Tuesday, 29 November 2011 7:11 PM
There was much talk, backed up with some totally attractive photography and car show showing off, of a way more smokin’ version of Honda’s CR-Z hybrid, with the punt to match its spacey styling. Well, it seems that us punters yessed and pleased enough for Honda to take note and the burning orange concept car that nearly teased us all to death has become the white hot reality you see here. Yes, Honda (UK) has joined forces with Mugen Euro to launch a 130+mph sports hybrid CR-Z, in 2012.
With almost 50 per cent more power than the standard car, this 175bhp hybrid is said to hit 62mph in just 6.1secs, and that’s pretty darn quick for a car that is set to cost around £24,000.
Martin Moll, Head of Honda (UK) marketing explains the potential of the sharper CR-Z. "Mugen Euro has created a super responsive yet eco-conscious model building on our sporting credentials and giving us the ability to compete in the hot hatch marketplace as we move into 2012." They needed a hot hatch, basically. And now they’ve got one.
All the right hot hatch ingredients seem to be present too with the Mugen Euro tuning engineers supercharging the (same) 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder petrol motor up front, adding a charge-air cooler to further cool said supercharged intake air, freer-flowing intake and exhaust systems, and a Mugen Euro-mapped ECU. The result is that smokin' to-62mph sprint time that’s some 3 seconds quicker than the standard car. The three eco-focused driving modes were retained, although with 175bhp ready to rock, this CR-Z’s LED-lit dash is more likely to be bathed in red than green.
It’s always good news to bring another hot hatch into the performance-pack, and while production development continues at Mugen Euro, cars will be available to test drive as quickly as next spring, through the eight Honda UK Mugen dealers. And at £24,000, around £4k less than the rear-driving, 197bhp, new Toyota GT 86, next year is starting to look like a vintage year for Japanese performance fans.
By Daniel Anslow
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