissan GTR powered by something other than a traditional gasoline engine will arrive in the future, but tree-huggers looking to go fast will have to wait a while.
Kazutoshi Mizuno, chief engineer of the R35 GTR admitted that the car will have to move to switch to alternative fuels, but that’s far as as Mizuno and his team have gotten. “I’ve not decided what type of technology I would use,” Mizuno told The Motor Report. “Diesel, hybrid, electric motor or another kind of system? It’s not been decided.”
Mizuno seemed to rule out a diesel powertrain, but suggested a mild hybrid was the most likely route for the GTR, while adding that there was “no need to hurry” to develop an alternative-fuel GTR despite a glut of hybrid and electric sports cars appearing from Tesla, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Porsche in the next few years.
[Source: The Motor Report]
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]
Mercedes-Benz‘ awesome SLS supercar isn’t even out yet, but the company is already getting a smaller variant ready, with a more modest powertrain that its big brother.
The new car will reportedly use a 3.5L V6 with, surprise surprise, a hybrid system. Rather than being a typical “mild hybrid”, the baby SLS will use two electric motors, ostensibly in the front wheels, for an all-wheel drive sports car that would put out a reported 305 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. Start-stop technology and direct injection should help with fuel economy as well.
The smaller SLS is expected to come to market by 2012, about the same time as the long rumored all-electric SLS is supposed to deubt.
Porsche‘s 918 Spyder hybrid supercar may be close to production after the automaker revealed it had approximately 900 people who are interested in buying it.
Wolfgang Duerheimer, development chief for Porsche, said that 1,000 interested parties were needed before Porsche could green-light the eco-friendly sports car, which uses a 500 horsepower V8 and an electric motor to help deliver a claimed 78 mpg fuel economy rating.
Porsche has a history of building ultra-exclusive low volume models, like the Carrera GT and the historic 959, but the 918 Spyder would be the first road-going supercar that also uses hybrid technology. The 918 is also part of Porsche’s new long-term strategy to add more models to its range, although no specifics have been revealed.