Honda CR-Z Concept at the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 29, 2009

The world's first hybrid sports car -- the Honda CR-Z - is expected to put up fierce competition against Volkswagen's Scirocco when it reaches showrooms next year. The concept Honda CR-Z shown at the Tokyo Motor Show is actually 95% production ready. Very little had been altered from the futuristic vision revealed during the 2007 Tokyo Show.

Its smaller dimensions make it more of a supermini-size three-door really but nevertheless, it goes up against the entry-level VW Scirocco 1.4. Powering the CR-Z is a petrol/electric IMA hybrid powertrain.

The system may have been derived from the Insight but they have a major difference. Instead of the Insight's 87bhp 1.3-litre petrol motor, the CR-Z has a higher-output 1.5 i-VTEC unit. Honda has yet to disclose information about the power but we know that the 1.5-litre engine in Japan - Jazz produces between 110bhp and 120bhp.

Even if the unit is untuned, it could give the CR-Z around 135bhp when coupled to an electric motor. The latest CR-Z improves on the Insight's 11sec 0-60mph time with its own record of around nine seconds.

As a result, the fuel consumption of the CR-Z is higher than the Insight's 64mpg. Instead of lithium ion cells, the CR-Z will have batteries believed to be underfloor nickel metal hydride units. The CR-Z's transmission will be a six-speed manual 'box, which many say is an unusual choice. A majority of hybrids use a CVT or automatic, which smooths the flow of power as petrol engine and electric motor interact.

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