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Friday 28th September 2012

Paris 2012: Honda CR-Z, now almost sporty

Hybrid coupe gets a small but welcome power boost for '13 - and some new colours...



With twin-cam engines having been around as long as they have, the 1.5 SOHC unit in Honda’s CR-Z hybrid coupé has always seemed rather quaint. Honda’s characterisation of the CR-Z as ‘sporty’ rather than ‘sporting’ tells you all you need to know about a nearly-car that’s always had decent reviews, but with a caveat – namely, if it’s fast you’re after, try elsewhere.

Make it so, Mr Data
Make it so, Mr Data
Honda seems to have acknowledged this with the appearance at Paris of an upgraded CR-Z. Its new combined petrol engine/electric motor output of 137hp is unlikely to set even petrol-soaked trousers on fire, but the bump-up from 124hp is welcome and should at least give this sweet-looking coupe a decent feeling of ‘sportingness’ (new word alert).

That old-school single-cam lump has had its valve timing fettled, hoisting the output from 114hp to 121hp. The electric motor now pumps out 20hp and gets its juice from a Lithium Ion battery for the first time, which as any fool who has used a drill will know is always the best choice. The battery has a Plus Sport (S+) boost function for loosening particularly awkward screws. With at least 50 per cent charge on board you can press a button to ‘engage warp drive’, giving increased acceleration for up to 10 seconds. A bit like KERS, then, only not quite as exciting. 

Moody snaps tone down the ultra-violet
Moody snaps tone down the ultra-violet
We know that 121hp and 20hp don’t equal 137hp. It’s the magic of hybridity and Integrated Motor Assist. More importantly, torque is up 23lb ft to 140lb ft. All this means the 0-62 time comes down from 9.7 to 9.0 seconds, still not exactly face-distorting but at least going in the right direction. Top speed is 124mph, with unchanged combined consumption and CO2 figures of 56.5 mpg and 116g/km, giving it some company car appeal for those with flexy-choice.

So that folk know you’re humming around in the latest model, there are styling revisions inside and especially outside, where you’ve got a new front bumper, grille, rear diffuser, new 17-inch alloys, and a couple of new colours, Aurora Violet as you see here, and the no doubt equally sudden Energetic Yellow.

The revised CR-Z goes on sale in the UK in January 2013.

Blackpuddin
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Author Discussion

Ali_T

Original Poster:

1,677 posts

140 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
For goodness sake, Honda, it's the only decent looking car you make now. At last give it some attitude. It's performance, even in upgraded form, would be outrun by a 1990 Civic 1.4 GL and that was second bottom of the range!

The Black Flash

5,419 posts

81 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Sad isn't it? These are a bit of a head turner I always think, needs some go to back it up.

Type R Tom

642 posts

32 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
What happened to the Mugen version? Did it ever go on sale?

Greg 172

179 posts

84 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Shame that they seem to have chosen an alloy similar to the (unappealing) GT86/BRZ design...

GranCab

507 posts

29 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm waiting for the Duracell version ...
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Mastodon2

8,755 posts

48 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Type R Tom said:
What happened to the Mugen version? Did it ever go on sale?
Nope, the Mugen was a tech demo to try and tempt Honda to make a hot CR-Z, sadly it doesn't seem to have worked.

redlinecal

25 posts

54 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
From a 19/20 year old student point of view, I would love a CR-Z. Current car has 90bhp, so this would be an upgrade as such. Probably a fun wee car to drive about, with a rev happy (too an extent) engine, whats not too like?

except that violet colour...

JonnyVTEC

1,221 posts

58 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
What happened to the iCF version where Honda would supercharge it with the Mugen gear? 173bhp IIRC

pagani1

617 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Where's the 2 litre V-Tech then Honda? Still ugly from the rear too. C'mon Honda sort it now!

tony993

164 posts

98 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
What a disaster. This car sounds to me like Honda'a Prius. Not quite as ugly but even so, it's entirely undesirable. Such a shame as the CRX, which Honda presumably thinks of as its predecessor, is a wonderful car.

