CR-Z So Dead That Honda PR Rep Thought Cancellation Was Already Announced

You know the situation is bad when a person supposedly representing a vehicle already thinks their company announced said vehicle’s death months ago.

During a phone call with TTAC, a Honda rep let slip that the automaker “already announced” the death of the long-in-the-tooth CR-Z.

The problem: Honda’s made no such announcement for North America. Uh-oh.

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Honda CR-Z Gets New Face, Will Live Beyond 2015

Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year.

The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will power the car, mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.

Despite its critical reception as a relatively slow sportscar, engineers increased the size of the CR-Z’s brakes 10 millimeters.

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Honda Civic Hybrid, CNG and Accord Plug-In Hybrid Models Get the Axe

UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.

Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.

Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.

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2013-14 Honda CR-Z Receives HPD Supercharging Kit

The Honda CR-Z will be gaining much needed firepower under the bonnet thanks to the automaker’s performance division.

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A Last Exit For the Honda Insight May Soon Appear

If you were ever interested in the second coming of the Honda Insight, now may be the time to pull the trigger on that lease, for there may not be a 2015 model in the showroom come next year.

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Question Of The Day: What Was Your Worst… Automotive Prediction?

I saw the future as clearly as day.

The Honda CR-Z. A beautiful machine that would finally marry that elusive dream couple, sport and fuel economy, for less than $20,000.

It had to be a hit. Just had to…

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Review: 2011 Honda CR-Z Take Two

Once upon a time I wanted a Pontiac Fiero. Then the original Honda CRX awakened me to the joys of driving a small car sideways. It was what the Fiero, similarly pitched as an economical commuter, should have been. In comparison, even the second-generation CRX seemed too large, too refined, and disappointingly dull. Fast forward a quarter century, and the Honda Insight is perhaps the most disappointing car I’ve driven in recent years. So when Honda announced that it would base a new two-seater on the Insight, and call it the CR-Z, I fearfully predicted that it would look like the CRX, but drive like the Insight. And?

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Review: 2011 Honda CR-Z

It’s now way past bedtime, and I’m driving the new Honda CR-Z in one of those neighborhoods you wouldn’t be making your evening stroll in. Heads turn, necks stretch, fingers point. Blacked out windows of blacked out SUVs are rolled down. Everybody on the street seems to approve Honda’s new creation, but no one knows it’s a hybrid.

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Honda CR-Z Priced Starting At $19,200

You can test drive a CR-Z for yourself starting on August 24, and goodness knows we’ll be lining up for a crack at it. Early reviews from Europe confirm the impression left by the stat sheet: the CR-Z is neither the re-birth of the CRX, nor the re-birth of the Mk1 Insight. And starting at $19,200, it’s not exactly cheap either [press release here]. Yes, it offers AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry, and cruise control at that base price, and quite a bit more in the $20,760 CR-Z EX, but is there a market in the US for a hybrid that’s smaller than a Prius but less efficient? And didn’t the Mk2 Insight already answer that question? We’ll wait to put the CR-Z through its paces before we pass (further) judgment, but this has the look of a Fiero-style “commuter car” rather than a legitimate sports coupe.

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Honda Mobbed By CR-Z Buyers

Honda is perplexed and overwhelmed by the demand for their just launched CR-Z small sports hybrid car, says The Nikkei [sub]. Honda had planned for 1000 a month, which turned out to be a big mistake. After one month, they already have more than 10,000 orders, and a hard time filling them. They’ve sold in one month what they wanted to sell in a year, more or less, and the orders keep pouring in.

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Quote Of The Day: You Have Got To Be Kidding Me Edition

The “First Drive” is one of the perennial stumbling blocks of automotive journalism. In return for exclusive access to the latest, most-hyped automobiles that everyone wants to get their hands on, outlets like Edmunds Inside Line are asked to swath their “First Drive” write-up in the most glowing terms possible. Or, as we’ve put it before, the price of an exclusive story is a straight face. Unfortunately the results of this kind of compromise are difficult to read with straight face. We’ve seen no better example of this than I nside Line’s recent “First Drive” of the Honda CR-Z, which yielded such unfortunate lines as:

The CR-Z is like a Tesla Roadster, but without the $109,000 price tag.

You know, besides having a different powertrain driving different wheels, a huge performance disparity, and, well, everything else.

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What's Wrong With This Picture: CR-Z DOA? Edition
The first videos of the Honda CR-Z lapping Suzuka have surfaced, and they’re about as exciting as C-Span after a handful of Valium. And this is apparen…
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Honda Engineers And US Execs Agreed: The CR-Z Shouldn't Have Been Built

When the production version of the Honda CR-Z debuted at the Detroit Auto Show, TTAC’s judgment was swift and harsh. Paul Niedermeyer’s piece “Why The Honda CR-Z Is So Ugly And Should Never Have Been Built” met with more agreement than dissent, and with good reason. Even though the hybrid coupe is still months away from going on sale, Honda engineers and dealers are already talking about their misgivings about the project, belying the project’s lack of originality and its poor chances for commercial success. CR-Z Chief Engineer Norio Tomobe describes his struggle to initiate the project to Automotive News [sub].

We had serious doubts about whether this would bring new value. I really struggled for a new idea, and we decided to start over from scratch. The hybrid finally gave us the wow factor.

This also marked the point where Honda’s US bosses started to lose interest in the project.

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Honda Fights Back For Hybrid Relevance

Honda’s half-hearted approach to hybrids is about to be shaken up, possibly leading to the development of a hybrid system that goes beyond Honda’s traditional integrated motor assist (IMA) system. Automotive News [sub] reports that Honda CEO, Takanobu Ito has told his Research and Development staff to develop a hybrid which beats the Toyota Prius in fuel economy. Or else. This development probably has something to do the failure of the Honda Insight (Prius sales in 2009 were 139,682. Insight sales for the same period: 20,572); as Honda Executive VP, John Mendel said “Are we happy with how sales are going? No, we’re not happy.” Mr Ito made it clear that Honda’s hybrid line up is a top priority. “We want to develop and expand our hybrids,” said Ito. “We made some major sacrifices to shift people and resources to do that.”

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  • Ollicat I have a Spyder. The belt will last for many years or 60,000-80,000 miles. Not really a worry.
  • Redapple2 Cadillac and racing. Boy those 2 go together dont they? What a joke. Up there with opening a coffee shop in NYC. EvilGM be clowning. Again.
  • Jbltg Rear bench seat does not match the front buckets. What's up?
  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )