Next CR-Z to Lose Hybrid Powertrain, go With Turbo Four
19 Mars 2015 - Autoblog
The Honda CR-Z has been treading water for years and has already left the European and Australian markets.
The little coupe looks like it should be a winner, though, as the reinterpretation of the classic CRX for the modern age. Unfortunately, a serious lack of performance to back up the sporty styling lets the model down. Although rumor has it, the CR-Z that drivers keeping asking for could be just a few years away.
An anonymous source related to Honda's Tochigi, Japan, development center told Car and Driver that a significantly more potent new generation of the CR-Z is on the way to dealers in 2018 with a possible unveiling in 2017. "The new coupe will be a force to reckon with," the insider said.
The new CR-Z would reportedly be slightly larger and would be based on a shortened version of the next-gen Civic's platform. Car and Driver even speculates a possible branding change to become the Civic CR-Z. The most encouraging change for performance fans, though, is the coupe finally ditching the IMA hybrid in this market in favor of the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder from the European Civic Type R. The engine would allegedly be detuned to around 280 horsepower for this application from the 306 hp in the CTR.
The hybrid isn't going away entirely, though. For the Japanese market, the CR-Z would use Honda's 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with electric assist to make around 200 hp.
Until anything official comes out, it might be best to treat all of this tantalizing info with a large grain of salt. Rumors of a future CR-Z using the next-gen Civic platform have circulated since 2013, and there has been speculation about using the CTR engine, too.