Honda to launch gasoline engine only CR-Z, possible Type-R
Set to join the one-and-only 128bhp 1.4-litre four-cylinder gasoline engine-13bhp brushless electric motor hybrid version of the CR-Z currently on sale, the new model is planned to run a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder direct-injection VTEC engine under development at Honda's Tochigi R&D centre in Japan as part of an engine downsizing program aiming to boost fuel economy across the Honda line-up.
Details remain scarce, but sources tell TheAutoInsider Honda engineers are developing the new engine in at least two states of tune, a standard version and a possible Type-R version with which they are aiming to match the output of the comapny's 239bhp Japanese specification F22C1 2.2-litre four-cylinder VTEC engine used by the discontinued S2000.
The addition of turbocharging is aimed at boosting torque beyond the F22C1's 163lbft at 6500rpm in a process that would provide the gasoline engine CR-Z with improved driveability over the notoriously peaky S2000, which ceased production in June 2009 after a lengthy ten year model cycle.
The decision to add a gasoline engine to the CR-Z line-up comes after initial heavy demand for the compact two door has begun to wane in the all-important Japanese domestic market.