The Honda CR-Z
Launched in 2010 Honda's CR-Z was widely considered a ground-breaking sporting hybrid from one of the world's leading car manufacturers. "Hybrid" and "sporting" are problematic concepts when put together: in nature a hybrid car is usually heavy due to the presence of two separate motors and a hefty battery pack. Sports cars, on the other hand, need to be light in order to be fast, and their need for speed often compromises on the ecological economy required in a hybrid. Honda's CR-Z however, married the two in a successful vehicle.
Weighing 132lb the honda crz's electric motor, measuring just two inches across, fits snugly between the car's engine and its six-speed manual transmission. Beneath the floor of the boot is concealed its nick-metal hydride battery and power electronics provided by Panasonic. The electric motor adds a bit of oomph to the wheels when the driver accelerates rapidly, and can even act as a generator during overrun or when the car brakes. The results? The sporty coupe goes from 0 to 62 in 9.9 seconds, hits a top speed of 124mph and delivers 56.6mpg in its Combined cycle.
Since its launch two years ago the CR-Z has been a big success for Honda and a major step in their journey towards total fuel economy. Although it was met with steep competition at the time from the likes of Renault's Megane Coupe 1.5 dCi 86 and the BMW 118d Couple the CR-Z continued to attract drivers and now it looks set for an overhaul as Honda have recently revealed tantalising images suggesting an update to their hybrid success story.
Exactly what this reissue will entail is not yet clear, but Honda have been known to continually improve on their most popular vehicles by responding to the feedback and criticisms of their customers.