Report: Turbocharged Honda CR-Z Could Launch in October

The Honda CR-Z may be a slick looking hatchback, but the car’s eco-friendly hybrid powertrain hasn’t exactly appealed to CRX enthusiasts expecting a hot hatch. That said, rumors of a turbocharged non-hybrid model continue to swirl, stoked in part by a new report from Autocar.

We’ve previously heard rumors suggesting Honda’s product development team was looking at developing a sport-tuned, Si-like version of the CR-Z to appease those underwhelmed by the current car’s performance. Subsequent reports suggested such a model could ditch the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid powertrain in favor of a small turbocharged I-4.

Autocar echoes the latter report, but suggests Honda is fast-tracking the development of such a model. According to the British publication, such a CR-Z could use a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4, and be offered in both 160- and 200-horsepower versions. Power would be routed through the front wheels via a six-speed manual. If all goes according to plan, the new model could be revealed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October.

Predictably, Honda’s representatives are rather mum on the matter, telling us only that they refrain from commenting on future products, and noting the company is “always considering new powertrains.” Indeed, it appears Honda -- or at least its Honda Performance Development wing -- is already looking at ways to add a little boost to its so-called sports hybrid. The company showcased a number of turbocharged concepts (including two race-prepped cars that actually competed in an SCCA event late last year) at the 2010 SEMA show, but each differed from this proposed powertrain by using a turbocharged 1.5-liter I-4 mated with the stock hybrid system.

CR-Z enthusiasts and CRX purists; we want to hear from you. Would a turbocharged, non-hybrid form of Honda’s little hatchback be right up your alley, or is Honda better served pursuing other developments? Send us your thoughts -- and what you’d like to see in any potential sport-tuned CR-Z -- in the comments section below.

