Heritage

As a compact 2+2 coupe with a double window rear hatch and shallow sloping roof line, the CR-Z's links to the CR-X are clear. What perhaps is less obvious is the link between the cars' aims and original design briefs.

The CR-X was first launched in 1983 and received a warm welcome as a compact, agile coupe that transformed opinions on Honda in the US and Europe. What is less well known is that the major purpose of the CR-X was to break the 50 mpg barrier in the US and top the EPA fuel economy ratings. The design of the car was dictated by the need to be compact and therefore light, as well as aerodynamic needs.

Because of the compact wheelbase and light weight, the CR-X proved to be an excellent handling and fun-to-drive car. Current Honda CEO and President, Takonobu Ito, who worked on the engineering of the chassis of the CR-X and recognises the need for a new era of environmentally responsible fun cars, commented at the 2010 Detroit motor show debut of the CR-Z: "My first assignment in the U.S. came in the early 1980s. I was a young engineer, developing the chassis for the first generation Honda CR-X. You might remember it as the "pocket rocket." I remember CR-X as a vehicle that demonstrated that a car can be both sporty and fuel efficient. Times have changed... but the idea of developing vehicles that are both fun to drive and fuel efficient is alive and well."

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