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Frankfurt show: Honda outs updated CR-Z

Not coming: With a hearty $38,490 asking price, the CR-Z's days were numbered in Australia and the facelifted version is a non-starter for this market.

Mid-life refresh for Honda's hybrid hatch but no plans for Australian CR-Z return

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Honda logo31 Aug 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER

HONDA has invigorated its sporty CR-Z hybrid three-door, which was dropped from the Australian line-up in January, but there are no plans for the baby coupe to make a comeback Down Under.

Along with the CR-Z, the Japanese car-maker also dropped hybrid versions of the Civic sedan and Jazz hatch – a move it said was to prepare the ground for a new wave of Hybrid Sport vehicles under the Earth Dreams Technology umbrella.

Honda Australia public relations manager Melissa Cross told GoAuto the company's strategy was going ahead as planned.

“There is no change to our strategy regards our previous generation of hybrids, that included CR-Z,” she said.

“We ran them out recently in order to bring in our next-generation of powertrains, which include the Accord Sport Hybrid and the upcoming NSX.”

The refreshed CR-Z will make its first public appearance at the Frankfurt motor show in two weeks, where it will show off a revised exterior, tweaked chassis and a minor cabin rethink.

At the front end the CR-Z's nose features a larger more pronounced grille and larger side vents, while its headlights are framed by new LED daytime running lights.

For the rear end, Honda has limited the new look to the bumper with a more continuous sweeping line, while the flanks of the car get a new style side-skirt and redesigned alloy wheels.

The rear wheels and tyres are now wider, complementing a chassis alteration which involves new springs and damper rates, along with a brake upgrade.

Inside, the cabin has a more modern electric handbrake in place of the traditional lever type, its start button has a new look and the sound system has been beefed up.

Customers who want to minimise the chances of being mistaken as the owner of a previous model CR-Z can opt to have theirs painted in Velvet Purple Pearl, which is new to the 2016 car.

Underneath, its powertrain is unchanged, with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder still backed up by an electric motor to produce a combined output of 100kW and 190Nm of torque.

Also on hold for Australia at this stage is the freshly revealed HR-V-based BR-V which will be offered initially for the Indonesian market but could spread to other emerging markets in time.

That car was revealed at the Gaikindo Indonesia International Auto Show in Jakarta, which runs from August 20.

Honda's BR-Z never gathered a substantial following Down Under, with stiff competition from the likes of non-hybrid small coupes such as the popular Hyundai Veloster and Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins.

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