Honda CR-Z Is A Manual Driver's Dream

With an affordable price tag of $19,950, the 2011 Honda CR-Z is slated to have the lowest starting price for a hybrid in the United States from a major automaker.

The vehicle is expected to be the only hybrid in the country offered with a manual transmission.. The six-speed stick CR-Z is fun to drive while delivering a government fuel economy rating of 34 miles per gallon combined. Highway mileage alone is rated at 37 mpg!

Early reports says the CR-Z may be small, but the car doesn't look or feel "cheap." Honda used its top of the line materials to usher in a whole new era of hybrid sportscar driving. At just 150inches larger then the MINI Cooper, Honda homes to dish out 15,000 in the United States alone during this 2011-2012 model year.

According to our sources, "the CR-Z body is wedge-shaped, with a cargo liftgate that's so high off the ground it comes to near chest level on me. To aid driver views out the back of the car, both the liftgate and small, upright rear area above the bumper have glass in them, a la the Honda CR-X sporty car."

For all the spunkiness of the CR-Z around town and in passing maneuvers, the gasoline engine is pretty much the same one as in the Honda Fit: A 122-horsepower, 1.5-liter, single overhead cam four cylinder with Honda's variable valve technology.
 
But unlike the Fit, the engine is mated to a 10-kilowatt electric motor that adds up to 13 horsepower at a very low 1,500 rpm. The electric motor, which comes on and off on its own as needed, also contributes up to 58 foot-pounds of torque at 1,000 rpm, which explains the decent acceleration.

Be sure to check out the all new Honda CR-Z Hybrid later this summer at First Team Honda.
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