Vital Stats

Engine:
SC 1.5L I4/15kW motor
Power:
190 HP / 174 LB-FT
Transmission:
6-Speed Manual
0-60 Time:
7.5 Seconds (est.)
Drivetrain:
Front-Wheel Drive
Curb Weight:
2,700 LBS (est.)
Seating:
2
MPG:
31 City / 35 HWY (est.)
Base Price:
$19,995
Honda invited us to its Southern California North American headquarters last week to take a spin in a very special CR-Z – one modified with a full complement of Honda Performance Development (HPD) components. While the company has been racing with HPD parts for years, this is the first time the automaker has offered them for its street-legal vehicles, and it has chosen this year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas to be the launch venue. Last year, Honda introduced the HPD Supercharged CR-Z Concept at SEMA – this is the slightly modified production version.

The complete transformation gives the normally placid hybrid hatchback a serious shot of adrenaline thanks to a bolt-on supercharger combined with suspension, tire, brake and exhaust upgrades. In addition to the blower (detailed in a bullet point below), new HPD suspension components lower the car by about half an inch, and firmer spring rates stiffen the ride. Stock 16- or 17-inch wheels are then replaced with HPD 18-inch alloys wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires (215/40ZR18 at all corners). The clutch is upgraded, a limited-slip differential is installed and new HPD monobloc four-piston calipers are fitted over slotted and ventilated iron rotors up front (the single-pistons over solid discs on the back axle are unchanged). In the rear, the stock hidden single exhaust pipe is replaced by a free-flow twin-tip exhaust that peers out of a new HPD lower diffuser. Other cosmetic enhancements include an HPD front lip spoiler, rear deck lid spoiler and an HPD emblem kit for each side. To say the CR-Z is transformed by the complete HPD package is an understatement.

Driving Notes
  • Face-to-face with the gussied-up CR-Z, I found most of the enhancements stylish and clean. The design benefits from the new sporty duds and the overall appearance gains some much-needed masculinity in the metamorphosis. The finned rear fascia and bright exhaust are well done, but the rear spoiler set high on the decklid appears too tacked-on for my tastes. I would also skip the silver stickers on the doors, as they are a bit garish. The ten-spoke wheels and high-performance tires look great and the slightly lower ride compliments the look. Overall, the red test car made a statement that going green doesn't have to be boring.
  • While the stock hybrid CR-Z relies on a naturally aspirated 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a 15-kW electric motor for a combined output of 130 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque, the supercharger (providing up to 9 psi of pressure) boosts total output to 190 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque - that's assuming the 'Sport' button is pressed. (The supercharger kit goes on sale later, in Spring 2014, so Honda has not released pricing yet.)
  • The standard CR-Z will burst through the 60-mile-per-hour barrier in about 9.5 seconds from a standstill, which is slower than most of today's minivans. But thanks to the blower adding an additional 53 horsepower to the mix, two full seconds are shaved off the benchmark sprint. Lethargic is replaced with spirited, and the Honda zips around with a newfound youthful demeanor. It is unquestionably fun to drive, and it quickly put a smile on my face.
  • The new exhaust pipes provide a slightly more aggressive audible soundtrack, and - sit down for this one - the fuel economy actually improves a point in the highway cycle as the newfound low end torque means the engine doesn't have to work as hard (Honda and the EPA are still working on the official numbers).
  • This wasn't a racing circuit exercise, so I wasn't able to push the suspension and brakes to their limits, but zooming around crowded Torrance, CA did give me a decent sense of how the platform has been configured. The suspension is firm, but far from abusive, and it seemed to work well with the stickier rubber to provide much better initial-turn in and grip in the corners. The supercharger and associated hardware add a little bit more weight to the nose (figure 60 percent of the mass is sitting on the front wheels), but I pushed the hybrid hard around a circular onramp and it held firmly without annoying understeer. The brakes also felt more than up to the task of spirited street driving, but the pedal feel doesn't inspire - blame the regenerative braking system for getting in the way.
  • My red test car was loaded with everything, including the $60 decal kit, which is a configuration I suspect very few customers will duplicate when you consider that the kit, minus the blower, costs at minimum $6,500 in components alone - the centrifugal supercharger and installation is extra. The automaker says that most of the components will fit all 2011-2014 CR-Z models, and the pieces and parts are offered a la carte through your dealer. And, since Honda promotes its HPD components as "track proven and street reliable," the company will stand behind them with a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty on the parts, and the supercharger meets LEV II SULEV requirements.
  • I found the modified hatchback a talented little two-seater, yet I couldn't overlook the donor vehicle's shortcomings - the cabin of the CR-Z is loud, frustratingly lacks two-plus-two seating and rearward visibility is dismal - once I added up the price. But instead of listing competing alternatives for the same money, of which there are several, I will consider the HPD CR-Z a solid proof of concept that will lead to a slew of HPD-modified Hondas down the road.
  • Tweaking a hybrid is an interesting strategy, and while it's certainly engaging to drive, most of my fellow enthusiasts would much rather see factory-supported HPD components offered to the public for a racy street-legal Civic Si - we likely won't have to wait very long.
Show full PR text
HPD Unveils Street Performance Products At 2013 SEMA Show

