The front-wheel-drive, 2-seat hatchback features aggressive exterior styling that makes it look fast, even at a stand-still.
The engine is the heart of the CR-Z, and power comes from a 130-hp, 1.5L inline-4 cylinder. The unit boasts 16 valves and Honda's proven i-VTEC variable timing. Mated to the gas engine through Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) is an electric motor that develops an additional 13 hp. A lithium-ion battery pack mounted low in the car provides an optimal center of gravity and provides the electric motor with enough fuel to make great low-end torque for spirited acceleration.
The CR-Z comes with either a 6-speed manual transmission--the first hybrid vehicle to do so --or with a constantly variable transmission (CVT).
The CR-Z allows drivers to choose one of three driving modes: Normal, Sport and Econ. The different settings change the car's engine mapping and throttle response. Sport maximizes engine performance while Econ maximizes efficiency. Like the Insight, the CR-Z display provides an Eco Guide and Eco Score for each drive, which can help "teach" the driver to achieve the best possible fuel economy.
The CR-Z is an agile, stable handler with superior ride quality, thanks not only to its low center of gravity, but also because of its wide stance, low height and its specially tuned independent front and torsion-beam rear suspension.
Two CR-Z trims are offered, and amenities set them apart. The base trim includes LED brake lights, tinted glass and power mirrors, windows and locks. Inside there's an ergonomic and highly functional interior like no other, with automatic climate control, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, a 12V outlet, silver mesh sport seats and a 160-watt CD stereo with MP3 capability, a USB interface, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a rearview camera and speed-sensitive volume control.
The CR-Z EX adds LED daytime running lights, HID headlights, fog lights, heated side mirrors, a leather-clad steering wheel and shift knob and polished metal accents with aluminum pedals. The EX also comes with ambient lighting and a 360-watt, 7-speaker premium stereo.
Navigation is optional on the EX and comes with voice recognition, text messaging functionality, steering wheel-mounted audio, cruise and navigation controls, and Pandora Internet radio compatibility.
Advanced safety features are a given in the CR-Z -- front and side airbags are standard, as are active head restraints, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, stability and traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system.