The new NSX is a goner – which Matt Master isn’t happy about – and there won’t be another S2000. But all is not lost for fun Hondas. Foreman has been getting answers about the new CRZ coupe. It’s a hybrid, but it should be fun.
It goes on sale late next year. And it’s more than just a dollied-up Insight. I spoke to a Japanese engineer involved. He looked at me very seriously, like his honour was at stake, and said they want people like us to want one not because it’s green but because it’s fun.
They even thought about building a non-hybrid version of the CRZ, but decided against it. Honda is royally cheesed off that Toyota gets seen as the king of green car companies, so to rebuild its tree-hugging image Honda wants to build a set of hybrid-only cars. The Insight and CRZ are the first two.
The CRZ’s engine is spunkier than the Insight’s. It’s a 140bhp 1.8-litre. The ‘integrated motor assist’ system – that is, the hybrid gubbins of motor, battery and electronics – will be as per the Insight.
Our engineering mole went on: ‘It must be fun to drive. Must remind you of the original CRX.’ I said it couldn’t really be like that with the dull CVT transmission. He began to crack a smile, looked at the bottle of wine we’d drained, and said: ‘CVT is fine for the most people. But we are Honda! We must have manual!’
What’s it look like? Not far from the lovely little Tokyo show concept, we’re promised.
With that light body, lots of electric-assist torque and a revvy petrol engine, we ought to end up with something well worth a steer in.