Detroit Auto Show: Honda unveils world’s first hybrid sports car image

Honda has revealed its new CR-Z, billed as the world’s first hybrid sports car, here at the Detroit motor show. It’s powered by a modified version of the IMA system from the Insight, fitted with a larger 102bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 20bhp electric motor in an effort to boost performance.

The Japanese firm says the funky looking CR-Z 2+2 revives the spirit of the early-90s CRX and brings dynamic, fun-to-drive qualities that have never been offered before on hybrid vehicles. It also offers excellent economy with a claimed combined fuel consumption of 56.4mpg and 117g/km CO2 emissions.

“The CR-Z is a sport hybrid coupe for people with a spirit of adventure and an elevated sense of responsibility toward the environment,” said John Mendel, VP of sales for American Honda.

Three settings allow the driver to prime the powertrain for sporty or economical driving, while a performance-bias chassis set-up and relatively light kerbweight of 1198kg should ensure the CR-Z is reasonably nimble.

A European version of the hybrid coupe with more conservative styling is due to make its debut at the Geneva motor show in March; it will have to be appealing because Honda sources say prices will start from a not insubstantial £18,000.

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