Honda Re-Thinks Japanese (Hybrids)

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Back when Honda was looking to launch their hybrid Accord in the US, the marketing mavens noticed that the gas – electric version was the fastest arrow in the company's quiver. They proposed pitching the gas – electric Accord as a green hot rod (skinny tires and all). Honda's top brass KO'ed the idea for failing the "if it's fun, it can't be good for you" PC test. The hybrid Accord went on to sell… very poorly. So it's no surprise that the AP (via the Detroit News) reports that Honda's showing-up at the Tokyo Motor show with a hybrid sports car concept. The CR-Z not only steals a letter from Nissan and displays a taffy pull version of Volvo's corporate nose cone, it also boasts "the essence of the sports car." The man behind the design-speak, Honda engineer Tetsuji Morikawa, says Honda will sell the CR-Z "in the near future" (about the time the Chevy Volt appears, presumably). The AP reporter clearly hasn't driven the hybrid Accord; he suggests that hybrids ain't got no torque and their greasy bits preclude pistonhead packaging. "The CR-Z comes with a new hybrid system developed by Honda whose breakthroughs allowed designers to get around such restrictions." Never mind the dressed-to-impress sheetmetal, we want to know about those breakthroughs…

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Dean Dean on Oct 10, 2007

    Just bring back the CRX. Dust off the old drawings and build it as-was. I'd buy one. Of course it would fail the crash-test requirements miserably. (I ride a motorcycle - do I really care about crash test standards? Why shouldn't I be able to buy a car that fails to meet standards?)

  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Oct 10, 2007

    Yikes, Sci-fi mole-rat. I prefer the bland Honda styling I guess as compared to this. But I'm interested to hear whats under the hood.

  • Nemphre Nemphre on Oct 10, 2007

    I'd be more interested if you could get this with a K series engine and a 6 speed. My guess is that it uses the Civic's hybrid system.

  • Johnster Johnster on Oct 10, 2007

    I don't see why Honda can't build a new CRX off a shortened version of the Civic chassis. Pop in the Civic hybrid powertrain and you'd have an oh-so-much more civilized replacement for the Insight. The 1.8 four from the regular Civic would be a great bread-and-butter engine, with the 2.0 from Si offering more performance. And then a hybrid version based on the 2.0, who knows what performance they could wring out of it?