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Power up but efficiency down for revised Honda CR-Z

Style upgrade: Honda’s 2013 CR-Z gets a slight makeover with an updated front bumper and grille and restyled tail-lights.

Honda’s sporty CR-Z hybrid gets power boost but also a higher price of entry

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4 Apr 2013

HONDA’S facelifted CR-Z hybrid coupe has landed in Australia with more power, but a subsequent slight increase in fuel consumption over the previous version.

The price of entry is also higher, jumping to $38,490 plus on-road costs compared to the now discontinued $34,990 Sport version of its predecessor.

In six-speed manual guise, combined power for the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system increases from 91kW to 100kW with torque up from 174Nm to 190Nm. The CVT version is up to 99kW/172Nm – 5Nm more than before.

But the boost in hybrid power has also seen an increase in fuel consumption with the manual CR-Z sipping 5.3 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle, up from 5.0L/100km, while the CVT is up by 0.3L/100km to 5.0L/100km.

The 1.5-litre four-cylinder powertrain is carried over from the original CR-Z, but Honda has replaced the nickel-metal hydride battery with a lighter and more powerful lithium-ion unit that has assisted with the increase in power.

Previously available for $34,990 in entry-level Sport guise and $40,790 for the Luxury model, the 2013 CR-Z is now available in one specification only, priced at $38,490 for the manual and $40,790 for the CVT.

As previously reported, Honda has upped the sporting credentials of the CR-Z by adding a Plus Sport (S+) button that gives the driver the option of a surge in acceleration for up to 10 seconds.

This can only be achieved if the battery is over 50 per cent charged and can be engaged while in economy, normal or sport driving mode.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the updates to the CR-Z will appeal to sports car buyers.

“With a new look, a host of new features and more power, the CR-Z is a great proposition for our customers,” he said.

Subtle styling updates to the CR-Z include a redesigned front bumper and grille and blue accents added to the LED tail-lights.

The cabin gets white stitching and new LED lights and Honda has added two new exterior colours – Northern Lights Violet and Polished Metal.

A Honda spokesperson said that the specification levels of the 2013 CR-Z were more closely aligned with the outgoing Luxury variant than the Sport.

Standard equipment on the CR-Z includes heated and retractable external mirrors, panoramic glass roof, heated leather seats, sat-nav, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry, a reversing camera and 17-inch alloy wheels.

After solid initial interest following its release in November 2011, CR-Z sales have slowed to a trickle in the first three months of this year, shifting just 11 units, down 88.4 per cent on the same period last year.

The budget sports coupe market in which the CR-Z competes has gained a host of popular new members lately, including the (cheaper) Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ and Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo.

2013 Honda CR-Z pricing*
CR-Z$38,490
CR-Z (a)$40,790
*Plus on-road costs

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