• Mar 21st 2011 at 4:29PM
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2011 Honda CR-Z – Click above for high-res image gallery

To hear Autocar tell it, Honda has confirmed that it's working on a faster version of its disappointing CR-Z hybrid. Having suffered the slings and arrows of enthusiast who thought they were getting another CRX, Honda has said they will have a quicker version of the car out when the next-generation IMA hybrid system arrives.

They're keeping mum about what engine the augmented CR-Z will rock, but speculation is that the new model will put down about 160 hp between its gas and electric powerplants. Honda R&D chief Tomohiko Kawanabe says the company is leaning away from a turbo engine because a naturally aspirated set up will work better with the hybrid drive.

Kawanabe also indicates Honda won't let the power increase take away from the current car's fuel efficiency and C02 production numbers, so expect most of the new power to come from an improved electric motor.

The as-yet unnamed sportier CR-Z is still at least a year away, which makes sense, as the new hybrid system isn't expected on our shores until 2012, when it's due in the new Civic. Watch for updates as details emerge.

Images copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL

[Source: Autocar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Honda has lost me. Totally lost me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Of all the mentally unstable decisions Honda has made these last couple of years, they had to insist on a hybrid CRX, as far as I can tell, just for green publicity sake. Oh no, it's not working? Well maybe it we make it even more "hybriddier", they'll learn to accept it. I want the execs at Honda to drown on whatever pretentious organic kool-aid they drink (because if they can convince themselves that overpriced, slow and heavy hybrids will sell, then surely they can manage to choke on liquid) and just gives the CRZ a zippy small displacement engine. Hell, it could be the 2.0 from the SI and it would be lighter, faster, cheaper, and still have real world economy figures.

      I may be one of the few, but I love the design of the CRZ. Just not the bastardization of an icon that was already a move toward more fuel efficient fun.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why not put hese resources toward evelopment of, say, Advanced VTEC or maybe even a new NSX?

      Oh wait.

      Honda doesn't do that kind of thing anymore.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Somehow I see a scenario where the honda designers are standing on an auto panel discussion

      How will the new CR-Z be better than the initial offering?
      "it has 160HP"
      Yes, that's 36 more horsepower. Do you think this will be competitive with the Veloster?
      "it has 160HP"
      Sure, the Veloster only has 138HP, but it's 100lbs lighter
      "22 horsepower more"
      But the Veloster will cost thousands less and offers 3mpg better fuel economy
      • 4 Years Ago
      too bad they killed the b-series.
      with a b-series engine and some DI magic, you'd have all the numbers you wanted and meet tail-pipe-sniffers.

      bring back the high-revving buzzy bee in a can hondas
      • 4 Years Ago
      I hope Hyundai is benchmarking Nissan MR16DDT (Juke turbo) and the Mini 1.6 direct injection/Valvetronic engine.
      188hp would be real nice for the Veloster Turbo, especially if the curb weight is only 2700 pounds with the double clutch transmission.

      Honda has to top that! [go big, or go home]
      • 4 Years Ago
      Since the Cr-Z was never "hot", maybe the article should be revised to read, "A lukewarm CR-Z comes to the fore". Seriously, its too bad Honda is stubbornly insisting on keeping its performance version a hybrid as with only 160 hp it still will be one of the slowest sports coupes on the market. Maybe this just a concession by Honda engineering that it lacks the engineering expertise to produce any turbo/direct injection engines that can deliver both fuel economy and higher horsepower.
      Again, Honda is foolishly and stubbornly sticking to not offering a gasoline only version which should have been a "no brainer". If this kind of questionable decision making by Honda continues, I am abandoning Honda (I've only bought Honda's for all my life) and my next car will likely be a Hyundai/Kia or a Ford.
      • 4 Years Ago
      160 hp was plenty for a hot hatch - in 1998.

      The sad thing about this car is I like the way it looks, I've heard that it handles well, I even like that color. I want so badly to like the whole package but that silly hybrid drivetrain just spoils it for me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Awful. Give it a real engine.
      • 4 Years Ago
      160 hp?

      That's "hotter" in the same way that cold tap water is "hotter" than an ice cube.
      • 4 Years Ago
      dgh1981... I think youre missing the point. Ill illustrate a little... my 8 year old, $10K SVT Focus routinely gets over 30 mpgs (over 120K miles currently), and has enough room to accomodate 4 adults and their gear (although it would be a tight fit). Sure its not a new car, nor does it pack a hybrid powertrain, but doggone it, its efficient, reliable, good looking, roomy, and can outhandle, outbrake, and outaccelerate Honda's "technology", in a chassis thats much older. While the CR-Z might be a sportier hybrid than most, its not enough to quench the thirst of enthuisiast drivers, and thats why we have a bitter taste towards Honda these days.... they axed all their fun cars and gave us the CR-Z as some sort of lukewarm replacement? BOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree that Honda performed a "reboot" of sorts. Honda and Toyota both are conservative companies and when financial meltdown occurred, they both retracted themselves back to more efficient vehicles. I would be the first to say it would be awesome if the CR-Z had 160-200 hp from the get-go with similar mpg numbers. They tried something completely new. You also can't fault the car for having only 2 seats. Buyers know that going in. Does the Miata get bashed because of only having 2 seats? It was designed that way. By itself and without trying to make it into a CRX clone, the car is an enjoyable ride that is fun and efficient. Honda made the mistake of comparing it to the CRX early on.

        By the way, I'm not a hardcore Honda lover. I am loving the new design of the Focus and would consider that for my next car. I do appreciate the CR-Z for what it is though.
      • 4 Years Ago
      fork this. Give me a Civic TypeR hatch instead.
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