The 2013 Honda CR-Z hits the highway with a host of powertrain, styling and feature upgrades.
An all-new lithium-lon battery pack improves performance while also improving the CR-Z's EPA mpg ratings, according to a news release. Styling upgrades include revised interior trim along with a new front fascia, a new finish for the 16-inch alloy wheels, an aerodynamically functional new rear diffuser and two new exterior colors -- Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic.
Standard features on all 2013 Honda CR-Z models include Bluetooth technology, rearview camera, expanded-view driver's mirror, automatic climate control, remote entry and cruise control.
The car is also equipped with a new, steering wheel-mounted "S+" button that gives additional on-demand electric boost.
Two CR-Z models are offered for 2013 base CR-Z and the feature-rich CR-Z EX. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, with an automatic continuously variable transmission available. The CR-Z EX adds high-intensity discharge headlights, LED daytime running lights and a 360-watt audio system, among other goodies.
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 improved horsepower and torque on the 2013 Honda CR-Z does not come with a fuel-economy penalty, according the release, as the new 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.
Improved Performance, MPG Rating
The CR-Z hybrid powertrain employs a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, 16-valve, single-overhead cam engine with "intelligent" variable valve timing and lift electronic control that receives additional power from the Integrated Motor Assist system's DC brushless electric motor.
For 2013, assist from the electric motor has jumped from 10 kW to 15 kW, thanks to the new higher voltage (144-volt) battery pack. The CR-Z now delivers a combined peak output of 130 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque (127 lb-ft. on CVT-equipped models. Manual-transmission versions also receive both a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio.
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 also 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).
The Honda CR-Z earned a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and 4-star Overall Vehicle Score in federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, according to the release.
The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $19,975.
Here's Honda's display from the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas:
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