Ali_T

Original Poster:

1,677 posts

140 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
redlinecal said:
From a 19/20 year old student point of view, I would love a CR-Z. Current car has 90bhp, so this would be an upgrade as such. Probably a fun wee car to drive about, with a rev happy (too an extent) engine, whats not too like?

except that violet colour...
The L series is far from revvy. Bland, mediocre and utilitarian engines. The D series it replaced was far more charismatic and that was pretty bland next to the glorious B series.

simonrockman

4,982 posts

138 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Sheep in wolf's clothing.

It's just what a friend wants, something with little badge appeal, good looks and lots of economy.

frosted

3,549 posts

60 months

[news] 
Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Is 140bhp the new 80bhp or something? I don't think it would be that slow and tbh I don't think that would be a bad compromise if you get a real 40mpg in town and 56 on the A roads

BlueJazz

158 posts

55 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
Not visually that different from my crz to make it feel dated. The extra performance is nice though.

jbi

7,537 posts

87 months

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Friday 28th September 2012 quote quote all
bin the electric motor and drop the civic 2.0 in there.

Is it really that hard Honda?

JonnyVTEC

1,221 posts

58 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
jbi said:
bin the electric motor and drop the civic 2.0 in there.

Is it really that hard Honda?
Is that the non EU5 compliant 2.0?

Verde

439 posts

71 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
It's so sad to see how seriously Honda has lost their way. I mean off-the-rails-lost-their-way. Their Acura's don't fill the markets they target (particularly on the high-end), their designs are atrociously ugly with front ends that look like they all should be clearing snow from the road; the legendary Accords are beyond bland and distorted, Civics are lost between markets. Finally their hybrid-mobiles are neither fish nor foul. The CR-Z could have been a hit. A powerful fwd car with the boost from an electric motor. And their other conventional hybrid gets supremely low marks.
I want to love these Honda folks, but they've been off the road and in the ditch for quite some time. Nice lawnmowers though...
V

elementad

512 posts

33 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
JonnyVTEC said:
jbi said:
bin the electric motor and drop the civic 2.0 in there.

Is it really that hard Honda?
Is that the non EU5 compliant 2.0?
What is it about that engine that isn't compliant? Or is it more the case that honda are worried profits (and "green image") would be hit because cars with emissions over a certain threshold have a penalty to pay over their general profit?

Having ONE car in their line up that does this in my opinion would at least give Honda slight credibility back. If the punter wants to fork out the best part of a grand as showroom tax that's up to them, but at least they would have their finger in the pie of a performance vehicle again.
Other manufacturers (at least for the minute), still have engines with similar emissions in their line up. Honda COULD if they really wanted to include the 2.0 iVtec im sure.



LaurasOtherHalf

8,128 posts

79 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
frosted said:
Is 140bhp the new 80bhp or something? I don't think it would be that slow and tbh I don't think that would be a bad compromise if you get a real 40mpg in town and 56 on the A roads
You're right of course, 140bhp would be fun, if the car weighed say 900kg.

But that's the problem with this hybrid technology, it adds so much weight.

It has to be the laziest, poorest excuse for "progress" there is. You want a more economical car? Make it heavier.

Rediculous.


forzaminardi

1,183 posts

70 months

[news] 
Saturday 29th September 2012 quote quote all
It's a nice-looking car and the purple colour is lovely. I have to confess I have been tempted to talk the other half into one as a 'sensible car' that still has a bit of character about it, but I suspect the lack of oomph and hybrid gubbins would dent my enthusiasm as soon as I drove it. To be fair, I haven't ever driven one. It's all very well having a hybrid 'sporting car' but it seems silly not to give those who are less concerned about the hybrid part and more about the sporting part a reason to try it. If it had a proper engine in it, I'd be very interested.
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