LAS VEGAS (November 5, 2013) – Long a fixture at race circuits around the world, Honda Performance Development, the racing arm of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., will now be offering a new range of HPD Street Performance products, starting with the Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe.

Two Honda passenger cars featuring HPD Street Performance products are on display at the 2013 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas, along with an HPD Civic Si Coupe raced in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge by the Honda of America Racing Team (HART):

- The 2014 HPD Supercharged CR-Z (http://automobiles.honda.com/cr-z/hpd.aspx) features a variety of track-proven, street-reliable performance upgrades on sale today at U.S. Honda dealers nationwide. HPD-developed powertrain modifications – tested on-track at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – include a high-efficiency centrifugal supercharger (available Spring 2014); HPD air-to-air intercooler; high-flow fuel injectors; an ECU calibrated to meet CART AT-PZEV regulations with 91 octane fuel; HPD air filter system; and HPD sport exhaust. Chassis improvements include HPD sport dampers, coil springs with reduced ride height, 300mm diameter disc brakes and HPD 18-inch wheels fitted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires. The CR-Z is completed by a graphics package including front lip and tail spoilers, rear diffuser and HPD badge.

- The new 2014 HPD Honda Civic Street Performance Concept is equipped with HPD racing performance parts and street wrap. Modifications include HPD's "Big Brake" kit, HPD performance springs, HPD 25.4mm rear anti-roll bar, HPD 18-inch wheels, and a K24Z7 racing engine. While just a concept, this vehicle offers a glimpse at potential future street performance accessories developed from HPD racing experience.

- Rounding out the HPD display at SEMA is the HPD Honda Civic Si Race Car, as campaigned by HART the CTSCC Street Tuner category. The Civic is fitted with competition equipment developed at HPD, including a sealed K24Z7 racing engine; HPD cold air intake; Accusump oil pressure accumulator; HPD stainless steel exhaust header; and HPD suspension parts including camber plates, suspension bushings, brake rotors and adjustable rear anti-roll bar. The Honda Civic Si is eligible for a variety of series, including Sports Car Club of America, International Motor Sports Association, Canadian Automobile Sport Clubs and National Auto Sport Association racing.

"'Performance' is in our name, and is part of everything we do at HPD, from our kart programs through our grass roots motorsports amateur racing efforts, all the way through our participation in endurance sports car racing and Indy cars" said Art St. Cyr, HPD president.

"Now, with our line of HPD Street Performance products, we're excited to be bringing the same innovation that has driven two decades of success on track to the street, for everyone who desires to enhance an already excellent Honda vehicle with proven performance products, without sacrificing the reliability that comes with the Honda name."

