The world’s first convertible hybrid is shaping up. The on-off story of Honda’s open-top CR-Z has taken a twist with the unearthing of a scale model that
could prove the project is back in the pipeline.
Hard-top and convertible CR-Zs were reputedly developed side-by-side, but the latter was dropped in 2009 before it made production. Reports suggest Honda engineers didn’t think the weight needed to strengthen convertible bodyshells suited the car’s sporty character.
However, this model suggests they’ve solved that problem. Taking inspiration from the Honda Open
Study concept (main picture), which was revealed at
the 2008 British Motor Show, this CR-Z convertible
is given a stretched rear to accommodate a weight-
saving canvas roof. There has been no official word from Honda yet, but a spokesman told us: “Don’t rule it out.”
If the current 122bhp powertrain doesn’t suit the heavier car, one option could be a beefier 200bhp
petrol-electric combination seen in the Hybrid R
concept. This fits a turbocharger to the 1.5-litre
engine alongside a more powerful electric motor.