Honda’s first-generation CR-Z may have done its dash, but the badge’s story isn’t over, according to reports out of the US this week.
Although impressive in its own unique ‘sporty hybrid’ ways, the CR-Z was widely derided in Australia for its underwhelming performance figures.
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.
(Pictured top of article: the CR-Z in its 2007 concept form)
What can we expect? Goodbye wimpy hybrid powertrain, hello Type R power.
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.
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.
Stay tuned to TMR for more as it develops.
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