kjs825
I am considering purchase of a CRZ in 2013 and yes have heard the rumors as well. Seems 160hp is doable w/o a turbo as they acheived that level back in the early 2000's with a 1.6 Civic Si and even earlier with the Del Sol SI. maybe the two versions they refer to are a 1.6 without a turbo at 160hp and one with turbo at 200hp. Sure hope they add an automatc trans as well as an option.
server@bacteriaret.us
I would not think that new car will have so low price. Depends. However that is always good idea to compare that with other models and see.
BeElzeBub
Dear Honda, Hurry up and get the turbo versions to market in a 2+2 version before the Hydundai Veloster turbo eats your lunch! We've been Honda/Acura owners since 1984 and had a 1990 CRX which was a blast to drive. So, was the Acura GSR. CRZ is all show and no go. 2013 Accord is a great improvement over previous iterations. Its time to prove that Honda was and is still at the top of its performance game!
daviesri9
put the honda civic SI engine into the CRZ as a bottom end standard model. It would have the same or better millage than the SI. Then go with three differrent Mugen versions, R and RR. and fi Be creativenally a honda type R or type Z, or zz version
daviesri9
what about droping a honda mugen engine, mugen r, and a mugen rr k20A engines into three different versions of the honda CRZ These naturally aspirated engines will bring real character to the CRZ as well as performance and will sell like hot cakes. Also Honda should focus on improving the k 20 A 's fuel consumption and/or create ways to make the car lighter and smaller in size without dramatically increasing cost. Lower the seats level with the dorr sills which will lower the cG. and provide more head room without raising the roof line
Dave Rowan
If the price is low and it includes a model with sun/moon roof I'd go for it. Let me emphasize that I buy Hondas because I can order the sun roof.
kkh
To Honda: Turbocharged is good BUT if you want to sell more CRZ's in the US market you need to put the back seats back in (similar to Japanese CRZ's) and sell the car as a 2+2 not a 2 seater. If cost is the issue at least make it an added cost option. Vehicle UTILITY still makes a car more saleable in the marketplace.
Frank
I remember responding to a Honda mkt survey when the CRZ was in the planning stage. i gave it a thumbs up on the design, altho it came in a little dumbed down from the original design. I have wished, along with others, that Honda would give the car a small Turbo, and now this rumor.Again I give the concept a thumbs up, especially with Hyundai in the wings with the veloster and a 200hp turbo motor. I would rather spend my $$ on the CRZ if-if-if
Drew, Again
Just keep the price in the low twenties and I'm in!
jim
Honda is behind and getting further behind on small engine turbo which ='s both accel. and economy .... they better pedal down and get with it ...just look around they are in last place ....
Greg
Why tease us with something that looks CRX-like in the first place and endow it with less effency and performance than gasoline powered cars. Honda would be best served by doing a whole line of petro only CR-Z's with an HF model rated at well over 45mpg on the low end and a Si on top with at least 175hp/35 mpg on regular gasoline no less.
ro ho
That would make too much sense. It seems all automakers are worried about profit, not car enthuasists. This would be a great 21st century CRX, if priced right like you stated.
Disco
It's about time, for so long now Honda merely economical cars and some with a sporty flair. Going to a modern powertrain with an actual powerband instead of just burnt valves to match a stout chassis will be a boon to enthusiasts and the brand alike. The ones I have owned/driven always felt 7/8 scale and tend to crumple catastrophically on impact, though otherwise frugal and well made.
Frank
Put the power to the rear wheels and I might trade in my 07 S2K.
HEHE
HELL YES!!!! JUST DO IT ALREADY!!! (JUST MAKE SURE ITS GOT A 6SP MANUAL AND A DIRECT GEAR BOX AT LAUNCH!)
Jose
way to wait to make a turbo'd hatchback honda.... years after everyone else is doing... also honda if you are "listening to the masses" listen to the tuner masses, who have been reusing you civic since the early 90's, and just make the car above 200 hp and RWD... jesus, the si is nice and all, but give us something to look forward to at the line instead of hoping to god the tires hook up.
BenLikesCars
one more thing: would it kill anyone to put out a base base CRZ with a non-hybrid non-turbo Fit 1.5 motor? light, simple, CHEAP (and fun to drive)
BenLikesCars
I want a cheap replacement for the '03 Insight that I totaled four months ago. Put small wheels and the current Insight's powertrain into the CRZ for an "HF" model, or, offer a stick-shift in the current Insight, either way I would like to see something for under $18k with a stick that gets 40mpg without babying the car. And 200hp for the CRZ? Phooey. The RDX's motor puts out 240hp, and would be an easy implant. Add SHAWD as an option, voila, baby Evo!
Phil Gr8
Dittto lose the weight of the future toxic waste. Is any manufacturer listening ? A light weight fun to drive car and or a light weight fun to drive small pickup. 20k and less than 2000 lbs. I am living in a fantasy world. One without Goverment interferance. Any chance of that happening?
Scuromondo
Even if Honda wanted to stay away from turbos (as it seems they usually do) if they put a variant of the B16A2 engine (160 hp @ 8,000 RPM) in the CRZ, it would be very hot, even if they tweaked it for fuel economy. But if they could somehow mange to fit the K20Z3 engine (197 hp @ 7800) the CRZ would be absolutely staggering!
Daniel
You'll have less of a wait with the Veloster Turbo, and if that turbo engine is anything like the one in the Sonata, it should still hit mpg numbers close to the CRZ. I mean it is the MPG numbers we care about isn't it? That must be what Honda thinks considering their cars were once alot more fun to drive than toyotas. Toyota and Honda should just merge, with all the parts and platform sharing they could do, it would probably cut development costs for all the boring cars they could build together. The LFA is the only thing exciting from Toyota, and for the price it looks like the last Celica.
Daniel
I think the Veloster will hit the mark closer to what the CRX was than the CRZ.
Erik Montezuma
