​The Honda CR-Z is on the way out, at least in Japan

The poor CR-Z, misbegotten and subsequently ignored by both customers and critics. Sales have been a trickle for years, and despite a few half-hearted attempts to kick-start interest it's clear the CR-Z lacks the goods. We've been thinking about its imminent demise for years, and it's already dead in Europe and Australia. Now, the CR-Z's lackluster run is ending in Japan.

Inexplicably, that'll make the US one of the last bastions of CR-Z sales in the world. The 1.5-liter engine and electric motor make a combined 130 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque in manual-transmission trim. Yes, a manual transmission hybrid. Quite a unicorn, but don't get too excited. It won't blow your socks off, as we found out in our first drive. And the CVT model, with less power, is predictably less thrilling.

Like most final edition packages, the Japan-only CR-Z Final Label gets cosmetic changes, like special edition badging, unique alloy wheels, "Final Label" logos embroidered on the seats, and equipment from the higher trim levels. The attention makes sense in Japan, where collectible special edition cars are highly sought after. It seems unlikely that Honda will bother with anything more exciting than a fire-sale promotion in the US, although we've asked the company what its plans for CR-Z in North America are and will report on what they tell us.

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