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Production Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe to hit Europe first

Click above to view high-res gallery of the Honda CR-Z Concept

More news from the front lines of Honda's hybrid offensive. Honda CEO Takeo Fukui revealed in January that a production hybrid based on the CR-Z Concept shown in Tokyo last year was on its way. Looks like Europeans will be the first to partake of the spiritual successor to the much missed CR-X when it goes on sale there first around the end of the decade.

The original CR-X was a small, lightweight hatchback that by virtue of its size was a fun car despite its small, efficient engine. Likewise, we expect the production CR-Z coupe to be small, fun and efficient, but this time utilize Honda's updated Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system to make it happen.

Honda UK manager of product planning Mark Turner told Automotive News Europe that the production CR-Z hybrid would be priced around €25,000, with a high-end model cresting €28,000. Since Europe will be the car's most important market, Honda UK will have a voice in the car's development, including its design. Engineering for the car is also being carried out at Honda's R&D facility in Germany. Turner added that a gasoline version of the CR-Z would be considered if there were demand for it. The CR-Z will join Honda's upcoming ground-up global hybrid, as well as a new Civic Hybrid, in late 2009 or early 2010. If Honda hopes to sell half a million hybrids by 2011 like it claims, expect all three to also be available in the United States.

[Source: Automotive News Europe, sub. req'd, Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty]

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