Upgraded 2013 Honda CR-Z Goes On Sale Today

Today is the day the revised 2013 Honda CR-Z goes on sale. While styling, new colors and features are part of the new package, it is the more powerful powertrain that is the real news.

For 2013, assist from the electric motor has jumped from 10 kilowatts to 15, through a new higher voltage (144-volt) lithium-ion battery pack.

The CR-Z now delivers a combined peak output of 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 140 pound-feet of torque (127 pound-feet on CVT-equipped models), a gain of eight horsepower and 12 pound-feet of torque (4 pound-feet on CVT equipped models). Manual-transmission versions also receive both a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio.

Two CR-Z models are offered for 2013, the base CR-Z ($19,975) and the CR-Z EX. EX adds Auto-On/Off High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Headlights, LED daytime running lights (DRL), a 360-watt AM/FM/CD Premium Audio System with seven speakers including subwoofer, perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel, and more.

The CR-Z EX is also available with the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with FM traffic and voice recognition, Pandora Interface and an SMS text messaging function.

The more powerful Lithium-Ion battery pack helps boost EPA-rated fuel economy figures by 1 mpg city for CVT equipped models, and 1 mpg highway for CR-Z models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.

The CR-Z hybrid powertrain is a unique variation of Honda’s original IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) technology, which debuted on the 2000 Honda Insight. The system in the CR-Z utilizes a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam engine with “intelligent” Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (i-VTEC) that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system’s DC brushless electric motor.

Even with better performance, EPA fuel economy ratings for the 2013 Honda CR-Z have improved. On CVT-equipped models, the EPA city/hwy/combined rating is up 1 mpg city to 36/39/37 mpg, while models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission see an EPA mpg rating of 31/38/34, a gain of 1 mpg highway.

The CR-Z is rated as an Advanced Technology-Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) in states that adhere to California Air Resource Board (CARB) ZEV standards (EPA Tier 2, Bin 2 in all states).

A new Plus Sport System is standard on the 2013 Honda CR-Z. If the battery is more than 50 percent charged and the CR-Z is traveling over 19 mph, the driver can press the “S+” button on the steering wheel to deliver increased acceleration for up to five seconds.

A flashing gauge on the dashboard indicates when the Plus Sport System is active. The Plus Sport System can be used in Econ, Normal or Sport modes.

  • John K.

    Can’t wait to hear how it performs compared to the older version, esp 0-60 mph (or street start, 5-60 mph).

    I wonder if the next gen CR-Z (MY2014?), will get Honda’s next gen one-motor hybrid system:

    “The new powertrain in the one-motor SPORT HYBRID Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive combines a newly developed inline 4-cylinder 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT). According to Honda, its built-in high-output motor and lithium-ion battery improve efficiency by more than 30 percent compared to a conventional one-motor hybrid system.”

  • Jim Jones

    Why are those mpg figures so bad for such a little car??

  • hth

    Common Honda…People won’t buy this little car with that mpg. Midsize Sedan already got up to that. I don’t see a success on this car.

  • John K.

    @Jim Jones: the “little” Miata (2 seats, 4 cylinders, 6-spd, 2447#) gets 21/28 mpg — far *worse* than the equivalent CR-Z (2644# and 31/38).

    @hth: the CR-X Si was a great success for a niche vehicle (2-seat, hardtop, sporty econo coupe), and the CR-Z will be the same IF Honda maintains the mpg while increasing its sportiness.

    Mazda sells TONS of Miatas and most of them drive around most of the time w/their tops up. If Honda can steal just a fraction of that market, the CR-Z will be a success.

    Unless the next gen CR-Z can lose some of the 558# it weighs more than the old Si (due to hybrid drive, heavier (and much safer) body, hybrid battery, airbags, etc.) with their lighter, next gen 1-motor SPORT HYBRID system, the CR-Z needs an additional 21 hp to have the lbs/hp ratio of the old Si. Adding 21 hp will make maintaining its mpg more difficult.

    Either way, Honda really needs to focus on front to rear weight ratio on the next CR-Z: Miata is near perfect 50:50 whereas CR-Z is almost 60:40! That hurts vehicle dynamics and steering response and more. Lowering the center of gravity is similarly important.

    Honda, ignore 90+% of the people here who only care about mpg and/or going EV — they’re not the CR-Z’s target market/market niche. Very few people here enjoy driving, much less sporty driving on twisty mountain roads on a sunny Sunday morning….

  • Modern Marvel Fan

    “Why are those mpg figures so bad for such a little car??”

    Why does Performance cars with even lighter weight only return sub-20 mpg? They are usually only 2-seaters.
    It is called Physics. You want performance, you got to pay it in MPG.

    Only the zombie Prius fans would love MPG over ANY kind of driving pleasure.

    Honda didn’t design the CR-Z for that MPG zombie market. It is designed for the sports-hybrid market.

  • Nelson Lu

    Except that Ford, for example, has larger hybrids with a lot more power, generally perform better, and get better mileage. It’s the lesser Honda technology, not the “performance.”

  • Anonymous

    Hamas learnt how to fire rockets into Tel Aviv, soon Al Qaida will learn to fire rockets into Washington & New York.
    All gas guzzling Americans will become Zombies

  • Volume Van

    We should appreciate Honda for moving to Lithium battery and improving performance. But will this sell against Prius C which is a 5 seater and has 51 MPG. I still dont know why Honda is not launching Fit-H

  • John K.

    Funny how everyone ignores that the CR-Z gets *50% better* gas mileage than the small, light 4-cyliner Miata….

    If Honda can keep the CR-Z’s mileage up while improving performance, they’ll have a winner! First step is getting performance up to CR-X Si’s standards (w/much improved safety and gas mileage). After that, close in on the Miata’s performance numbers.

  • John K.

    @Nelson Lu: Please tell me you aren’t saying that you think a Ford Fusion Hybrid is a fun to drive, sporty car…. Please tell me you’re not suggesting that. And if you’re not suggesting that, why do you bring it up since that is the niche market the CR-Z is aiming for?

    @Anonymous: Apple w/o Jobs will last a little longer than Al Qaeda w/o Bin Laden….

  • Nelson Lu

    John, have you even driven a Fusion Hybrid? Say, back-to-back with a CR-Z? I’m sorry, but I think someone who think that CR-Z is “more fun” is a masochist.

  • hybridhybrid

    some sources have cited estimated 0-60 of around 9 seconds
    the fuel mileage is not bad but can be better

    come on, even a c-max which is heavier, fatter, uglier, although a tad more expensive can achieve better figures and around equal accel time (if the estimated time is true). same with the jetta hybrid

    honda should forget about MPG. this car needs an otto cycle DOHC 1.6 i-vtec with an electric assist (with a combined power of around 180 bhp) then we are talking

    besides, WTF is with that MUGEN supercharger doing in an atkinson cycle engine and costing a bomb!?