Honda's hybrid CR-Z coupe has been given a light re-working, gaining extra power and a sporty boost system. There's also the subtlest of visual makeovers, and a price jump to boot: prices are up between £1830 and £2515 across the range.
How much faster is the new Honda CR-Z?
Thanks to a tweaked ECU engine management system and changes to the variable valve timing, power from the car's 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine climbs by 7bhp, to 119bhp. Meanwhile, the hybrid unit has switched from nickel metal batteries to a lighter lithium-ion set-up, and the electric motor's been upgraded too. Electro-power now stands at 20bhp, up 6bhp.
The overall 13bhp jump drops the CR-Z's 0-62mph time from 10.0sec to 9.1sec on the Sport model, and from 10.1sec to 9.5sec on the more generously kitted-out GT variant. Flat out, the top speed remains pegged at 124mph, as before.
What's this about an on-board boost system?
It's not exactly F1-style KERS, but the CR-Z does have a new party piece. A steering-wheel mounted 'Sport Plus' button unlocks an extra boost when the battery is sufficiently charged: push it and you get 10 seconds of increased acceleration.
We've tried the new 'Sport Plus' system at CAR, and although it doesn't turn the CR-Z from into an eco-minded hot-hatch baiter, there is a certain amount of play value in driving sensibly enough to unlock the boost, before deploying it as the road straightens.
Despite the extra go, economy and emissions remain unchanged, at a claimed 56.5mpg and 116g/km CO2 for the CR-Z Sport and 54.3 and 122g/km for the CR-Z GT.
Where are the facelift clues?
A reshaped front grille/bumper section and rear diffuser are the main visual clues to the tweaked CR-Z, as well as the GT model's new 17-inch alloys.
You will notice the increased prices though. A CR-Z Sport is up by £2515, and the top-spec GT model is now above 184bhp Hyundai Veloster Turbo money, at £23,050. That represents an £1830 increase over the outgoing model.
>> The new Honda CR-Z is available to order now, but is its hybrid novelty enough to put you off its VW Scirocco, Mini Cooper and Hyundai Veloster rivals? Click 'Add you comment' to leave your thoughts below...