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.