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HEY, Auto Motor

February 12, 2011 by staff 

HEY Auto Motor, New Honda CR-Z represents an interesting concept, a hybrid sport. This is the first to appear, and will not be the last. But the design work? While the “sport” today implies the power dynamics of the chassis to get that power to the ground and the vehicle on the road quickly and with a good driving experience, are at least as important. Historically “sports cars” were not always extremely powerful – the MG TC that began the fascination American sports car produced all of 54 horses from a 1.25 liter engine for a top speed of less than 80 km / h and a time of 00 to 60 about 20 seconds. While he and many British sports cars and Europe that followed the late 1940s by the late 1960s were not too quick in acceleration or top speed compared to sedans U.S. the time, they were much better in their handling capabilities, and much more fun to drive.

There is no reason that a sports car could not be a hybrid. But hybrids have so far been made in energy efficiency and ultra low emissions design objectives, with the driving experience a distinct afterthought.

Enter the CR-Z. Think of it as a descendant of both the legendary CRX coupe of the 1980s and early ’90s “and the original Insight in 2000. It is not “the new CR-X” is the CR-Z. Yes, it looks like what a CRX 2011 should look like, and its suspension is granted and for hiking and sports handling characteristics, but a car is very different from the CRX or the first Insight. This is the sportier hybrid yet, but its aim is wider than just sport.

The CRX is a minimalist sports coupe for the automotive enthusiast on a budget. He has obtained excellent results under the light, between 1900 and 2200 books by year. Only engines are 91 to 108 horsepower, again increased over the years but this is enough – and allowed a CRX to go far on low fuel. The CRX is a slick little coupe so stocky that brought the window in the back of Honda style, and it was a lot more usable space in any other sport or a sports car for its size. No surprise that it is a cult car today.

The Insight 2000 was the first hybrid for sale in the U.S., and reached its effectiveness in much the same way than the Insight – lightweight. The first generation Integrated Motor Assist ™ (IMA ™) drive system was much simpler than Toyota’s hybrid system, based on a 67-horsepower, 1.0 liter gasoline engine assisted by a three-cylinder electric motor with a 25 lb-ft of torque when needed. Think “electric turbocharger”. With a five-speed manual transmission and air conditioning (optional), curb weight was less than 1900 pounds. His look of a coupe and fastback rear window were more than somewhat reminiscent of the CRX

The CR-Z, in the upscale EX version with navigation system as a test car this week, weighs 2700 pounds. Although its shape is familiar, the CR-Z is physically larger than either of its ancestors in all its dimensions. This means more space and comfort, and a much larger market potential. Crashworthiness requirements that did not exist in the days of the CRX also contribute to weight gain – airbags and structural reinforcements are not weightless. If you are aspiring to a new CRX, you are not the target market. To quote directly from the first row of the press kit CR-Z, “Designed as an elegant, driver-oriented vehicle with a focus on” green “performance, the all-new Honda CR-2011-Z has a elegant two-seater coupe design with a fast and sporty handling in the gasoline-electric hybrid segment. ”

After an interesting week with the CR-Z, I can say that Honda has absolutely achieved that goal. Even with the CVT, which is expected to make three-quarters of sales, it is more interesting than any current hybrid, and really fun to drive. And not just like a game of four-wheelers. Adjustment of the suspension is firm enough for fun in the corners, but soft enough for comfort. The drive control system of three modes allows the driver to switch between performance parameters and gas-based economy and control of the IMA. Acceleration is adequate, and certainly much better than almost every 50 or 60 years of sports cars at affordable prices. The 2011 Honda CR-Z is an interesting step in a new direction, and yes, it is a “sports car” compared to today’s standards.

APPEARANCE: S2000 Place a transmission in this body, and Honda could have a nice pocket supercar. This is not the mission of the CR-Z’s life, but he still has the aspect of performance. Honda calls the design of a wedge of a movement, “and was developed for the aerodynamic efficiency (contributing to both efficiency and performance) as well as for the style. There is an undeniable family resemblance to the old CRX and the two generations of Insight, mainly for this reason. Attention to detail is evident in basement and air management of the engine compartment.

