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Honda hybrid on the road in 2010

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Edward Green | Tuesday July 14, 2009 4:10PM ET
Honda crz hybridHonda Motor announced plans to begin sales in Japan of the CR-Z sporty hybrid model in February 2010 and Fit Hybrid before the end of 2010.


By combining these two models with the currently available Insight and Civic Hybrid, Honda will further enhance its lineup of compact hybrid models, which leverage the unique characteristics of Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA), including compact size, lightweight and high efficiency.

In addition, Honda is currently developing a new hybrid system which is intended to be installed on mid- to large-size vehicles. Honda also announced that, in addition to the No. 1 line at its Suzuka Factory, the production of Insight also began on Suzuka's No. 3 line in mid-June 2009, leveraging Honda's flexible production system.

Honda crz hybridThe CR-Z is a next-generation lightweight sports car concept equipped with Honda's original gas-electric hybrid system that achieves both clean performance and a high level of torque. The CR-Z stands for "Compact Renaissance Zero" - an expression intended to capture the idea of a renaissance in the design of compact cars that begins anew from fundamentals. The design research model of a lightweight hybrid sports car features advanced technologies that deliver elevated driving performance while reducing the vehicle's environmental footprint.

Designed to be futuristic and dynamic, the CR-Z combines powerful performance in a compact form with a futuristic image. For its frontal view, an over-sized grill with a high-performance look is offset by openings on each side that lighten the overall feel. In the rear, tube-shaped rear combination lamps create a powerful presence.

Honda crz hybridDesign details emphasizing the CR-Z's advanced image include door mirrors that provide high visibility in a stylish form, LED headlights that convey a sharp impression, and jaunty fin-shaped sub-lights. Large 19-inch wheels suggest dynamic driving performance.

The key words for the CR-Z's interior design are "Hi-tech and Sporty." The goal was to create an all-new sporty interior that fuses the liberating feel of airy spaciousness with an advanced interface that brings out the fun of driving. Mesh material on a simple framework construction is used throughout the interior to convey a light, sophisticated image.

In the cockpit, the meter unit conveys the image of advanced technology ensconced in a piece of glass artwork, offering quick recognition and a futuristic and exhilarating appearance. The CR-Z concept vehicle made its world debut at the 40th Tokyo Motor Show in November and indicates the styling direction for the second, new hybrid vehicle to be introduced by Honda Motor.

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