The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe made its U.S. production debut at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit today. CR-Z maintains the sleek styling of previous concept versions, while bring what Honda calls sporty handling to the hybrid segment.
Due in dealer showrooms during the late summer in the U.S., the CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine with Honda’s compact Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid-electric system. The two-passenger CR-Z introduces a new three-mode drive system that allows the driver to select between Sport, Econ (Economy) and Normal driving modes.
“CR-Z is the first hybrid designed to maximize style and fun, in addition to efficiency and economy,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda.
CR-Z is the sixth unique version of Honda’s original IMA technology since the launch of the 2000 Insight in December 1999, the first hybrid vehicle available in North America.
CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain is a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system’s DC brushless electric motor.
The i-VTEC system controls the opening and closing of one intake valve per cylinder to enhance combustion at low RPMs. The 10-kilowatt electric motor assists in acceleration and acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that recharges the 100-volt IMA nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gasoline engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops to improve efficiency.