Ask the true-blue Honda junkie to talk about God’s Own Chariot, and the description will probably sound something quite like the CR-X. Lightweight, quick as a weasel, cheap to run and repair, and more entertaining than a basket of drunk prairie dogs.
The Honda junkies in question have long lamented the passing of the CR-X as fervently as they have loathed its so-called “replacements”. The automaker may have been slow to respond, but something sweet is lurking on the horizon, and because CR-Y just sounds funny, Honda has decided to name it CR-Z.
Car Magazine was first to report the unveiling of the CR-Z concept, as well as break some details on the (hopefully) upcoming Honda coupe. A two-plus-two design, the car will be powered by a new IMA hybrid system, most probably a 1.6L (at least) gas engine making 170-180 bhp, paired with electric motors supplying at least 30 more horses to the wheels. While 200 hp in an old CR-X might have qualified it as a Death Rocket, these days it’s nothing much to brag about. Mid-range is where Honda’s hybrid system excels though, so expect considerable punch at cruising speeds where it’s most useful.
It’s also reported the drivetrain components will be broken up and distributed around the body, lowering center of gravity and overall balance. In short, it’s going to be a handler.
The car is smaller and lighter than the current Civic coupe, but we have to ponder the dismissal of Acura’s RSX primarily because of its relative placement and thus competition to the Civic. It just no longer made sense to Honda, so how will the Cr-Z play against the Civic Si? Car Magazine thinks the model’s primary competition when it’s brought to market in 2009 will be Volkswagen’s forthcoming three-door coupe, the Scirocco, and the Mercedes C-class coupe. Maybe, maybe not. However, we’re not going to get too critical of any decision to revive God’s Own Chariot. Cost is expected to be around $20,000. We cant wait!