2013 Honda CR-Z, a two-door hybrid, will receive numerous upgrades, the most significant of which is a boost in performance. The 2013 CR-Z will also get additional standard equipment and a slightly better fuel economy. Its electric motor can now deliver 15 kW from being at 10 kW. This is attributed to the replacement of the 100.8-volt nickel metal hydride battery to a 144-volt lithium-ion battery.
The 1.5-liter inline-four gasoline engine was not modified but the increase in the motor output increases the total power ratings of the CR-Z from 122 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque to 130 hp and 140 lb-ft. Notably, models that have a continuously variable transmission are limited to 127 lb-ft.
Further modifications include a shorter final-drive ratio, a larger clutch for manual-transmission models, and front and rear fascias that improve the aerodynamics. These modifications all help enhance fuel economy. The 2013 Honda CR-Z has a fuel economy rating of 36/39 mpg (city/highway) with a continuously variable transmission.
This stands for a 1mpg increase in the city. Meanwhile, models with a six-speed manual transmission got a 1mpg increase in its highway mileage to 31/38 mpg. Honda also offers a new Plus Sport System that turns on by pressing a steering-wheel button marked S+. When the battery charge of the CR-Z is higher than 50% and the car is being driven at higher than 19 mph, activating this system gives an added acceleration boost of up to five seconds.
The exterior of the 2013 CR-Z gets upgrades such as a new mesh grille, a new lower front spoiler, chrome accents and blue tints for the headlights, and blue-tinted taillights. Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic have been added to its available colors.
There’s a darker finish to the standard 16-inch alloy wheels while nothing was changed on the optional 17-inch wheels. The 2013 Honda CR-Z is set to go on sale on Nov. 21. It has a starting price of $20,765 (which includes a $790 destination charge) with a manual transmission. It’s only $280 more expensive than the 2012 model. The CR-Z EX is priced at $22,455 (higher by $400) and the CR-Z EX with Navigation is priced at $23,945 (only $100 more expensive). It only costs $650 higher to add a continuously variable transmission to any trim level.
The singular-motion shape of the Honda CR-Z’s exterior wedge starts at its lowered hood to create a wide forward stance along with the depressed beltline of its side profile contributing to a dynamic character. Honda also gives the CR-Z a more aggressive presence by its redesigned mesh grille and front fascia, with this effect being enhanced by the suspended lip of the lower front spoiler.
The headlight assemblies are now plated with lighter chrome while its hybrid powertrain is tinged with a cyan clearcoat hint. The latest rear diffuser complements the front spoiler’s floating lip and enhances its aerodynamic design. The taillights’ inferior portion also has the same clearcoat finish. Color options for the exterior include Milano Red, Premium White Pearl, North Shore Blue Pearl, Polished Metal Metallic, Passion Berry Pearl (new and exclusive for CR-Z models), and Crystal Black Pearl.
Honda CR-Z Chassis
The MacPherson strut (front) and the H-shaped torsion beam (rear) suspension are tweaked to achieve an exhilarating driving experience. The 2013 Honda CR-Z is provided with the darker 16 X 6-inch aluminum wheels and 195/55R-16 tires with an option for 17 X 7 alloy wheels and 205/45R-17 tires. The electronic brake distribution and the anti-lock braking system, which are standard in the CR-Z, utilize solid rear disks and ventilated front disks. The lowered height of the vehicle, shortened wheelbase, location of the battery pack and other hybrid components under the rear cargo compartment also result to highly responsive handling and a lowered center of gravity. Efficiency and steering performance are also improved with the electric rack-and pinion steering.