Honda CR-Z has found the going very tough on the US market. Many people have complained that the car is too weak to claim to be a sporty compact and that its average fuel rating of 31 mpg is not enough to justify its poor performance.
The situation is so bad that the model managed to sell a paltry 3,600 units last year in the U.S. Its poor performance and weak ratings forced the automaker to phase it out from European and Australian markets.
Most of CR-Z’s problems can be traced to its poor hybrid engine which has powered the vehicle ever since its maiden debut. Unlike many automakers expanding their hybrid platforms, Honda is doing the reverse; it is transforming a hybrid model to a petrol-powered CR-Z set to go on sale in 2017 as a 2018 model.
2018 Honda CR-Z Exterior
The 2018 Honda CR-Z will have a more stylish design compared to the predecessor model. Our sources intimate that the vehicle will borrow its looks from the Honda Civic Type R and the Acura NSX.
The coupe will be based on the same platform as the Honda Fit. According to credible sources, the new model will be larger and lighter than the outgoing one. Its body will feature a number of angular body lines, rear wings and folding side panels. Overall, the body will be highly aerodynamic. The vehicle will ride on large aluminum wheels.
2018 Honda CR-Z Interior
Honda has not disclosed any details about the 2018 Honda CR-Z cabin styling. However, we expect the vehicle to feature sports car-like cabin. The automaker also could add high-quality comfort features. It will have ergonomic seats upholstered in leather, a driver-centered console and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.
Modern tech’ gadgets will also find their way into the cabin which will include a touch-screen instruments panel, satellite navigation, USB ports, Bluetooth connectivity, Smartphone integration, parking sensors and a premium audio system to add to the vehicle’s reputation.
Most of the Honda CR-Z criticism has been directed to its drive-train. In cognizant of this, Honda plans to feature a detuned 2.0 L VTEC, 4-cylinder engine which will produce more than 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This engine is similar to the one on the Type R.
We don’t have any information about its transmission as of this writing. However, if the engine will be adopted as it is from the Civic Type-R then the CR-Z engine will be paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. Maybe there will be an automatic transmission but as of now, there is no official communication about it.
It is not clear why Honda decided to replace the hybrid engine rather than modify it to offer more efficiency and power as is the norm with other automakers. Honda’s recent return to Formula One racing with a high-tech hybrid engine further adds to the peculiarity of this decision with CR-Z.
Price and release date
The model is still a long way from hitting the market, actually its production is yet to commence, so there are no official reports on its prices or release date. However, we expect Honda to debut the production model at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show with sales following shortly later.
Taking into consideration the significant improvements the vehicle is set to undergo, it might attract a MSRP price tag of between $25,000 and $30,000.