Honda first revealed the CR-Z hybrid when the whole environmental thing took off, but then came to their senses and produced the new Turbo version that drops the hybrid drivetrain in favor of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. That’s what happens when automakers don’t make the kind of money they want to. That being said, Honda is coming back now with a convertible version of their hybrid.
The fact that this new drop top version will retain the hybrid powertrain will make it the world’s first convertible hybrid. This convertible version was part of the plans from the very beginning, but engineers feared that the added weight of the convertible components wouldn’t suit the "sporty" character of the CR-Z, so Honda dropped it. Will bringing it back on the table help Honda get the type of sales it needs to make the CR-Z a successful model?
Hit the jump to read more about the future Honda CR-Z Convertible.
Exterior and Interior
The 2013 CR-Z Hybrid will take its design inspiration from the Honda Open Study concept which was revealed at the 2008 British Motor Show. And while its main features will remain similar to its coupe brother, the rear will be a little bit more stretched in order to accommodate a weight- saving canvas roof.
Under the hood there will be the same hybrid drive train as in the coupe version: 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 future Honda CR-Z Convertible will take on models like the Mazda MX-5 . We have to remind you that the fourth generation MX-5 is expected in 2012 and it is also rumored to receive a hybrid drive train. Other competitors will include models like the Mini Cooper S Convertible and the Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder .
When Can I Buy One?
Do not expect to see this model on the market before 2013. Prices will be about $2-3K higher than the coupe model.