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by Michael Hines
Honda has been steadily juicing up its hybrid hot hatch in an attempt to please enthusiasts.
The CR-Z has been crushed by gearheads since its debut back in 2010. The main point of contention was the hybrid's puny 122hp engine. It didn't take long for Honda to realize it had dropped the ball in the performance department. The Japanese automaker has moved to correct its error, releasing a slew of tuned CR-Zs in the last two years. These hot hybrid hatchbacks boast respectable power numbers and are still able to average 50 mpg. Here's hoping Honda pushes one of these CR-Zs into production sometime soon.
The CR-Z GT300 hybrid racer was created to compete in the second tier of Japan's GT300 series. The modded CR-Z sports a 2.8-liter twin-turbo V6 paired with an electric motor to create a total of 300hp. Honda's GT300 hybrid has yet to win any races, but it has shown itself to be more than capable of running with the big boys.
The TS-1X prototype was created by Honda's in-house Access division. The company's parts and accessories maker chose to concentrate on the CR-Z's looks, adding new bumper fascias, yellow brake calipers, a matte black paint job and a rear wing. All the matte black paint in the world won't make the CR-Z any faster, Honda.
Honda Performance Development built a powerful and stylish CR-Z for SEMA 2010. The style upgrades for the HDP CR-Z include a full aero kit, a lowered suspension and 17-inch wheels. The hybrid sports a Borg Warner turbo that pushes its 4-cylinder engine to 175 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque. Should you need extra juice, a push-to-pass button has been installed to instantly up the CR-Z to 200 horses.
Honda crushed the dreams of speed demons everywhere when it announced that the Mugen CR-Z RR would not see production. Mugen's all-orange concept was covered in high-end carbon fiber parts and featured an engine tuned to produce 197 hp. The CR-Z RR could do 0-60 mph in 6.6 seconds and can still get 50 mpg. Why, Honda?
UK buyers don't get the CR-Z RR but they can pick up the iCF. Mugen Euro's tuned CR-Z boasts 172 hp thanks to an intercooler, centrifugal supercharger and ECU remapping. The iCF can sprint from 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds.