We normally associate the word “fun” with Honda, but over their recent product offerings, that seem to have slightly vanished. Not that their cars are not fun anymore. They still are, but not as fun and raw as they used to, but just as we were thinking that Honda isn’t a fun brand anymore, Honda Cars Philippines Inc, or HCPI, has just recently launched the all-new 2014 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid.
Having a very futuristic design inspired by the legendary Honda CR-X, while having a 1.5 liter gasoline engine and an electric motor, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a CVT, the CR-Z promises to be your totally different hybrid and not your average eco warrior. Take note, it has a 6-speed manual, therefore claiming the title of being the only hybrid on sale with a stick, and that alone should already prove that this hybrid likes to be peppy. This is the first time Honda will be selling the CR-Z in the Philippines, and therefore it will be a challenge commenting on how the pre-facelift CR-Z drives. Of note however, are the powertrain changes.
For 2014, the CR-Z’s IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) hybrid system has been revised, most notable of which is the switch from a nickle-metal hybrid battery, to a litihum-ion battery. Along with tweaks to the CR-Z’s 1.5 liter SOHC inline-4 engine, total power output has been increased by 13 hp and 16 Nm of torque. The power figures are now at 134 hp and 190 Nm of torque for the 6-speed manual, and 133 hp and 171 Nm of torque for the CVT.
Another new feature of note will be the Plus Sport system. What this system does is give an additional boost from the battery, kind of like a nitrous system, except that it provides less power than a nitrous system. The Plus Sport system can only be activated when the battery’s charge is over 50%.
CR-Z Standard Model
All CR-Z trim levels have the same amount of kit. All have climate control, automatic HID headlamps, LED daytime running lights, power folding mirrors, rain sensing wipers, cruise control, power features, and a dazzling array of airbags. The difference separating the three trim levels are the accessories, or shall I say, the intensity of it’s aggression. These trim levels, by the way are, the standard model, the Modulo version, and the Mugen version. The Modulo has a set of carbon fiber kits, including a front spoiler, a side skirt, and a rear under spoiler. The Mugen on the other hand, has a full-on bodykit, LED daytime running lights, and grille that looks almost identical to the JDM-only CR-Z Mugen RZ. Along with the exterior cosmetic accessories, the CR-Z Mugen also has a sports exhaust system, a set of Mugen carpets, and a carbon fiber shift knob for the 6-speed manual.
There is good news for prospective CR-Z buyers. The introductory price has been lowered further. The updated pricing are as follows.
Standard (manual): P1,390,000. From P1.4 million
Standard (CVT): P1,480,000. From P1.5 million
Modulo (manual): P1,470,000. From P1.5 million
Modulo (CVT): P1,560,000. From P1.6 million
Mugen (manual): P1,860,000. From P2.0 million
Mugen (CVT): P1,950,000. From P2.1 million
As you will notice, there is a P90,000 additional charge for the CVT, but are you sure that you want to buy the CVT? Not only does it make the CR-Z less fun to drive, it also has a weight penalty, which again, makes it less fun to drive. Even if you do want to buy the CVT-equipped model, or even the manual as a matter of fact, you won’t be getting your hands on one right away, because Honda Cars Philippines reported in the launch event that there are over 100 customers who reserved for the Honda CR-Z. Reservations for the Honda CR-Z started May 2013.
For more information about the Honda CR-Z, and if your are interested in purchasing one, visit http://www.cr-z.com.ph
*Photos are from the CR-Z Philippine site.
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