This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

June 30, 2010

Honda Announces Pricing at U.S. Dealers for CR-Z Hybrid Coupe

The new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will roll into U.S. dealers' showrooms on August 24, America Honda Motor Co. announced on June 22. The manufacturer's suggested retail price will be $19,200, and the company will add a destination and handling charge of $750. The two-passenger, gasoline-electric hybrid has a 1.5-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with a 10-kilowatt Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system to supply power and efficiency. The CR-Z represents the sixth version of Honda's original IMA technology since the launch of the 2000 Insight, the first hybrid vehicle commercially available in North America. The electric motor assists in acceleration and acts as a generator during braking or coasting to capture kinetic energy that can recharge the 100.8-volt IMA nickel-metal hydride battery pack. The gasoline engine can automatically turn off during vehicle stops for greater efficiency. The i-VTEC system controls the opening and closing of one intake valve per cylinder to enhance combustion at low engine speeds.

The CR-Z's 6-speed manual transmission is a first for a mass-produced hybrid vehicle, according to Honda. The car's 3-mode drive system allows for Sport, Normal or Econ (Economy) driving modes. The Econ mode is designed to smooth throttle inputs, reduce the air conditioning system's impact on fuel consumption, and potentially activate idle stop sooner when coming to a stop, which is helpful in stop-and-go city driving. See the Honda press release and the CR-Z Web site.