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Euro Honda CR-Z Hybrid to Debut in Geneva

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This is the European version of Honda CR-Z hybrid coupe which will make its debut at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show in March.

The CR-Z’s compact 2+2 coupe body and striking design is coupled with a responsive chassis to give nimble handling and direct steering, and a 6-speed manual transmission enhances driving enjoyment.

This is the world’s first six-speed manual hybrid car and its 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine coupled to the integrated motor assist (IMA) hybrid system is expected to get an 'official' EU emission rating of 117 g/km CO2 and fuel economy of 56.4mpg on the combined test cycle.

To maximize driver choice and enhance the day to day drivability of the CR-Z, it has a
3-Mode Drive System. This unique feature allows the driver to choose between three driving modes, which alter the responses of the throttle, steering, idle stop timing, climate control and the level of assistance provided by the IMA system.

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The 3-Mode Drive System allows the driver to choose whether they wish to maximize enjoyment, economy or strike a balance between the two. The aim of Honda’s engineers was to give customers more choice in how the CR-Z would drive, depending on their needs and desires at the time.

Sport buttons have become commonplace in cars to offer drivers the choice between normal throttle response and a sharper response for more enthusiastic driving. Honda’s
3-Mode Drive System is far more than just a button to sharpen throttle response, with the behavior of the hybrid drivetrain and the power steering assistance also changing between the three modes.

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When the CR-Z driver is away from the town or city and wanting to enjoy their drive, they can put the coupe into SPORT mode. This sharpens the throttle response, changes the behavior of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance and increases the weight of the electric power steering. Our engineers recognize that even cars designed to excite the driver may still be driven in heavy traffic where enthusiastic driving is not possible, or desirable. In these situations ECON mode can be selected, which prioritizes fuel economy in the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. At all other times the car can be run in NORM mode, which provides a balance between performance, economy and emissions and suits most driving situations.

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The ambient lighting of the speedometer is used in the same way as in the Insight, to guide the driver in driving more economically. In addition to the Eco Assist function, the CR-Z’s meter lighting is linked to the 3-mode drive system. Changing from red to blue and then green depending on whether SPORT, NORM or ECON is selected.

The CR-Z will go on sale in the
Europe this summer and specifications and prices are likely to be announced at the Geneva Motor Show. The US version was shown at last month’s Detroit Motor Show.

Check out the rest of our Geneva Motor Show coverage.

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