Honda CRZ 2012 Review

January 18th, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

To date, hybrid vehicles have certainly been rather dull automobiles that have failed miserably to excite anyone with the need for speed. Just when you thought all was lost for anyone wanting to save the planet one kilometre at a time, Honda’s new CRZ hybrid has come to the rescue.  Billed as the long awaited replacement for the CRX, Honda has managed to capture that same youthful enthusiasm the CRX delivered those 26 years ago.

Everywhere you look the CRZ has taken styling cues from the CRX. From the bodylines to the classic split rear window, it’s instantly recognisable as its predecessor.

That CRX feel is carried on into the interior, with the instrument cluster featuring wings like the original 1986 model. A large central analogue rev counter dominates the display with a digital speedo inside. Everything can be controlled right at your fingertips on the steering wheel, including shift paddles if you elect for the CVVT auto transmission model. As with decent modern stereos there is both an aux and USB input for MP3 player or iPod. The USB cord is hidden in a small smart device sized compartment in the centre console, keeping the device out of sight and out of harm’s way.

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Toyota MR2 ready for a hybrid comeback?

November 30th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Toyota mr2

There’s a feeling among car fans that hybrid vehicles are going to kill off the driver-oriented sportscar. But many skeptics were silenced when Honda took the wraps off of its CR-Z coup concept recently. After all, anything that could bring back the CRX hatchback with extra power at no extra cost at the fuel pumps has to be pretty good right? Now it seems Toyota wants in on some of that hybrid sports car action.

Recent reports out of Japan are suggesting that Toyota may be working on a reborn hybrid sportscar of its own. The company once known for its sports-coupes recently unveiled the FT-86 concept, and might be ready to follow up with a gasoline-electric resurrection of the cult classic MR2. The budget-friendly mid-engine/rear-drive sportscar had a big following right up until the third-generation model was discontinued two years ago. But if the latest reports are to be believed the old MR2 is set for a hybrid comeback.

While details are scarce it’s likely that we’re looking at a two-seat two-door coupe with a gasoline engine mounted behind the cabin, coupled to an electric motor in a more performance-focused version of the Toyota Synergy Drive popularized by the Prius. Reports suggest it may use the MR-S nameplate in Japan but could come to NZ as the MR2. That’s all that’s known so far, but if it all goes to plan, Japan’s beloved budget mid-engined car could be coming back with a spark.