Salt shakers at the ready, boys and girls. There's a rumor out of Australia claiming the next Honda CR-Z will be based on the forthcoming 276-horsepower, turbocharged Civic Type R. Apparently Honda's research and development bigwigs have been unnerved by the reception of the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins and are eager to return fire.
Now, don't get too excited - Honda isn't following the Volkswagen model of offering virtually unchanged mechanicals in a different bodyshell (Beetle Turbo and GTI, for example). Instead, the report says the future CR-Z will retain its hybrid powertrain, albeit with a serious kick in the pants. A prototype is said to already be zipping around Japan with a turbocharged, direct-injected, 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and the current CR-Z's electric motor and battery pack. With a reported 221 horsepower mated up to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission (say buh-bye to the CVT and six-speed manual) and the next-gen Civic platform underneath, the rumored CR-Z has all the makings of a hot hatch riot.
Of course, this all sounds wonderful. This is also the point where you should be enjoying that salt. We really like the idea of a properly hot CR-Z that can compete with John Cooper Works Mini models and the new Ford Fiesta ST, but the three-door hybrid has been such a slow seller for Honda in the US that it might not field a second generation here, no matter how improved it might be. Let us know what you think of an amped-up CR-Z in the comments. Is it a good idea, or is this one Honda model that's just too far gone?