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The Honda CR-Z has not even landed in showrooms, and already we are hearing rumors about a new, bigger hybrid sports coupe in Japan. At a recent chance meeting, a Honda insider revealed that company is busy working on a next generation hybrid sports coupe that will dwarf the all-new CR-Z in performance. Details of the powerplant are still sketchy, but our source tells us that in place of a planned V-6 hybrid, engineers are leaning toward the incorporation of a cleaner, more fuel efficient 2.5-liter, four-cylinder gas engine attached to Honda's well-known IMA hybrid system, which would lift this coupe's engine capacity by one full liter over the CR-Z. He adds that the V-6 hybrid is being considered as a main powerplant for U.S.-spec minivans and SUVs, which need more grunt.

The vehicle referred to here is a new sports coupe around the same size as the Accord Coupe, and would have four seats. The beauty of a sports hybrid, according to one Honda engineer, as that you can easily tune the car to lean more towards performance or more towards fuel efficiency depending on what you want. And it seems as though a lot of people (in Japan at least) want the new CR-Z, which has already taken in nearly 9000 orders in just one month.

Our source also mentioned that Honda is currently testing a system similar to the Chevy Volt's range extender plug-in hybrid system for the Japanese firm's medium to large passenger cars and SUVs. The difference is that Honda would employ an engine and electric motor setup, which, when all the stored electricity is used, would automatically switch to an on-board capacitor that would further extended its range. This system would reportedly be fitted to vehicles including the next Accord.
 

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AW Detailing Wanker
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Honda needs to stop making their cars bigger. That was half the appeal back in the 90's. Small cars that were efficient and decently cheap with a good build quality. Now they are just ballooning in size and getting less efficient.
 

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Hybrid Update


TOKYO -- The new line of mid-sized plug-in hybrids that Honda Motor Co. aims to introduce next year will be able to travel up to 15 miles in electric-only mode, an executive says.

That would counter criticism that Honda's current hybrid technology is too weak to provide extended motor-only travel. The Integrated Motor Assist system used in the Honda Insight, Civic and CR-Z hybrids uses the electric motor mostly to assist the gasoline engine.

The new technology, which is scheduled to debut in 2012, is a 2-motor system that runs on a lithium ion battery. The battery will be supplied through Blue Energy Co., Honda's battery joint venture with GS Yuasa Corp, said Hirohisa Ogawa, a chief engineer of battery research at Honda.

Ogawa, speaking at the International Rechargeable Battery Expo in Tokyo, said the new plug-ins would be able to run 9 to 15 miles in electric-only mode.

Honda began testing the vehicles late last year, he added.

President Takanobu Ito has said his engineers are preparing to put the system in the Accord mid-sized sedan. Honda discontinued an earlier hybrid Accord, which was equipped with the Integrated Motor Assist system, in part because it was underpowered.
 
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