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New Type R hot hatch from Honda

2010-02-19 07:40
Honda’s forthcoming CR-Z hybrid is a bit of a panacea - environmentally friendly pseudo-hot hatch motoring, yet not really encapsulating the dynamic heritage which made its CRX predecessor such a revered hot hatch.

Fear not though, as engineers are currently tooling up to produce a Type R version of the CR-Z hybrid, shown in production trim at the Detroit auto show last month.

Bigger battery, better numbers

Enthusiasts will still only be offered a hybrid drivetrain option in Type R specification, boosted by a slightly more powerful version of the 1.5l in-line four-cylinder petrol engine augmented by a larger electric motor.

Expect a power surge of around 24kW, to a new peak of 125kW – which should offer entirely decent performance.

Beyond the increase in performance from the hybrid drivetrain, expect Honda’s engineers to lower the CR-Z’s ride height in Type R trim.

Add in more rebound resistant dampers (countering body-roll) and larger brakes (for scrubbing off speed courtesy of the increased performance on offer) and you can see the CR-Z Type R fully justifying its CRX traceable lineage.

Mellow looker

From a styling perspective the Type R should ride on larger wheels (17- or 18-inches) and feature grippy, high-resistance, rubber instead of typical low-resistance hybrid economy biased tyres.

Honda is expected to keep the CR-Z Type R bodykit quite subtle, with a simple black-and-white contrasting colour scheme being the only noticeable change over the stock CR-Z.

The Type R CR-Z is expected to reach the Japanese market towards the end of this year, before being rolled out in other global regions throughout 2011.

South Africans can expect to have option on the stock CR-Z towards the second half of this year.


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