COMFORT: What a deal! Your own private spaceship and under 24,000. Well, the dashboard makes you think, anyway. The bright, the controls in three dimensions and carefully placed the gauges look suitably futuristic – and works well, displaying all the information needed and then some in a simple manner, without distractions. Mesh fabric with silver sports seats supportive and door trim match your space suit, too … forms and multiple cohesive materials keep the interior visually interesting, and, in agreement with CRX its ancestor, it is much more useful storage space and storage you might think looking at the outside. A folding partition between the passengers and baggage is the equivalent of a folder, with two storage boxes open practice where seats could go. With his back bent, the compartments are still usable. Under the load floor lays a space saver (no repair kit-dish, yay!) With the battery under the IMA. Visibility is excellent, except for the hindquarters, where he is definitely classic sports coupe. Back carefully and use your eyes and mirrors!

SECURITY: The structure of the Honda CR-Z features Advanced Compatibility Engineering ™ technology to improve passenger protection and compatibility in frontal collisions. It is also designed to reduce injuries to pedestrians in the event of contact. There is also a full head restraint airbags, active. Disc brakes with four-wheel ABS with electronic brake force and electronic stability control are also standard.

Ride and handling: The CR-Z is based loosely on the same platform as the current Insight and Fit. This means a cross front-engine/motor, transmission and front wheel drive monocoque construction with independent MacPherson struts in front and a torsion axle at the rear of the beam. The unibody structure is different than, obviously, and was reinforced with high strength steel for improved rigidity and reduced weight. Wheelbase is shorter than either the platform mate, with a wider track. Aluminum arms control before reducing unsprung weight. The suspension is moderately firm paid for maneuverability and a fun driving experience. Electric power steering means that help can be changed with the drive modes. Despite its small size and modest price, the sound is good, if within the CR-Z is pretty quiet, even on long highway drones.

PERFORMANCE: “Performance” means in a hybrid fuel economy as high as acceleration, speed, and handling. It is home to the compromise. Maximum combined power of the 1.5-liter gasoline engine single head cam i-VTEC and brushless DC electric motor is from 122 to 6000 rpm and peak torque of 128 lb.-ft. from 1000 to 2000 rpm (with CVT). It is a compact and simple, as the engine mounts 61mm thick between the engine and transmission, with a nickel metal hydride (NiMH) return of 84-D cells mounted under the business spare. This gives better acceleration than most hybrids, with a time of 0-60 around 9.3 seconds in Sport mode. Too this, and fuel economy suffers. These are the laws of physics … With EPA ratings of 35 mpg city and 39 roads, including 36 during my week, the CR-Z is better than almost all non-hybrid cars, but not the usual mileage hybrid small. Performance or economy, it is compromise.

The most interesting feature CR-Z is the drive system of three modes. Sport mode increases the reactivity of the gas and steering effort required, and the electric assist motor remaps (faster) and the ratio of CVT (bottom) programming. The inner ring of the speedometer glows red. The normal mode is the default, with a more linear response and higher gas ratios that CVT Sport. The inner ring of the speedometer is illuminated in blue, green will increase efficiency. ECON mode reduces engine response to inputs, maintains a regime of lower motor fuel consumption has decreased, the limits of power and torque, and uses higher ratios CVT. The ring tech also changes from blue to green, depending on efficiency. Like the Insight, the Eco Assist ™ also offers the fuel economy information for the driver. BF Skinner would be proud … I found the Sport mode a necessity during highway merging or fun countryman (and please note that I said “fun rustic” in a test of a hybrid), switching to Econ normal or even once at cruising speed. Hey, the acceleration is fun, or necessary, but there is no need to use more fuel than you need. I even had two three-Eco Assist leaves. As with other hybrids, braking performance improved regenerative braking, in addition to charging the battery, and engine stop at traffic stops and other car improves fuel consumption.

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