2011 Honda CR-Z First Drive

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Honda CR 80 R

2011 Honda CR-Z

A Tesla Roadster at a Honda

Published: 03/17/2010 — by Nunn. Contributor

Finally the Honda CR-Z has come off the stand at the auto shows and sitting right here on the on Naruto Skyline, a mountain down the spine of Shikoku, the of the main islands of Japan. been waiting to get behind the of this car since the concept appeared at the 2007 Tokyo Show, and now we’re getting our

Already there’s plenty of building for the car’s introduction to the late this summer, as Honda has already built a Web to promote the car’s arrival. But is the real car in front of us, ready to be into the Japanese market, and officials tell us that the version won’t be much

The 2011 Honda CR-Z a lot of questions. The recession has dramatically Honda’s adventurous engineering and the company has had to sell its Formula 1 cancel the development of its new front-engine for the Acura NSX and end the sale of the Honda in America. Does this still have the imaginative that makes it so different?

The CR-Z is certainly a different of car. A hybrid can be a lot of things. clever and fuel-efficient, without a and a poster child for a forthcoming of sensible cars. But fun ?

Smart Car

has been working hard to sure that the 2011 CR-Z makes us remember the CR-X, its two-passenger coupe from 1983-’91. Just as the CR-X, the mission here has to build a small, smart, coupe for the modern era. and efficiency are the key attributes, because the of 122 horsepower and a curb weight of 2,550 pounds tells you the is not going to be blowing too many off a Bugatti Veyron any time

Here on the Naruto Skyline, the defies its critics in cyberspace, who been quick to dismiss the of the first hybrid with a manual transmission. It proves taut, sporty, agile and as it tackles the twists and turns of the roads.

Of course, it’s a different car from the CR-X That is to say, it’s not kind of cut-down Honda coupe with a manic VTEC twin-cam engine its way to an 8,000-rpm redline. Nor is it a redo of the Honda Insight, the slippery hybrid coupe that launched back in 1999 as the hybrid to go on sale in the U.S.

is, the 2011 Honda CR-Z somewhere between the two both in of design and in the amount of performance on Honda believes that is the right combination to build a of CR-Z enthusiasts from buyers who like the idea of a premium-style compact, only the green image that a conveys.

The CR-Z is like a Roadster. but without the $109,000 tag.

Hybrid CAFE Racer

the CR-Z is loosely based on the four-door Honda Insight you’ll be cheered to know the Honda engineers have improved the formula by shortening the widening the front and rear and making the structure far more

The car measures 160.6 inches end to end, 68.5 inches and only 54.9 inches to the tip of its The wheelbase is 95.8 inches, 4.6 inches shorter than the and the CR-Z retains the suspension of the platform with front struts and a rear torsion-beam The bad news is, Honda claims a 97-pound reduction in weight the Insight sedan.

Once you open the somewhat heavy a novel interior design a kind of cost-conscious, Honda-type to deliver the arty style of a or Fiat 500. The low-set position is just what you in a performance car, and the pedals and lever feel perfectly The sport seat offers all-around support and looks

The instrument panel is a busy of buttons, lights and switches, but are cool touches like the entertaining display of power through the internal combustion and hybrid system.

Don’t back, though, because vision is badly hampered by dramatic, sloping roof especially into the blind over your shoulders. In the CR-Z comes as a 2+2 with jump seats behind but the new small Honda will be a two-passenger vehicle in the U.S.

It’s the Power

The SOHC inline-4 with i-VTEC valve timing and lift from the Honda Fit. and it 111 hp at 6,000 rpm and 106 pound-feet of torque at rpm. It’s matched up a six-speed manual transmission ratios selected from the Civic.

Just like the the 2011 Honda CR-Z a parallel hybrid system an electric motor powered by hydride batteries. The motor is by Honda at 13 hp, and some complicated by the engineers (don’t ask) Honda to rate the combined of the CR-Z’s powertrain at 122 hp at 6,000 rpm and 128 of torque at 1,000-1,500 rpm (123 when equipped with the CVT).

The CR-Z adds to the hybrid system with a drive system. Three buttons on the dash give you the of Economy, Normal or Sport, and the ring of the tachometer is illuminated in blue or red to match. Each offers a different combination of response, steering effort, time and power from the system.

It’s Alive!

you bring the engine to life, recognize the uninspiring clatter. But you select a gear from the manual, your frame of shifts along with the as this tight, precise, linkage makes you think of the

From the first, the CR-Z’s also feels infinitely than you expect, far better than the Insight and with an feel to the way it responds to the steering. The struts have forged-aluminum control arms to reduce weight, while the compact, torsion beam in the rear helps make it possible to the batteries unobtrusively) doesn’t like a handicap.

And in the cut and thrust of driving both in the and on back roads the 2011 CR-Z feels sharp and Put that down to the extra (in the way of torque) provided by the electric In the Honda hybrid style, the motor is more than a device to make it possible to and start the 1.5-liter engine at or propel the car silently across lots.

Instead the motor a maximum of 42 lb-ft of torque as the 1.5-liter gas engine is getting its stride. As a result, the CR-Z’s has a sweet spot between and 5,000 rpm on the tachometer, a smooth, blend of power that the CR-Z a zest you don’t

Honda CR 80 R
Honda CR 80 R

On the highway, the CR-Z cruises at 80 mph, the sportified suspension a firm but not harsh ride. Up the Naruto Skyline, the CR-Z its quick-ratio electric-assist steering, front suspension calibration and 195/55R16 Bridgestone Potenza tires on special lightweight to turn into corners and neatly stay on line. good consistency to the steering and the CR-Z seems entirely and linear in the way it behaves.

We also the 2011 Honda CR-Z its optional continuously variable (CVT), and even with the detuned engine (111 hp; 106 of torque) required in this the car still accelerates briskly and

Three Modes of Go

Gearheads, now away.

This Fit-based 1.5 is no engine and starts to get loud at 5,000 rpm. Keep the down and all too soon you find the stuttering as it hits the ignition at 6,500 rpm. Worked the engine sounds flat and not exciting at all.

And when on the limit rather than pushing along, the CR-Z in to soggy, plowing understeer, and the rolls over in distress. And a few hot up and down the hills soon had the smoking. Yikes.

There is, a big difference if you choose the Sport over Economy. Throttle is massively sharper in Sport (as it be) and the Honda feels as if it’s gained an extra 50 hp. But remember, on the side, there is no EV mode in as such, and the CR-Z doesn’t run in zero-emissions mode like a

As far as fuel economy is concerned, Honda tells us that we can the six-speed CR-Z to record 31 mpg mpg highway, while the CVT-equipped will return 36 mpg city/38 mpg

Is This a CR-X or Not?

So to make of the 2011 Honda Honda says CR-Z for Compact Renaissance Zero, a meant to capture Honda’s to go back to the point of origin to take on the challenge of creating a new of compact car, one not bound by the expressed by traditional coupes.

Down in Shikoku, the CR-Z that while it’s not a to have the Nissan GT-R for cover, it does have its own of sophisticated green-tinged driver Up to a pretty high level, it and that’s pretty much all the offered us, however much we romanticized the car in the past two decades.

At a of between $25,000 and $27,600 in the Honda CR-Z is fairly but early orders have been flooding in. Come summer, will Honda’s with the CR-Z click Americans?

Edmunds attended a event, to which selected of the press were invited, to this report.

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