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by George Skentzos

The latest iteration of Honda’s sporty CR-Z hybrid concept is set to be revealed at the Tokyo motor show in near-production trim as the spiritual successor to the original Honda CRX.

The 2009 CR-Z Concept will arrive in the UK by 2010 as the world’s first sports hybrid car, and the first ever petrol-electric vehicle to use a six-speed manual transmission.

Boasting the largest stand of the Tokyo motor show, Honda also plans to showcase two more new concept cars that aim to broaden the appeal of cleaner vehicle technology.

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The first is the EV-N, a small, four-seater electric vehicle intended purely as a design study, inspired by the N360 – Honda’s 360cc micro car launched in the 1960s.

The show will also play host to the Skydeck concept from Honda, a six-seater hybrid MPV similarly developed as an example of how Honda’s IMA technology can be placed in a range of different cars for different needs.

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The Skydeck offers the efficiency of a hybrid powertrain while maintaining the practicality of a family MPV by storing many of the hybrid system components – including the high power battery – in the car’s centre tunnel rather than behind the rear seats or under the floor, as with previous production hybrids.