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Honda ends long wait, launches CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) officially welcomed the all-new CR-Z Sport Hybrid Coupe in a memorable launch recently at the NBC Tent in Taguig City, taking cue from the Filipino market’s highly enthusiastic reaction when the CR-Z MUGEN concept was first shown.

According to HCPI’s president and general manager Tatsuya Natsume, Honda felt the market’s strong desire for a sport hybrid coupe is available here in the Philippines, as enthusiasts reminisce over the legendary sporty Honda models previously available in the country.

The letters CR-Z stands for “Compact Renaissance Zero,” which represents Honda’s commitment to go back to the point of origin (zero) and take on the challenge to create a new compact sports car without being bound by the values of traditional coupés,  at a price that is more affordable for all Honda enthusiasts.

“It is my privilege to be able to bring this product to the Philippines. With this product we aim to provide an unparalleled driving experience and rest assured we heard what Filipinos want from Honda. The New Honda has arrived,” Natsume said.

The Honda CR-Z is poised to create a new definition to mobility, successfully balancing sporty and eco, and continuing the long-standing Honda tradition of building small but highly dynamic and highly efficient performance sports cars for everyone.

The all-new CR-Z uses a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine as the main source of power with an electric motor, Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA). Efficiently combining these two, Honda was able to create a new value for its brand through a sport hybrid coupe for a new era. This combination enables drivers to have a responsive and exciting driving experience, thus achieving excellent fun-to-drive performance and exceptional fuel efficiency.

The unique combination of the two ideas, sport and hybrid, is something very unique to the CR-Z and to be able to fully demonstrate these opposing ideas, Honda developed two systems: 3-Mode Drive System and Plus Sport System.

3-Mode Drive System

Honda introduced the “3-Mode Drive System,” a system which lets the driver choose whether the hybrid system will be used for added performance, or for efficiency. With a push of a button, it allows drivers to freely shift to SPORT, NORMAL or ECON modes for different driving style and/or driving situations. The system applies integrated control over the engine’s drive-by-wire, motor assist, CVT shift management, Electric Power Steering and air conditioner.

In SPORT mode, the vehicle uses the IMA system in order to provide extra power, while at the same time making the throttle pedal more sensitive to driver inputs for better control during sporty driving. Meanwhile, in ECON mode, the IMA system assists more by limiting the amount of fuel used by the engine in order to achieve better efficiency and reduced emissions. In NORMAL mode the driving performance and fuel economy are balanced to that of what one would expect from a modern Honda sports car.

Honda further pushes the envelope as the all-new CR-Z now has an additional selection—the Plus-Sport System or S+ Button.  The Plus-Sport system uses the charge from the battery to power the electric motor and give an additional boost in acceleration that is comparable to a 3-liter V6 engine, enabling a more responsive acceleration to achieve additional fun and excitement while driving. To put it in a more modern context, it is similar to the Kinteic Energy Recovery System (KERS)  in modern Formula 1 race cars which gives the driver increased acceleration for short periods of time, such as overtaking or powering out of corners.

Enhanced driving

The all-new CR-Z is capable of delivering maximum power of  134.14 hp at 6600 rpm and maximum torque of 19.4 kg-m for the six-speed manual transmission and  133.15 hp at 6600 rpm and maximum torque of 17.4 kg-m for the Continuously Variable transmission (CVT 7-speed mode with paddle shifters). Both transmissions offer enhanced driving enjoyment and convenience.

In order to create a sportier look, Honda designed the CR-Z with a low vehicle height, a wide stance, short overhangs and a short overall vehicle length that projects a sporty, dynamic image, while at the same time providing 2+2 passenger capacity, with a rear bench that features a one-touch fold-down system that creates a cargo area with sufficient space to fit two golf bags.

Furthermore, the interior of the CR-Z aims for each occupant to feel a sense of excitement when inside the vehicle. This is why an advanced design for the instrument cluster was utilized and matched with high quality materials for the instrument panel. The sporty bucket-type front seats featuring a black and red color combination give stability under duress and comfort during  long-distance driving.

Thrust to vehicle safety

One of Honda’s primary thrusts includes comprehensive methodology to vehicle safety. For one’s peace of mind, the all-new CR-Z is packed with driver and assistant SRS airbags, side airbags with occupant position detection system, curtain airbags, antilock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), vehicle stability assist (VSA) and hill start assist. Of course one would expect any Honda, sports car or not, to have the very best in terms of safety equipment. Many of these safety equipment not only improve overall safety but also increase driving performance and enjoyment.

“The arrival of the CR-Z means a lot to Honda, we feel that this particular model was able to connect to Filipinos. Since then, we thought of giving each customer a more personal approach in choosing his CR-Z and decided to offer 3 feature-packed variants, 2 transmission options and 6 colors,” Natsume said. The Standard model is equipped with projector-type HID headlights, LED park lights, front fog lights, rain sensing front wipers, LED taillights, intermittent rear windshield wiper and 17-inch alloy wheels. HCPI is also offering the CR-Z Modulo variant equipped with Carbon Fiber finish under spoiler set, ducktail-type tailgate spoiler and Modulo emblem.

And for the first time, HCPI is introducing a CR-Z MUGEN variant which is equipped with under spoiler set, MUGEN front grille, wing-type tailgate spoiler, MUGEN lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels, MUGEN exhaust system, Aero Illumination (LED Daytime Running Lights), rear fog lights, carbon fiber mirror cover and shift knob (for manual transmission only), MUGEN emblem and MUGEN floor mats.

Crafted to deliver an unparalleled driving experience and exceptional fuel efficiency, the Honda CR-Z is available with the following suggested retail prices:

•Standard (manual transmission)  P1.39 million

• Standard (CVT with paddle shifters) P1.48 million

• Modulo (manual transmission)  P1.47 million

• Modulo (CVT with paddle shifters) P1.56 million

• MUGEN (manual transmission)  P1.86 million

• MUGEN (CVT with paddle shifters) P1.95 million

The all-new CR-Z is available in six exciting colors, including white pearl, crystal black, polished metal, milano red, premium golden purple pearl and, an exclusive color for the CR-Z, the turquoise blue. With various choices available, the CR-Z offers a more personal Honda spirit of mobility bound to make every journey fun and enjoyable, making us opt to choose the longer, but more enjoyable drive to our destinations

Interested customers can reserve the all-new CR-Z in any of the 28 authorized Honda dealerships nationwide. For more details and up to date information about the CR-Z, visit www.hondaphil.com.

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