With the retirement of the Honda S2000 recently, Honda was for a while left with no real niche sporty model. Just a bunch of sedans, wagons, MPVs and SUVs, which if not for a few exciting products such as the Type R seemed a little sterile for a company with its kind of heritage and brand image.

The Honda CR-Z, which pretty much looks like a two seater short wheelbase version of the Insight to me, could be considered Honda’s new niche model, especially since the new NSX has been cancelled. During the development of the CR-Z, Honda took a look at a few cars like the MINI, the Elise and the Scirocco, and it was the performance of the Elise that was the inspiration of the CR-Z development team during the development process.

The car definitely looks interesting and the focus seems to be on driving pleasure. The CR-Z had better be damn good in the handling department to make up for its rather anemic amount of horsepower! I’m really hoping that this new ‘CR-Z’ is in fact not the sole variant, and a high revving version could come later. Why not, since they’ve managed to mate a gasoline engine and electric motor with a manual transmission. The K20A could use the motor to help it with the low end torque that it lacks and the sheer high revving madness can take over later! Now that would be damn fun!

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