3-Mode Drive System

The Honda CR-Z has been designed to be a car that combines driver enjoyment with excellent urban driving performance and economy. The two major roles of the car can be sometimes in opposition, with characteristics like sharp throttle response and greater steering weight increasing driver satisfaction in open road driving, but possibly proving frustrating in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

Honda's engineers have developed the 3-Mode Drive System for the Honda CR-Z, which allows the driver to alter the characteristics of the car depending on their needs and the environment the car is being driven in. By significantly altering the responses of the car, the CR-Z's new system allows drivers to adapt to different road and traffic situations.

The new feature enables the driver to choose between three driving modes which alter the responses of the throttle, steering, climate control and the level of assistance provided by the IMA system.

In developing this new facility, Honda allows the driver to decide whether they wish to maximise sportiness, economy or the best balance between the two.

SPORT Mode

Sport buttons have become commonplace, usually offering a sharper throttle response, but Honda's 3-Mode Drive System is different. The new system alters the behaviour of the hybrid drivetrain and the power steering assistance as well as the throttle mapping between the three modes.

When the Honda CR-Z driver is away from the town or city and wanting to enjoy the open road, they can put the car into SPORT mode. This sharpens the throttle response, changes the behaviour of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance and increases the weight of the electric power steering.

ECON Mode

Honda recognises that even the most enthusiastic driver may regularly experience heavy traffic, where maximising fuel economy is more desirable than the perfect line through a corner. In these situations ECON mode can be selected, which prioritises fuel economy in the operation of the drive-by-wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. For those times when spirited driving is not possible or desirable, the Eco Assist function, in conjunction with the ECON mode, allows the driver to enjoy beating their best economy score on the way to work, or in heavy traffic.

The ECON mode reduces the sensitivity of the throttle to smooth out inputs and this action is assisted by the use of a different engine map that prioritises fuel economy. The climate control system is also influenced by the ECON mode, by recirculating air and reducing compressor operation in order to reduce energy consumption. The use of the motor to assist the petrol engine is redefined with the priority given to improve fuel economy, not assist performance.

NORMAL Mode

At all times the car can be run in NORMAL mode, which provides a balance between performance, economy and emissions and suits most driving situations.

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