From hybrid to high-performance! Honda’s new petrol-electric coupe, the CR-Z, is being readied for Type R treatment, and Auto Express can bring you the first exclusive images of how the hot new model is shaping up.
Revealed in production trim at this January’s Detroit Motor Show, the CR-Z has already caused quite a stir by marrying a sporty three-door body with a fuel efficient hybrid powertrain – creating the world’s first truly desirable sports hybrid in the process. But the Japanese firm is going one step further with this stunning Type R version, which boasts a raft of head-turning design cues, and a more powerful hybrid powertrain under the skin.
A tarmac-hugging bodykit will create a clear definition between the standard car and this high-performance variant, and includes daytime running lights in the front apron and a black rear diffuser with integrated exhaust pipes. But it’s the colour scheme that will be most recogniseable to Type R fans.
A black bonnet, wing mirrors and wheels set against an alpine-white paint scheme will make the CR-Z stand out in a crowd. Blacked-out A-pillars are a new styling cue - giving the impression of a glass area that wraps around the car.
The standard CR-Z uses a 102bhp 1.5-litre engine coupled to a 20bhp electric motor for a total output of just 122bhp - but the Type-R is set to offer much more than that! Mugen, Honda’s official tuning arm, is reportedly being lined-up to work its magic on the CR-Z and boost its performance credentials. There had been rumours that a reworked version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine could make it into the CR-Z Type-R, but because the coupe has been designed as a hybrid from the outset, a petrol-electric powertrain is a must.
The front-wheel drive layout and six-speed manual gearbox will remain, but expect the naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre engine to be cranked up to around 150bhp and mated to a larger 50bhp electric motor. The combined output of 200bhp will move the Type-R into serious performance territory with a 0-60mph time of close to six seconds, three seconds faster than the 122bhp CR-Z, and a top speed of 140mph.
The standard car’s three driving modes will also be extended to four, to include an additional Sport Plus setting. Select it and the throttle response, steering, timing of the stop-start system and the level of assitance from the electric motor will be set for maximum performance. Upgraded brakes and stiffened suspension will complete the package.
Our sources have revealed that the CR-Z Type R is already being prepared for a debut at next year’s Tokyo Motor Show before going on sale in Japan in late 2011. UK sales are set to commence a few months after that with prices starting from around £20,000.