2011 Honda CR-Z: Overview

"Green Performance for a New Generation"

6/18/2010 7:05:00 PM


2011 Honda CR-Z EX

Overview

Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient "green" performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment. A 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine works with Honda's unique, compact and lightweight Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system to supply both power and efficiency to the CR-Z. A sport-focused six-speed manual transmission is a first for any hybrid. An automatic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available and includes steering wheel paddle shifters for manual-like gear-ratio control. A new, exclusive 3-mode drive system allows the driver to configure the vehicle's responsiveness for Sport, Normal or Econ (Economy) driving modes. Driver efficiency tools include Eco Assist and Eco Scoring, which together can help drivers find improvements to efficient driving styles while also comparing economy achievements to previous trips and over the life of the vehicle.

CR-Z Highlights

  • All-new, two-passenger sport hybrid coupe with stylish and aggressive exterior
  • Gasoline-electric hybrid with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) technology
  • Driver-focused cockpit design with sport seats and 3-D instrumentation
  • New 3-mode drive system tailors throttle response, steering and IMA assistance to the driver's preference
  • Performance-engineered suspension design
  • Standard safety features: Front, side and side-curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure

The exterior's "one-motion wedge" body form generates an aerodynamic, sporty style with a low hood and an aggressively wide stance. A lightweight, rigid platform and a chassis with a wide track, short wheelbase and performance-oriented suspension components include aluminum front lower control arms to elevate the vehicle's handling dynamics. The interior concept is fashioned around a high-tech coupe style and uses premium-quality materials, while also providing useful space for storage of everyday items.

Contributing to the fun-to-drive feel, the instrument panel's 3-D meter design with its colortransitioning outer ring harmonizes with the hybrid technology by changing from green (efficient) to blue (less efficient) as part of the Eco Assist system, or remaining solid red while in Sport mode.

The "3-mode" hybrid drive system allows for more individualized vehicle performance preferences with Sport, Normal and Econ modes. In Sport Mode capabilities include increasing the IMA power delivery curve at lower RPM and electronically recalibrating steering effort for an enhanced performance feel. Sport mode best represents the dynamically sporty aspect of driving the CR-Z. Alternatively and for increased efficiency, the Econ mode can work with the driver to "smooth" throttle inputs, reduce the air conditioning system's impact on fuel consumption and potentially activate idle stop sooner when coming to a stop, which is particularly beneficial during stop-and-go city driving. Normal mode provides a balance between Sport and Econ modes, and is a good option for any driving situation. Overall, the CR-Z is designed to encourage elevated efficiency while also providing agile and engaging performance previously unavailable in a hybrid vehicle.

Key Specifications

  • 1.5-liter SOHC 16-valve i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 10-Kilowatt IMA
    • 122 horsepower @ 6000 RPM (combined engine + IMA)
    • 128 lb-ft. of torque @ 1,000 - 1,750 RPM (MT), or 123 lb-ft. @ 1,000 - 2,000 RPM for (CVT), (combined engine + IMA)
    • AT-PZEV CARB Emissions Rating
    • EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy, CVT (City/Highway/Combined): 35/39/37 miles per gallon1
    • EPA-Estimated Fuel Economy, MT (City/Highway/Combined): 31/37/34 miles per gallon1
  • Front MacPherson strut suspension with aluminum control arms, rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension with trailing arms
  • Overall Vehicle Length x Width x Height (in): 160.6 x 68.5 x 54.9 (including antenna)
  • Wheelbase (in.): 95.8
  • Track, Front / Rear (in.): 59.6 / 59.1
  • Weight (lbs.): 2,637 (base MT) to 2,707 (EX CVT with Navi)

Exterior Styling

Honda designers envisioned the CR-Z as a highly personal coupe that symbolizes a new era of style that is sporty yet environmental at the same time. The one-motion wedge form, compact dimensions, light-weight construction and aerodynamic design help to improve performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The progressively raked roofline and sharply truncated tail of the CR-Z is a feature shared with many Hondas past and present, including the CRX, first-generation Insight and the FCX Clarity. All of these cars have been designed to cut through the air with minimal disturbance, reducing aerodynamic drag to increase efficiency.

1 Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

Interior Styling and Features

The interior of the CR-Z has been influenced by the cabin of the Tokyo Motor Show CR-Z Concept, especially the three-dimensional meter layout and driver-focused cabin. The high-tech instrument panel places many of the commonly used controls close to the driver's hands, allowing for full concentration on driving. The dashboard of the new coupe takes on a complex and immersive form, with a dark upper portion appearing to float above a matte gray lower dash section, which is continued into the center of the inner door panels. All models receive automatic climate control, six-speaker audio system with compact disc player, USB input for iPod®, power windows and locks, and keyless entry. The CR-Z EX adds a 360-watt high-power audio system that includes a subwoofer, steering wheel-integrated audio controls, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink, alloy pedals and more. The Honda Satellite-linked Navigation System with Voice Activation and 6.5-inch screen is available on the CR-Z EX. Different from CR-Zs in Europe and Asia, the North American model is exclusively equipped with a rear cargo console directly behind the seats. The hidden storage area can accommodate small items such as briefcases, laptops or duffle bags.

