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.