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.