Honda's CR-Z Hybrid hit the 2010 Detroit Auto Show with something less than the ferocious impact you might expect from the newest Honda sport coupe--in part because it's a hybrid, and in part because of its dubious ties to the much-loved enthusiast hatch, the CRX. But Honda isn't deterred from its sports-hybrid path, according to the latest reports. Instead, it's forging ahead with a new, larger, and even sportier hybrid coupe. This appears to be in addition to the CR-Z Type R also rumored to be in the works.
The reports, as sketchy and unofficial as they are, hint at an Accord-sized, four-seat coupe with a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a sportier tune for Honda's IMA hybrid system. A V-6 gasoline engine is also possible, but engineers are leaning away from that option for fuel efficiency.
Despite its less-than-stellar sporting credentials--on paper, at least--the CR-Z is selling like, well, a Honda sports coupe in its native Japan, showing that there is at least some level of desire for a cleaner, greener, yet still somewhat mean sporty hatchback. The rumored coupe would tap into the segment above the CR-Z, for those wanting a little more performance and perhaps a little less utility.
We're not holding our breath, but the move does read like a logical one. One issue which concerns us is a paraphrased item from a Honda engineer, essentially stating that hybrids are ideal for the sports-coupe application, as they can "easily" be tuned from high-efficiency to high-performance. If that's the case, why does the CR-Z seem to be so middling in both respects?
We'll have to wait and see, and that may be a long wait as there's no timeline embedded in the report. If the sportier hybrid coupe does materialize, we wouldn't expect to see it even in concept form before the end of the year, with production closer to 2012.