By on January 12, 2010

CRZ: a chopped-off sedan with too much front overhang

another chopped-off sedan

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29 Comments on “Honda CR-Z Design Inspiration Discovered...”


  • avatar
    mtymsi

    Good one, made me laugh outloud!!

  • avatar
    AccAzda

    I cant help but STARE at the SHEER amount of NOSE weight on the CR-Z!

    Then I try and remember where it came from.. apparently its the new front clip for Honda’s cars.

    But I am amazed at how much damn overhang the vehicle has.

    This vehicle is trying to be a CRX.. and or a Del Sol, and or a 95 Civic..
    But this only strikes me as a compact… with a hell of a nose and nothing that reminds me of those lighter, nicer cars!

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    How sare you disparage my first car by comparing it to the ugly Honda. With the right wheels and tires and a bit of  a bit of lowering my 1971 (pre-5MPH bumper) V8 Gremlin-X wasn’t bad looking.  And used to beat 350 V8 Novas.

  • avatar
    Syke

    Yeah, I remember a guy with a 304 Gremlin running A-Sedan autocross – and kicking the crap out of everybody.  Let’s see that Honda manage the same.
     
    Oh yeah, the Gremlin’s a lot prettier.

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    Not even close.
     
    Which vehicle inaugurated the “front-wheels-in-a-ditch” design? The first thing it makes me want to do is jack the front end up 10 inches to get it level.
     

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    I believe Honda’s west coast USA styling dept has been taken over by rogue interns and nobody in Japan dares to question it.

  • avatar
    Robert.Walter

    I think this topic has jumped the shark.

    The Honda ain’t that bad.
    (I think the relationship between the cowl height and the beltline is also being distorted … such a look is more likely when the beltline is no longer horizontally level, or the designer is not going for the gun-slit window look … sometimes the window apeture can not be lowered to that of the cowl because of rather pedestrian things like the window should not protrude when fully open (black tape helps to ‘open the apeture’ without actually removing the metal)…

    I am wondering, however, what drives the high cowl look … unless it is just a design trend, there must be an architectural reason driving this … my guesses would be front suspension, powertrain height/location, HVAC stack or IP content, or simple passenger ingress/egress/ crash clearance issues…

    Truncated tails doth not a protruding proboscis make. 
    (Front overhang is driven by much, much, more than rear-end treatment.)

    • 0 avatar
      Hank

      I tend to agree with you on the design of the car.  To me, it’s shortcoming is that it likely could have been a traditional ICE coupe and with the right tuning brought the same performance and better mpg.  I’m a bit baffled as to what it is that prevents a company with such engineering prowess as Honda from being able to make a two-seat hybrid with no appreciably better mileage than a Ford Escape Hybrid.

  • avatar
    geeber

    I learned to drive on my father’s 1973, fire-engine red, AMC Gremlin. It was THE most unreliable car my family ever had, but for some reason, my father loved that car.

    I had a 1977 Honda Civic CVCC for my college years, and I would later argue with my dad that the Civic was proof that Hondas were far superior to American small cars, especially if the Gremlin was the base of comparison. And Honda would NEVER copy American styling, especially the goofy looking Gremlin.

    I guess now dad is having the last laugh…

  • avatar

    At least AMC had the excuse of being almost broke …

  • avatar
    CyCarConsulting

    I can tell you that my Gremlin X was a lot more exciting, than that Z will ever B.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Two things:  1) The new Honda, while not beautiful, isn’t that bad.  2) The Gremlin, while ugly, was ugly in a cool way.  My father owned three of them and I personally owned one.  Mine was a 1972 model with a 304 V-8… but it wasn’t an X model.  A true sleeper with upgraded tires and shocks and anti-roll bars added.  Many mid-to-late 70s’ Camaros never knew what hit them when they pulled up alongside of me at a stoplight.

  • avatar

    Got a loud laugh out of me. And, yes, except that the Gremlin actually looks kind of cute. The Honda, just boring. And I’m a Honda guy!!! I LOVE my ’99 Accord 5speed.
    Oops, just saw Steve Biro’s post, directly above. I agree with his 1 and 2, except for one thing: that Honda looks like I wouldn’t be able to see out of the back, and might even have trouble seeing out of the front! I don’t like cars that I can’t see out of. Honda, can you hear me???! Gimme a greenhouse, for crhissake! One that isn’t all squinty!

