• Jan 18, 2011
Honda CR-Z Hybrid R concept – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Honda CR-Z has us a bit stumped. It's interesting looking and it's a sporting handler, but with only 122 horsepower under the hood, power is in sadly short supply. Yes, the CR-Z is also a hybrid, but its 38 miles per gallon combined fuel economy rating is less than impressive.

The solution could be right around the corner. Back in December, the Brits over at Autocar quoted sources who said Honda was planning a turbocharged CR-Z minus the battery pack or electric motor.

Fast-forward a little over a month and the U.K. magazine now reports that the CR-Z turbo is being rushed to production. If there's any truth to the rumors, the boosted hatch will come in 160- and 200-horsepower versions; a healthy bump for such a small vehicle. So what does "fast-tracked" mean in terms of timing? Autocar claims we could see the CR-Z turbo at the Tokyo Motor Show in December.

Given the fact that Autocar neglected to divulge its "sources," we're not quite ready to take the publication at its word. But all the same, Honda must be listening to all the lukewarm reviews regarding the CR-Z, and a production model based on the boosted CR-Z R concept from SEMA could well be the shot in the arm the little three-door needs.

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not going to read this entire comments section, but it seems to me like everyone is talking MPG's and the definition of "sporty"... The real focus of this article is a rumor of them building a model with a turbo 4-cyl. Now, I'm no marketing genius, but possibly offering a turbo model only achieving 160hp, 200 MAX... Wait for it... ONE YEAR after introduction (and a horrible start at that) is ridiculous. By that time, so many K-series swaps will have been perfected, even with forced induction. So why does Honda think that 1-year is on the "fast-track"?? They're going to spend all the R&D time and $$$ on something thats going to be far more inferior than the tech that's already in place. But whatever, I've been watching Honda take a nose dive in the "sporty" arena for years. They've lost "it". For those defending the CRZ, no matter how light your car is, 122 CRANK HP is NOT going to get you anywhere fast. Thanks for reading my rant.
      • 3 Years Ago

      It's nice to see a car manufacture dumping the hybrid technology and getting back to the basics of making a proper automobile.

      1) Lightweight
      2) Plenty of power
      3) Gearing

      I bet you if they used direct injection with this turbo engine, they will get better fuel mileage then the hybrid too.

      Hyundai copied Honda using this simple formula (success in the 80-90's) in their current cars, good to see Honda is going back to their roots and I can stop laughing at this ridiculous car company.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car is a FAIL. Start over Honda.

      Take your SH-AWD and put it in the TSX.

      Take the desiel engine from europe and attach it to "borrowed" hybrid technology and not the stupid IMA system.

      Get 50 MPG

      Make a coupe version as well.

      Call it the Integra Type-R

      It gets 55 MPG

      Honda wins.
      • 3 Years Ago
      This could be the beginning of a Honda renaissance of they do it right. It'll be the 90s all over again!
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm glad to see that Honda is at least recognizing the CR-Z's faults and is moving to rectify them. Maybe Honda is listening to their supporters after all. However, I sincerely hope that they don't raise the price any. If they strip out the hybrid junk and swap in a turbo and some performance bits, it should be a wash. I see Honda's only real risk here is that they might price themselves out of the market. About $20k and 160 hp is where the car should have been to begin with. Much more than that and they'll have to keep in mind that they'll be competing with GTI's and Mazdaspeeds at that price range, let alone stepping on the heels of their own Civic Si.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Now that's a scary thought. If they don't want to step on their Civic Si, they might price the CR-Z turbo at 25k+. :(
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you can't do it right the first time, do it right the second time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      ...38 miles per gallon combined fuel economy rating is less than impressive....

      Autoblog just can't refrain from hating on the CR-Z. Either by posting fictious sales data, or hating on the 38 combined MPG for a sporty car.

