The Honda CR-Z has a 112bhp 1.5-litre engine, and an electric motor which produces 14bhp for a total power output of 122bhp and 128lb ft of torque.
The electric motor generates its 58lb ft torque peak at just 1000rpm; it strengthens acceleration in the same way as a supercharger, Honda says, to produce an unusually flat torque curve.
The CR-Z’s 1.5-litre petrol engine is a VTEC unit derived from the US-market Fit (aka Jazz), but here it’s configured to allow one intake valve to be deactivated at low revs for more fuel-saving swirl. It is linked to a modified version of the Honda Civic six-speed manual ’box, with a short-throw shift.
Honda experienced some difficulty making the CR-Z’s bonnet look as low and sleek as it wanted, while meeting pedestrian impact regulations. The huge black section in front of windscreen deftly reduces the bonnet’s visual area.
European CR-Zs get daytime running lights consisting of eight LEDs and emphasising the rearward sweep of the headlights. Blue-hued xenons are standard for GT spec.
You get a wiper for the near-horizontal upper rear screen, but the CR-X-echoing vertical pane soon gets dusted with dirt — and the horizontal beam separating the two is very visible in the rear-view mirror.