  • avatar

    Heck, just give me a no Integer that doesn’t weigh anymore than the last of the old ones, and has just as good driving dynamics, with a little more headroom, and I’ll buy it.
    Oh, I can dream, can’t I?

  • avatar
    RLove

    Styles and tastes change I guess. I actually thought about buying one of those Gremlins back in high school. At least the Honda doesn’t look like it was designed with a T-square and a triangle. But, that front overhang on the Honda is way too ugly to own.
    Saw the concept in Paris and thought that I might like to own the car if the final design was close. Maybe if I never appraosch it from the side…

  • avatar
    50merc

    CarPerson, you are soooo right.
     
    And I want a nice Gremlin to park beside my Studebaker. Had a chance at a Pacer, but it got away. Hey, I once was an accountant. Might as well look the part.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    Guys, guys, guys! The AMC was a crap car. Honda, in contrast, makes advanced cars that look like they do for a reason (and the reason is not, let’s shorten a mid-sized car to get a compact car real cheap). The reason is that Honda takes pedestrian protection very seriously.
    I have two links for you:
    Honda
    http://www.euroncap.com/tests/honda.aspx
    vs Audi
    http://www.euroncap.com/tests/audi.aspx
     
    Compare the pedestrian protection ratings. Honda 64% vs Audi 36%. (Equally, I could have selected Mercedes or one of numerous other brands). One company makes posh cars that impress the neighbors and satisfy people’s obsessive-compulsive interior-design neediness. The other makes reliable, affordable cars that drive well and save lives. Who cares if, while making advanced cars, Honda breaks some car-guy rules of aesthetics. You listen to them, you might as well still be building cars that look like the Bentley Blower.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      Hmm. I have an older  cousin from Germany who used to visit us in the  States occasionally. Back in the 70′s he would always insist on an AMC (Gremlin, Hornet or Spirit) to drive around when he was here. He claimed that they handled the best and all other American cars he rented were too ‘milchtoast’.
       
       

    • 0 avatar
      no_slushbox

      That pedestrian rating is for the Insight, which is a fine looking car, it isn’t horribly ugly like the CR-Z is.  But, speaking of the Bentley Blower, blunt nosed, short front overhang tall hood cars like modern Bentleys and the Chrysler 300C have supposedly done pretty well in pedestrain crash tests.  They have tall flat noses to distribute the impact, and hoods well above the engine, but aren’t ass-ugly like this thing.  Also, I think the Bentley Blower got better mileage than the CR-Z.

      I was really hoping this car would be good, but it isn’t.  Compared to the first generation Insight it looks like something GM would design and sell as a Pontiac. Honda better hope buyers don’t realize that for the cost of an awful looking, pathetic mileage for a hybrid, 2 seat car they could buy a PRHT Miata with separately mounted snow tires.

  • avatar
    phargophil

    I’d take the Gremlin any day. I had a ’74 Gremlin X that was virtually indestructable (except for rust.) AMC invented the biodegradeable car.

    Gremlins had a polarizing design, but I would love to find a nice one again, or even a copy of what I replaced it with–an ’81 Eagle SX/4.

  • avatar

    I don’t see the similarity.
    Nor the attempt for humor.
    Can’t hit a homerun every time, P.N.

  • avatar
    Acd

    Thanks for connecting the dots on this one Paul.  The exaggerated front overhang, the truncated, stubby rear overhang and the upward sloping rear window screams new and improved Gremlin.  Dick Teague took a lot of grief for his original Gremlin but I’m sure Honda spent a lot more on theirs than the ten million dollars that AMC did.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    http://www.minimarcos.org.uk/sport/mugello/index.html is another inspiratiion

  • avatar
    cpmanx

    If the little curve of the rear window jutting into the c-pillar can be called a Hoffmeister kink, I move that henceforward the triangular hockey-stick  c-pillar shape be known as the Teague swoop.
     
    Too bad Richard Teague didn’t patent it. That swoop is everywhere now. The CR-Z has only a weak version of it. For the stronger version, try the Nissan Murano, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV-4, and the late Pontiac Vibe, to name just a few. Once seen as an offensive outlier, this styling tic has become a mainstream cliche. Go figure.


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