If you’re like me, you were more than a little disappointed in Honda’s CR-Z hybrid coupe. The sharp looking hybrid two-seater, a spiritual successor to the CRX of the late 80’s/early 90’s, lacked both sportiness and the fuel efficiency of its predecessor. With just 122 horsepower on tap, a 3,900 pound curb weight, and MPG ratings 31 city/37 highway, it was a major let down for lots of people.
But Honda seems to be listening. AutoExpress is reporting that Honda is working with in-house tuning company Mugen to produce a sportier, more powerful CR-Z Type-R. But will fuel economy suffer?
The CR-Z certainly is a hot commodity, and with the demise of the S2000, Honda is lacking a fun performance model. The standard CR-Z isn’t going to change that, with a 102 horsepower petrol engine and a 20 horsepower electric motor, for a total power output of just 122 horsepower. But AutoExpress claims the Type-R CR-Z would have a 150 horsepower petrol engine, and a 50 horsepower electric motor. Yes, the Type-R would still be a hybrid.
As Honda fanboys already know, the Type-R moniker is reserved for Honda’s performance models. Aside from increased horsepower, the suspension will surely get tweaked and improved, and a body kit is likely to be added as well. AutoExpress claims that since the CR-Z was designed from the outset as a hybrid, it will be unable to take the Civic Type R’s 2.0 liter petrol engine. It will have to maintain a gas-electric hybrid drivetrain. AutoExpress also claims that the 0-60 time will be under 6 seconds, and a top speed of 140 mph. Alas, the Type-R may only make it to the UK, Japan, and Europe, and not here in America. We won’t know until the CR-Z Type-R is officially unveiled, likely, at the Tokyo Auto Show next year.
The potential for a hybrid-performance coupe is immense. I’m hoping Honda puts a torque-dump button on the CR-Z that will give it an immediate boost to torque from the electric motor. That would surprise a lot of people who otherwise wouldn’t expect performance from a hybrid… including me. They just need to make sure it still gets good gas mileage. Otherwise, why bother making it a hybrid?
Source: AutoExpress | Image: miroslav (via AutoExpress)