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Tony O'Kane | Sep 30, 2009

HONDA HAS RELEASED the first batch of images of its latest CR-Z concept, which, aside from small changes, will represent the production-spec model when it debuts at next month's Tokyo Motor Show.

Officially dubbed "CR-Z Concept 2009", the vehicle is a concept in name only and flaunts a production-ready body and interior.

The wing mirrors and lamp clusters are the only show-specific parts, and will be replaced by more functional items in the production model.

honda_cr-z_tms_concept_05

There are several key aesthetic differences between this year's Tokyo concept and the original CR-Z design study that was unveiled in 2007.

Chief among these is the new front bumper with its prominent central opening and jutting lower cheek spoilers. The sheetmetal is also entirely revised, with bolder bonnet creases and swage lines on the door panels sharpening up the CR-Z's exterior.

The A-pillars are now blacked out, and the lower glass panel of the CRX-inspired hatch features a new shape. The sideskirts are lower and the rear bumper also comprehensively redesigned.

honda_cr-z_tms_concept_04

The CR-Z will be available only with a hybrid powertrain, however in a significant departure from the hybrid norm, Honda has chosen to equip the CR-Z with a traditional H-pattern manual gearbox.

The interior images released by Honda today show three pedals and a chunky gearlever, indicating the production CR-Z should hold significant appeal for 'old school' car enthusiasts.

honda_cr-z_tms_concept_08

Technical specifications have not yet been released, however further details will be revealed when the Honda CR-Z Concept 2009 hits the stands at Tokyo on October 24.

The Honda CR-Z is slated to go on sale in Japan in February 2010. Honda Australia expects to see the hybrid sports car in its showrooms sometime in 2011.

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