Honda CR-Z Hybrid Now On Sale in Japan; Targeting 1,000 Units Per Month
27 February 2010
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has begun sales of the all-new CR-Z (“Compact Renaissance Zero”) hybrid (earlier post) in Japan on Friday, February 26, 2010. Honda is targeting monthly sales of 1,000 units of the new hybrid.
|1.5L i-VTEC Engine + Ultra-thin DC Brushless Motor (cut-away model). Click to enlarge.|
The CR-Z is Honda’s third hybrid currently in the market, along with the Civic Hybrid and new Insight. The CR-Z represents the sixth unique version of Honda’s original IMA technology since the launch of the 2000 Insight, the first hybrid vehicle available in North America in December 1999.
CR-Z combines a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine and Honda’s proprietary Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system with a 6-speed manual transmission—the first such on a hybrid. A CVT version features paddle shifters as standard equipment.
The CR-Z offers fuel economy of 25.0 km/L (59 mpg US, 4.0 L/100km) (CVT) and 22.5 km/L (53 mpg US, 4.4 L/100km) (MT) in 10•15 mode; and 22.8 km/L (54 mpg US, 4.4 L/100km) (CVT) and 20.6 km/L (48 mpg US, 4.9 L/100km) (MT) in JC08 mode.
CR-Z is the first model to feature Honda’s three-mode drive system, which enables the driver to choose SPORT, NORMAL or ECON modes depending on the driver’s driving style and/or driving situation such as in the city, on the freeway or on winding roads.
This could be a much lower cost approach to obtain major fuel savings, specially when coupled with higher efficiency e-storage unit.
Posted by: HarveyD | 27 February 2010 at 09:45 AM
That is a beautiful picture of the engine. I would prefer dual cam to eliminate the rocker arms, but I would say cost was a consideration.
It would be interesting to see what this would do with more batteries to capture more regenerative braking and use the motor more aggressively. Couple this with a dual clutch 6 speed automatic and they might have a winner in the U.S.
Posted by: SJC | 27 February 2010 at 09:56 AM
I'd say the rocker arms setup is just fine. Getting rid of them would only be important in a very high revving engine.
Posted by: Patrick | 27 February 2010 at 10:57 PM
As I recall, the real world (~EPA) mileage of this car is disappointing--something like 35mpg. And with only 122hp, it goes 0-60 in just under 10 seconds. Who is going to buy a 'sporty' car like this? It's neither fish nor fowl as far as I can see. Just buy a Fit and save a bundle.
The problem with Honda's IMA is that it needs another clutch between the motor and the engine to improve operational flexibility.
Posted by: Nick Lyons | 28 February 2010 at 12:42 AM
I'm waiting for them to use another 2 motors on the rear wheels to provide better electric performance and adaptive 4WD. It would bump the electric power up to 30kW and you would have to replace the NiMH with a more powerful battery or add supercaps.
Posted by: 3PeaceSweet | 28 February 2010 at 05:08 AM
I agree that would be good for high revs, but this is the point of hybrid, you have good low end from the motor so the engine can be set up to produce maximum horsepower up higher.
Either way they did not do this so it is a moot point. CVT is OK but does not really say "sporty" to me. I would still like to see around 2 kWh of NiMH batteries rather than the more common 1 kWh. With some reprogramming you might get better performance with about the same mileage.
Posted by: SJC | 28 February 2010 at 02:37 PM