Honda New Zealand unveils its long anticipated sporty coupe, the CRZ

Honda New Zealand unveils its long anticipated sporty coupe, the CRZ

The CRZ combines fantastic aesthetics with precise, sporty handling and power. It is a covetable head-turner, developed by Honda’s designers with some of the best sports cars of history in mind. The style, enjoyment, and fun of the journey was paramount in developing the CRZ.

A key feature that sets the CRZ in a class of its own is the use of Honda’s IMA Boost (Integrated Motor Assist and Gear Logic Control on steroids), which redefines the concept of the petrol engine/electric motor combination. Tuned for power delivery and sporty driving, the CRZ offers three selectable modes of boost for driving conditions and driver mood.

The IMA Boost controls the power delivery and reactivity of the car. The options of Sport, Normal and Econ change the car dynamically to match the selection.

Sports mode delivers peak torque between 1000 and 2500 rpm- changing the car with a turbo-like feel, minus the lag. The boost concept of low-rev torque brings the revs lower and maximises the electric boost. This reduces the gear changes required as the electric boost comes in at low revs and the petrol engine delivers the power at high revs.

This means that sporty handling on windy roads just became more enjoyable.

The steering is active and responsive, allowing the driver to virtually “think” the car through a bend. Even when driving enthusiastically on rough roads, the CRZ suspension holds a lovely balance between comfort and control. A six-speed manual transmission is available with a short, smooth and tight gear shift.

Equally impressive is the 7 Speed CVT Auto option with its F1 racing-inspired shift paddles to accommodate those who enjoy driving a manual on the open roads and an auto around town. The CVT gear logic optimizes gear selection for a brisk exit from corners.

The interior of the cabin is sleek and beautifully designed with a futuristic dash. A tidy layout gives a 3D floating digital speedo with surrounding tachometer. A glowing “ring of fire” around the tachometer changes colour depending on settings. Sports mode sets it to a satisfying deep red, while in other modes it changes blue and green depending on fuel efficiency.

The CRZ also performs excellently around town when crawling in traffic, as the driver can select Econ to optimize the IMA, reducing fuel consumption.

One of the safest cars on the road, the CRZ was the best performing supermini to be assessed by Euro NCAP in 2010. Equipped with driver and passenger front and side airbags and full length side curtain airbags as standard, as well as active headrests, Electronic Stability Control (Honda’s VSA), traction control, ABS, EBD and EBA, side intrusion beams, and Honda’s own Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure with G-Force Control (G-CON), the CRZ offers the full safety package.

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