What’s going on here? Media in the US have discovered Honda filing a recent trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, for the CR-Z name. As we all know, the Honda CR-Z – the hybrid-powered spiritual successor to the CR-X of the 80s – bowed out in mid-2016 with no news of a next generation.
Is this trademark filing a first hint that the CR-Z will be revived? Possibly, but it could also be Honda tying up loose ends and preventing others from using its name. It could be that someone was doing a sweep and realised some unfinished business – model names that weren’t yet locked up.
But is there a chance? Let’s hope so. Any coupe, any car with a sporty flavour should be celebrated by enthusiasts these days. Beggars can’t be choosers, and car enthusiasts could well be proverbial beggars in the new car scene in the near future.
The CR-Z will never be a Honda performance legend, but it was a trailblazer. A sporty hybrid didn’t exist when Honda turned their Tokyo showstar into reality in 2010, and certainly not a hybrid with a manual gearbox. It didn’t fly like the flyweight VTEC hero of old, though, and that’s perhaps why it won’t be remembered so fondly in decades to come.
The final version of the CR-Z was the 2016 Alpha Final Label, which like all facelift models, had a 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine, Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) e-motor and 18.8 kW lithium-ion battery. Together, they did 136 PS and 190 Nm of torque.
Those figures won’t set any eyes alight, but it was good enough to make the CR-Z the ideal daily for me for over six years. The coming together of a shape unlike any other (other than a doorstop), decent FC and the best manual shift in town (only bettered by Type Rs) was – and still is – a rare combo. One more time, Honda?
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