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by David Zalstein

The Honda Insight and CR-Z could be dropped in Europe due to slow sales in the market, according to the latest reports.

Said to occur ahead of the arrival of the pair’s next-generation replacements, speculatively slated for 2015/2016, a Honda insider has told the UK’s AutoExpress low sales volumes in markets such as Spain and Italy mean the petrol-electric hybrid models are unlikely to continue to be sold in Europe.

The slow-selling situation is no different in Australia, however. To the end of September, Honda has shifted 51 CR-Zs and 161 Insights across the country – down 85 per cent and 20 per cent respectively on last year’s figures of 348 and 201.

Honda CR-Z - 1

In Australia in July, a $3000 price cut saw the entry-level Insight VTi drop to $26,990 and the top-spec VTi-L to $30,490.

Teaming a 1.3-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery, the Honda Insight offers a total output of 72kW and 167Nm. Its 4.3 litres per 100km combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 0.4L/100km off key rival the Toyota Prius.

Available with either a six-speed manual or continuously variable transmission, the sportier CR-Z coupe was increased from $34,990 to $38,490 for 2013 as part of the model’s first facelift since its 2011 launch, but gained more equipment.

Honda CR-Z - 2

Partnering a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and an electric motor, the CR-Z produces 100kW and 190Nm in manual guise and 99kW and 172Nm with the auto. Honda claims fuel consumption of 5.3L/100km (man) and 5.0L/100km (auto).

Globally the Japanese car maker continues to back its hybrid technology, with the third-generation-based Honda Jazz Hybrid due in local showrooms in 2014 and the all-new electrically-boosted second-generation NSX supercar anticipated for a 2016 arrival.




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