Powertrain

The CR-Z represents the sixth unique version of Honda's original IMA technology since the launch of the 2000 Insight - the first hybrid vehicle available in North America. The foundation of the CR-Z's hybrid powertrain is a 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam engine with "intelligent" Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the IMA system's 10- kilowatt DC brushless electric motor. The i-VTEC system controls the opening and closing of one intake valve per cylinder to enhance combustion at low RPM. The electric motor assists in acceleration and also acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that can recharge the 100.8-volt IMA nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gasoline engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops (idle stop) to improve efficiency.

The system delivers a combined peak output of 122 horsepower2 at 6,000 RPM and 128 lb-ft. of torque2 at 1,000 to 1,750 RPM (123 lb-ft at 1,000 to 2,000 on CVT-equipped models). EPAestimated fuel economy is 35/39/37 city/highway/combined miles per gallon3 on CVT-equipped models. Manual-transmission models achieve an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 31/37/34 city/highway/combined miles per gallon3.

When compared to the 250-plus nameplates of all currently available 2010 model-year automobiles in the U.S. (the most-recent data available at the time of printing), the 2011 CR-Z's combined EPA fuel economy rating of 37 mpg for the CVT-equipped version would place it among the top five of all models.

Plus, with the addition of the CR-Z to the lineup, Honda offers three of the top five highest-rated vehicles for combined EPA fuel economy currently available as either a 2010 or 2011 model.

Honda models within the top five for best combined fuel economy using the most currently available 2010 or 2011 data from the EPA are the Civic Hybrid, Insight and, now, CR-Z.

# Model EPA Combined Fuel Economy (MPG)
1 2010 Toyota Prius 50
2 2010 Honda Civic Hybrid 42
3 2010 Honda Insight 41
4 2010 Ford Fusion / Mercury Milan 39
5 2011 Honda CR-Z (CVT) 37
6 2010 smart fortwo 36

The CR-Z is rated as an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) in states that adhere to California Air Resource Board (CARB) ZEV standards (EPA Tier 2, Bin 2 in all states). The CR-Z uses regular unleaded fuel.

The standard six-speed manual transmission is engineered for optimal acceleration performance in gears one through five and for optimal fuel economy in sixth gear. The available CVT provides the convenience of an automatic transmission with a seamless transition between minimum and maximum ratios, while also keeping the engine within an optimal RPM range for overall efficiency. To increase the performance potential of the CVT, paddle shifters located on the steering wheel allow the driver to simulate a stepped holding pattern like a manual transmission (seven increments total).

3-Mode Drive System with Eco Assist

The CR-Z's 3-mode drive system allows the driver to select between individual modes of performance for Sport, Normal and Economy driving styles. The system is activated via three backlit buttons to the left of the steering wheel. The Sport mode enhances multiple vehicle systems for performance including the engine throttle responsiveness, electric power steering effort, the power delivery curve for the electric motor power assist and the CVT (available) ratio control. The inner ring of the tachometer illuminates red when the vehicle is in Sport mode. During Econ mode operation, the engine's responsiveness is tuned for optimal economy, the electric motor assist gives priority to fuel efficiency and the air conditioning system can reduce its overall load on the engine. The inner ring of the tachometer transitions between blue and green when the vehicle is in Econ mode, with the green representing more efficient driving. Normal mode provides standard settings for steering, engine response, motor assist and air conditioning. Similar to Econ mode, the tachometer ring transitions between blue and green when the vehicle is in normal mode, with the green representing more efficient driving. Like the Honda Insight, the CR-Z offers an Eco Guide and Eco Scoring feature to help drivers track progress of efficient driving styles.

Chassis

With a low center of gravity and a wide track, the front MacPherson strut suspension and rear H-shaped torsion beam suspension settings are tuned to provide a sporty, solid and dynamic driving experience. All models are equipped with 16x6-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 195/55 R16 86V tires. Accessory 17x7-inch aluminum alloy wheels with 205/45 R17 84V tires are available as a dealer-installed accessory. The standard anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD) uses ventilated front discs and solid rear discs. The low vehicle height and placement of the battery and other hybrid components beneath the rear cargo area further contribute to a low center of gravity for responsive, sporty handling. Electric Power-assisted rack-and-pinion Steering (EPS) improves overall vehicle efficiency compared to a conventional hydraulic power steering system and is tuned in the CR-Z for a firm driving feel and communicative steering feedback - even more when Sport mode is selected. New EPS programming algorithms being introduced on the CR-Z add a new dimension of feedback control (in all modes) that can optimally match the assist and self-aligning forces related to the driver's input with the vehicle's path through a corner. When starting on steep inclines from a stop in manual transmission-equipped CR-Zs, hill start assist temporarily minimizes the potential for the vehicle to roll backwards during the moment between releasing the brake, depressing the throttle and releasing the clutch (braking force tapers off after a duration of approximately 1 second).

