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Mike Stevens | Jan 12, 2010

AFTER AN ONGOING flow of concept appearances and leaked images, Honda has at last unveiled the production version of its sporty CR-Z hybrid.

Virtually identical to the near-production concept shown at October’s Tokyo Motor Show, the Honda CR-Z is to be launched in Japan with a 1.5 litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine developing 84kW at 6000rpm, paired with an electric motor producing 10kW.

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The petrol engine will produce 145Nm of torque at 4800rpm, the Integrated Motor Assist system adding a further 77Nm at 1000rpm.

Paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT transmission, the CR-Z claims a 0-100km/h time of 9.7 seconds.

Being a hybrid, the most important numbers for the CR-Z are its fuel consumption figures. According to Honda, its newest hybrid will achieve 7.6 l/100km in city driving, and 6.4 l/100km on the highway.

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These are far from the best figures among hybrids. Compared to the likes of the Prius , with a fuel economy of just 3.9 l/100km (and even the MINI Cooper D diesel matches that figure), the CR-Z's numbers would seem to be well off the pace. (Perhaps suggesting the electric motor is for only occasional assistance.)

Three selectable driving modes will be offered, including Eco, Normal and Sport, the instrument cluster illuminated in a different colour depending on the mode.

The 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid measures 4080mm long, 1740mm wide, 1395mm tall, with a wheelbase measuring 2435mm.

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LED daytime running lights will feature in the headlight clusters, and the CR-Z will be offered in two trim levels - referred to as ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’ in the leaked Japanese brochure.

Honda has yet to reveal pricing and launch details, although Honda Australia’s Public Relations Manager, Mark Higgins, confirmed to TMR that the CR-Z is likely to arrive in Australian showrooms sometime in 2011.

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