Honda CR-Z Hybrid Ended in Failure Despite Updates and Enhancements - Dispatch Weekly

June 18, 2016 - Reading time: 2 minutes

Honda had good intentions in mind when it announced the CR-Z Hybrid in 2010 and subsequently announced updates and enhancements – the most recent being in 2015 – but none of these helped as the car has eventually be pulled from North America.

The new 2016 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid went on sale on November 3 with prices ranging from $20,295 for the CR-Z LX with 6-speed manual transmission (MT) to $25,090 for the new EX-L with standard navigation (CVT). The upgrades that were put into the 2016 CR-Z Hybrid included a punchy hybrid powerplant that produces up to an impressive 140 lb-ft of torque (MT), while offering EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 36/39/37 mpg city/highway/combined (CVT).

The standard features for the new 2016 CR-Z included Center console with armrest, Electric parking brake, Smart Entry and Push Button Start/Stop, and Display Audio. Some of the other features that are being offered for the CR-Z based on the trim you go for are Honda LaneWatch (EX and above), Heated leather seats (EX-L), and Display Audio with Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (EX-L).

The hybrid powertrain uses a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam (SOHC) engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system’s DC brushless electric motor. Powered by a 144-volt Lithium-Ion battery pack, the 15 kW electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy to recharge the battery pack. Combined peak output is 130 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 140 lb.-ft. of torque (127 lb.-ft. on CVT-equipped models), including electric-motor assist.

With the 2016 model, along with trim upgrades Honda tried to give the CR-Z a refreshed exterior look with a “one-motion” exterior wedge shape. This shape begins at its low-slung hood to form a broad forward stance, with its deeply inset beltline adding a dynamic element. However, even this refresh didn’t appeal to customers and the year 2016 has seen dismal sales so far.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.