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Honda’s surprising CR-Z reveal

Nose job: No official images of the revised CR-Z have been released, but a teaser image from last week shows the subtly revised front end.

Updated Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe debuts in Jakarta, not Paris as expected

21 Sep 2012

HONDA’S updated CR-Z unexpectedly broke cover at the Indonesian International Motor Show in Jakarta this week, ahead of its presumed global reveal at the Paris motor show next week.

Honda information and a series of teaser shots had indicated that the revised hybrid coupe was expected to debut as one of the stars of Honda’s stand at the much larger French event.

Strangely, no official information or images have come to light from Jakarta, but show reports suggest that the car has received the expected styling changes, and that the 1.5-litre i-VTEC/100 volt electric motor hybrid drivetrain has received a power boost.

According to Malaysian website PaulTan, power for six-speed manual versions has jumped to 100kW/190Nm (up from 91kW/174Nm), while CVT automatic versions now have 99kW/172Nm.

Enthusiasts will welcome the increase, especially since the CR-Z now faces strong competition from the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ twins and the Hyundai Veloster in the affordable coupe market.

The overall exterior shape in largely unchanged, but new features include a re-designed front grille and bumper, rounded fog lights, a new rear diffuser and a revised 17-inch alloy wheel design.

Interior changes include new two-tone black/red seat trim and – as we have reported – a new S+ button that offers a sharper and sportier driving model alongside the existing Eco, Normal and Sport settings.

The facelifted model is due to hit Australian showrooms in the first half of next year, around 18 months after the model line arrived here in November 2011.

When launching the CR-Z, Honda Australia forecast it would sell about 50 CR-Zs a month but has so far averaged only 36 sales – although volume peaked last month with 85 units, around double the coupe’s previous best.

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