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Tuesday, January 12, 2010


*updated 07/19/2010*

Images are now available of the North American production version of the new Honda CR-Z. The 122-bhp hybrid can be fitted with either a CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission. Honda says EPA city mileage will be rated at 36mpg; 38 on the highway. If you choose to do the shifting, predicted mileage will plummet to 31 in the city but stay relatively level with the CTV at 37 on the highway.

Honda promises excellent driving dynamics for the CR-Z. Its historical counterpart, the Honda CRX, may roll over in its grave if the 2011 Honda CR-Z fails to live up to the CRX's fun-to-drive nature. Standard features will make the Honda CR-Z a moderately luxurious car: automatic climate control, power everything, cruise control, and a six-speaker stereo ain't bad. The CR-Z EX adds a speaker to that stereo in addition to HID headlights, Bluetooth, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. North American versions of the Honda CR-Z seat just two people.

In profile, the CR-Z is far from a gorgeous car. The front-end protrudes like its weighted down by Honda's first ever V8 engine. The roof fin is more disruptive on this car than any other in recent memory, too. From the rear 3/4, especially down low, the CR-Z looks excellent, channelling plenty of CRX. And that profile view, if only slightly offset, improves significantly. One can safely assume that the lip above the huge rear bumper, underneath the window, will be home to all manner of uncleanliness. And in typical Honda fashion, anybody with a sense of style will want those wheels up-sized. Those wheelwells are crying out for filling.

If you're in the market for a small sporty coupe (hatchback), the Honda CR-Z might just fit the bill later this summer. Honda initially said the CR-Z will cost more than the Insight, a hybrid which bases at $19,800 in the States and $23,900 in Canada, but official pricing now shows the Honda CR-Z's price in Canada to be $23,490 ($24,290 with the CVT) and $19,200 in the USA. More importantly, though the Honda CR-Z's fuel economy numbers stack up well against sporty cars and even economy-minded vehicles, the Honda CRX HF of 1990 could pull in 47 miles per gallon on the highway. Less. Weight. Please. Check out the 2011 Honda CR-Z in the Gallery below.

Styling Points +
Gigantic grille actually appears right-sized
Wedge profile almost always works for Honda
Interior welcomes the right generation

Styling Points -
Front end overhang
Seems a little chubby
Taillight corner comes too close to rear wheel

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