Veteran Indy car driver Graham Rahal will serve as HPD's SEMA Social Media Correspondent. Long associated with both Honda and HPD through the family's race team and Honda dealership, Rahal has detailed knowledge of Honda's success in motorsports and commitment to the enthusiast market.

For more information about HPD and the company's Street Performance products, please visit http://hpd.honda.com/street-performance.

About Honda Performance Development

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, HPD was founded in 1993 as the performance arm of American Honda, to spearhead the company's entry into Indy car racing. No other manufacturer has matched Honda's success in Indy cars, including 204 race victories, 15 drivers' championships, six manufacturers' championships and nine consecutive Indianapolis 500 victories. In 2013, Honda powered veteran Scott Dixon to four race wins and the 2013 IZOD IndyCar Series championship; and Tristan Vautier to series Rookie of the Year honors.

HPD's prototype racing efforts have recorded more than 60 victories and multiple American Le Mans Series championships. The company's first outing in 2007 at the 12 Hours of Sebring marked the first win for HPD's LM-V8 engine; and, the first for a Honda racing engine designed and developed outside of Japan. HPD won the LMP2 title in the inaugural 2012 World Endurance Championship and has twice won the LMP2 category at the 24 Hours of Le Mans since 2010. In 2013, HPD and Honda again swept the LMP1 and LMP2 manufacturers', engine, team and drivers' championships in the American Le Mans Series; while HPD-equipped Strakka Racing claimed the LMP1 class win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for private team entries.

HPD participates in competition on both two wheels and four. The company offers a complete line of race engines for cars from grass roots to pinnacle; for professional, amateur and entry-level racers. And now, provides "fun-to-drive" products for your garage.

Pricing:

HPD Front Brake Kit $2,100.00
HPD Sport Exhaust (1) $1400.00
HPD Rear Diffuser (1) $400.00
HPD Sport Suspension $1,550.00
HPD 18-Inch Alloy Wheel $315.00
Michelin Tire (215/40/ZR18) See Dealer
CR-Z Door Sticker, Right $30.00
CR-Z Door Sticker, Left $30.00
Decklid Spoiler $430.00
Front Under Spoiler (2011–12 models only) $280.00


