The 2014 Honda CR-Z enters its fourth year in the same specific niche it was launched in: the sole hybrid car that's a subcompact two-seat hatchback. Meant to combine the agility and rollerskate character of the much-loved 1983-1991 CRX with a modern, fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain. Now, although the company is saying “second-generation,” we’re inclined to believe it’s actually the car’s mid-life facelift. Since its launch in 2010, the CR-Z has just crossed the two-year old mark, and with Honda’s model cycles usually being five years, this one looks to be arriving about as scheduled, perhaps even a tad early.
For 2013, assist from the electric motor has jumped from 10 kW to 15 kW, thanks to the new higher voltage (144-volt) Lithium-Ion battery pack. The CR-Z now delivers a combined peak output of 130 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque (127 lb-ft. on CVT-equipped models), a gain of eight horsepower and 12 lb-ft of torque (4 lb-ft on CVT equipped models). Manual-transmission versions also receive both a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio.
The engine remains the same: a 1.5 liter DOHC 16-valve Inline-4 with i-VTEC. What sets the CR-Z apart is the Integrated Motor Assist system that has an electric motor that provides an extra help to the engine to keep the revs down, hence saving fuel.Acceleration to mph out of sleep is 9.3 seconds, which is quite better than the factory promises of 9.9 seconds. The maximum speed of 203 km / h it is also slightly better than the factory promises, but only if you have summer tires. The CR-Z is available in base, EX and EX with navigation models. There is only one update to the CR-Z for the 2012 model year: Black seat fabric is available with models with a black exterior. Additional safety technologies include: standard dual stage, multiple threshold front airbags; standard front side airbags with passenger-side Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS); side-curtain airbags, active head restraints; an anti-lock braking system (ABS); a tire pressure monitoring system; and a pedestrian injury mitigation design in the front of the vehicle. The CR-Z could also get a lithium-ion battery, seeing that the Civic Hybrid already has said battery unit. Perhaps, the CR-Z might get the torque vectoring SH-AWD, which will give the small car 4WD capability. Or, could Honda abandon the hybrid powerplant and shoehorn in a screaming petrol engine?
The CR-Z's powertrain is shared with that of the Honda Insight, a subcompact five-door hatchback that's the least expensive hybrid sold in the U.S. The engine is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder unit that's paired with a 15-kilowatt (20-horsepower) electric motor between the engine and transmission. Last year's upgrade boosted the output to 130 horsepower, and the six-speed manual version now has rated torque of 140 lb-ft.The 2014 CR-Z uses a 1.5L i-VTEC motor with Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) to develop a combined 136 PS and 190 Newton meters of torque in the 6-speed manual version, while the CR-Z with the 7-speed CVT makes 135 PS and 171 Newton meters of torque.