Honda CR-Z: The tuner’s hybrid

Honda CR-Z hybrid's future based around tuners and modifications with a Mugen modified CR-Z hybrid already set for this Spring.

Can hybrid tuning spark an increase in hybrid sales?

Mugen and other CR-Z hybrid modifications key to CR-Z sales?

Last month Honda sold 1,419 CR-Z hybrids, which isn't too bad for a two-seat hybrid vehicle. Nevertheless, since the CR-Z hybrid is just hitting the market, it's not hard to wonder whether such sales figures are sustainable.

The answer to that question might have been found at the SEMA show where modified CR-Z hybrids took center stage.

Honda brought 12 customized CR-Z hybrids to the SEMA show, and one modified by Mugen will be available for sale next Spring. Unfortunately, only 300 of the Mugen CR-Z sports coupes – which include a modified grille and rear spoiler, plus 17-inch aluminum wheels, floor mats, a black aluminum shift knob, and an oil cap – will be available, at least to start.

Perhaps even more interesting, Honda brought two other concepts to the show, the Hybrid R Concept and the CR-Z Racer. In particular, the Hybrid R Concept is especially interesting because it embraces the idea of a fully customizable, yet individualized tuner hybrid – a direction Honda seems to be embracing.

Likewise, Honda brought several other tuners, including the CR-Z Razer, which didn't just sport body modifications, but also an upgraded, turbo-charged powertrain.

“It’s clear that sports cars of the future will need to deliver respectable fuel economy and respectable performance,” said Bruce Smith, vice president of Honda’s parts operations.

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