At the end of 2010 Autocar announced that:
Honda is set to provide its CR-Z with an all-new, turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine option as part of plans to broaden the compact coupé’s appeal in key world markets, including the UK.
Currently available with just the one engine option — a hybrid that mates a 112bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 14bhp electric motor — the CR-Z is earmarked to receive an all-new turbocharged 1.6-litre powerplant that is currently undergoing development at Honda’s Tochigi R&D centre.
The new engine, which is also planned for the Jazz, Civic and Accord, forms an integral part of a downsizing program instigated at Honda. With forced induction and Honda’s patented VTEC-i fully variable camshaft timing system, it is aimed at providing the performance of a typical 2.0-litre engine from a capacity of just 1.6 litres.
Autocar sources in Japan say the new engine is likely to come in two guises: a standard 160bhp model and a highly tuned 200bhp version aimed at matching the now defunct 2.0-litre VTEC engine in the Civic Type R. This more potent spec is likely to form the basis of a CR-Z Type R, tentatively due out late next year.
In that same year a CR-Z Hybrid R Concept had already been shown bolting a turbocharger onto the 1.5 litre engine, with the IMA motor assist system upgraded to one of a higher capacity as well. The result was 200 horsepower and about 238Nm of torque, which puted it around the same kind of output as a Civic Type R:
Following that concept, three more concepts appear in 2011:
The 197bhp and 158 lb-ft Honda CR-Z Mugen retaining the same 1.5-litre hybrid unit as the standard car but now it got a supercharger, re-mapped ECU, wider tracks and stiffer springs. Mugen also detached 50kg from the chassis, replaced the bonnet with a carbon-fibre one and bolted on lightweight Mugen alloys to achieve 1080kg curb weight. Its 0-62 mph time was 6.6 seconds. The supercharger mated to the 1.5-liter engine (which retains the hybrid electric system) could easily make 181 lb-ft of torque for an even faster acceleration.
“The idea was to use the significant advantage of the early torque [1000 rpm] provided by the Honda IMA electric motor, then increase the torque available from the petrol engine gradually, to first maintain and then increase this,” says Colin Whittamore from Mugen Euro. “A supercharger and complementary electronics allow us to very neatly map the IMA to the extra power and torque of the engine in a unique package, giving a smooth and integrated powerful driving experience.”
The later two concepts with the same supercharged engine - CR-Z Mugen RR.
So, after so much experimenting and with the new Honda's racing HR412E engine being a reality it's pretty obvious that a turbocharged 1.6-litre four-cylinder CR-Z Type-R will be a VERY likely possibility in the next year or even at the end of this year. The Honda's lightweight 2+2 Coupe will be aimed right at the Toyobaru's heart which means that the Toyobaru has to adopt an equally torquier engine if it wants to level the playing field... which, in turn, means a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-cylinder boxer engine!
Is it making sense to you now?!