Way back in 1983 Honda released a nifty little two-seater sport coupe called the CRX. It was sporty, fun and economical with a focus on the younger markets. I remember these cars from back in the day because one of my classmates had one when I was in college. It was a red 5-speed and damn if it wasn’t a little firecracker of a car to drive. I remember rowing through the gears and feeling like a road racer. The little 1.6 liter 4-banger was a really rev happy little sucker and even though we weren’t going that fast, it sure as hell felt like we were. It also returned outstanding fuel economy and was rated by the EPA at 41 city / 50 hwy mpg.
All the same elements that made the original CRX so enticing are present in Honda’s forthcoming 2011 CR-Z sport hatch, albeit throwing in one new twist, you see this ones a hybrid. The new CR-Z will get a version of the 140 hp 1.8 liter mill found in Honda’s Civic. The electric motor, battery and electronics will all be coming from Honda’s Insight Hybrid. This should make for a fun little runabout especially since it can be had with a manual transmission.
The other part of the equation that will help the CR-Z succeed is going to be fuel consumption. Think about this for a moment. The main reason you purchase a hybrid, other than the fact that it’s good for the environment is to get better fuel economy. Right now Honda’s Insight hybrid only gets about 38 mpg in combined city/hwy driving. This is far short of the original CRX’s EPA ratings. My question is what does that mean for the CR-Z? Will it maybe get a combined mileage of 35 mpg and will that satisfy consumers?
I understand Honda’s desire to enter into the sport hatch market place with the new CR-Z. I’m just wondering if it’s going to fit the bill with consumers who may be expecting a little bit more in the way of economy. Who knows though… maybe when released and the first reviews hit, we’ll come to find that it gets 50 mpg and goes like stink. Hey, it could happen…
Source: Motor Trend