2011 Honda CR-Z
2011 Honda CR-Z. Click image to enlarge

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2011 Honda CR-Z

Detroit, Michigan – Honda took the wraps off the production version of its all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid sport coupe at the North American International Auto Show today.  The sporty, fuel-efficient two-seater hybrid coupe is scheduled to go on sale this summer.

“The CR-Z is a personal sport hybrid coupe for people with a spirit of adventure and an elevated sense of responsibility toward the environment,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. “It’s the first hybrid designed to maximize style and fun, in addition to efficiency and economy.”

The CR-Z’s exterior’s distinctive “one-motion” wedge shape originates from a low-slung hood to form a broad stance. The side profile features a deeply inset beltline while the short wheelbase and large, wide front grille accents the vehicle’s athletic stance.

Inside, the futuristically styled interior offers a high-tech appearance and ergonomically intuitive controls. The instrument panel gauges illuminate with a three-dimensional, vibrant blue colour theme and the upper portion of the dashboard extends toward the driver to provide a wrap-around cockpit environment.

The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine with Honda’s compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system. The two-passenger CR-Z introduces a new three-mode drive system that allows the driver to select between Sport, Econ (Economy) and Normal driving modes.

The CR-Z represents the sixth unique version of Honda’s original IMA technology since the launch of the 2000 Insight, the first hybrid vehicle available in North America in December 1999. The foundation of the CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain is a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system’s DC brushless electric motor. The i-VTEC system controls the opening and closing of one intake valve per cylinder to enhance combustion at low r.p.m.s. The 10-kilowatt electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that recharges the 100-volt IMA nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gasoline engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops to improve efficiency.

The system delivers a combined peak output of 122 horsepower at 6,000 r.p.m. and 128 ft-lb. of torque at 1,000 to 1,500 r.p.m. (123 ft-lb. on CVT-equipped models). Preliminary fuel economy estimates are anticipated to result in a rating of 6.5 L/100 km city and 6.2 L/100 km highway on CVT-equipped models. Manual transmission models are anticipated to achieve 7.6 L/100 km city and 6.4 L/100 km highway.

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