TRANSMISSION

The Honda R-Z is the first hybrid to be fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which allows drivers maximum control over the torquey combination of the 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine and the IMA motor.

For the European market a manual gearbox was considered essential and a 6-speed considered the optimum gearbox for both economy and sportier driving. As a parallel hybrid system it is easy to adapt Honda's IMA system to work with a variety of hardware and as shown with the original 1999 Insight, a manual gearbox can work very well with the right hybrid technology.

The manual gearbox will give the CR-Z a very different character from existing hybrid models and will give the driver a new level of interaction.

The gearbox has been developed with the enthusiastic driver in mind, with a short shift and a firm but light action that encourages the driver to change regularly. Tolerances of the shift mechanism components have been optimised to reduce free play in the mechanism. The detent is a component that controls the movement of the shift lever and this area was the subject of a great deal of attention to achieve a positive click with each gear change.

Even with a six speed gearbox and sporty shift action, it is not essential to continuously work the Honda CR-Z's gearbox. The ample low end torque of the engine and IMA system means in gear flexibility is also impressive.

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