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Hybrid hatchback turns into 300-horsepower racing machine for Japan's Super GT racing series.
Hybrids aren't just for tree-hugging hippies anymore. The newest crop of racing cars from Formula One to Le Mans are incorporating electric motors, and this is the latest. Mugen, the tuning company and racing team closely affiliated with Honda, is taking this new CR-Z hybrid racer to the Super GT series in Japan. But as you can see, this isn't the same as the hybrid hatchbacks you'll see parked in front of your local Starbucks.
The suspension, rolling stock and aerodynamics have been significantly enhanced over stock, but the real news is under the hood: Instead of the 1.5-liter, 111-horsepower four-banger and 14hp electric motor you'd find in the stock CR-Z, Honda has given the Mugen CR-Z GT a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 with a competition-spec electric assist. Since it's competing in the GT300 class, output is limited to 300 horsepower. The CR-Z GT makes its racing debut at the fourth round of this year's championship on July 28. There it will dice it up with such competitors as the Nissan GT-R, Subaru BRZ and a host of European racing machinery.