In November 2012, no less than Honda Cars Philippines president Tatsuya Natsume told TopGear.com.ph that the only way his company could bring in its hybrid vehicles was if the Alternative Fuel Vehicles Incentive Act was passed into law. Well, we won't have to wait that long after all. HCPI has announced that it is now accepting reservations for the CR-Z hybrid sport coupe, with deliveries of the units commencing in August.
The CR-Z was first displayed at the 4th Philippine International Motor Show last year where it proved to be a crowd-drawer for HCPI's pavilion. According to Natsume, it was the public's reception of the CR-Z that prompted the company to put it on sale locally.
"At the time of the show, we received a number of inquiries about selling it in the Philippines," said Natsume. "Even after that, we are still getting inquiries online and at our dealer showrooms and various display events. This scenario gives us the confidence that the Philippine market will warmly welcome the CR-Z when it arrives in August, exactly a year after its concept was shown."
A 1.5-liter VTEC mill powers the CR-Z, with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist electric powerplant backing it up. According to the carmaker, the combination of both power sources lets the driver "have a responsive and exciting driving experience, thus achieving excellent fun-to-drive performance and exceptional fuel efficiency."
The CR-Z is also equipped with what Honda calls the "three-mode drive system," which allows drivers to freely shift from Normal to either Sport or Econ modes for different driving styles or situations. Honda pushes the envelope even further by adding the Plus-Sport System option that "enables more responsive acceleration to achieve additional fun and excitement while driving."
The CR-Z will be offered with either a six-speed manual gearbox or a paddle shift-equipped CVT. It will also come in three variants: aside from the standard model, HCPI will also offer the Modulo-equipped variant and the Mugen variant, which comes with an aerodynamics package and Mugen-branded exhaust system and wheels.
The CR-Z will be available in six colors: White Pearl, Crystal Black, Polished Metal, Milano Red, Turquoise Blue and Cosmo Flash Violet (the last two are exclusive to the model).
Prices for all six variants of the CR-Z are as follows:
Standard (manual transmission) - P1.4 million
Standard (CVT with paddle shifters) - P1.5 million
Modulo (manual transmission) - P1.5 million
Modulo (CVT with paddle shifters) - P1.6 million
Mugen (manual transmission) - P2 million
Mugen (CVT with paddle shifters) - P2.1 million
"With two transmissions, three variants, and six colors or a total of 36 combinations to choose from, we are positive the CR-Z will bring a more personal Honda spirit of mobility," added Natsume. "Along with other Honda models, the CR-Z is bound to make every journey enjoyable and fun for both driver and passenger."