All-New CR-Z Hybrid Vehicle Introduced in Japan

Honda Motor Company Ltd, announced today that the all-new CR-Z hybrid vehicle will go on sale in Japan on Friday, February 26, 2010. CR-Z combines a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and Honda's proprietary Integrated Motor Assist™ (IMA®) system, and creates fusion between futuristic and dynamic styling and exhilarating driving, along with outstanding fuel economy of 4.0 L/100km. *1

Based on Honda's passion to broaden the potential for a hybrid vehicle and enable customers to experience a new kind of excitement with all of their senses, CR-Z was developed offering three core values – Emotional (emotional look and feel), Exciting (make people want to enjoy driving) and Smart (environmentally responsible, useful and liberating). To achieve these three values in all areas of this vehicle, including design, packaging and performance, Honda applied its most advanced technologies.

CR-Z stands for "Compact Renaissance Zero," which 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 coupes.

Futuristic, dynamic and compact design

  • The dynamic one-motion wedge form is the heart of the sporty exterior styling.
  • A futuristic and elegant feel was pursued for the interior design in addition to high functionality which enables the driver to experience the joy of driving.

Honda’s original hybrid system for fun driving and high fuel economy

  • Combining the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and lightweight, compact IMA enabled CR-Z to achieve the highest level of both fun to drive, feel and exceptional fuel economy.
  • CR-Z is the first model to feature Honda’s three-mode drive system, which enables the driver to choose SPORT, NORMAL or ECON modes depending on the driver’s driving style and/or driving situation, such as in the city, on the freeway or on winding roads.
  • The world’s first 6-speed manual transmission on a hybrid vehicle*2 enhances driving enjoyment. A CVT version features paddle shifters as standard equipment.

Body and chassis designed for agile and exhilarating driving

CR-Z’s dedicated suspension, lightweight and highly rigid body, and thorough control of aerodynamics offer responsive and controlled handling.

Comfortable utility

With ample luggage area and storage spaces, the CR-Z offers everyday utility for shopping, weekend outings and short vacations.

Seven body colors

Dark Pewter Metallic (new), Horizon Turquoise Pearl (new), Premium White Pearl, Milano Red, Brilliant Orange Metallic, Crystal Black Pearl, Storm Silver Metallic

One interior color

Medium Gray (Light Gray leather interior available as a factory option on CR-Z α)


CR-Z α and CR-Z β

Key Features of the CR-Z

Exterior Design

  • The functional beauty of an automobile and advanced and clean image of a hybrid vehicle were fused into the exterior design of the CR-Z.
  • For the front view, the width was emphasized by the large and highly-visible front grill and a design form with extended fenders.
  • For the side view, a one-motion wedge form was adopted to emphasize sportiness and sense of speed. A dedicated aerodynamic-focused design was adopted for door mirrors, outer door handles, and other exterior features.
  • For the rear view, sportiness and dynamism were expressed by a design form curving inward from the side windows to the rear fenders, with the large-sized rear diffuser located underneath the bumper.
  • The headlights create a clean and precise impression of the vehicle. In the lower portion of the headlights, white LED position lamps extend laterally for a futuristic look.

Interior Design

  • With its highly functional and futuristic design, the interior of the CR-Z expresses sportiness and exhilaration suitable for the sporty hybrid.
  • A sense of superior quality was pursued for the CR-Z’s interior space through various details including use of metallic thin film accents*3 for the center console and door handles.
  • Functions necessary for driving are clustered on the driver’s side. With the Super 3D Meter in the middle, horizontal bar-shaped meters were positioned on both sides of the central meter ensuring high visibility and creating a futuristic appearance with the crystal-blue illumination.


  • The “Low (vehicle height), Short (wheelbase), Wide (tread)” package realizes dynamic and sporty styling that offers agile driving and handling.
  • The low engine height and specially designed suspension layout allow for a low-slung hood and sporty driving position.
  • The highest-curvature windshield among all Honda models and newly designed front pillars combine to offer wide forward visibility.

Powertrain (Hybrid System)

  • Idling one of its two intake valves at low speeds, the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine achieves ample power, outstanding fuel economy and excellent emissions performance at a high level. Supported by the IMA system, the engine achieves acceleration performance equivalent to a 2.0-litre gasoline engine and excellent low-speed torque.
  • The dedicated 6-speed manual transmission offers light, smooth shifting for sporty driving, while the available CVT with paddle shifters supports both high fuel economy and sporty driving styles.