Sheesh, why don't they build a world first turbo hybrid already? Are they waiting for Hyundai to beat them to that punch also? Thing is, Honda is like BMW: a very very prideful company. They just don't admit mistakes, and IMA is a big mistake-at least as implemented so far (Accord excepted). Efficient hybrids need more electrical oomph than just a little bit. Then, due to IMA's inefficiency, the motors have to be tiny to try and hit mileage targets. Result? I drove a Civic Hybrid for a month: mileage was NOT amazing, and getting up to speed on LA freeways was scary. I believe Honda has both lost its way and lost its balls. They dithered about a V8 for literally YEARS instead of building a new V6 + big electric motor NSX as they should have. That's SOOOO typical of big Japanese companies...when they get big, they get chickenshit to go their own way, they feel like they have to copy someone else. Sad.
Rxp
No thanks...I ll take the mazdaspeed3
MITSUMAN1
WHY? SORRY
MITSUMAN1
I FEEL HONDA IS WAITING TO LONG TO GET THIS CAR OUT!! VOLESTER IS COMMING IN 3 MONTHS AND IS GOING TO KILL THE CRZ!!!! HONDA WAY THE LONG WAIT!
John
I've driven the CR-Z hybrid and it's not bad, but I told the salesman to contact me when he's got the non-hybrid. I would say that 90% chance I'll buy it. I had an origional 84 CRX and my wife had a 90 and we loved them both. I'll bet the milage won't be off by more than a couple of MPG, since without the battery, it should weigh at least 100 lbs. less.
Aymamacita
This car is a tribute to both the spirit of the CRX and the drivetrain of the Insight. Every review, including one by Grassroots Motorsports, describes how much fun it is with the manual trans and in sport mode. The aftermarket will bring handing improvements, but it is going to be tough to modify the IMA motor. I have to agree with the first few posters: lose the weight, add the turbo. But in doing so you also lose a unique and excellent drivetrain.
david bepaul
To late Honda, I am buying Hyundai Veloster which beats your cr-z hybrid in MPG and does end it life with a major toxic waste disposal in the batteries
Mr. Dances
I've seen this CR-Z at the LA Auto Show. obviously, HPD is doing something about they're "target sales." this and the upcoming 2012 remodeled Civic are the boost in sales Honda Corp. needs. We all now the ZDX (yeah i know, the ZD-what?), Odyssey, and Crosstour all aren't selling too well. The ZDX sold less than 160 last year. The CR-Z was the only vehicle Honda produced that people, well mainly Honda enthusiasts, were anticipating, and they only have disappointment to show for it. The Si would be a big help, with the help of a new Accord, Civic, and possibly the resurrection of old Acura's, like the Legend, Integra, and especially the NSX (HSC).
Joe
They should have offered the K series as an option which would have made Honda a"fun car" builder again. That one shop in Florida had the right idea with there KRZ CRZ. I hope Honda doesn't screw it up again.
James
More power is (always) nice. But I hope Honda also considers a better suspension set up in the rear for this "new" CR-Z iteration. I bet they'll leave the better rear suspension for the 2nd gen CR-Z, just like the trailing arm rear on the 2nd gen CRX.
STEVE
I QUIT BUYING HONDAS IN 1997 THEY HAD NOTING LIGHT WEIGHT, FUN TO DRIVE, SO IF THEY BUILD THIS CAR (WITHOUT THE HYBRID) I WOULD HAVE TO RETURN TO HONDA! JUST MAKE SURE THE CAR IS INEXPENSIVE! (200HP UNDER 20K LOADED) IM BUYING ONE
Daniel
I think a full electric version would be a nice follow up the the - ahead of its time - Insight. Not only does this car look like an insight, especially from the rear, it may well drive like one, under powered... So; Full composite - plastic body / aluminum frame Full Electric, no on-board ice. Wheel hub motors. Lithium air - Ion Battery, Super capacitors for buffering and rapid acceleration, Optional rear wheel electric assist. Removing the ICE motor, transmission, exhaust system, gas tank, radiator, starter, auxiliary battery, and all the hoses, liquid, and wiring associated with ICE engines - should make this a very light weight sporty electric. So what if it costs 1/2 of the Tesla.
Justin
Having built and driven a turbo CRX HF for 5 years, I will say with certainty that if Honda decides to follow through with a factory turbocharged CR-Z I will be on the list to purchase one. Small, light-weight, decent power output, good handling = FUN. It just makes sense. Please do it.
Justin
Having built a turbo CRX HF before, I can say with certainty that if they built a factory turbocharged CR-Z I would almost certainly buy it. Small and light car with decent power output and good handling - its fun, and it makes sense. Do it!
Justin
Give me 200 horses in the CR-X, I mean CR-Z and then we can finally start talking about how this car should have been approached in the first place. If they could have just brought the Type R hatch here like everywhere else in the world, we might not even be having this discussion. Of course, now Ive gone to another issue all together and Ill stop talking.
John
If they make it, I'll buy it. Take off the battery weight and add more power and it will increase the fun factor and still be economical enough for me.
Darius
Honda should keep the hybrid powertrain but link it to the hotter engine. Then the CR-Z would really be a sport hybrid. Honda better do something fast, though. The Hyundai Veloster is gonna kill this car when it debuts in a couple of months.
Dave
Honda blew-it and knew-it, I worned them two years ago that the Hybrid wasn't going to cut it. Hopefully they canned all the folks associated to the new CRZ. Option 1). HF Model All electric Option 2). Standard Hybrid Option 3). SI 190hp I-4 Option 4). Bust-out with RWD/AWD Honda new but thought we'd by anything with nameplate.
Finally!
A Honda that appeals to DRIVERS again??? Yes please!!!
dent
I would like to see a cr-z with stronger electric motor and lithium instead so when I have an occasion for more kick I can just tap into the battery pack for a few seconds which is all I can ever use in the city traffic
XEagle Driver
Honda needs to start producing cars that make sense. The old CRX was hot! The new one should be just as fun. It only took 10 years for Honda to understand that that their cars were no longer leading edge designs. If they fail now, Toyota will buy them out within the next 20 years. Mr.Honda will just love that.
Doug
Honda underachieved with this latest effort. Mileage isn't great and it's obviously not very fun to drive. They need to pick a position, not compromise on both. Step up a hybrid version so it surpasses the Prius' MPG and offer an Si-like version that is quick and fun. Well within Honda's capabilities if they stop settling for the middle of the road.
Richard
"Would a turbocharged, non-hybrid form of Honda’s little hatchback be right up your alley" -- Heck YES!!!
Drew
I'm waiting for a hot, relatively inexpensive, sports car. One that is fun to drive and I can afford. This is what the CRX was all about and we all know what a huge success that was. So come on Honda, what are you waiting for?
kjs825
@STEVE - WHY ARE WE SHOUTING?

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