The CR-Z first drew the local market’s attention during the Philippine International Motor Show last year. HCPI President and General Manager Tatsuya Natsume said it was then that Honda felt the market’s strong desire for a hybrid coupé.
“We were ecstatic to be able to have brought in such kind of a product for the show visitors to see up close, and it was truly our pleasure to give a different kind of excitement to the crowd,” Natsume recalled. “In this same event, we were repeatedly asked when the CR-Z will be sold locally, and our response was ‘as soon as the hybrid law is passed the CR-Z will be on its way to the Philippines.’ Yet despite the non-passing of the hybrid law, we joyfully announced in April that the CR-Z will be available for retail, and now, it is finally here.”
‘Compact Renaissance Zero’
The CR-Z means “Compact Renaissance Zero,” which Natsume said represents Honda’s commitment to go back to the point of origin (zero) to take on the challenge to create a new compact car without being bound by the values of traditional coupés.
“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,” Natsume said.
The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine, which is assisted by Honda’s electric Integrated Motor Assist system that has three modes designed to suit as best as possible any driving condition. With just a touch of a button, the CR-Z could shift from Sport, Normal or Econ modes to match different driving styles or road situations.
In Sport mode the CR-Z puts out extra power. In Econ mode, the car limits the amount of fuel it consumes to attain better efficiency. But should the driver want more power for additional fun, the CR-Z provides the Plus-Sport system that uses the charge from the battery to boost the electric motor’s output.
A day after the CR-Z’s launch, a fleet of the hybrid cars was brought to the Batangas Racing Circuit where 12 participants tested its fuel economy and performance. In the fuel economy run, one of the participants—James Deakin of C! Magazine—managed an average consumption of 21 kilometers per liter aboard a CR-Z with a manual transmission. This is significantly better than what the others achieved, which was still an impressive 19 kilometers to a liter.
Besides returning excellent mileage, the CR-Z, with a six-speed manual transmission, also delivers sporty performance, thanks to 134 horsepower that arrives at 6,600rpm and 190 Newton-meter of torque. With the seven-mode continuously variable transmission (which has paddle shifters), the car outputs 133 horsepower at 6,600rpm and 171 Newton-meter.
The CR-Z, which can be ordered with Modulo or Mugen kits, is available in White Pearl, Crystal Black, Polished Metal, Milano Red, Turquoise Blue and Cosmo Flash Violet paintjobs. The car is priced at P1.390 million for the manual transmission Standard variant; P1.480 million for the Standard variant with CVT; P1.470 million for the Modulo variant with a manual transmission; P1.560 million for the Modulo with CVT; P1.860 million for the Mugen variant with a manual transmission; and P1.950 million for the Mugen with CVT.