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October 28, 2009

Honda CR-Z Concept Hybrid Debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show

Photo of a two-door coupe with an aggressive stance, featuring a high rear end and contours that angle down towards its prominent nose.

The four-seat Honda CR-Z hybrid concept debuted at the Tokyo Auto Show. A two-seat version goes on sale next year in the United States. Enlarge this image.
Credit: Honda

Honda debuted its CR-Z Concept 2009, a gas-electric hybrid, at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 20. The car showcased in Tokyo is a global version equipped with a rear seat, whereas the version which will be released in North America in 2010 will be a two-seat hybrid the manufacturer describes as a "sporty coupe." The actual model is scheduled to debut in January at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The CR-Z draws on the legacy of the original Honda Insight, a gas-electric hybrid first sold in the United States in late 1999. The new CR-Z will join a newer Insight and Civic Hybrid in the Honda hybrid lineup. The Civic Hybrid, launched in 2003, was Honda's first mainstream model to feature hybrid power. The 2010 Insight, introduced in March 2009, is a hybrid family sedan. See the Honda press release.

While the Tokyo Motor Show features its usual array of unusual concept vehicles, Japanese automakers also brought a few vehicles that appear closer to reality. Toyota brought its Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, which was first displayed at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. The vehicle integrates a lithium-ion battery pack into the third-generation Prius, achieving an electric-only cruising range of about 12 miles. Toyota plans to introduce 500 of the vehicles globally, including 150 in the United States. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), the maker of Subaru automobiles, is displaying the Subaru Hybrid Tourer Concept, a four-seat vehicle with gull-wing doors that combines a 2-liter, turbocharged, direct-injection gasoline engine with a continuously variable transmission and two axle-mounted motors. A lithium-ion battery pack provides energy storage for the vehicle. And Suzuki is displaying the Swift Plug-in Hybrid, which also has an electric-only cruising range of about 12 miles, drawing on a lithium-ion battery pack. The Tokyo Motor Show 2009 is open to the public through November 4. See the Toyota press releases from the Tokyo Motor Show and the Frankfurt Show, as well as the Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept Web page from the Tokyo Motor Show; the press releases from FHI (PDF 75 KB) and Suzuki; and the Tokyo Motor Show Web site. Download Adobe Reader.