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 95 Comments
      Zaki
      • 1 Year Ago
      0-60 in 7.5 means the grandma in her Toyota Sienna can still whip your a$$ at the light. Most small and mid size sedans will easily outpace this poor effort. Sorry, not impressed.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zaki
        Couple of things here. Grandmas dishwater van has segment-competing power that needs to be able to haul a heavy van without being slow, otherwise nobody would want it. This is a hybrid, in the city it can easily achieve 40+ mpg, while your gas sedans hover around 25-30mpg and lower because of constant stop and go traffic. I know because I own one. The regular CR-Z has smooth potent acceleration, it takes a little more time to reach about 20mph because of start/stop, but propels quite nicely to 50mph, it does better than my 170hp gas car. Engine power has become a big selling point, even though most owners will never really open up their engines regularly, higher HP has become more a competitive edge for automakers to boast when selling cars. Friends of mine with STi's, and other sports cars love the car and had nothing but praise for it. Its completely capable of everything a car needs to do, and its actually quite fun to drive. I recommend spending time in one before you go off on a forum.
          Rotation
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          It's only rated 36 in the city before you add the supercharger. And the supercharger isn't going to improve the mpg. Would you like to recalibrate your statements?
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          I have a picture of a 160+mile trip where I achieved 50+ mpg. I'd be more than happy to provide the link.
          Zaki
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          When a car has sporty "pretensions" it better deliver on the sporty pretensions. If a car has MPG pretensions, then you are competing with the Prius and Honda's own Fit Hybrid. This thing is trying to be both and it is not cutting it.
        ryanandrewmartin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zaki
        Too bad that 4000lb+ Sienna would still be less fun to 60 in a straight line than this, let alone on some good roads.
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ryanandrewmartin
          Minivans are not slow easily push $40,000 in price. These aren't the minivans of 1980. Today's vans are equipped with potent engines designed to handle everyday situations with ease. People paying well over $30,000 today want a 4000lbs+ van that can keep up with traffic and provide all the comforts you would expect in a family van. Vans are NOT slow. That funny little joke about Vans is not true anymore. Many Vans are coming with equipped with potent engines that can easily outpace many performance compacts. A Honda Odyssey can give a Dodge Dart R/T a run for its money any day. My point, todays vans are NOT slow at all. They do however handle like a 4000lbs vehicle so you try to run a van on a circuit and see how it does.
          Zaki
          • 1 Year Ago
          @ryanandrewmartin
          I never thought being whipped shamelessly for all to see, by a 4000 lb minivan was something to be proud of, in a car that is supposedly trying to be "sporty". So what do you do, ask the old lady to follow [or lead you] to the closest curvy back roads and show her your "sporty" car's handling prowess!!
        superchan7
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Zaki
        Siennas don't race. All that horsepower it has is just for marketing, a trend that died out in 2007-8 when gas prices spiked. V6 power levels have largely stayed flat since then. People don't use 300 hp, but they still wanted it, until MPGs became cooler a few years ago.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        Come on bro. Really? You know you can also buy a used C6 for the same price. For $30,000 you can buy a preowned flagship luxury sedan too. Your forgetting that manufacturer made "specialty packages" are always overpriced and almost never worth it.
        mary.keana
        • 1 Year Ago
        Consumer Reports averaged 45mpg in the CR-Z. Don't think any Ford has ever done that.
          ChrisH
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mary.keana
          all I know my neighbor loves his CR-Z, they really look good in black.
          • 1 Year Ago
          @mary.keana
          [blocked]
        snap_understeer_ftw
        • 1 Year Ago
        huh? what do you mean by real gas mileage? as opposed to fake mileage?
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
        Rob Mahrt
        • 1 Year Ago
        Yea, I have read about CRZs over the last few years and have not heard many if any claims that this car fails to live up to MPG numbers, unlike most hybrids. I drove a 6spd for ~17k miles and averaged 41mpg over that time (probably 60% city 40% highway), during the spring and fall I would be hitting 45mpg on my 24 miles round trip to and from work consistently. If this had a little more power, or a back seat, I think it would have been a huge success.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      CRX is a piece of garbage wrapped in fancy sheet power, powered by the obsolete, inferior, and disastrous IMA power-train. Honda is scamming you with the CRX which is basically the discontinued Insight with cosmetic like a pig painted with lipstick.
      scionxd48
      • 1 Year Ago
      Anyone else here notice the two Civics on the left in the first pic? Is that supposed to be the new 2014 Civic Si nose? Or just the new 2014 Civic coupe in general?
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scionxd48
        Oh wow, I just noticed that too. The fog light area is definitely something I haven't seen before.
          scionxd48
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          Indeed. The upper grille appears to be inspired by the upcoming Fit RS, too.
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Scooter
