The Honda CR-Z Hybrid is turning out to be the sleeper hit of 2010… and it hasn’t even gone on sale yet.
The perky, underpowered two-seater compact goes on sale later this year, and Honda had set rather modest sales goals of selling between 40,000 and 50,000 cars between Japan, North America, and Europe. But pre-orders for the car have already gone over 10,000 cars, 10x the number Honda believed it would sell. Is it too early to call the CR-Z the comeback kid?
The car went on sale in Japan a month ago, and Honda expected to sell just 1,000 units per month in its home country. The CR-Z is a bit of a letdown on many fronts. It weighs more than its predecessor the CRX, has just 122 horsepower from the combined petrol and electric motor outputs, and it doesn’t even get 40 mpg. But it does come with a six-speed transmission and it is on the affordable end of about 2.2 million yen, or $25,000. Maybe people just want a simple, efficient car?
Of course that isn’t stopping Honda from considering a sportier “Type-R” version of the CR-Z. Honda also has the “stylish, cheap hybrid” market all to itself. The Prius is cheap, but it isn’t pretty or evoking. Plus the aftermarket will be coming out in droves to modify the CR-Z, though these kinds of brisk sales won’t last long. The 2010 Camaro had in excess of 10,000 pre-orders, and even managed to sell 100,000 cars in its first full year. But those kinds of sales don’t last forever. Pricing hasn’t been set for America or Europe, but if they can keep it around $25,000, they should have a hit on their hands.
Source: CarsUK | Image: Honda