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Honda CR-Z

The Honda CR-Z promises to combine sporty driving with the lower emissions of a hybrid

One of the most eagerly awaited new green cars of the year is the Honda CR-Z, a car that finally promises to combine sporty driving with the lower emissions of a hybrid.

It was recently announced that pricing will start from £16,999, but more information has now been released about the specifications of the car for the UK market. Other vital statistics include 56.4 mpg, 117 g/km CO2 combined with 0-62 mph in 9.9 seconds and a top speed of 124 mph from the 1.5-litre petrol-electric IMA hybrid engine. Stop-start technology helps with the low emissions figures.

The engine develops 114PS and the motor delivers 14PS, giving a total power output of 124PS. It comes with a Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack. For us, one of the most important features of this car is that it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox rather than the normal CVT, and in our view this should improve the hybrid driving experience significantly.

Honda says it has gone to great lengths to make this a driver’s car, and it claims it has used cars such as the MINI and the new VW Scirocco as benchmarks for the handling.

It also comes with a 3-Mode Drive System, where the driver can choose between NORM, ECON or SPORT. This system alters the responses of the throttle, steering, idle stop timing, climate control and the level of assistance provided by the IMA system, according to the mode selected.

The CR-Z also uses Eco Assist that helps guide the driver to better fuel economy and lower emissions.

The 2+2 coupe will have four grades available: S, Sport, GT and GT with Navi, and it will be available this summer.

UPDATE: See our review of the Honda CR-Z 1.5 V-TEC S – a compact, affordable, fun small coupe which offers hybrid efficiency with a manual gearbox