Ever since its official launch, the Honda CR-Z has received prize after prize, including being named Japan’s Car of the Year. However despite these recognitions, sales still aren’t as Honda might have expected. This had lead the company to believe that hybrid cars just aren’t appreciated enough for the value they offer, so they have prepared an alternative that might make a little more money for them. The new Turbo version will drop the hybrid powertrain in favor of a regular engine offered in two different versions, with one going up to 200 HP.
The first rumors for this vehicle report that the future Honda CR-Z Turbo will take its design inspiration from the Honda CR-Z R Concept (pictured above) unveiled in November at the SEMA Show. The R Concept featured a more aggressive front grille, a huge rear wing, a lowered ride, and bigger wheels that, if taken for the Turbo, would make it look like a car we could work with.
Hit the jump to read more about the future Honda CR-Z Hybrid.
gallery: Honda CR-Z Hybrid R Concept
Exterior and Interior
The Honda CR-Z is a hybrid sports car with a near perfect exterior design. However, the Turbo version should be a little more aggressive if it borrows the design elements from the R Concept mentioned earlier. The new front grille, rear wing, and wheels should appeal to a bigger market than the basic coupe did. The interior will also feature more sporty elements.
The hybrid CR-Z is powered by a a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system’s DC brushless electric motor. This system delivers a total of 122 HP m and 128 lb-ft. of torque at 1,000 to 1,500 rpm.
The Turbo version will be powered by a forced-induction 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offered in two versions, with the most powerful version to deliver 200-hp and 175 ft-lbs of torque. A significant increase over the current 122 HP.
The competition on the market for the Turbo is quite strong, but Honda’s main target is theMini Cooper . The Eclipse also presented some real competition for the CR-Z, but since Mitsubishi plans to drop it, Honda doesn’t have to worry about them anymore.
With prices starting from $25,700, the Mini Cooper is powered by a 1.6-liter engine that delivers 118 HP and 175 with a turbocharger. This car has the advantage of it is offered in both coupe and cabrio version. On the other hand the CR-Z features a sportier and more aggressive design which may lead the scales to tip in their favor.
When Can I Buy One?
The turbocharged version will be offered in late 2011.
Images in this article are for the Honda CR-Z Hybrid R Concept.