How the Honda CR-Z Works

Honda CR-Z Design
The Honda CR-Z stands apart from other models like the Civic.
The Honda CR-Z stands apart from other models like the Civic.

Compared to other cars in Honda's current lineup, the CR-Z looks like a completely different type of car, and it's evident that the automaker is going for a much more futuristic look. Put the CR-Z next to the popular Civic -- or its hybrid counterpart, for that matter, since the two Civic models look nearly identical despite different technologies under the hood -- and it's clear that Honda is attempting a new approach to hybrid car design with the CR-Z.

The front of the CR-Z slopes down dramatically and comes together in a large, low grille. Altogether it resembles something aquatic. The doors and windows follow the same sloping design, then rise upward toward the back and form a slick hatchback at the rear.

The CR-Z is a small two-seater, yet despite the compact size of the car, the interior was designed to be spacious and comfortable, according to Honda's press release. The seat covers are mesh and simple and early concept photos have illustrated a futuristic dashboard with a shiny, glass-covered instrument panel.

And despite the car's streamlined, futuristic look, its design actually pays homage to a Honda model from the 1980s and early 90s. Fans of Honda will recognize that the name CR-Z is a reference to the Honda CRX, a compact car with a short hatchback design that was in production from 1983 to 1991. Now, you may be wondering why they skipped from X to Z in the alphabet, but stick a Y onto the end of the name and you'll realize how difficult it might be to sell a car with the name CR-Y.

Of course, the big difference between the CRX from the '80s and the upcoming CR-Z is what's under the hood -- while the CRX was equipped with a gasoline engine, the CR-Z is a full-on hybrid. Read on to learn about Honda's hybrid technology for the CR-Z.

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