2017 Honda CR-Z might actually sell
The Honda CR-Z is part and parcel to why so many import fanboys have been disappointed with Honda for years. Honda used to make lively cars that were affordable, easy to keep on the road and flog like a rented mule. Such cars included the CRX – the lightweight Civic-based three-door hatch – the Acura Integra Type R, the Prelude and so on.
In the meantime, the Civic SI just hasn’t cut the mustard and worse still is the CR-Z.
The CR-Z is great-looking, to be sure, but the hybrid drivetrain weighs it down and the anemic engine just isn’t enough to make it as fun as it should be. It’s a colossal tease, and that’s why hardly anyone buys them. The car was pulled from the market in Europe and Australia, and only a few hundred sell per month in the United States, according to Jalopnik.
However, Honda is said to be doing something about it, as there are rumors that the 2017 Honda CR-Z is going to be the car it should have always been.
New architecture, toned-down Type R drivetrain
According to Car and Driver, a source from Honda told that publication that the next-gen Honda CR-Z is going to be an actual hot-hatch, instead of a jackboot disguised as a training shoe. Granted, Honda did offer a supercharger for those who wanted to convert their CR-Z’s aspiration, but that just wasn’t enough.
The revised car will ride on the next-generation Civic architecture, albeit with a shortened wheelbase. The hybrid drivetrain will be ditched (Car Gods Be Praised!) in lieu of a detuned version of the Civic Type R drivetrain. The base engine is said to be the same twin-turbo 2.0-liter V-TEC four-cylinder, but reportedly the U.S.-spec CR-Z will have to make due with 280 horsepower compared to the 305 ponies the Type R has under the bonnet.
The rumor mill also attests that since the CR-Z will be based on the Civic, unlike the Fit-based current model, the CR-Z will be sold as a performance variant of the Civic, so the name might be the Civic CR-Z, or something to that effect. Artist renderings have been floating around but if the rumors are to be believed, concept models should be coming soon.
Now bring back the S2000
An actually sporty Honda CR-Z would be a welcome return to Honda making performance cars for the United States market, or anywhere for that matter. Like other auto makers, they seem to be getting their balls back.
Honda used to dominate Formula One, and is finally returning to that sport. A new NSX is about to go on sale, and the new twin-turbo Type R is loaded for bear. They aren’t alone either; Toyota is likewise getting serious about making sports cars again with the GT86/FR-S/BRZ, a rumored new Supra, Le Mans racing and so on.
Dare we hope for a new Honda S2000 or Toyota MR2?