Three-Mode Drive System

  • Providing unified control of the DBW (Drive-by-Wire), powertrain, transmission, EPS (Electric Power Steering) and air conditioner, Three-Mode Drive System allows for the selection of three distinct driving modes:

    SPORT (fun, sporty driving): For the CR-Z with 6-speed manual transmission, the engine response and motor assist is heightened during SPORT mode. For CVT models, it selects transmission ratios that heighten engine rpms and acceleration response. For both CR-Z versions, this mode also enhances EPS response for a sporty steering feel and enhanced performance on winding roads.

    NORMAL (balanced driving and fuel economy): This mode leverages IMA’s ample torque in the low rpm range to pursue ease of operation for everyday driving. EPS response is similarly balanced, and feels smooth and agile.

    ECON (enhanced real-world fuel economy): This mode reduces throttle response, optimizes motor assist, controls the air conditioning efficiently and lengthens idle stops for maximal fuel economy.
  • Providing real-time feedback in NORMAL and ECON drive modes, the ambient meter (speedometer ring) turns from blue to green when the driver engages in more fuel-efficient driving practices. In SPORT mode, the ring glows and remains red for a sportier feel.
  • Cruise control is standard on the CR-Z α. Econ mode offers higher fuel economy cruise control than in NORMAL or SPORT modes by limiting throttle response and open/close frequency.


  • In the front, MacPherson struts contribute to the CR-Z’s spaciousness, low height and low center of gravity, while the lower arms are made of forged aluminum to reduce weight. In the rear, a compact H-shaped torsion beam suspension allows for the placement of the IPU (Intelligent Power Unit) beneath the cargo area floor. In combination, these elements offer a sporty yet highly stable steering feel.
  • The high-output EPS offers quick steering gear ratio of 2.48 turns lock to lock, while the rigidly attached steering gearbox contributes to the direct steering feel.
  • The enhanced-design aluminum wheels*4 are a total of 5 kg lighter than those of the Insight,*5 and the tires with their sporty tread pattern contribute to agile driving.


  • Made for agile and exhilarating driving and outstanding fuel economy, the body of the CR-Z is lightweight and highly rigid.
  • Newly designed front pillars and door mirrors, an aerodynamic underbody and other specially designed parts allow the CR-Z to offer aerodynamic performance equivalent to the Insight*6 while featuring shorter and wider exterior styling that is usually a disadvantage in terms of aerodynamics.
  • High-tensile steel is used effectively throughout the body, and the front pillar inner lower, side sill and middle floor cross member feature high-tensile steel rated 780 MPa or higher. In addition to reducing vehicle weight, high-tensile steel contributes to shock absorbency in the event of a collision.
  • The CR-Z is designed throughout to shut out and absorb noise for exceptional quietness while allowing a satisfying acceleration sound in tune with engine rpms to reach the driver.


  • Highly sophisticated packaging technologies enable the IPU of the Honda hybrid system to be located beneath the rear cargo area, realizing a cargo area with a length of 770 mm (during rear seat use), maximum width of 990 mm and volume of 214 L.*7
  • The one-touch fold-down rear seats are easy to access from the front seats. When they are folded down, the rear cargo area length extends to 1,280 mm and volume expands to 382 L for exceptional utility.

Environmental Performance

  • The CR-Z offers exceptional fuel economy of 4.0 L/100km (CVT) and 4.44 L/100km (MT) in 10•15 mode; and 4.39 L/100km (CVT) and 4.85 L/100km (MT) in JC08 mode.
  • All models are certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as complying with the 2005 – 75% emissions standard.
  • All models are certified by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism as complying with the 2010 + 25% fuel economy standard.
  • All models are eligible for Japan’s new preferential tax scheme for environmentally responsible vehicles (reduced automobile acquisition tax and automobile weight tax) and subsidy for environmentally responsible vehicles, introduced in April 2009.

Safety Performance

  • The Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure enhances self-protection as well as mitigating damage to other vehicles in the event of a collision.
  • Pedestrian-injury mitigation technology helps protect pedestrians from head, leg and other injuries in the event of a collision.
  • A driver’s i-SRS airbag system with continuously staged inflation, standard on all types, accommodates a broad range of occupant positions and physiques and potential collision situations.
  • Along with the front seat i-side airbag system, the side curtain airbag system helps reduce the risk of head or neck injury in a side impact.*8
  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), which further improves stability during cornering, is standard equipment on all types.

*1 Fuel economy of CVT version measured in 10•15 mode
*2 Based on in-house Honda research
*3 Standard on CR-Z α
*4 Standard on CR-Z α; factory option on CR-Z β
*5 2009 Insight LS
*6 2009 model
*7 Honda calculations, VDA method; total cargo area (above and below floor) is 233 L
*8 Factory option on all models except CR-Z β with 6-speed manual transmission

Publicity materials relating to the CR-Z hybrid vehicle are available for download at (This site is intended exclusively for the use of journalists.)