Posts Tagged ‘CR-Z’

New Honda S2000 or CR-Z to Sit Between S660 & NSX

Posted by Stephen On Friday, May 1st, 2015

Pikes Peak Honda CR-Z

Honda has been perhaps the most exciting Japanese automaker to follow in 2015. First it was the news of the S1000, a ‘hot’ version of the turbocharged S660 roadster kei car that’s currently available in Japan. Then it was the new Civic Type-R. Then it was the Acura NSX Concept which previewed a new hybrid supercar that’s likely to make its production debut at the beginning of next year.

Now, according to Motoring, we’ve learned that Honda plans to introduce not one, but possibly TWO more sports cars in the near future. The first will be a successor to the S2000 that got axed back in ’09. The second will be a performance-tuned CR-Z. Both cars could sit between the S660 / S1000 and the NSX as mid-level sports cars. They’ll be bigger and faster than the kei car roadster, but much more attainable than the six-figure supercar.

Let’s start with the S2000. According to the report, the new S2000 would feature a mid-engine hybrid layout that’s similar to the one showcased in the NSX. Motoring’s Honda informant says that their engineers “are currently evaluating a detuned version of the Civic Type-R’s 2.0L turbo.” He went on to say that a more efficient 1.5L turbo is on the table, and that he believes that such a car could output a minimum of 300hp with a price tag somewhere in the mid $60k. This would put the car in prime position to take on the likes of the Audi TT, Mercedes-Benz SLK, BMW Z4 and even Nissan’s Fairlady Z.

As for the CR-Z, details are even sparser. Motoring’s insider offered barely two sentences about the possibility of the compact coupe’s return: “We still need to evaluate exactly where a new CR-Z would fit into our sports car hierarchy … We are looking at the potential of electric 4WD [like] the Pikes Peak CR-Z.” However, he went on to say that, “The powers that be in our R&D section are leaning strongly towards channeling development funds away from the CR-Z and into an S2000 successor.”

Either way, the good news is that another sports car is definitely on the table for Honda. We just don’t know exactly which one it’ll be. And, we should make it clear that neither car is anywhere close to production. Honda’s first priority is boosting sales of their high-volume models in two primary markets – the US and China. They believe that a focus on those markets is the key to higher profits, which would then allow them to devote research and development into lower-volume models like a new CR-Z coupe or S2000 roadster.


New Performance-Tuned Honda CR-Z to Come in 2017

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Honda CR-Z part earth lover part adrenaline junkie

Honda has been on a performance streak this year with both the Honda Civic Type R and the Honda NSX Concept making their debuts.

However, it hasn’t always been so… Just 5 years ago, the CR-Z was Honda’s newest attempt at a performance-oriented model. Except it didn’t work out quite so well.

The CR-Z in its current form aims to be a budget-friendly hybrid sports car, and it’s arguably a little too ahead of its time. The image at the top of this post says it all; the car suffers from identity crisis. Environmentalists would rather have a Prius, while performance enthusiasts on a budget would rather have a BRZ/GT86, or anything with more power than the 130 hp combined system output offered in the current CR-Z.

Yeah… We’re not really sure how Honda hoped to attract anyone remotely interested in a sports car with numbers like that.

To be fair, Honda is well aware of their mistake. That’s why the Honda CR-Z has already been dropped from the Japanese automaker’s European and Australian lineups. Even if Honda decides to keep it going in the US, it’s not doing particularly well, and it’s certainly not well-known as a performance model.

That’s all going to change by the end of 2017.

2015 Honda CR-Z

An insider report from AutoExpress revealed that Honda is planning to launch a faster and more performance-focused iteration of the CR-Z in 2017, likely at the end of the year as a 2018MY.

Apparently, their source is an anonymous member of Honda’s Research and Development team near Tokyo. “Remember the CR-Z,” the insider asked. “It’s disappeared from Honda’s lineup in Europe and Australia, but it’s due to make a comeback in 2017. The old model’s weak street-cred and lack of performance have been addressed – the new coupe will be a force to be reckoned with.”

To be more specific, it sounds like Honda plans to completely strip the hybrid powertrain out of the CR-Z. Instead, they plan to put their energy into accomplishing two of their three original goals – great performance at an affordable price.

The report claims that Honda will utilize the all-new turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder that debuted earlier this year in the Honda Civic Type R. That engine will be tuned to produce 276 hp – more than double what’s available in the current model. However, there is a possibility that Honda will continue offering a hybrid version of the CR-Z in Japan, but even then it’ll be outputting northwards of 200 hp.

Either way, we’re thrilled to have another true sports car coming from Honda. It’s expected to make its debut at the 2017 Detroit Motor Show before going on sale at the end of the year. If you’d like to learn more or to see an exclusive projected picture of the new Honda CR-Z’s possible design, head over to AutoExpress and read the full report for yourself.


