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|Subject: Honda’s first generation “sporty hybrid” CR-Z to arrive with Civic Type R’s 228kW, 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine in 2018 Fri 13 Mar 2015, 10:07 am|| |
SYDNEY: Honda’s first-generation CR-Z although impressive in its own unique ‘sporty hybrid’ ways, the CR-Z was widely derided in Australia for its underwhelming performance figures, according to reports out of the US this week.
Now, however, a new report with American mag Car & Driver suggests Honda will answer the pleas of fans and dealers alike in 2018 with a replacement that will be “a force to be reckoned with”.
“The two reasons that forced Honda to phase it out [in Europe and Australia], namely its weak street cred and lack of performance thanks to its ho-hum hybrid power unit, have been addressed,” an unnamed source within Honda of America reportedly told the magazine.
The report claims that motivation will come from a version of the new Civic Type R’s 228kW 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine, detuned to produce around 208kW in the new CR-Z.
If Honda is over-compensating for the first-generation’s depressing 85kW+10kW petrol-electric unit, fans will hardly be complaining.
Even compared to larger hot-hatch benchmarks like the 162kW Golf GTI and 184kW Focus ST, a 208kW CR-Z would be one mean Honda.
The hybrid approach may not be entirely written off, however, with the report adding that Japanese buyers will get a 150kW 1.5 litre petrol-electric unit instead.
As for its architecture, the new CR-Z will reportedly use the platform of the next-generation Civic a common enough cost-saving measure but with its wheelbase cut by around 100mm.
That would make the new CR-Z a little bigger than the previous generation, but we can likely expect the three-door design to be retained.
Styling will likely take inspiration from the new NSX and Civic Type R, evolved to match whatever Honda’s next-generation design language will be.
A 2018 production debut is expected, but we could see a concept appear sometime in 2016 or even sooner.