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Mike Stevens | Jan 20, 2010

YOU WON'T HEAR a lick of English, but a new video released by Honda today features chief engineer Terakazu Torikai describing the philosophies and processes followed in the development of the 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car.

Producing only 91kW and 173Nm of torque, the CR-Z's unveiling garnered a lukewarm response from Honda fans hopeful for a spiritual successor to the iconic first and second series CRX.

While the motoring media and buying public will need to wait for a drive before drawing any conclusions, Honda's video offers some insight into the decisions that lead to the CR-Z's specification and design.

Mr Torikai said that his team looked to other cars, both established and new (in the case of the Scirocco), in developing the CR-Z.

"During the development if the CR-Z we drove many cars and also bought several models for comparison and benchmarking including the MINI, the VW Scirocco coupe and also a Lotus Elise," Mr Torikai said.

"The target of this car was to realize enhanced handling."

From that list, the Elise best demonstrates the importance of kerb weight and weight distribution in determining a car's handling. How Honda has managed the CR-Z's rumoured 1225kg remains to be seen.

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