• Sep 30th 2009 at 12:19AM
  • 71

2009 Honda CR-Z Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

One of the most highly-anticipated new model releases scheduled to debut at next month's Tokyo Motor Show would have to be the production version of Honda's CR-Z hybrid hatchback. That's not happening. Instead, we're getting a concept version of the production car. First unveiled at the Tokyo show back in 2007 in pure concept form, the sporty two-passenger CR-Z is slated for production early next year in Japan. We expect the CR-Z to hit the States sometime thereafter.

Underhood will be a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine mated to Honda's proprietary Integrated Motor Assist technology. Also on the menu will be a six-speed manual gearbox that will surely be a more entertaining partner for driving enthusiasts than the CVT used in the Insight hatchback.

While Honda is still calling the Tokyo-bound 2009 version of the CR-Z a concept, it's clearly one of those concept-in-name-only deals. Don't expect the attractive sheetmetal to be altered before the car hits the showroom floor, and that interior is pretty much the same one you'll be able to sample in 2010. That's fine by us – the car's wedge-shaped lines are very attractive and call to mind the seminal CRX from the early 1980s, though with a modern flavor reminiscent of the current Insight. See for yourselves in our gallery below.

[Source: Honda]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      For me, it all comes down to 2 things, price and weight. For price, it has to be attainable, not $22k+ unless it puts down some really great driving numbers, which is doubtful considering the 1.5l+ hybrid drivetrain... Which brings us to the second part of that, WEIGHT. If this is lightweight the 116hp that the 1.5 is putting out combined with the electric assist could make this into a zippy little ride. If it's 2800+ pounds it's probably going to feel sluggish and get highway mileage similar to the Fit.

      C'mon Honda, put a little DI turbo'd 1.4l in there and make us all happy!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hmmmm interesting. I don't like the blacked out A-pillars though.

      Thoughts of getting that crap Hybrid drivetrain out of there, instantly started flooding through my head.

      B18 swap, F20C/RWD conversion, K20 etc.
      • 6 Years Ago
      At least they are putting a 1.5 in it instead of the 1.3.

      Thank god. the 1.3 in the insight is a POS. Way undersized.
      A 1.5 is liveable. I had a 1.5l Honda Del Sol and it had enough power to get around.

      Here's to hoping this bad boy actually has some balls, unlike all the other small hybrids out there.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Mazda: CR-Z, looking good!
      CR-Z: Thanks!
      Mazda: Love the new grill!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Finally, Honda!! This is very cool.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Will it ONLY be available with the manual?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not bad at all really. I still think any two seat car will have challenges in the sales area but as a previous poster indicated, the CRX was this same layout and it was pretty successful.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yes, the MINI Cooper has been a dismal failure due to its "two doors" LOL.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Uh, you do realize he said *seats* and not doors, right?
      • 6 Years Ago
      This... I want. Could be a nice next step for Honda. I would love to see an Acura evolution with SH-AWD.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love it!

      It's as if the eighteen (18!!) year gap between the great old CR-X and today never happened. Design looks great and I have high hopes the car will deliver, dynamically. The old one sure did.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I kind of like it, much more like the the clean and simple Hondas of the past than the nasty Hondas and Acuras today. So it is a step in the right direction for me, though I'm not all that keen on the chopped off back.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I am NOT a honda fanboy... i don't like the accord crosstour or the regular accord sedan or the pilot. But people HAVE TO STOP HATING ON HONDA... this car is NOT bad looking. Just because their 3 latest designs have been questionable, that doesn't mean you can automatically hate on ANYTHING they put out. All of you people who say it looks way different than the previous concept should get your eyes checked.

      Put the two pictures side by side, they're not really that different. the lines carry over and the only part that really changed was from the b-pillar back. IMO the fender flares on the new concept are nicer looking than the ones on the previous concept (or lack there of). However i liked the rear windows on the previous concept a little better... BUT IT ISN'T BAD and it isn't radically different.

      i just want to commend honda for a job well done. This car looks nice and it is the first honda I have lusted over in a while. can't wait to drive a stick hybrid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The new concept really reminds me of the old CRX, in a good way. I'm interested to see how this car turns out in real life and if it can add some thrill to hybrid driving.
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