The Plus Sport button of the 2013 Honda CR-Z
Patrick Rall's picture

2013 Honda CR-Z debuts in Paris with more power

The Honda CR-Z was introduced to the world as a compact hybrid sports car but even though it had a sporty exterior design, the hybrid drivetrain fell short of “sporty” in the opinion of many – a problem that Honda hopes to solve with the new, more powerful 2013 CR-Z.

The 2013 Honda CR-Z is powered by the same 1.5L 4-cylinder engine as the models currently in US showrooms but thanks to a new camshaft, a retuned variable valve timing system and a new engine control unit tune, the 2013 CR-Z gasoline engine offers 120 horsepower – up from the 112 offered for the 2012 model year. Next, the electric assist portion of the CR-Z’s hybrid drivetrain has received a new lithium ion battery that produces 20 horsepower compared to the outgoing Nickel Metal Hybrid (Ni-MH) battery setup that offered just 14 horsepower. The 2013 CR-Z also features a new Plus Sport boost system that offers increased acceleration power when the battery is at least 50% charger. The system is activated by the S+ button on the steering wheel (shown above on the right) and when the driver hits the gas – the electric boost system engages and provides more power to the wheels for up to 10 seconds. The S+ system works in ECON, Normal and Sport modes with a gauge on the dash to let the driver know when the system is active and available.

When the revamped gasoline engine and the new battery system work together, the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system of the 2013 Honda CR-Z offers a total figure of 135 horsepower (+13hp) and 140lb-ft of torque (+12lb-ft). This increase in power for the 2013 model combined with the Plus Sport mode equates to a 0-62 time that is 7 tenths of a second quicker than the outgoing model (now 9 seconds flat) and a top speed of 124 miles per hour.

Finally, the 2013 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid offers impressive figures of 47.1 miles per gallon around town, 64.2mpg on the highway and a combined figure of 56.5mpg. Unfortunately, those are based on the European test cycle so we can expect the official EPA numbers to be significantly lower when the tuned up 2013 CR-Z arrives in the US.

In addition to the improved engine output, the 2013 Honda CR-Z receives an exterior refresh that also puts a bit more emphasis on the sporty nature of this hybrid hatchback. Across the front end is a new front fascia that houses a revised grille treatment while the back end wears a new lower portion with an aerodynamic splitter design. The 2013 CR-Z GT model gets a new set of 17” alloy wheels while all new CR-Z models will now be available in two hard-to-miss new hues - Energetic Yellow and Aurora Violet (shown in the gallery on the right). Inside, the CR-Z receives a new color scheme along with new door linings that improve the amount of interior storage space.

Truth be told, the modest increases made to the drivetrain of the 2013 Honda CR-Z aren’t going to rocket this sporty little hybrid to the top of the motorsports world but the improvements made to every aspect of the Integrated Motor Assist system should help to make the CR-Z more engaging to drive. The improvement in the 0-62 time of 7 tenths of a second is substantial enough for this car to satisfy those were felt that the original CR-Z hybrid needed a little more juice.

Check out the gallery on the right of the 2013 Honda CR-Z by clicking any of the thumbnails!


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Comments

It's still not enough! With the competition in the hot hatch market the CR-Z has a lot to contend with. The concept is great but the execution isn't. In my opinion, Honda is still catering too much to the green crowd with the CR-Z and not enough to the crowd looking for both a balance of economy AND sportiness. The fuel economy is there but at 8-9 seconds 0-60 the car doesn't live up to its sporty appearance. Come on honda give us a small green car with 200hp, 200lb-ft torque & around 6-6.5 seconds in the 0-60 run. Let people who enjoy spirited driving have some fun with the CR-Z!