The Honda CR-Z – The Tuners Have Been Unleashed
The Honda CR-Z is unique in that it is the first mass produced sports-hybrid, until now hybrids have had great fuel efficiency but have been about as quick as a glob of oatmeal. Official Honda tuners Mugen as well as Spoon and HKS have all unleashed their engineering talent onto the 2-door hatchback and the results are impressive enough to convert die-hard-hybrid-haters like the guys at Top Gear into evangelical CR-Z fans.
Now some will point out that tuning makes a car less efficient, this is true, however if hybrid cars don’t draw in the 18-35 age segment their adoption will be severely limited. Having the CR-Z winning legions of new fans to the concepts of both hybrid and electric drive-trains can only workout for the greater good in the long run.
New exhaust systems, superchargers, ECU replacements, suspension upgrades, aero-packages and even full body vinyl kits are being bolted into and applied onto the CR-Z in time for the upcoming SEMA Autoshow in November (it runs from the 2nd to the 5th). It’ll be interesting to see what kind of a reaction the hybrid gets from the hardcore petrolhead crowd, so far there has been nothing but enthusiasm for the CR-X successor and it’ll be interesting to see how far the tuning companies go in their never ending game of one upmanship.
On an interesting side note, the FIA (Formula 1’s governing body) has been considering a switch to 1.5 litre turbo charged engines from the 2013 season onwards, this would mean CR-Z owners would be able to say “I have the same sized engine as an F1 car”.