The European New Car Assessment Program has issued a 5-Star crash safety rating for the upcoming 2011 Honda CR-Z, pointing to a likely top score when local sister organisation ANCAP tests Honda's all-new hybrid sometime next year.
Since 1999, the Australasian New Car Assessment Program has conducted its crash safety tests with the same criteria used by Euro NCAP, meaning that identically-specified vehicles will almost always carry the same safety rating.
Thanks to this shared approach to testing, Honda Australia is almost assured of a 5-Star rating for the CR-Z if it is offered locally with the same safety features.
The 2011 Honda CR-Z is due for an Australian launch around the middle of next year.
The second dedicated hybrid in the Honda line-up, the CR-Z is powered by a 1.5 litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine developing 84kW at 6000rpm, paired with an electric motor producing 10kW. The petrol engine produces 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. Fuel consumption is listed at 7.6 l/100km in city driving, and 6.4 l/100km on the highway.
Speaking with TMR, Honda Australia's Mark Higgins confirmed that the CR-Z is on track for an Australian launch, with a late late 2011 launch the most likely timeframe.
"The second half of 2011 is the target at this stage, but given that the Japan market has seen 10,000 orders against a target of 1000, the Australian launch may get blown out a little unless production can be increased to match the rate of orders coming in," Mr Higgins said.
As for the accessories recently revealed by Honda's tuning arm Mugen, Mr Higgins said that it remains to be seen whether those options will be made available in Australia.
"It's a little early to say. We've got a close relationship with Mugen, particularly with our rally program, but it's hard to say if the Mugen products can be brought in for our road cars - whether they comply with Australian Design Rules and so forth."