          Looked thoroughly for a Si badge, but there is none, so maybe its just a new fascia for the Civic generation.
        darkharbour
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scionxd48
        It looks a lot like it may be the new Civic coupe! Good eye!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scionxd48
        [blocked]
        Burabus
        • 1 Year Ago
        @scionxd48
        nice catch
      beanrew
      • 1 Year Ago
      This car could have been so much more than it is with a 2.0 NA engine, what a waste of a decent package.
      PatrickH
      • 1 Year Ago
      You claim these mods drop the 0-60 times by 2 seconds. That would mean 7.5 seconds, for a 190hp, 2500lb car?! That seems quite slow. Am I missing something? This car should be cracking into the high 5 second range with that kind of power to weight ratio.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        Its not a redesign, so it wasn't re-engineered for weight loss. Its more of an "options" package with a little more punch through super charging. 6.5-7.5 secs is normal for 150-200hp range turbo cars. That one 1 second loss isn't going to destroy the experience behind the wheel.
        Mr Sled
        • 1 Year Ago
        @PatrickH
        190 (gross hp) But... This sucker is electrical. IMA flux capacitor consumes at least 1.21 gigawatts. Figure you either need more plutonium, or look for another car at SEMA that has a Mr Fusion. Then you'll need to disable the time circuits for a dyno run. Probably really getting only 160 hp to the wheels.
      jebibudala
      • 1 Year Ago
      So basically the 1.0 Ecoboost Fiesta is roughly 1/2 second faster 0-60 than a stock CRZ, cost less, and not to mention gets better MPG's without the complex hybrid drivetrain. I'm willing to bet a tuned/remapped 1.0 Ecoboost will be able to beat this heavily modded CR-Z and yet still get better MPGs, and lower price. Unfortunately the Fiesta isn't as sexy as a CRZ.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @jebibudala
        City mpg can't match it. CR-Z can get 40+ really easy in the city. Not to mention CR-Z is based on a "5-6 year old power train". CR-Z's engine/motor hasn't actually been re-engineered at all. Its electric motor was only increased by 10hp output. You can't seriously compare newly engineered cars to a car that's been in its first generation since 2010!
      Jprs
      • 1 Year Ago
      I just don't get it. All of the extra weight and complexity of a hybrid + supercharger for an uninspiring mid 7s 0-60 and 35mpg highway? How is this any better than the new Mazda3 with the 2.5l engine. Better highway fuel economy, a much lighter package, and far less expensive. Honda can do simple and light. Why don't they?
      bK
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now, nobody cant complain to Honda about power...
        • 1 Year Ago
        @bK
        [blocked]
      whatever
      • 1 Year Ago
      I've seen one or two of these only. They are driven by retirees...seriously. And there are several, better options that do small, sporty and fuel-saving better. This thing is going into a museum as soon as the VW GTD hits US shores.
        Bill
        • 1 Year Ago
        @whatever
        There are absolutely better choices if you want to go faster - say the BRZ for a few grand more, or 370Z for a few grand on top of that. And there are better choices if you want to get better fuel economy - anything in the Prius line, the Prius c even saves you a couple grand. But where your argument falls short is where you think you can get -both- sportier AND better fuel economy. The CR-Z fills a specific niche - I think the GTD will also fill a similar niche, but more targeted towards speed/sportiness and less so to MPG (like the BRZ). Every car is a compromise. When you drive a Prius, it's pretty slow, not sporty, not sexy - but the gas mileage is GREAT. When you drive a BRZ it's quick, great handling, fun, and quite sexy - but the gas mileage takes a hit. The CR-Z doesn't get Prius-level mpg, and it won't beat a BRZ in the 0-60 - but it is a good compromise between the two.
          mary.keana
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          Prius are death traps, have you seen the IIHS offset crash results. The Prius front wheel ends up in your lap.
          Scooter
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Bill
          I average 41mpg in the city, and acceleration has never been an issue. It accelerates smooth and quick. Its like the old guy with the 5.0 Stang, its fun to have but he probably won't open it up very often if ever. So while he's scooting around in a high output engine, his fuel usage is pretty high compared to a small 4 cylinder. What I'm saying is, many people want the comfort of knowing their car has high output, but realistically, when will you ever propel to 60mph from a standstill under "launch" conditions? CR-Z gives you a sporty looking car without sacrificing MPG. For me, its great because I want the nice sporty looks, but I use my car like a real car, I don't like racking up speeding tickets or driving like a maniac, so CR-Z coupled with fun dynamics and higher than average MPG does really good for me.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @whatever
        [blocked]
      EZen
      • 1 Year Ago
      Get rid of the hybrid engine and batteries and you have probably 2500-2600 pounds instead of 2700+. Give it a proper turbo engine (1.8-2L) with around 220-230HP and you'd have a winner. With the current specs, I don't see the point.
        mary.keana
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZen
        They hybrid components in the CR-Z are not very heavy.
        Scooter
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZen
        Of course, but your missing an important fact. Its still a first generation CR-Z! The same tech from 2008!
        beanrew
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZen
        couldnt agree more
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