How to Transform Your Boring Honda CR-Z into a Hot-Rod

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

2014 Honda CR-Z HPD Supercharger Kit

It didn’t come as a surprise earlier this year when Honda Europe announced that they’d stop offering the Honda CR-Z next year. The car has always suffered from a textbook case of identity crisis… Classified as a “sport hybrid coupe”, it’s not quite efficient enough for green drivers and not quite fun enough for sporty ones. While it won numerous awards in its first year, since then the only thing it’s had going for it is its extremely affordable price tag, with the 2014 model starting at just $20,785.

Now, Honda has finally released a solution to the CR-Z’s zestlessness in the form of a supercharger kit from Honda Performance Development (HPD). We say ‘finally’ because the Japanese automaker first promised this kit nearly a year ago at last year’s SEMA Motor Show in LA. So it’s a long time coming.

The new Honda CR-Z supercharger kit will add quite a bit of oomph to the otherwise plain hybrid coupe, both aesthetically and mechanically. The 2014 Honda CR-Z comes stock with a 1.5L petrol engine that outputs 130hp. The supercharger kit increases that output up to 197hp – 67hp more than the normal engine – which should yield a noticeable improvement in the fun department.

Honda Performance Development CR-Z Kit

Along with the supercharger itself, HPD’s kit will achieve its power boost by retuning the CR-Z’s ECU calibration (which you have to do with any supercharger) and adding a plethora of enhancements under the hood. An air-to-air intercooler, a dedicated motor blower and a high-performance air filter system, along with HPD’s custom high-flow fuel injectors, all help the over-tuned CR-Z run as clean and sharply as possible. Best of all, the supercharged CR-Z will still be able to meet CARB’s strict AT-PZEV regulations.

In addition to the technology surrounding the supercharger, the HPD kit will include other sporty upgrades throughout the chassis. These include performance dampers, stiffened springs and larger brake discs, along with an optional sports clutch for extra responsive driving.

No supercharger kit would be complete without visual add-ons, and Honda Performance Development hasn’t failed to deliver the aesthetics. The CR-Z’s supercharger kit makes the coupe more likely to turn heads with slick HPD badging, a rear diffuser, sports exhaust, front and rear spoilers and custom-designed 18-inch alloy wheels to top it all off.

Even though you’ll always sacrifice a decent chunk of fuel economy with any supercharger, the hybrid hatchback was never really up there with the likes of the Toyota Prius to begin with. However, you don’t have to worry about messing up your car like you do with most aftermarket add-ons; Honda is installing the HPD kit at their own dealerships, so it won’t have any effect on your warranty.

The downside is that Honda still hasn’t decided whether or not the kit can be used with next year’s CR-Z. As of now, only the 2010 to 2014 model years are eligible for the upgrade. That could change in a few months, though, as Honda continues testing the kit with the 2015MY.


2015 Honda Civic Type-R Could Form the Foundation for a New Honda CR-Z

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Honda Civic Type R

We got our first peek at the next-generation 2015 Honda Civic Type-R at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, and what a peek it was!  While we didn’t get to see much of the three-door hot hatch’s aesthetic, we did get to see it blazing around the Nürburgring circuit. In case you missed it, take a look at the I-don’t-want-to-admit-it-but-this-is-awesome video below:

Apparently, Honda asked WTCC racing legend Gabriele Tarquini to put their Type-R development model through the wringer on Germany’s most infamous track. As you can see (and hear), he clearly did his job well. You can hear every one of those 276 horses, can’t you?

Impressively enough, Tarquini was able to take the Civic Type-R for a lap in a less than 8 minutes, which is a better performance than the current lap record holder – the Renault Megane RS Trophy. By the time the Civic Type-R actually makes it to production, Honda wants their hot hatch to have the fastest lap time of any front-wheel drive car.

Now, this is all well and good and everything, but it’s actually not the most interesting development regarding Honda’s next-gen Civic Type-R. Nope, what’s even more exciting is that Honda has plans to use their new Civic Type-R as the foundation for the next generation Honda CR-Z coupe.

This is especially exciting for our U.S.-based readers because it’s very unlikely that the Honda Civic Type-R will ever make it to American shores, at least if past Type-R’s are any indication.  This is because the U.S. has been trained to see current and past Civics as more of an economical car than a performance car. Same thing for hatchbacks in general, actually; the U.S. doesn’t demonstrate the same obsession with hatchbacks (yet) that we’ve seen in international markets, particularly Europe. A sports coupe, on the other hand, would be universally appealing and virtually guaranteed to see production in the U.S.

