Honda is heading to Le Mans. No, we're not talking about the Acura ARX-02a that competes against Audi and Peugeot in the LMP class. Honda Performance Development is taking its race-prepped CR-Z to the 24 Hours of Le Mans to run exhibition laps before the start of the big show.
Currently, the HPD CR-Z serves as pace car for the Speed EuroSeries. It's also spent time running on American soil, when Honda entered the hybrid racer in the Spinal Tap of endurance racing, the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. The car ran wonderfully, finishing 2nd in its class.
The stripped-down racing CR-Z produces 200-horsepower and 201 pound-feet of torque. That energy is funneled through a six-speed manual gearbox, and we're pretty certain the whole setup rotates rather nicely thanks to the 7kWh Li-ion battery pack in the back. Check out more details in our gallery and in the official press release after the jump.
At this year's Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, Honda's CR-Z hybrid coupe will feature in a special exhibition ("Le Mans vers le Futur") looking at the future of the legendary event.
The organisers of Le Mans 24 Hours, the ACO (Automobile Club de l'Ouest), is committed to making its world famous event more sustainable and so for the second year is organising a special exhibition called "Le Mans vers le Futur" devoted to showcasing the Le Mans racing cars of the future.
The displayed cars, including the CR-Z hybrid coupe, will also run demonstration laps around the track, driven by famous drivers before the start of the official race.
The CR-Z in competition livery
Honda, which pioneered the mass production of hybrid cars, first unveiled a competition version of its hybrid coupe at last year's SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The car was developed by Honda Performance Development (HPD), the "racing arm" of American Honda. Shortly afterwards it was entered into its first race, finishing second in its class at Thunderhill 25 Hours, a circuit near San Francisco.
HPD has developed the car to be tested in real race conditions to discover technical solutions specific to hybrids.
In Europe, the CR-Z Racer is used as a pace car as part of Speed EuroSeries.
Technical data of the CR-Z Racer hybrid by HPD
Production year: 2010
Configuration: Combination IMA hybrid
(Electric motor between the internal combustion engine and gearbox)
Li-ion battery 7 kWh/173 volts
Architecture: 4 cylinders in line, mounted transversely in front, FWD
Displacement: 1,497 cm3
Type: SOHC, 4 valves / cylinder; fuel Injection and turbocharger
Transmission: 6 speed manual
Power: 200 hp
Max torque: 237 Nm
Specific Power: 133 hp / litre