Honda’s CR-Z hatchback has been a relative flop for the Japanese automaker. Positioned as a successor to the widely-loved CRX, the CR-Z uses a hybrid powertrain with less-than-sporty dynamics, which never caught on within the enthusiast community.
Before Honda decides if it will build a new generation of the CR-Z, the brand will introduce a facelifted version of the current car, previewed by these low-resolution leaked images that appeared online.
The most significant changes come at the front and rear, with new bumpers, headlights (via the 2016 Accord), taillights, and wheel designs. The physique of the CR-Z remains largely unchanged and inside, it’s the same story, with new trim pieces, an updated steering wheel, and new center console.
Unfortunately, the remaining potential tweaks are a mystery, but there’s a good chance the CR-Z’s lackluster 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a small electric motor will get a boost beyond its present 130 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque.
The facelifted CR-Z will bow in October at the Tokyo Motor Show while the U.S.-spec version will debut in November at the LA Auto Show. Production will soon follow with sales kicking off early next year.
Should Honda pursue plans for a new generation of the CR-Z hatch, expect it to launch sometime in 2018 based on the 10th-generation Civic’s platform. If there’s hope for the CR-Z, it’s that a new generation will borrow styling cues and powertrain internals from the European Civic Type R. That would mean a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with approximately 280 hp.
Let’s hope those rumors prove true, because new bumpers won’t save the CR-Z from mediocrity.