The Honda CR-Z sports hybrid has beaten off nine contenders to be crowned 2010-2011 Japanese Car of the Year. The Honda Insight narrowly lost out to Toyota's Prius in 2009 but this year the CR-Z’s mix of sportiness and fuel efficiency managed to convince the jurors. The 60-member award committee said the CR-Z was chosen beacause: "It proved that excellent fuel economy from the hybrid technology can co-exist with 'fun to drive'."Responding to the news, Honda's president and CEO Takanobu Ito said: “This award shows that the public has accepted Honda's aspiration to supply exceptional environmental performance in a fun-to-drive hybrid car at an affordable price, as well as Honda's desire to spread the joy of owning and driving a car.”POLO AND A PUGThe Suzuki Swift, Volkswagen Polo, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5 Series, Peugeot RCZ, Jaguar XJ, Nissan March, Mazda Premacy and Toyota Marx X were all nominated for the top prize. The Polo was voted as the Import Car of the Year; the Peugeot RCZ coupe was given a Special Award with the committee praising its balance between innovative design and driving fun.The CR-Z, which combines Honda’s 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and "motor assist" system was launched in South Africa in August, 2010. The sports hybrid was recently announced as a finalist in the 2011 South African Car of the Year contest.The winner will be announced in March, 2011.