The excitement is back in town as Honda Cars Philippines  introduces the new CR-Z Sports Hybrid Coupe in the domestic market. Launched on Monday at the NBC Tent at the Bonifacio Global City, the  CR-Z comes as a much-needed shot in the arm for Honda, which is poised to regain its glory days as a major player in a small, yet highly competitive car market.

“This sports hybrid car represents Honda’s passion for innovation. Our company has always been at the forefront of introducing the latest globally available vehicles in the local market. The CR-Z will fortify our line-up and push the envelope of performance driving,” said Tatsuya Natsume, president and GM of HCPI. The night’s festivities was also attended by Honda officials and engineers from Japan headed by the CR-Z Large Project Leader Norio Tomobe of Honda R&D; Masayoshi Goto, VP for Honda Access Asia and Oceania; and Kazuhide Yasui, Executive Director for Motorsports Business of Mugen Japan.

For an up close and personal experience with the CR-Z line-up, Honda whisked away a select group of media men to the Batangas Racing Circuit for some lap sessions in a controlled environment. Packaged as an environment friendly sports coupe, event organizers devised a clever way for the media to maximize the fuel efficient qualities of the car while experiencing the driving dynamics of the CR-Z around the BRC track. “With this product, we aim to provide an unparalleled driving experience. This is the new Honda,” says Natsume.

In SPORT mode, the vehicle uses the IMA system in order to provide extra power, while at the same time making the throttle pedal more sensitive to driver inputs. Meanwhile, in ECON mode, the IMA system assists more by limiting the amount of fuel used by the engine in order to achieve better efficiency. In NORMAL mode the driving performance and fuel economy are balanced.

Honda further pushes the envelope as the All New CR-Z now has an additional selection – the Plus-Sport System or S+ Button.  This Plus-Sport system charges the battery and provides an additional boost in acceleration that is comparable to a 3.0L V6 engine.

Lead footed motoring pen pushers enjoyed pushing the car to its limits, and taking fast corners with the CR-Z. Although team orders were for us to drive economically, some of us just can’t shake off the idea of driving a Hybrid Sports Coupe under the performance limit.

“The arrival of the CR-Z means a lot to Honda since we feel that this particular model relates well with Filipinos. Since then, we thought of giving each customer a more personal approach in choosing his CR-Z and decided to offer 3 feature-packed variants, 2 transmission options and 6 colors,” Natsume said.

The Standard model priced at P1.390M is equipped with projector-type hid kit, LED park lights, front fog lights, rain sensing front wipers, LED taillights, intermittent rear windshield wiper and 17” alloy wheels. The CR-Z Modulo variant is equipped with Carbon Fiber finish under spoiler set, ducktail-type tailgate spoiler and Modulo emblem and carries a price tag of P1.560 million for the CVT version. The higher end variant is the CR-Z MUGEN which is equipped with under spoiler set, MUGEN front grille, wing-type tailgate spoiler, MUGEN light-weight 17” alloy wheels, MUGEN exhaust system, Aero Illumination (LED Daytime Running Lights), rear fog lights, carbon fiber mirror cover and shift knob (for manual transmission only), MUGEN emblem and MUGEN floor mats and has a retail price of P1.950 million.More information about the program is available on the web site at www.hmhid.com.

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