CR-ZCompact Renaissance Zero (Honda vehicle)
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Honda Motor Company (NYSE: HMC)(TYO: 7267), a Japan-based automaker, has launched an updated version of its CR-Z hybrid compact for the United States market.
The Japanese company has updated the Engine Control Unit and variable valve timing system of the CR-Z's 1.5-litre petrol powerplant, boosting power from 114 to 121PS.
The CR-Z looks so cool that loads of people have bought them regardless of all the green gubbins that's attached.
So I set the CR-Z against the Mini Cooper S, which, at a shade over pounds 18k, is just pounds 650 more expensive than the dual-fuel contender.
The first thing you notice about the CR-Z is just how different it looks.
If you're a nostalgia freak, that in itself might be enough to persuade you to part with your hard-earned cash, but it's most likely potential buyers will be taking the plunge because of the CR-Z's environmentally friendly credentials.
But in fairness, a car that aims to be green and clean isn't going to be winning too many performance plaudits and that's true for the CR-Z. In its favour, it offers a degree of versatility, which means you can choose how you drive it in terms of maximising performance or economy.
The CR-Z coupe is based on today''s hybrid Insight five-door hatchback, but it''s smaller, lighter and propelled by more powerful engines, allowing for strong performance without sacrificing the potential for economy.
But whereas the insight has a 1.3-liter two-valve per cylinder engine, the CR-Z's is a 1.5-liter, four-valve per cylinder car.
Not so the CR-Z. Its retro looks get more attention than a Lib Dem MP's expenses claim.
The CR-Z's wedge shape and blunt rear end are going to turn heads but it doesn't arrive in Scottish showrooms until June.