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Honda CR-Z concept inches toward production

Honda has updated the CR-Z hybrid concept to reflect what we can expect to see in the production model.

2009 Honda CR-Z concept
The CR-Z's truncated tail evokes the CRX subcompact of the '80s. Honda

Another year, another car show, another opportunity for Honda to trot out its CR-Z compact hybrid concept. However for the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show, which takes place right in the automaker's back yard, Honda has updated the concept to reflect what we can expect to see in the production model.

So what can we expect from the production CR-Z? Well, the form factor is something of a cross between the CRX subcompact of the '80s and the Honda Insight hybrid. Under the hood, we can expect a 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder paired with the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) hybrid tech that we've seen in action in all of Honda's other hybrid vehicles. Supplementing the available CVT transmission will be a six-speed manual gearbox option.

I know what you're thinking, oh CRX enthusiasts. When we last saw the Honda CRX in 1991, it was packing a 105-horsepower 1.6-liter four (or 150-horsepower if you were lucky enough to live in Japan) and a lightweight, tossable chassis. It's not likely the CR-Z's hybrid power train will output too much more than that; so with the additional weight and complexity, will the CR-Z be able to recapture the small car joy? Only time will tell.