2011 Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

The new Honda CR-Z has only been on sale in Japan for two weeks, and already the automaker has received over 7,000 orders for the small hybrid. This represents about 60 percent of the 12,000 units that Honda anticipated to sell domestically in the hatch's first year of production. If this trend continues, Honda may have to ramp up production of the CR-Z in Japan to meet the high demand.

The CR-Z's fortunes in other markets will be every bit as interesting to watch, of course. In the United States, for example, doubters (full disclosure: ourselves included) question whether Honda's idea of a sports hybrid that takes just under 10 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour might not be what the doctor ordered, especially when paired with surprisingly disappointing fuel economy figures. Of course, that's largely just what the online enthusiast community is saying at the moment, and not necessarily any indication of the car's eventual marketplace success whatsoever.

As fans of the long-gone CRX, we sincerely hope that the new CR-Z carries the torch in a way that does not appear to be conveyed by these early performance numbers. Either way, watching the CR-Z's long-term sales prospects both at home and in other markets will be far more important to the model's fortunes than an early sales boom in Japan and pre-launch online skepticism.

[Source: MarketWatch]

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