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 |  Mar 18 2011, 7:20 AM

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Honda will build a more powerful version of the CR-Z sport hybrid and it will continue to be a hybrid, according to R&D boss Tomohiko Kawanabe.

Previous reports had suggested a CR-Z ‘Type R’ might toss the company’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system in favor of a turbocharger, but that will not be the case. Instead, the higher performance CR-Z might not be turbocharged at all.

In a recent interview Kawanabe admitted that the current model doesn’t “have the performance some customers expect,” and commented that while the addition of a turbocharger to the hybrid setup (like that found on the CR-Z Hybrid R Concept shown at last year’s SEMA Show) is an option, “a high-compression petrol engine would work better in tandem with a hybrid assist system.”

That news shouldn’t be surprising, considering Honda’s expertise in building naturally aspirated engines. With the possibility of a larger displacement block, the more powerful CR-Z is also likely to use an updated IMA system with a smaller, lighter and more powerful lithium-ion battery pack, enabling as much as twice the hybrid boost found in the current model.

GALLERY: Honda Hybrid R Concept

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Read AutoGuide’s Honda CR-Z Review Here

[Source: AutoCar]