Posts Tagged ‘CR-Z’
Mugen promises “Type R-like” performance from hotted-up Honda CR-Z
Not to be a total buzzkill, but before we tell you about Mugen and its plans to create a hotter Honda CR-Z hatchback, there’s one little line in the automaker’s press release that needs to be noted in italicized type:
At this stage, the CR-Z Mugen is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version.
Honda may call its 2011 CR-Z a “sport hybrid,” but ever since our first time behind the wheel, we’ve felt more than a little disappointed. It’s an enjoyable enough steer, but remains in dire need of some more oomph, and even with the automaker’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system on board, the resulting fuel economy isn’t as great as one might expect for a car of its size and utility.
Honda tuning house Mugen Euro is set to rectify the need for a CR-Z with more spice – in concept form, anyway – with a hotted-up hatch that will debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July. Mugen will offer enhancements for the CR-Z’s 1.5-liter engine and IMA system to boost both horsepower and torque – creating “Type R-like performance” – while new brakes and suspension geometry will better communicate the added power to the driver. Mugen even says that these changes could result in improved fuel economy, though no official statistics have been divulged as of this writing.
So what if there aren’t any plans for production (just yet). At least we know Honda has heard our cries. Follow the jump for the full press blast.
Live images copyright ©2011 Steven J. Ewing / AOL
[Source: Mugen Euro]
MUGEN EURO to build high-performance Honda CR-Z
MUGEN Euro is developing a highly-tuned version of Honda’s CR-Z, which will deliver “Type R-like” performance from the hybrid’s petrol-electric powertrain – and may offer even better fuel economy.
This faster, more powerful car will make its world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July.
The CR-Z MUGEN will feature enhancements to both the 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the Honda IMA system to boost power and torque, while bespoke brakes and suspension will be fitted to improve the chassis dynamics.
The major engine changes, and those made to exhaust and induction, may even result in greater mpg and lower CO2 emissions during some conditions. However, at this early development stage, final power, torque and fuel economy figures are not yet known.
Lightweight components, including a carbon fibre bonnet, will be employed to lower the overall weight, and the car will use MUGEN alloy wheels to reduce unsprung mass.
To improve aerodynamics and give the car an even more sporting look, MUGEN body parts will be added, including front and rear bumpers, and a spoiler.
“We wanted to extend the performance of the CR-Z,” says Hiro Toyoda of MUGEN Euro. “It is already a fun car to drive, with an excellent chassis, but we thought that with more power and enhanced torque delivery it could be even more exciting. However, as with all MUGEN projects, we have stayed true to the Honda design and philosophy, and the electric motor is still a vital ingredient to boost performance and economy.”
The CR-Z MUGEN is a joint project between Honda (UK) and MUGEN Euro – the Northampton-based subsidiary of Honda’s long standing tuning partner MUGEN. In 2009, MUGEN Euro produced the Civic Type R MUGEN, an extreme, 240PS version of Honda popular hot hatch.
“This will be one quick hybrid,” says Martin Moll, Head of Marketing for Honda (UK). “With more torque, more power and MUGEN’s experience of working with Honda cars, we’re expecting great things. It promises to show how hybrid cars can be even more exciting to drive.”
At this stage, the CR-Z MUGEN is being developed purely as a one-off prototype, with no plans for a production version.
Honda CR-Z gets the K-Series engine it was meant to have
It was only a matter of time before some inventive soul set about curing what ails the 2011 Honda CR-Z; namely, the anemic hybrid drivetrain. It looks like the crew at LHT Performance have gutted the electrified bits and swapped in an honest all-star from the Honda stable – the K20. If you recall, these guys were among some of the first to pull a similar stunt with the first-generation Honda Insight. According to LHT, their creation is the first successful K-Series CR-Z swap to have every vehicle system work as it should, including power steering, air-conditioning and cruise control, along with stability control and the vehicle’s anti-lock brake system.
Well, nearly every vehicle system. The integrated motor assist didn’t quite survive the transplant, but something tells us we won’t be hearing any sobs over that loss. Right now, the shop has only served up a quick video, and there’s no footage of the car actually tearing up the street or a track, but we’re told more photos are on the way soon. Now, would you rather have this beast or the much rumored 1.6-literturbocharged CR-Z that Honda is supposedly cooking up? Hit the jump to check it out and decide for yourself. Thanks for the tip, Steven.
Honda CR-Z Convertible available… as a diecast model
Are you clamoring for a droptop version of the Honda CR-Z hybrid? We didn’t think so. But even so, just because Honda won’t build you one (though that hasn’t been ruled out completely) doesn’t mean you can’t get your kicks elsewhere.
The gang at Farm of Minds has stumbled upon this diecast model of a CR-Z convertible, giving us a glimpse at what an open-top version of Honda’s two-seat hybrid could look like. It certainly isn’t the prettiest of scale models, and we dread to think about what the cabrio’s rear end looks like with the roof (and hatch) lopped off, but it might be enough to stave off your hybrid/coupe/convertible pangs.
