Honda CR-Z Updated With New Tech, New Face

In what may be the last major update in its life cycle, Honda‘s CR-Z hybrid hot hatch has been given one final makeover in its home market of Japan.

The most obvious changes are the new front and rear bumpers that feature an aerofoil motif spanning nearly their full width, new LED headlamps and new 16 and 17-inch alloy wheel designs. There’s also a new colour, Velvet Purple Pearl.

But look beyond the cosmetic changes, and there are more substantial revisions. Honda calls this a minor update, but it’s more far-reaching than that.

The rear wheels are pumped out an extra 10mm to widen the track and improve rear-end grip, the suspension has been revised with new springs and dampers, brake rotors are now a huge 380mm at the front and a new master cylinder provides better brake pedal feel.

It doesn’t end there either. The adoption of an electric parking brake means a centre console storage box is now added, and Honda’s new touchscreen infotainment with iPhone mirroring and nav is now available.

Honda has also played with the CR-Z’s audio system, adding active noise-cancelling technology to reduce cabin sound when you want peace and quiet, and artificially enhance the engine note when you’re after a sportier drive.

In Japan, the only market so far confirmed to receive these upgrades, the 2016 CR-Z will be offered in two grades.

The base model retails for the equivalent of AU$31,000, while the upper-spec variant carries a $32,800 pricetag. A two-tone paint job can be had on the upper-spec model for an extra $800.

As for Australia, the CR-Z was dropped from Honda’s local lineup earlier in 2015 due to poor sales and is not expected to return.

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