U.S. model with Honda Performance Development accessory kit pictured.

NEW FOR 2015:

– Honda Performance Development (HPD) accessory kit
– Number of colours reduced

There are two key changes for Honda’s sporty CR-Z hybrid for 2015. The first is that there’s significantly less choice on the colour palette – gone are blue, yellow, red, and black options. It’s now just down to pearl white.

The second, however, is much bigger news, though Honda Canada has kept it hush-hush.

If you held off on buying a CR-Z due to its relatively modest horsepower and performance figures, Honda has come up with a solution in the form of an available Honda Performance Development (HPD) accessories kit. The kit adds visual and mechanical gubbins such as HPD sport springs and dampers, an uprated front brake kit, sport clutch, 18-inch wheels and performance tires, a body kit, sports exhaust, and a limited-slip differential. The pièce de résistance for the power hungry? An HPD supercharger with 8 psi of boost, upgraded fuel injectors, new ECU, and an air-to-air intercooler. Running on premium fuel, the HPD-ified CR-Z develops 197 hp and 176 lb-ft of torque. The upgrade kit includes a full factory warranty and is only available by order at Honda dealers.

Garden-variety CR-Zs make do with a naturally aspirated 1.5-litre four-cylinder motor that produces 130 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque when paired to a six-speed manual transmission. A CVT is available as an option, though it limits torque to 127 lb-ft. The CR-Z uses Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, which provides an additional boost to the standard gasoline motor; it can’t power the vehicle solely on electricity like Honda’s bigger Accord Hybrid. Drivers can choose between several driving modes to alter the CR-Z’s driving characteristic with buttons for Sport, Normal, or Economy.

Standard features include six-speed manual transmission (CVT available), Plus Sport System, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters (CVT only), three-mode drive system, 16-inch alloy wheels, creep-aid system (CVT only), alarm, body-coloured folding power side mirrors with integrated turn signals, front splash guards, blue LED brake lights, rear window wiper, automatic climate control with air filtration, cargo area cover and light, Eco Assist coaching display, exterior temperature indicator, HandsFreeLink Bluetooth connectivity, power windows with driver side auto-up/down, rearview camera with guidelines, remote entry system, steering wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, tachometer, tilt/telescopic steering, tire repair kit, floor mats, folding cargo tray behind front seats, and 6-speaker 160W AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio with auxiliary and USB input.

Premium Package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior mirrors, fog lights, HID headlights, LED daytime running lights, navigation, text message function, heated seats, leather upholstery, and 7-speaker 360W premium audio with subwoofer.

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