Honda had a bit of good news for car enthusiasts at the Paris Motor Show, starting with an update to its sporty hybrid two-door and ending with promises of two new Honda Civic variants.
First, Honda showed off the updated 2013 CR-Z. Just as we had inferred from a Japanese-language teaser video, the 2013 Honda CR-Z wears a slightly tweaked face with a new front fascia and grille, new LED running lights, an updated rear lip, and new 17-inch alloy wheels. The interior door panels have been modified for more storage space, and the car is available in two new eye-popping colors, Energetic Yellow and Aurora Violet.
There's also more performance on tap, thanks to revisions applied to both the 1.5-liter inline-four gas engine and the electric motor/generator. The former now produces 119 hp, up from 113 hp currently in the U.S.-spec CR-Z, while the electric motor is newly rated for 20 hp instead of the previous 13. The car's nickel-metal hydride battery pack has been swapped for a more advanced lithium-ion pack, too. All that is said to bring the Honda CR-Z's 0-to-62-mph time down to 9.0 seconds (compared to the current 9.7) and its top speed up to 124 mph. There's also a "Plus Sport" button labeled S+, which allows a ten-second power boost under full throttle.
Honda has yet to confirm it, but it's almost guaranteed these updates will be offered in the U.S.-spec 2013 CR-Z, which should launch later this year. The company previously told us to expect "interior and exterior styling changes" when the car goes on sale in the fall.
Two New Honda Civic Variants
Honda Europe president Manabu Nishimae took advantage of the Paris Motor Show to announce two new versions of the Civic. The first was hardly a surprise: as we heard last week, Honda is building a new Civic Type R. The company expects it to be the fastest front-wheel-drive production car to ever lap the Nürburgring, a lofty goal indeed. The car is said to use technologies from Honda's World Touring Car Championship racer -- meaning a 1.6-liter turbo-four engine -- and will go on sale in 2015.
Nishimae also announced plans for a Civic wagon, and issued a shadowy teaser sketch of the vehicle. The company promises a concept version of the Civic wagon will be shown next year. The teaser sketch shows a stylish car with an upswept beltline, a sloped roof, and prominently flared rear fenders. It's almost like a chopped, more aggressive version of the Honda Odyssey minivan. Of course, as the new wagon will be based on the Euro-market Civic -- which is totally different from the one sold here -- there's no chance this cool new model is coming to America. It's just the latest cool European station wagon we wish we could buy.