Honda's Success Story: CR-Z 10,000 Units Already Ordered in Japan

While taking a massive image blow following its withdrawal from Formula One in late 2008, the Japanese car manufacturer may have found the winning recipe with its corporate reorientation towards fun-to-drive and environmentally friendly cars.

Its latest addition, the CR-Z hybrid sports coupe, seems to confirm the company is going in the right direction. Apart from its appealing looks inside-out and technical data, the CR-Z also impresses in terms of sales volume.

Introduced first on the Japanese market on February 25, the car managed to gather orders for 10,000 vehicles in its first month alone. That translates into a figure that is ten times higher than originally estimated. Mind you the company’s estimates for the whole 2010 year for the CR-Z model a sales volume expectation of 40,000 to 50,000 units worldwide.

The car is powered by a petrol 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine working together with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist electric system. The system delivers a combined output of 122 HP and 128 lb-ft (174 Nm) of torque. Honda offers a six speed manual gearbox or an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). However, the car isn’t all about dynamics, and we’re not talking about the components that make it “eco” - the CR-Z rear suspension uses a low-cost H-shaped torsion beam instead of a multi-link layout.

The CR-Z is expected to hit the North American market this summer and besides the usual sales volume figures, Honda is also prepared to monitor the consumer’s choice of transmission as the new 6-speed manual proved quite a hit in Japan, where 40 percent of the orders taken in the very first month showed an ascending trend in this regard for the hybrid segment.
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