New Honda CR-Z to be the flagship car for U.S. market
Turbocharged 1.5 liter direct injection 4-cylinder engine and 7-speed dual clutch transmission
More power and more fuel efficient than current CR-Z and Civic SI (220hp est.)
Debuts in 2015
There's no doubting it, the end product from the Toyota/ Subaru collaboration has made a huge splash in the automotive world. The sporty rear-wheel drive Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ gave a raw driving experience that many modern day cars lack. However, Honda is no push over and is stepping up to the plate with a car that's to take a roll similar to what the Civic Type R Civic Type R
did for Japan. Surprisingly, it won't be a beefier Civic SI. While the Euro market is developing its newest Civic Type R, the U.S. will be turning to the Honda CR-Z platform for its hero car.
It seemed that Honda's biggest market the U.S. always got the shorter end of the stick. The SI variant is a great car, but knowing that there's something better such as the Type R has always been a bummer for enthusiasts. Same can be said for the Honda CR-Z. It's a great looking car, but lacks the excitement that the old CR-X or Civic Type R delivered.
Worry no more; we are happy to report that a brand new CR-Z prototype is being developed at Honda's R&D division. The body will retain the current CR-Z size, but will be implementing a modified and shortened wheelbase from the new Type R. Also like the Euro Spec Type R, the CR-Z is expected to use a turbocharged engine specifically a 1.5-liter, direct injection 4-cylidner engine integrated with an updated hybrid system.
Unfortunately, the manual gearbox will not be offered for the new CR-Z, instead a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. Anticipate the CR-Z to be pushing approximately 220 horsepower, which means a more powerful car than the FR-S/BRZ and with its hybrid system a more fuel-efficient and cleaner emissions footprint too. Not only does it surpass the current CR-Z by 100 horsepower, it will also have more power than the current Civic SI. If production is held in the U.S. the car should have a price tag under $30,000,to compete with the FR-S/BRZ.
So for the first time in a long time, the U.S. market might get a proper Honda. They do hear our cries for a Type R variant. Don't expect to see it anytime soon though. Our source says the new CR-Z won't drop until after the new Civic debuts in 2015. Its debut also might be the same time a new generation FR-S/BRZ would appear. Ball is in your court Honda.