There’s no doubt it’s taken a lot of heat for losing its sporting DNA by ditching icons like the original NSX and the S2000 from its line-up.
Maybe it deserved it, too, especially from 2009 on. Branded as a spiritual successor to the CRX, the CR-Z was a good project poorly executed. Hybrid tech is very nice; underwhelming performance, not.
Now Honda is back. The new NSX is a completely different animal compared to its ancestor but it’s a supercar nonetheless. The S660 channels the “honey, I shrunk the fun to drive sportscar” Beat and the S2000 is due for a revival, too. See? Good things come in threes after all.
Actually, we should make it fours: Honda President Takahiro Hachigo revealed that a new sportscar is underway and it’s going to be an EV and not a hybrid as previous reports indicated.
After giving some journalists the opportunity to drive a version of the electric CR-Z racer that competed in the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, he talked about the project openly.
“This car was developed by young engineers in our R&D department who were trying to see what fun cars they could come up with”, he told Autocar. “I personally have driven it and I would like to see it mass-produced. I hope the young engineers can, in the next phase, come up with a way of achieving that. There are some challenges in the way, but while I cannot say when we can launch a car like this, I want to see it happen as early as possible.”
It is a highly advanced project, with an electric motor at each wheel providing all-wheel drive. The racer had 444bhp thanks to a 50 kWh battery. The downside was that this added to the weight, making it tip the scales at a hefty 1,600 kg.
The experimental CR-Z uses a 16 kWh battery and is 200 kg lighter, but it also churns out “just” 250 ponies. Even so, it dashes to 100 km/h (62 mph) from a standstill in 3.5 seconds and Honda’s engineers say that they can easily add 100 hp. The tricky part is not reducing the range, which must be at least 250 miles (400 km).
Don’t expect it to be cheap, though: it will sit under the NSX but you won’t get much change from US$100,000. Fan or not, the President will wait and see customers’ reaction to the new NSX before he signs off the project for production.