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Honda: Don't count on CR-Z gasoline variant

'Automotive News' reports on Honda's plans for the CR-Z.

Automotive News

LOS ANGELES--Honda Motor Co. plans to launch a hybrid CR-Z sporty sedan for the 2011 model year. Dealers have asked Honda to produce a gasoline-powered version as well.

Honda is considering a gasoline version, says Dan Bonawitz, vice president of automobile corporate planning and logistics for American Honda Motor Co. But he was not enthusiastic.

"I think the dealers are thinking historically," he says, back to when "we had the CRX."

With the hybrid CR-Z, Honda will offer a sporty car that also is fuel-efficient, says Bonawitz. It will be "a melding of two different concepts."

Bonawitz also opened the door for Honda to introduce rear-wheel drive in its Acura luxury brand. Until now, Honda has said that offering all-wheel drive is enough.

But Honda is trying to raise the Acura brand to the same luxury level as Mercedes, Lexus, and BMW, he says. "To do that," Bonawitz says, "you have to do certain things, productwise."

(Source: Automotive News)