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Driven by the Love of the Drive
Let’s Set Sail for FAIL: Honda CR-Z Hybrid
January 12, 2010Posted by on
Honda, you just don’t get it do you…
Honda yesterday revealed a production ready version of their upcoming “sport-hybrid”, the CR-Z. They say it’s supposed to be like a new version of the awesomely-great CRX, but seeing it in production trim, it screams more of first-gen insight to me. When I first saw the pictures of the concept, I was initially excited. Now though, it just doesn’t look appealing to me. The whole thing just seems off, and the body screams hybrid, unlike the concept which was a lot more sporty looking. Still, being something with a sport tag, you’d expect decent performance numbers right? Sure, if 122 HP and 128 lbs-ft torque is what you consider decent in a car which weighs just under 3K. Sure, the original CRX Si made a measly 108Hp, but it also weighed just 2100 lbs! AND, the original Si was a car that LOVED to be revved. And the CR-Z, being a hybrid, probably doesn’t…
Still, one thing I WILL admit Honda can get right now days is interiors. I really like the interiors of new Honda’s, and this one seems to be par for the course in that department. I like that really digital looking gauge cluster setup. Also of cool-note, the blue ring around the tachometer turns red when you hit the sport button. It’s little details like that I just love. Also, you’ll notice that this hybrid is a proper manual transmission, 6-speed one at that. At least Honda seems to be trying. But sadly, the suspension setup brings you back to disappointment: MacPherson struts in the front are all well and good, but then you hear that there’s a torsion-beam setup in the rear. And that smile turns into a big WTF. Without going into too much detail for those not in the know, a torsion-beam rear suspension setup is NOT what you want from a sports-car (hell, even the Civic Si uses independent suspension in the rear).
I really wanted to like this car. I was really hopping it would be the next-coming of my beloved CRX. But, reading all the numbers, and seeing the production model, I can’t help but think this car is going to be a big fat FAIL for what Honda is branding it as. The real enthusiasts wont want it because of the dismal performance numbers, so the only ones who’ll buy it are people looking for a cheap hybrid. And I’m sure those people wont give a hoot about sporty-driving, because they were interested in a hybrid. Of course, if Honda released an Si version of the CR-Z, it could change my mind. Imagine, a K20 Hybrid motor? Interesting to think about no?
To me Honda just seems to be throwing away all their performance car credentials. I mean, they killed off the S2000, they killed off the NSX, and the only remaining good sporty-car in their line-up is the Civic Si. Meanwhile, Toyota is moving ahead with its FT-86 and the Lexus LF-A, and Nissan has of course the almighty GT-R. Does Honda think that it can’t compete in the sports car market and is throwing in the towel? I don’t know, but it’s not looking good for the big H. Unless you’re a fan of hybrids and green-machines. Which I’m not…
Hat-tip of course to Autoblog!