Thursday, October 25, 2007

Honda Hybrid Sports 2009 (Tokyo Motor Show)

Honda to unveil hybrid sports car at TMS

Hybrids don't have to sacrifice looks to be environmentally friendly - they can be muscular and stylish, too. That's the message Honda hopes to send at this month's Tokyo motor show with its new gas-electric hybrid sports car CR-Z.

Green means lean, and not just in consumption. - AP Photo."This is something rivals can't offer," Tetsuji Morikawa, a Honda Motor Co engineer, said of the CR-Z, whose sales date is promised for the "near future."

The vehicle has maintained "the essence of the sports car" while still delivering good mileage and less pollution, he said.

Hybrid vehicles tend to be bulkier than sleek sports cars because of the size and complexity of the hybrid systems, which include a battery, motor, engine, converter and other parts. They're usually not known for their torque, acceleration, handling and innovative design.

What a high rear belt line this one has. - AP Photo.The CR-Z comes with a new hybrid system developed by Honda whose breakthroughs allowed designers to get around such restrictions to achieve its lean cutting-edge look, said Morikawa, while declining to give details about the hybrid system and the vehicle.

The model will be on display at the biannual Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public Oct 27 in the Tokyo suburb of Chiba.

Japan's No. 2 automaker already sells the hybrid Civic but discontinued the hybrid Accord and hybrid Insight. It has promised a new hybrid in 2009.

Does it mean comfortable runabout zled then? - AP Photo.Interest in hybrids is high among the world's automakers amid concerns about global warming and rising oil prices.
Japanese rival Toyota Motor Corp has emerged the leader in the technology, having sold more than a million hybrids globally over the last decade.

Tokyo-based Honda, which has sold about 220,000 hybrids worldwide so far, is eager to make its stamp on hybrids by showing how its reputation for sporty cars will also work for hybrids. - AP

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