Safety Technology

In addition to having a low environmental impact, the CR-Z demonstrates the Honda commitment to safety in the vehicle's design and construction. The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure is designed to help protect vehicle occupants in a frontal collision. Additional safety technologies include standard dual-stage, multiplethreshold front airbags; standard front-side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system; a tire pressure monitoring system; and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle.

Features and Equipment

The two trim levels include the well-equipped CR-Z (base) and the feature-rich CR-Z EX. A sixspeed manual transmission is standard equipment and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is available on both models. Standard features on the CR-Z include Vehicle Stability Assist, an AM/FM/CD/USB audio system with six speakers, automatic climate control, power windows and door locks, remote entry, cruise control, and more. The CR-Z EX adds a 360-watt AM/FM/CD high-power audio system with seven speakers including subwoofer, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more. The CR-Z EX is available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System2 with Voice Recognition.

2 The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ is available on the CR-Z EX in the United States, except Alaska. Please see the navigation system manual for details.

Honda CRX Heritage

The exterior design of CR-Z deliberately evokes the iconic style of the 1980s and 1990s Honda CRX, which was originally developed to provide a small, stylish car that could achieve excellent fuel economy. Signature features of the CRX, like the split-level rear glass hatch of the second generation model and the low, shallow raked roofline have been referenced in the design of the sleek coupe and then combined with a curvaceous and deeply sculpted exterior form.

Manufacturing

The Honda CR-Z, in addition to the Civic Hybrid and Insight, is produced at the Suzuka Factory in Suzuka City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. In 2008, the factory added a second engine line to expand production of IMA hybrid system motors.

About Honda

Honda began operations in the U.S. in 1959 with the establishment of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda's first overseas subsidiary. Honda began U.S. motorcycle production in Ohio in 1979, and began U.S. automobile production in 1982 at its Marysville, Ohio, auto plant. The company has invested more than $15 billion in its manufacturing, R&D, and sales and service operations in North America. The company has grown its local product-creation capabilities to include 14 major manufacturing plants and 14 R&D facilities in the region. More than 83 percent of the Honda and Acura cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. in 2009 were built in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts, the highest percentage for any international automaker operating in the region. American Honda's fleet-average fuel economy for its MY2008 Honda and Acura passenger cars and light trucks tops the in industry at 23.9, as determined by the U.S. EPA in its 2009 Fuel Economy Trends Report.

CR-Z Specification Comparisons to 2011 CR-Z , 2010 Insight, 2010 Civic Hybrid, 1991 CRX Si and 1985 CRX Si

Specification 2011 CR-Z 2010 Insight 2010 Civic Hybrid 1991 CRX Si 1985 CRX Si
Length, in. 160.6 172.3 177.3 148.5 144.7
Width, in. 68.5 66.7 69.0 65.9 63.9
Height, in. 54.9 56.2 56.3 50.1 50.8
Wheelbase, in. 95.9 100.4 106.3 90.6 86.6
Track Fr / Rr, in. 59.6 / 59.1 58.7 / 58.1 59.1 / 60.2 57.1 / 57.3 55.1 / 55.7
Passengers 2 5 5 2 2
Weight, lbs. (base model, min.) 2,637 2,723 2,877 2,174 1,890
Engine, cyl., L I4, 1.5 I4, 1.3 I4, 1.3 I4, 1.6 I4, 1.5
Transmission 6MT, CVT CVT CVT 5MT 5MT
Horsepower (total combined) 122 98 110 108 91
Torque (total combined), lb-ft. 128 (MT) 123 123 100 93
Electric Motor, kW 10 10 15 -- --
Weight-to-Power Ratio (lbs./hp)
Lower = Better
21.6 27.8 26.2 20.1 20.8
Weight-to-Torque Ratio (lbs./lb-ft.)
Lower = Better
20.6 (MT) 22.1 23.4 21.7 20.3
Tires P195/55R 16
86V
175/65
R15 84S
P195/65 R15
89S
185/60 R14
82H
175/70R13
EPA MPG, City / Hwy 35 / 39
(CVT)3
31 / 37 (MT) 3
40 / 43
(CVT)3
40/45 (CVT) 24 / 30
(MT)4
27 / 33
(MT)4

3 Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates for the 2011 CR-Z and 2010 EPA mileage estimates for the 2010 Insight
and 2010 Civic Hybrid. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008 unless those
numbers have been adjusted to 2008-and-later figures according to the EPA's fueleconomy.gov Web site. Your
actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

4 Adjusted EPA number reflects EPA-estimated fuel economy measurement adjustment starting with 2008 modelyear
vehicles. The original EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2000 Insight (MT) was 61/70 city/highway miles
per gallon. The original EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2001 Insight (CVT) was 57/56 city/highway miles per
gallon. Note that the Insight became available with a CVT starting in the 2001 model year. The original EPAestimated
fuel economy for the 1991 CRX was 28/33 city/highway miles per gallon, the 1985 CRX was originally
rated at 32/36 miles per gallon.