Great news for all those Honda CR-Z intenders out there: The hybrid hatch is getting refreshed for 2016 with a host of cosmetic upgrades.
As befits a car that captured 0.2 percent of Honda’s total U.S. sales through July, the CR-Z is responding to demand by not overexerting itself. The photo here, leaked alongside an interior shot by the Chinese website CarNewsChina.com, shows some minor tweaks that Honda itself has not confirmed through official images. The company does acknowledge that the hybrid sports coupe will be refreshed this year, however.
The new bits include a racier lower fascia with a splitter-like element that cuts into an enlarged fog-lamp section, fresh side skirts, elongated headlamps, new wheels, and a resculpted rear bumper. Inside, the CR-Z ditches the conventional handbrake lever for an electronic pull tab and adds a center armrest. Additional changes are more difficult to ascertain from the grainy leaked photos, but it’s likely Honda will put in its latest touch-screen infotainment system.
Until the 2018 CR-Z arrives—perhaps stripped of its tepid hybrid powertrain and packing a detuned Civic Type R engine capable of at least 280 horsepower—the car is unlikely to get any additional power. Or buyers, for that matter. Through July, Honda sold 1562 CR-Zs, compared with five times that many Accord hybrids and almost twice as many Civic hybrids. The CR-Z emerged triumphant, however, against the discontinued Insight, beating that model by 358 cars. Plus, the coupe still is available with a manual transmission, which deserves some plaudits.