Honda CR-Z 2011 hybrid debuts at Detroit show

Honda CR-Z 2011 hybrid debuts at Detroit show

2011 Honda CR-Z
Harking back to the Honda Civic CR-X from the late 1980s, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z “sport hybrid coupe” has made its U.S. production debut at the 2009 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Set to go on sale late summer in the U.S., the CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system. The two-passenger CR-Z introduces a new three-mode drive system that allows the driver to select between Sport, Economy and Normal driving modes.

The exterior’s distinctive “one-motion wedge” form isn’t really that attractive, and seems compromised by the need to be aerodynamically efficient, in keeping with its fuel-sipping aim.

The futuristically-styled interior offers a high-tech appearance, with instrument panel meters that illuminate with a three-dimensional blue theme resulting in a multi-layered appearance. Set against a motif of textured black materials and ‘aluminium-style’ trim accents, the upper portion of the dashboard extends toward the driver to provide a wrap-around cockpit environment. Premium ‘sport-oriented’ cloth seats, a ‘mid-ship’ console behind the front seats, and rear storage bins rather than rear seats complete the cabin.

The two trim levels include the CR-Z and the top-spec CR-Z EX. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard equipment and a CVT automatic with paddles is available. Standard features on the CR-Z include Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry, cruise control, front and side-curtain airbags, and more. The CR-Z EX adds HID Headlights with Auto-On/Off, fog lights, a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD premium audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth, navigation and more.

The foundation of the CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain is a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system’s DC brushless electric motor. The 10-kilowatt electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that recharges the 100-volt IMA nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The petrol engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops to improve efficiency.

The system delivers a combined peak output of 122 hp at 6000 rpm and 173 Nm of torque from 1000 to 1500 rpm, or 167 Nm on CVT-equipped models, thereby not even close to being a true sports car. Preliminary fuel economy estimates are pegged at 6.3 l/100 km on CVT-equipped models, with the manual version doing 6.9 l/100 km, both of which seem like marginal benefits, given that the Honda Jazz can do almost the same without the cost of a hybrid system.

The front MacPherson strut suspension and rear torsion beam suspension settings are basic compared to the four-wheel double-wishbone setup that made the CR-X famous. All models are equipped with 16-inch aluminium wheels with 195/55 tyres. Optional 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45 tyres are available. The standard ABS with electronic brake distribution uses ventilated front discs and solid rear discs. The low vehicle height and placement of the battery and other hybrid components beneath the rear cargo area further contribute to a low centre of gravity, for ‘responsive sporty’ handling. Electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering improves efficiency.

The Honda CR-Z is unlikely to be headed to the UAE anytime soon, although judging by the specs, Honda fanboys here aren’t missing out on much.

What do you think?



  1. Yawwnnn boring,,sissy honda..make a real sports car..

  2. Honda Designers have went on vacation and never came back since the past few years!

  3. The front ofe car looks pretty good but they messed the back side alot to an unbearable extend

  4. fugly!!!

    why honda came up with this ugly thing, whn they have the civic to compete for the hatchback category……

Browse archives

Share This