Honda is accountable for manufacturing this compact hybrid electric vehicle that is sold under the name of “sport hybrid coupe.” The CR-Z features a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain as well as some conventional sports car elements.
Since the launch of the Honda’s IMA technology in 1st generation Insight (a 3-door hatchback), Honda CR-Z regarded as the sixth version carrying this technology. The CR-Z went on sale in the local market in February 2010 while in United States the sales began in August.
The two other Honda’s hybrid cars include the Honda Remix (launched in 2006) and the Honda Small Hybrid Sports (launched in 2007). The current CR-Z is supposed to be based on these both aforementioned hybrid concept cars.
The CR-Z made its first public appearance at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 23, 2007. According to Honda, the name CR-Z stands for ‘Compact Renaissance Zero’. The aim behind using this expression was to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars. The CEO of the company, Fukui said in his statement at the show that the company has already started working on the production model and the car would be economical, efficient and sporty.
The car appeared for the first time in U.S. at the Detroit North American International Auto Show in 2008 where the company promoted the revised CR-Z Concept 2009 version. The production model was displayed at 2010 Detroit North American International Auto Show.
Norio Tomobe led the project who was previously involved in working as chief engineer on Mobilio Spike and Elyson. Norio Tomobe was determined that the hybrid element of the car could make it a sports car without any remorse.
The CR-Z gets a 1.5L i-VTEC SOHC inline-4 engine along with a Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system. Although, the car features a six-speed manual transmission as standard but one can opt for continuously variable transmission (CVT) as well. The entire system with all its features can generate 122 bhp (91 kW; 124 PS) at 6,000 rpm and torque of 128 lb·ft (174 Nm) at 1,000 to 1,500 rpm (torque of 123 lb·ft (167 Nm) on CVT-equipped models). A car sprints from 0-60 mph in 10.5 seconds (quarter mile in 17.6 seconds).
In the local market, the fuel economy ratings for CR-Z in 10•15 mode for CVT are 4.0 liters per 100 kilometers and 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers for manual transmission while in JC08 mode, it is 4.4 liters per 100 kilometers for CVT and 4.9 liters per 100 kilometers for MT.
However, the 2011 CR-Z US EPA ratings for MT are 31 miles per US gallon (7.6 L/100 km) for city and 37 miles per US gallon (6.4 L/100 km) for highway. For CVT the figures are 35 miles per US gallon (6.7 L/100 km) for city driving cycle and 39 miles per US gallon (6.0 L/100 km) for highway.
On the 2011 EPA listing, CR-Z ranked at number four for CVT system in the top-ten list of fuel efficient vehicles while holding the tenth rank in for the vehicles with MT.