We know that Honda’s performance arm Mugen is working on several performance modifications for the new 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car but it appears that a more aggressive Type R model may also be in the works.
Not so long ago the idea of a hybrid powertrain in a sports car was anathema to enthusiasts. But after the introduction of the KERS system in F1 last year, new cars like the Tesla Roadster and Audi's all-electric R8 e-tron concept, plus the wider acceptance of hybrids in general by the buying public, it's not so unimaginable anymore.
Expected to receive more aggressive styling mods and an uprated hybrid powertrain, the Honda CR-Z Type R should well and truly prove that hybrid vehicles can be sporty as well as efficient. Some of the modifications will include a new bodykit, carbon-fiber replacements for some of the body panels, a sports exhaust system and lowered ride height. There will also be a custom paint scheme with contrasting black and white shades.
As mentioned, the CR-Z’s hybrid powertrain will also get a boost. The standard set-up delivers a measly 122 horsepower but the addition of a tweaked engine and a bigger electric motor could see output increased to around the 170 horsepower mark. Owners will also be able to select a new driving mode that should adjust throttle and steering responsiveness to an optimal setting, providing maximum performance from the drivetrain package. A front-wheel drive layout and six-speed manual transmission should remain.
The standard 2011 Honda CR-Z is scheduled to go on sale this summer and if approved for production (and for sale in the U.S.), the new Type R model should be available sometime next year.