2013 Honda CR-Z will be officially launched on the market tomorrow and will include a host of powertrain, styling and feature enhancements. It will draw more power from its all-new Lithium-Ion battery pack, which in addition will improve its EPA mpg ratings.

Some of the styling upgrades include revised interior trim along with a new front fascia, a new finish for the 16-inch alloy wheels, an aerodynamically functional new rear diffuser and two new exterior colors – Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic.

For anyone who wishes to go standard, the 2013 CR-Z will give them Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, Bluetooth® Audio, rearview camera, an Expanded View Driver's Mirror, AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry and cruise control. Optionally, the drivers can enjoy the new Plus Sport System, which allows additional on-demand electric boost via a steering wheel-mounted "S+" button.

As a standard the car is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission and automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Optionally, the CR-Z adds Auto-On/Off High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), a 360-Watt AM/FM/CD Premium Audio System with seven speakers including subwoofer, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and etc.

The CR-Z hybrid powertrain utilizes a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system's DC brushless electric motor.

But let's speak in numbers: the CR-Z now generates 130 horsepower (96 kW) at 6000 rpm and 190 Nm (140 lb-ft.) of torque. Manual-transmission versions also receive both a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio.

Furthermore, this Honda model is equipped with enhanced 3-Mode Drive System, which is activated via three backlit buttons to the left of the steering wheel. The models namely are:

Sport mode – which improves engine throttle responsiveness, electric power steering effort and the electric motor power assist; Normal mode, which standardizes steering, engine response, motor assist and air conditioning settings; and at last the Econ mode, which can increase the potential for enhanced fuel efficiency by optimizing throttle angle for smooth acceleration, lower engine rpm and limiting power and torque by approximately 4-percent.

Next thing to highlight here is the chassis. The CR-Z includes front MacPherson strut and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension, which are additionally modified to provide a sportier driving experience. All 2013 CR-Z models are equipped as a standard with new darker-tinged 16x6-inch aluminum wheels with finished spoke tips and 195/55R-16 tires, while accessory 17x7 alloy wheels with 205/45R-17 tires are optional.

The interior changes here are the new metallic trim on the door pulls and latches, center console, speaker grilles and lower steering-wheel spokes. The black and red interior trim combination on the other hand gives sportier feeling and adds new two-toned combi seats, and colored accents to the door panels and floor mats.

In terms of safety and security, the CR-Z is one step forward thanks to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure. The latter helps protect vehicle occupants in a frontal collision.

Other safety technologies featured here are the standard dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; standard front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system (ABS); a tire pressure monitoring system; and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle.

2013 Honda CR-Z models will be priced at $19 975.

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Source: Honda