Sports car and hybrid aren’t two words that have been used together a lot in the alternative fuel segment of the automotive industry—unless you are Honda. The 2011 Honda CR-Z hybrid is the first vehicle we have seen marketed as a sports hybrid and also one of the few offered with a manual transmission. Recently, we reported on the changes to the 2011 Honda Insight model-line (including a slight correction do to some inaccurate information) and commented on the success the Insight has had in the hybrid market. Now we turn to how the Honda CR-Z is doing in the market and we think the reports of potential changes to the model might say it all.
The Honda CR-Z has “quickly fell off the radar and sales in several market,” according to our partners over at GreenCarReports.com. You might recall that the CR-Z got off to a good start in its home market of Japan, but since its debut the sales numbers have dropped significantly. However, now there are reports that the green sports car will receive an injection of power—perhaps from a turbocharger. According to Autocar, there is development of a new gas-only turbocharged model over at Honda’s Tochigi R&D center in Japan. Current intelligence says that the CRZ may get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that should produce over 200 horsepower.
Honda hasn’t made any comment as to whether the gas-only version is really an active project or if it will truly come to market. From our perspective, an all gas version would be a shame when there are other companies already capitalizing on the CR-Z technology by adding specially developed performance equipment. Like say a Bisimoto 533 hp Honda CR-Z that still has the hybrid powertrain. Either way, it looks like more doom is in store for the CR-Z than sunshine and roses.