Gallery photos copyright ©2010 Steven J. Ewing / AOL
Honda CR-Z wins 2010 Japan Car of the Year
For the past 31 years, Japan has selected a Car of the Year award recipient. Over 60 jurors, composed mainly of Japanese journalists, vote on a vehicle worthy of the Car of the Year title, and the auto that receives the most nods drives away with the crown. Last year, that honor went to the redesigned Toyota Prius hybrid, which narrowly edged out the Honda Insight. This year, however, Honda took top honors with its all-new 2011 CR-Z.
Car of the Year jurors praised the CR-Z because of its ability to balance driving pleasure and fuel economy. Jurors also noted that Honda managed to wrap all that high-tech gadgetry inside a unique body design. Upon receiving the award, Honda’s president and CEO, Takanobu Ito, stated:
We are very proud that the CR-Z has been selected from the strong contenders of new models as the Car of the Year Japan 2010-2011. 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. We also believe that this award for the CR-Z reflects the true value of the combined efforts of our business partners and the many others who supported CR-Z development and production. Going forward, Honda intends to bring more joy to an even larger number of customers.
Here in North America, the Honda CR-Z didn’t make the cut for the NACTOY short list, but we commend the automaker on its ability to make a huge splash in its home market.
Honda Marks a Decade of Environmental Leadership with Fifth Consecutive “Greenest Automaker” Award from Union of Concerned Scientists
Honda has been named America’s “Greenest Automaker” for the fifth consecutive time by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The award is earned by the company with the lowest combined score of its smog-forming and greenhouse gas emissions (primarily CO2) in its U.S. automobile fleet.
Honda has led the UCS rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since the first UCS study in 2000, marking a decade of Honda leadership in reduced vehicle emissions. Honda earned the recognition this year with an industry-best score based on model year 2008 data, the latest available for analysis.
“As with the past four awards, we accept this fifth honor as both recognition of our success and a challenge for the future,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “We continue to accelerate our efforts to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions that contribute to global climate change.”
“Honda’s decade-long claim to the Greenest Automaker title has set a high bar for the industry,” said Jim Kliesch, a senior engineer with the Union of Concerned Scientists. “The companies that do best in our analysis continually strive not only to sell the greenest vehicles, but also to green their best-sellers.”
Honda’s efforts to improve fuel efficiency have resulted in a 1 mpg gain in the company’s U.S. corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) for model year 2009, up 3.3% over the previous model year to 31.3 mpg, and 9.8% above the MY2009 industry average of 28.8 mpg, as determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Since MY2005, Honda’s CAFE has increased 7.2%, outpacing the company’s voluntary goal, established in May 2006, to achieve a 5% gain in CAFE over 2005 levels by 2010.
More recently, Honda has taken a number of important steps in advancing the fuel economy and emissions performance of its U.S. automobile fleet. This includes the introduction of the Insight as the world’s most affordable hybrid car and the CR-Z as the world’s first production sport hybrid coupe. Further, the all-new 2011 Odyssey minivan and redesigned 2011 Accord made significant gains in fuel economy through the use of more efficient low-friction engines and improved vehicle aerodynamics.
Honda also continues its leadership in the area of alternative-fuel vehicles. Retail sales of its natural gas-powered Civic GX Sedan were recently expanded to dealers in Oklahoma and Utah, in addition to California and New York. Honda’s FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, currently leased to a limited number of customers in Southern California, is arguably the world’s most advanced zero-emissions automobile with zero tailpipe emissions and fuel efficiency three times that of a comparable, gasoline-powered automobile.
Additionally, in July 2010, the company announced plans to introduce a battery-electric commuter-sized vehicle and plug-in hybrid technology for mid-size and larger vehicles in the U.S., both beginning in 2012. These market initiatives will be preceded by U.S. demonstration programs beginning in 2010 and continuing in 2011 with Stanford University, Google Inc., and the City of Torrance, California.
Honda is also developing its own infrastructure solutions to the alternative-fuel vehicle equation. To address the opportunity for zero-emissions commuting in a fuel cell electric vehicle, in January of this year Honda began operating a next-generation solar-powered hydrogen production and refueling station on its Los Angeles R&D campus. The station uses power derived from Honda-developed and -manufactured thin-film solar cells to provide fuel for daily commuting in a carbon-free energy cycle.
About the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is the leading science-based non-profit organization working for a healthier environment and a safer world. UCS conducts an analysis of major U.S. automakers every two years. This year’s report analyzes fuel economy and emissions certification standards of each company’s car and light truck fleet to determine its overall contribution of smog-forming and heat trapping emissions. Honda also topped the rankings in the 2007, 2004, 2002 and 2000 UCS reports.
About American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda’s first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. production of motorcycles in 1979 and automobiles in 1982. With nine U.S. plants, Honda has invested more than $12.7 billion in its U.S. operations. The company employs nearly 25,000 associates and annually purchases $12 billion in parts and materials from more than 530 U.S. suppliers. Honda vehicles are manufactured using domestic and globally-sourced parts.