A key player among several vehicles Honda
will display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, the latest version of its CR-Z concept is the closest yet to what we can expect to see hit the road here sometime in mid-2010 as a 2011 model. Honda says this version of its nascent hybrid
sports car is about 95 percent production spec, with only minor tweaks due for the volume-build CR-Z that will formally bow at the Detroit Auto Show next January. While Honda announced no changes -- or additional details --about the CR-Z's powertrain that will match a 1.5-liter gasoline engine fortified by Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system with a six-speed manual transmission, the photos show this new-look CR-Z has a considerably more street-friendly configuration than the Gen II prototype shown in Los Angeles last year. Its redrawn front end features a far less damage-prone fascia with bolder character contours on the hood and fenders and more real-world headlamps. The greenhouse also received significant tweaking and appears to be a somewhat shallower, and the A-pillar angle and larger side and quarter glass elements, which should both aid driver sightlines and increase headroom for rear-seat passengers, are now slightly higher-profile. A pair of rising swage lines in the door help reinforce the dynamic flair of the CR-Z, while a bolder C-pillar resolves into what is arguably an even more distinctive rear fascia treatment. Although dispensing with the visible center-mount dual exhaust outlets on its predecessor, the CR-Z's tail now features a slick full-width lower valence/diffuser and reshaped taillight and vertical glass decklid elements that combine to impart a uniquely elegant yet decidedly aggressive look.