Honda is getting into the early green car news coming from the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit with word today that its upcoming 2011 CR-Z sport hybrid coupe is making its U.S. production debut. The sporty hybrid will be set to go on sale through two different trim levels – the “well-equipped CR-Z and the feature-rich CR-Z EX” – in late summer of this year.
The CR-Z sport hybrid coupe, said Honda, “is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine with Honda’s compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system.” This system is said to be the sixth unique version of the IMA, with the base of the hybrid powertrain being “4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system’s DC brushless electric motor” that is 10-kilowatts. Peak horsepower output is 120 hp, and CVT equipped models are estimated to have fuel ratings of 36 city/38 highway miles per gallon. Manual six-speed transmissions get slightly less.
The car introduces a new three-mode drive system which includes an economy driving mode. It is activated via three backlit buttons to the left of the steering wheel. It also includes a variety of other features typical of this type of coupe, including a lower center of gravity, anti-lock brakes and a sleek design. The CR-Z as well offers an Eco Guide and Eco scoring feature to help drivers track progress of efficient driving styles.