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THE HONDA CR-Z SPORTY HYBRID COUPE
THE HONDA CR-Z SPORTY HYBRID COUPE

The Honda CR-Z is a unique new car, combining the advantages of a clean, efficient petrol electric hybrid powertrain with a 6-speed manual transmission and a stylish coupe body.

This exciting new coupe will change current perceptions of hybrids, with its driver-focussed, chassis and responsive 1.5-litre engine.

-All-new, sporty, aerodynamic, 2+2 coupe form -Wide track, short wheelbase chassis for agile and responsive handling -Unique 3-Mode Drive System to tailor steering, throttle response and IMA assistance to the driver's needs -1.5-litre i-VTEC engine coupled to the Honda IMA parallel hybrid system with CO2 emissions of 117 g/km and 5.0 l/100km fuel economy in combined mode -World's first 6-speed manual transmission combined with a hybrid drive train -Driver focussed cockpit design with 3D gauges -European market cars to be equipped with flexible 2+2 seating arrangement

INTRODUCTION
The CR-Z‘s exterior styling is formed around a "one-motion wedge" concept with a low bonnet line and wide stance giving the car a confident, athletic look. Signature Honda design features, such as the split level rear glass hatch and aerodynamic, shallow raked roofline have been referenced in the design of the sleek coupe and then combined with a curvaceous and deeply sculpted exterior form.

The overall power output of the engine and IMA system is 124 PS and a healthy 174 Nm of torque. The peak torque figure is identical to that of the 1.8-litre Civic and arrives at just 1500 rpm, a level where previously only turbocharged engines deliver their maximum. Even with torque levels directly comparable with a Civic, the CR-Z emits 35 g/km** less CO2 than its conventionally powered cousin. Other harmful exhaust emissions are also very low and the Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack can be recycled through Honda dealers, at the end of the vehicle's life.

For the first time, a fuel efficient, low emission parallel hybrid system is combined with an ultra precise 6-speed manual gearbox. The manual gearbox is a core part of the driver engagement Honda's engineers wanted to bring to the CR-Z model. The flexibility of Honda's unique IMA parallel hybrid system allows it to be used with a range of transmissions, not just CVT-based gearboxes.

The manual transmission is complemented by a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine, which is new to Europe and is a key component in the CR-Z's unique character. This powerful, yet efficient engine is based on the engine fitted to some non-European versions of the Jazz. The eager to rev nature of the medium capacity engine, is enhanced by the additional 78 Nm of torque provided by the 14 PS electric motor, which is situated between the engine and clutch. The electric motor boosts torque at low and medium revs, which gives the CR-Z in-gear flexibility more usually associated with turbocharged engines.

To maximise driver choice and enhance the day to day driveability of the car, the CR-Z is fitted with a 3-Mode Drive System. This unique feature allows the driver to choose between three driving modes, which alter the responses of the throttle, steering, climate control and the level of assistance provided by the IMA system. In developing this new facility, Honda allows the driver to adapt the car's settings to enjoy their favourite road, maximise economy, or strike a balance between the two.

Sport buttons have become commonplace, usually offering a sharper throttle response, but Honda's 3-Mode Drive System is different. The new system alters the behaviour of the hybrid drivetrain and the power steering assistance as well as the throttle mapping between the three modes.

When the CR-Z driver is away from the town or city and wanting to enjoy the open road, they can put the car into SPORT mode. This sharpens the throttle response, changes the behaviour of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance and increases the weight of the electric power steering.

Honda recognises that even the most enthusiastic driver may regularly experience heavy traffic, where maximising fuel economy is more desirable than the perfect line through a corner. In these situations ECON mode can be selected, which prioritises fuel economy in the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. For those times when spirited driving is not possible or desirable, the Eco Assist function, in conjunction with the ECON mode, allows the driver to enjoy beating their best economy score on the way to work, or in heavy traffic.

At all times the car can be run in NORMAL mode, which provides a balance between performance, economy and emissions and suits most driving situations. The ambient lighting of the speedometer is used in the same way as in the Insight to guide the driver in driving more economically and ecologically. In addition to the Eco Assist function, the CR-Z's meter lighting is linked to the 3-mode drive system. In NORMAL mode and ECON mode the speedometer is illuminated blue, glowing green when driven economically. In ECON mode it has a green eco flower lit in the mode indicator. When the speedometer is illuminated in a red ambient light, this indicates the CR-Z is in SPORT mode.

Careful consideration was given to exhaust design to ensure that as well as being efficient, the CR-Z is a car that encourages the enthusiastic driver and sounds quite unlike any previous compact hybrid. Other components including engine mounts and sound deadening were tuned to ensure that the sporting elements of the exhaust were heard by the driver, but less desirable noises often associated with sports exhausts were attenuated. The exterior design of CR-Z deliberately evokes the iconic style of the 1980s CR-X, which was originally developed to provide a small, stylish car that could achieve spectacular economy. Signature features of the CR-X, like the split level rear glass hatch and low shallow raked roofline have been referenced in the design of the sleek coupe and then combined with a curvaceous and deeply sculpted exterior form.

The shallow raked roofline and sharply truncated tail of the CR-Z is a feature shared with many Hondas past and present, including the CR-X, 1999 Insight and the FCX Clarity. All of these cars have been designed to cut through the air with minimal disturbance, reducing drag to lower fuel consumption and emissions. The CR-Zs headlights are accented with LED day time running lights, which are positioned in the lower section of the front lights. This is the first time LED running lights have been applied to the front of any production Honda car and help to emphasise the wide sporting stance of the new hybrid coupe.

The interior of the production car has been influenced by the cabin of the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show CR-Z Concept, especially the 3D speedometer and driver focussed cabin. The high-technology instrument binnacle places all of the commonly used controls close to the driver's hands, allowing full concentration on driving at all times.

For the rest of the article, follow the link; http://www.hondanews.eu/en/news/index.pmode/modul,detail,0,1461-DEFAULT,21,text,1/index.pmode
 
 
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