Honda South African has doubled the offerings in its hybrid coupe range with the CR-Z automatic. Following the facelift introduced in April 2013, the new CR-Z 1.5 i-VTEC IMA CVT complements the existing CR-Z 1.5 i-VTEC IMA manual – which is still the only hybrid vehicle in the world to feature a manual gearbox. The new addition to the range features a conical pulley system with drive provided by an adjustable belt.
As with its manual counterpart the CR-Z auto still has the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid system, which consists of an 88 kW/145 N.m 1,5-litre i-VTEC petrol engine. The CR-Z CVT is operable in full automatic mode or a driver selectable mode, which allows the driver to shift manually between virtual ‘gears’ either via the gear lever or shift paddles mounted to the steering wheel.
The IMA hybrid links to a battery pack which provides a further 13 kW and 78 N.m of twist effort, for total output of 101 kW and a torque peak of 190 N.m. Just like the manual version, the new CR-Z CVT also features Sport Plus mode, which allows the driver to enjoy up to ten seconds of increased power under full throttle from the IMA system via the “S+” button on the steering wheel.
The drive mode selector button is also carried over from the manual CR-Z. The three driving modes allow the driver to choose how the CR-Z responds, in either Normal, ECON or Sport mode. ECON mode places emphasis on economical driving habits and prioritises fuel efficiency over engine performance, while Sport mode places emphasis on sporty, performance-oriented driving. The engine’s characteristics like throttle response and power delivery are also sharpended in Sport mode for a more urgent driving feel. Normal mode provides an optimal balance between fuel-efficient driving and engine performance, perfect for most journeys.
The CR-Z CVT has improved average fuel economy of just 4,9-litres/100 km on the combined average, with sacrificing performance. The 0-100 km/h sprint takes place in a claimed 9,9 seconds with a top speed of 198 km/h.
The new Honda CR-Z CVT features the same level of specification as the existing manual model, which includes a panoramic glass roof, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and Bluetooth, as well as safety equipment like ABS, EBD, EBA, VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist), ISOFIX child seat anchors and six airbags. Changes to specification include the introduction of a new paint colour – Premium Gold Purple Pearl, which replaces the existing Premium Northern Lights Violet Pearl.
Model range and pricing
1.5 i-VTEC IMA Manual R342 800
1.5 i-VTEC IMA CVT R355 800