The CR-Z

There are certain things I do every time I come to Japan. Going to the Honda Plaza in Aoyama is one of them. This gave me an opportunity to have a look at the Honda CR−Z in the flesh, a car I’ve been interested in right from the time it appeared as a concept a few years back. To see it going all the way through to production was therefore quite welcome, even if it’s predictably been watered down from concept form.

The CR-Z is a chunky little coupe in much the same mould as a Ford Puma or its ancestor the Honda CR-X. The styling has been met with a mixed response from sports car fans, but having looked at the thing for a while and seen a few on the roads I reckon it’s one of these vehicles that – much like the current Subaru Impreza – will grow on people over time.

The thing that’s perhaps the most curious is that there’s no really rapid version for now. I was perhaps a little naive in thinking they’d ‘just stick a VTEC from the Civic Type-R in it’, but the first model has a hybrid drivetrain in it.

This could prove to be a smart move if the CR-Z turns out to drive well, because hybrid power still tends to be associated with Toyota Priuses and low excitement levels. Let’s hope it’s a success…

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