Honda promises hybrid Jazz, CR-Z next year
Worthwhile competition for the Prius at last?
Leccy Tech Honda has announced it is to put two new hybrids into production alongside its Insight and Civic models.
Towards the end of 2010, a hybrid version of the Honda Fit will be launched. That's just a Jazz by another name, and nothing to get too excited about.
Far more interesting is the news that, come February next year, Honda will finally launch its CR-Z coupé.
Honda has been showing a bit of CR-Z ankle at car shows around the world for the last two years so it's about time it stuffed the Insight's hybrid power train in the thing and gave us all the chance to buy one.
With the CR-Z – it stands for Compact Renaissance Zero, in case you were wondering – due in less than eight months, it's safe to assume the basic drive train will be very similar to that of the current Insight. So expect a 98bhp 1.3l four-cylinder petrol engine hooked up to a 13bhp electric motor and a CVT automatic gearbox.
Being both smaller and lighter than the Insight, the CR-Z should a good bit faster and more agile – the Insight's 0-62 time of 12.5 seconds and top speed of 113mph don't exactly set the pulse racing.
Having two less doors, it's just possible the CR-Z may undercut the Insight's £15,990 ($25,900/€18,600) on-the-road price.
Not a Clarkson favourite...
Though sales of the Insight have been below expectation in the US, where the Toyota Prius remains the hybrid of choice, shipments have been strong in both Japan and Europe - despite Jeremy Clarkson calling it “biblically terrible”, a judgement we will be putting to the test in a few weeks' time.
Honda didn't say when the the hybrid CR-Z and Fit will arrive in Blighty, but we would expect to see them sooner rather than later. ®
Honda CR-Z Picture Gallery
breakfast, is it safe to assume you've never driven a Jazz?
My wife's Jazz is over six years old, has more than 150,000km on the clock and still runs like new. It deals with close to half a metre of flood water, unsurfaced roads, cyclones, overtaking triples* and everything else that the Aussie bush can throw at it. The only failure beyond wiper blades has been the A/C compressor and Honda supplied a replacement free of charge despite being out of warranty. Today it did a seven hour round trip to collect two flat pack metal/glass desks, two office chairs and a filing cabinet and still happily chugged along at 120 km/h (that's about 75 mph in old money) with plenty to spare. Try that in any other car of its size.
* A triple is a roadtrain with three 40ft trailers in tow, usually driven in an impenetrable cloud of red bull dust on narrow bush roads. The following vehicle relies on the truck driver to signal that the road ahead is clear. Passing is carried out with two wheels on the tarmac and the other two in the gravel at the side of the road. A manoeuvre best carried out quickly unless you have a kevlar sphincter.
Re: Great, an electric Jazz
Enough with the Jazz grief, OK.
Two points. First, you're as likely to be stuck behind someone going slow in almost anything, BMWs excepted; do these boys actually go less than 90? If it's available to buy, sooner or later you'll get caught up behind it doing 40mph irrespective if the limit.
I can't answer to the new one, but the original Jazz - the one minus the stupid pointy bits at the outer corners of the bumpers - is more than capable of holding its own tooling up the motorway and is a lot of fun in windy country roads and city streets. I know, I throw mine around both.
And AC is right, you get splendid mileage out of it.
Umm, you might want to check out the original Honda Insight then. It came in manual and CVT. The manual was the more economical of the two.....