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Honda CR-Z at Detroit motor show 2010

Mon, 11 Jan 2010 00:00:00 -0800

Honda has today debuted the production version of its CR-Z hybrid sports coupe at the 2010 Detroit motor show. The styling is inspired by the old CRX, but under the skin the CR-Z is pure 21st century hybrid.

Featuring a 1.5-litre petrol engine with 108bhp and 71lb ft torque, the CR-Z produces 122bhp and 128lb ft in total thanks to the boost provided by its IMA parallel hybrid system. That means it produces the same torque as the 1.8-litre Civic, while emitting 35g/km less CO2 at 117g/km. Honda also claims 56.4mpg, although, being a parallel hybrid, it can never be propelled by electric power alone.

The CR-Z is based in part on the Insight hybrid, but there are significant differences – its engine is 200cc larger, it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox (not a CVT, making it the first six-speed manual hybrid), and it’s 44kg lighter and 295mm shorter, explaining why the CR-Z is only a 2+2. New forged aluminium MacPherson struts have also been used, while the springs and dampers are retuned for sportier handling.

While the CR-Z promises more power and more pose than the gawky Insight, Honda still describes it as being 'ideally suited to point-to-point driving in British towns and cities'. It won’t bother a Mini Cooper on a tricky B-road, then.

Priced at around £18k, the Insight goes on sale in the UK this summer.

By Ben Barry