      What other sporty car gets 38 combined? And the CR-Z really gets it's rating too, unlike most that are tricking the EPA system just for an elevated EPA ESTIMATE.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @ beavboy
        your informations are incorrect.
        From the cars u've mentioned only the diesel ones get 30 mpg city. So stop commenting now, please.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Who is claiming 38mpg combined??!? From fueleconomy.gov:

        Honda CR-Z, manual gearbox, 31 city, 38 highway, 34 COMBINED
        VW Golf TDI, manual gearbox, 30 city, 42 highway, 34 COMBINED
        Audi A3 TDI, auto (only), 30 city, 42 highway, 34 COMBINED

        The CR-Z is no better than the Golf / A3 TDI, and only slightly ahead of actual sporty cars like the MINI Cooper / Cooper S. Furthermore it's only real advantage comes in the city (1mpg better than the TDIs, 2mpg better than the MINI), and so it's at a disadvantage on the highway. Unless you live in someplace like NYC or LA, and you want a sporty-ish car, and have no need for any practicality whatsoever, you're better off buying something else.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Dr Pro - Hence the "TDI" after each model......
        • 3 Years Ago
        So the 35mpg city for the CR-Z is in fact excellent for a sport car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The average per tank mpg of all the CR-Zs listed at fuelly.com is 37.4 mpg.
        • 3 Years Ago
        The whole point of buying a hybrid is to use it mainly in city commuting, since here is where they shine, and in that category the CR-Z is more economical than all of those cars uve mentioned. Thats a fact.
        It may not be economical for a hybrid, but it is compared to the non hybrid competition while being only a bit more expensive.
        Don't get me wrong, I have never been a fan of that engine, especially in that car, but from the whining in comments you may think that it burns fuel like a V8. Which, to my knowledge, it doesn't

        "We hypermiled around for a while in city and freeway traffic and coaxed the onboard computer's average econ number up to 39.7 mpg"
        That is what you base you opinion on?
        That sentence provides no useful informations. Theres no mentioning about the time of a day he performed the test, therefore it might, or might not had been rush hours, there's no mentioning about exactly how much city and how much freeway cruising he did and so on. Such tests are statistically negligible, unless they are done for a time period long enogh to simulate the average, everyday fuel consuption.
        • 3 Years Ago
        VW Golf TDI, Audi A3 TDI, Hyundai Elantra, Chevy Cruze, BMW 335d, I'm sure there's more... I'd take any of those over the CR-Z
        • 3 Years Ago
        It would be decent mileage... if the CR-Z was a "sport car". However, it falls into the "sporty" category, the kind of quasi-sports car that really doesn't cut the mustard, but tries to dress like one; and I'm not even sure I'd give it that. It's very hard to argue that 122 hp, even in a ~2,700 lb car, could be considered sport-anything. 200+ hp would start to touch on the "sport" aspect, but to really get away from having to put a "y" on the end of the word you need to be at least in the 300+ hp range, and the CR-Z doesn't have half of that. I've never driven one, so I won't argue that it's not a fun little car, in fact it probably is, but so is a Civic... that doesn't make it a sports car.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the Veloster can achieve 38mpg, is sporty, costs less and - 'polarizing' design aside - is more or less everything the CR-Z should have been.
      • 3 Years Ago
      make the US version a 4 seater please, so I can cram my 2 kids in the back
        • 3 Years Ago
        I remember cramming in the "back" of my parents 1978 Rx7, although that was not common ground for us =P
        • 3 Years Ago
        Shove them onto the shelf in the back, if it was good enough for us in HS with the original CRX, it's good enough for them. :)
      • 3 Years Ago
      Could you also make it rear wheel drive while you're at it? How hard can it be?
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sounds like Honda doesn't like Hyundai's pace and is FINALLY doing something.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I hope Honda Engineering /Japan saved a 2006 Mitsubishi EVO IX for comparison....now would be a good time to dust it off so all the new 'performance' engineering staff can sample the real deal. Bruce
      • 3 Years Ago
      That sounds like a recipe for success, and it sounds like it could actually have a shot at beating the Hyundai Veloster.
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