2008 Honda CR-Z Concept Car – Chicago Auto Show

The Honda CR-Z (Compact Renaissance Zero) is a gasoline-electric hybrid automobile developed and produced by Honda. The CR-Z was first introduced as a concept car by Honda CEO Takeo Fukui on October 23, 2007 at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. Fukui further announced that a production model is “in the works” and that the car is intended to be “sporty, incredibly efficient and inexpensive”. Aside from the fact that it will use Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist system, the specifications of CR-Z’s drive train are unknown.

The four-seat CR-Z is regarded as the spiritual successor to the second generation Honda CR-X in both name and design. The CR-Z will feature 19-inch wheels, lightweight seats, and blue neon-lit gauges.

According to Automotive News Europe, Honda plans to roll out the production CR-Z in 2009 or 2010, first in Europe before expanding production and distribution to the rest of the world. The CR-Z is expected to cost approximately €25,000 (with higher-trim models retailing up to €28k) and be primarily geared towards the European market. Because of the vehicle’s importance on that continent, Mark Turner of Honda UK says that Europe will have a great deal of influence on the final design of the vehicle.

More news from the front lines of Honda’s hybrid offensive. Honda CEO Takeo Fukui revealed in January that a production hybrid based on the CR-Z Concept shown in Tokyo last year was on its way. Looks like Europeans will be the first to partake of the spiritual successor to the much missed CR-X when it goes on sale there first around the end of the decade.

The original CR-X was a small, lightweight hatchback that by virtue of its size was a fun car despite its small, efficient engine. Likewise, we expect the production CR-Z coupe to be small, fun and efficient, but this time utilize Honda’s updated Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system to make it happen.

Honda UK manager of product planning Mark Turner told Automotive News Europe that the production CR-Z hybrid would be priced around €25,000, with a high-end model cresting €28,000. Since Europe will be the car’s most important market, Honda UK will have a voice in the car’s development, including its design.

Engineering for the car is also being carried out at Honda’s R&D facility in Germany. Turner added that a gasoline version of the CR-Z would be considered if there were demand for it. The CR-Z will join Honda’s upcoming ground-up global hybrid, as well as a new Civic Hybrid, in late 2009 or early 2010. If Honda hopes to sell half a million hybrids by 2011 like it claims, expect all three to also be available in the United States.

2008 Detroit Auto Show: Honda CR-Z Hybrid and FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle Introduced – COMPLETE VIDEO
PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Honda CR-Z Hybrid Concept

DETROIT – January 13, 2008: The Honda CR-Z, a lightweight sports hybrid concept vehicle, and the FCX Clarity, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle set to begin limited retail marketing in summer 2008, are bringing some of the most advanced environmental technologies from Honda to the 2008 North American International Auto Show.

Making its North American debut, the CR-Z is a next-generation lightweight sports car concept equipped with Honda’s original gas-electric hybrid system that achieves both clean performance and a high level of torque.

The CR-Z stands for “Compact Renaissance Zero” – an expression intended to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars that begins anew from fundamentals. The design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver elevated driving performance while reducing the vehicle’s environmental footprint.

Designed to be futuristic and dynamic, the CR-Z combines powerful performance in a compact form with a futuristic image. For its frontal view, an over-sized grill with a high-performance look is offset by openings on each side that lighten the overall feel. In the rear, tube-shaped rear combination lamps create a powerful presence.

Design details emphasizing the CR-Z’s advanced image include door mirrors that provide high visibility in a stylish form, LED headlights that convey a sharp impression, and jaunty fin-shaped sub-lights. Large 19-inch wheels suggest dynamic driving performance.

The key words for the CR-Z’s interior design are “Hi-tech and Sporty.” The goal was to create an all-new sporty interior that fuses the liberating feel of airy spaciousness with an advanced interface that brings out the fun of driving. Mesh material on a simple framework construction is used throughout the interior to convey a light, sophisticated image.

In the cockpit, the meter unit conveys the image of advanced technology ensconced in a piece of glass artwork, offering quick recognition and a futuristic and exhilarating appearance. The CR-Z concept vehicle made its world debut at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in November and indicates the styling direction for a second, new hybrid vehicle to be introduced by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. The other future hybrid vehicle, designed to meet the needs of a family and priced below the Civic Hybrid, is planned for introduction in 2009.

Scribbled on June 20th 2008 in Honda, Honda CR-Z
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