Part of the reason is due to our Civic being different to the one sold elsewhere. Furthermore, the Civic is seen as an econo car over here so Honda may be reluctant to launch a Civic-based model as its performance flagship locally.
But the U.S. is still Honda’s biggest market and the automaker will need some sportier models if it wants to rebuild its faded performance image and lure back buyers that may have opted for top models like the Ford Focus ST, Mazdaspeed 3, Volkswagen GTI and Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ twins.
That’s where a redesigned CR-Z, sharing a platform with the Civic Type R, fits in.
A source has revealed to Car Sales that Honda is keen to launch a redesigned CR-Z based on the bones of its 276-horsepower Civic Type R, should a second-generation CR-Z be approved for production. In fact, a prototype is alleged to have already been built.
The prototype version is said to feature a direct-injected and turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with the current CR-Z’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system. A seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also said to have replaced both the CVT and manual options of the current CR-Z. Peak output of this prototype is said to be around 221 horsepower, a significant leap over the current car’s paltry 130-horsepower rating.
Should production be approved, the car could be on sale within two years. Stay tuned for an update.