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by Tim Beissmann

The Honda CR-Z hybrid sports car goes on sale in Australia on December 1 with a starting price of $34,990 (before on-road costs).

The compact Honda CR-Z aims to create new segment in Australia, combining the efficiency of a hybrid with youthful, sporty styling.

Contributing to the CR-Z’s sporting credentials is the option of a manual transmission – a unique feature for a hybrid in Australia. It is also available with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Propelling the CR-Z is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, which combine for 91kW of power and 174Nm of torque (167Nm for the CVT).

Honda says the hybrid powertrain is good for a 0-100km/h sprint of 9.7 seconds, and returns official fuel consumption of 5.0 litres/100km with the manual and 4.7 litres/100km with the CVT.

The compact Honda CR-Z is roughly the same length as the Honda Jazz, but is slightly wider and around 130mm shorter in height.

It will be offered in two grades in Australia: the entry-level Sport ($34,990 for manual) and the top-spec Luxury. The CVT option adds $2300 to the price of the Sport, making it $37,290, while the Luxury is only available with the CVT, and is priced from $40,790.

Sport models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, front fog lights, LED taillights, rear parking sensors, and Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Luxury adds a panoramic glass roof, leather upholstery with heated front seats, reversing camera, satellite navigation, DVD player and Bluetooth audio streaming, among other features.

Honda Australia expects to sell approximately 600 CR-Zs in 2012. It describes empty nesters and females in their early 30s as the car’s target market, and identifies the Audi A1 and MINI Cooper as its closest rivals.

CarAdvice is currently at the Australian launch of the Honda CR-Z. Stay tuned for our full first drive review following today’s launch program.

Honda CR-Z manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • Sport six-speed manual – $34,990
  • Sport CVT – $37,290
  • Luxury CVT – $40,790



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