An anonymous source within the company has told Car and Driver that the CR-Z is "due to make a big comeback in 2017". The CR-Z was axed from the local lineup earlier this year; the mild-hybrid hatch has also cut from the European Honda range, but remains on sale in the US and Japan.
Instead of being based on the Jazz and Insight, the new CR-Z will use a platform borrowed from the next-generation Civic. To accommodate its sportier proportions, the CR-Z will feature a wheelbase around 10cm shorter than the Civic.
Stylistically, the new CR-Z is said to draw heavily from both the NSX and the recently unveiled Civic Type-R. Depending on how things work out, the next-gen CR-Z may be a replacement for the Civic coupe (below) currently sold in North America.
To address the original CR-Z's "weak street cred and lack of performance", the new car will sport a version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that debuted in the Civic Type-R. In the CR-Z, the engine will be detuned from the Type-R's 231kW to around 210kW.
That doesn't mean that the CR-Z will be abandoning its hybrid roots completely. According to the American magazine, the Japanese market version of the new CR-Z will feature a hybrid drivetrain with a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine at its heart. That drivetrain will generate around 150kW in total and channel its power to the ground via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
A concept car debut for 2017 is said to be on the cards, with a production model pencilled in for 2018.