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Honda CR-Z – Polish premiere
The new Honda CR-Z debuts on the market, the Polish presentation took place in Masuria. The body of the CR-Z model was created based on the concept of a “streamlined wedge”. The low line of the bonnet and the wide width of the body gave the car an athletic appearance. The elegant coupe design, with a rounded and carefully sculpted bodywork, takes into account the typical Honda design elements, such as the glazed, divided into two levels of the rear part of the body, or the aerodynamic roofline.
The maximum power and maximum torque of an engine-powered combustion unit are 124 hp and 174 Nm, respectively. The peak torque value – already available at 1500 rpm, i.e. in the area previously reserved exclusively for turbocharged engines – is the same as in the case of the Civic 1.8l, but the CO2 emission is 35 g / km ** lower. The emission of other exhaust components also remains very low, and after the end of the car’s life the nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in it can be recycled through Honda dealers.
For the first time, an efficient and ecological parallel hybrid system has been combined with a 6-speed manual gearbox that gives the driver great driving pleasure and allows him to fully engage in driving. The high flexibility of the Honda hybrid parallel system allows it to be combined with various gearboxes, not just CVT transmissions. The manual transmission cooperates with the debuting in Europe, the 1.5-liter, four-cylinder i-VTEC gasoline engine, which has largely decided about the character of the CR-Z model.
This powerful yet powerful unit is based on the engine mounted in some non-European versions of the Honda Jazz.
The mid-cylinder engine is eager to “enter the engine speed” and provides excellent performance thanks to the additional 78 Nm of torque delivered by the 14 hp electric motor, located between the combustion unit and the transmission. The electric unit increases the torque value in the low and medium speed range, thanks to which the CR-Z model has excellent flexibility, typical for vehicles with turbocharged engines.
To enhance driving pleasure in everyday conditions, the Honda CR-Z has a unique feature that gives the driver the choice of one of the three driving modes (3-Mode Drive System). Each of them assumes different settings of the throttle response, steering system, system startup time, stopping the internal combustion engine (auto stop), air conditioning and IMA system support level. Designed by Honda, the system allows you to choose between the most enjoyable ride, maximum economic driving or a compromising mode between the two previous options.
In the latest car models, the “sport” buttons are more and more often installed, by means of which the driver can change the characteristics of the throttle response from normal to more aggressive. The system of three Honda CR-Z driving modes, however, is something more – it changes not only the characteristics of the throttle, but also the operation of the hybrid drive system and steering. When traveling outside built-up areas, a driver who wants to feel real emotions behind the wheel can turn on the SPORT mode. The throttle response will then become more sharpened, the hybrid IMA system will take care of additional electric motor assist and the steering will work with greater resistance.
Honda is aware of the fact that even cars designed to deliver unforgettable experiences will be operated on a daily basis at high traffic, where fuel economy plays a greater role than sports performance. In such situations, the ECON mode will work, which through appropriate control of the drive-by-wire throttle, air conditioning and hybrid system will ensure the lowest possible combustion.
In situations where sport driving is not possible or desired, Eco Assist, in conjunction with the ECON mode, will allow the driver to beat personal low fuel burn records in a traffic jam. The NORMAL mode will be used in most traffic situations, ensuring an appropriate compromise between performance, the amount of fuel used and the level of emissions to the atmosphere.
The speedometer’s backlight plays the same role as in the Insight model, which helps the driver drive the car more economically and ecologically. In addition to the Eco Assist function, the indicator backlight in the CR-Z model is linked to the selected driving mode. In NORMAL and ECON mode, the speedometer is illuminated in blue and turns green during economical driving.
In addition, the green ecolour symbol lights up in ECON mode.
The speedometer illuminated in red means that the SPORT mode was activated in the Honda CR-Z.With a lot of attention was devoted to the design of the exhaust system, whose sound – completely unusual, for a compact hybrid car – encourages the driver to dynamic driving. Other components, such as engine mounts and soundproofing materials, have been designed to allow the driver to hear the sporting sounds of the exhaust system in the driver’s ear while other intrusive sounds have been suppressed.
The design of the body of the CR-Z model refers to the cult CR-X from the eighties of the last century, which was intended to be a small, but stylish and extremely economical means of transport. Features characteristic of the CR-X model, such as the glazed, divided into two levels, the rear part of the body, or the aerodynamic roofline, have been transferred to the new coupe and combined with harmoniously designed interior lines. The flat roofline and the sharply cut back CR-Z are typical for many Honda models, both modern and produced in the past.
This type of design allows you to overcome air resistance with minimal momentum disturbances, which contributes to lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The CR-Z headlamps are complemented by LED daytime running LEDs at the bottom of the front lights. Their unusual arrangement underlines the large width of the hybrid sports coupe. It is also worth noting that LEDs have never before been used in Honda’s headlamps.
The interior of the production version of the CR-Z, with a three-dimensional speedometer and a driver-friendly cockpit, was created on the basis of the CR-Z Concept project, presented in 2007 at the Tokyo Motor Show. All the most-used functions of the advanced instrument panel are located within the driver’s reach, allowing full focus on driving in all conditions. The new coupé is a two-level construction, the dark upper section seems to “float” over the bottom, light gray part, going up to the center of internal door panels.
The standard equipment of all versions of the Honda CR-Z is a set of six airbags, VSA stability control system, Hill Start Assist for easy off-hilling and active headrests. All CR-Z models will also receive automatic air conditioning, a CD player and a “start” engine start button. Models in the middle and upper equipment versions will additionally have an iPod® USB input, buttons for controlling the steering wheel audio system, heated front seats and aluminum pedal pads.
The richest version will also include elements such as the Bluetooth® hands-free phone interface, cruise control, HID lights and a high power (360W) audio system with a woofer mounted in the boot. Owners of the highest equipment version will also be able to choose an optional package, which consists of a panoramic glass roof and leather upholstery. The Honda CR-Z in the European specification has a 2 + 2 seat system. Two small adults or two children can travel a short distance on the back seat.
If necessary, the rear seats can be folded in one move – it will create a flat surface with a surprisingly large (compared to the C segment hatchback cars) a 382 liter capacity.
Under the boot floor there is also a 19-liter storage space where you can hide additional items.
The CR-Z model was designed to provide the driver with driving pleasure, which is why the configuration of the chassis plays a big role in shaping the character of the vehicle. Some components of the floor panel have been borrowed from the Jazz and Insight models, but the wheelbase, wheelbase and individual settings are typical only for the new model.
Compared to the family, 5-door and 5-seat Honda Insight, the CR-Z has 115 mm shorter wheelbase and its body is shorter by 310 mm, which contributes to improving maneuverability and reducing its own weight by 57 kilograms. In addition, the performance characteristics of the springs and shock absorbers in the CR-Z suspension have been configured differently, taking into account the individual characteristics of the compact coupe.
One of the most important changes was the use of the front suspension wishbones with forged aluminum elements instead of the pressed steel elements used in the Insight model. All this allowed to reduce the weight of each set by 2 kilograms, as well as increase the strength in the face of a larger track width and wider tires.