Keep in mind, this is just a rumor right now.  Our primary source of information is an Australian auto blog (CarSales.com.au) which states that, “Indications from a source close to Honda point in that direction [of a CR-Z].”  Nonetheless, it seems likely .  Honda reports being extremely impressed by the performance of the jointly developed Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ (as have we all), and now they want a piece of the pie.  According to CarSales’ insider, “The raw driving experience, good power, sporty look, low price and sizable global sales figures sent a shock wave through Honda’s R&D section.”

It will certainly be interesting to see what Honda ends up doing with their new CR-Z Type-R, which is supposedly coming in 2015.  For one thing, the Civic Type-R hatchback will be an upmarket vehicle, while Honda needs to keep the CR-Z coupe below $40K to have a shot at competing with the Scion FR-S in the U.S. Unfortunately, we really don’t know anything more at this point, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as we learn more .  Until then, thanks for reading!


Honda CR-Z RZ’s Hot Mugen Tune-up

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 12th, 2012

Mugen has once again worked their magic on Honda’s CR-Z 2013 model just like they did to the 2011’s model. The only difference is that this time, a simple bump in horsepower wasn’t enough. Not satisfied with Honda’s 13 horsepower boost to the base2013 CR-Z, the guys over at Mugen felt they had to give the driver a further kick in the pants. So, being the kings of tuning that they are, the motorsport experts over at Mugen gave the CR-Z even more power.

The Mugen team bolted a supercharger onto the 1.5-liter, four cylinder hybrid, taking the 135 horsepower engine up to a whopping 174 horsepower output along with 194 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for a hybrid! As if that wasn’t insane enough, the whole thing gets routed through a six-speed manual; talk about taking things to another level! (Well “Mugen” does translate as “No Limits”, after all.)

Honda CR-Z Mugen RZ

Mugen’s CR-Z Conversion Isn’t Just About The Engine

And they weren’t done there. The team had to make sure that all of that speed had some stopping power behind it so they added bigger brakes to the system. But that only makes sense because with that kind of engine running the show and the super streamlined, aerodynamic body slicing through the air, you also need to be able to brake efficiently. On top of that, you also have to be able to control the car, so a five-way adjustable suspension system was added along with 17-inch aluminum wheels. Topping of this “work of speed” is the cat-back exhaust system, giving some much needed growl to the tiger.

An adjustable boy-racer rear wing was bolted to the rear end along with side spoilers and an adjustable front spoiler to keep the car planted on the road … as well as to make sure it looks fast too. Then, if you remember what Mugen did in 2011, you know what comes next: the new grille.

Spicing Up The Interior

Inside the car, the CR-Z Mugen RZ has blue and black seats that match the steering wheel’s blue stitching. But perhaps the niftiest looking piece of kit inside the car is the carbon-fiber shift knob, making sure the Mugen’s futuristic styling has the elemental backing it needs. Of course, any force-induction kit has to have a boost gauge so you can tell how hard the blower’s working and the Mugen team didn’t forget that either. Pointless for a real driver, but just what a young Lewis Hamilton-type wants to impress his girlfriend.

For those of you out there (and that means just about every car-lover in the world) who are already drooling at the prospect of getting behind the wheel of one of these bad boys, don’t get too excited: The CR-Z Mugen RZ will only be available in Japan and there will only be 300 of them at that. But for those of you who just have to have it, we’re sure you’ll find a way! Why not send us an email and we can see what we can do – mugencrz@integrityexports.com.


CR-Z: Getting Warmer…. And Warmer

Posted by Stephen On Friday, March 18th, 2011

Two stories out about the plans for hotter versions of the CR-Z today. Honda’s tame tuning company Mugen will be producing one, and Honda themselves are planning a Type R version.

Who said hybrids are boring?

Source: Autocar, Autocar


Japanese Car Auction Finds: 2010 Honda CR-Z

Posted by Stephen On Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

This latest Honda CR-Z currently occupies a unique place in the hybrid car market in that it is an affordable vehicle that seeks to combine frugality with sportiness. It is targeting a different kind of customer to the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight, but at the same time it is affordable in the way a Cayenne or Lexus hybrid is not.

Another way in which it takes a road to traditional hybrids is that it is offered with a manual transmission for that “sporty” feel. This shows just how seriously Honda is taking this sporty angle, as a lot of more traditional sporting cars in Japan are mainly sold with automatic transmissions.

This particular example is one of these 6-speed manuals. It is the top-of-the-range “alpha” model. Since the CR-Z is still a relatively new model, it is not surprising that only 5 grade 5 “alpha” models with manual transmissions have been sold in live bidding the last 3 months. (In contrast to the 58 comparable automatic transmission grade 5 “alphas” sold during the same period). This manual one is likely to go for around 1.9 million Yen, which is about 100,000 Yen more than you would expect a similar automatic model to go for.

2010 Honda CR-Z in car auction in Japan

(c) Integrity Exports Co. Ltd. – Japan car auction buyer and exporter.