Turner indicates that "Europe is a key market for this model," and it should be. With European legislators making it clear they will continue to press for emissions reductions and fuel economy, the production version of the CR-Z could play an important role in Honda reaching their target of selling 400,000 to 500,000 hybrids per year.
Honda CEO Takeo Fukui mentioned that target figure at the NAIAS last January, with expectations of hitting that target by 2011. A sports coupe derived from the CR-Z concept will be one of the three hybrids on Honda's roster, according to Fukui.
Because of the importance of this vehicle, Europe will have a lot of influence on the final design of the car already three years in the making. "We have a big say in the design, and the engineering and R&D are being finished at Offenbach in Germany," Turner was quoted as saying.
But don't expect the car to diverge too far away from the design of the CR-Z concept. "If we could deliver a car that looked like that," Turner said, "it would be a big success whatever power unit we had in it." The CR-Z, which stands for Compact Renaissance Zero, was originally designed to be more open than other small cars.
Although a fully petrol version of the production CR-Z is also under consideration, expect to see the CR-Z production model with a mild hybrid powertrain, similar to Spring 2009's expected Global Hybrid. This system allows an electric motor to work in tandem with a petrol engine, but not on its own. Energy from braking is used to help recharge the batteries and fuel the electrics.
Source: Source Link Name: WorldCarFans Source URL: www.worldcarfans.com