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Honda CR-Z and Puyo (2007): first official pictures

Published: 09 October 2007

Does this mean the CR-X is back?

Maybe. This CR-Z is still just a concept, but if public reaction is positive, and it should be, then we could see this car in production for the start of the next decade. Standing for ’Compact Renaissance Zero’ the CR-Z will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show on 24 October. It’s a hybrid, so that means one of Honda’s VTEC engines alongside the IMA technology. Apparently it’s also designed to be a performance car that has a minimal impact on the environment. Good marketing speak but the CR-Z does seem to hold some promise.

It looks a bit Mazda-esque…

There are indeed hints of the RX-8 around the nose, but the rest of the car pays homage to Honda’s CR-X. The short wheelbase and overhangs combine to make the car manoeuvrable, while the glass roof and bootlid mean lots of visibility. There are the usual concept car touches including LED lights, 19-inch wheels and translucent plastics with neon-blue backlighting. It builds on the Remix concept shown at LA last year, and the Small Hybrid Sports Concept that has been shown in two iterations at both Geneva and Frankfurt this year. Honda needs a car like this: fingers crossed.

So if the CR-Z is a serious car from Honda, what is their oddball offering at Tokyo?

The Puyo, which is apparently a Japanese word conveying warmth and friendliness, and according to Honda will ‘put a smile on the face of users and pedestrians’. Well yes, but only because they’re laughing so hard at the looks.

Can we be serious about this car?

Actually yes. Let’s remember that as urban transport such a shape means maximum carrying capacity. Just ignore the looks, or the hydrogen fuel cell technology, or the gullwing doors and this could be a realistic premium urban car. Maybe. Inside it’s fairly minimalist with few dashboard controls and no steering wheel. The Puyo is instead steered via a joystick. Honda hasn’t completely lost it though because it will also unveil the Fit at Tokyo, which is the Japanese market version of the Jazz.

By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy