“The first-gen Honda CR-X combined sportiness with fuel economy in a package that was, and still is, an absolute blast to drive. It’s a combination the Japanese automaker offers again in the CR-Z, a hybrid that could be called a modern incarnation of that venerable hatchback. Honda unveiled the production version of the two-seater here at the North American International Auto Show. It joins the Civic and Insight hybrids in Honda’s gas-electric line-up, and the company promises it will bring a measure of sexiness and sportiness to the hybrid segment when it appears in showrooms this summer. ‘You don’t think ‘sporty’ and ‘hybrid,’’ said John Mendel, executive v.p. of sales for American Honda. ‘This car challenges that convention.’ Does it? The Honda CR-Z, which will be built in Japan, combines a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine with the 10 kilowatt (13.4 horsepower) motor in Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system. The package delivers 122 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Those aren’t stellar numbers, but then the 1.5-liter in the first-gen CR-X topped out at 76 horsepower.”
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