The Honda CRZ Hybrid sports car has been voted Japanís Car of the Year. This fun to drive hybrid beat the Volkswagen Polo to claim this yearís honors in a very closely contested fight. It came down to the final five judges out of a sixty member jury to decide as such. Third place went to the recently launched Suzuki Swift and the Peugeot RCZ. It looks like foreign cars are taking a hold in the usually Japanese flavoured Japan car market. Anyway, kudos to the CRZ for coming up tops but meanwhile, in another part of the world.....
Ö.Someone has decided to make this environmental winner into a hybrid monster. Bisimotor Engineering, located in the land of cheeseburgers and fries Ė USA, has created a CRZ with a turbo larger than its small electric assist motor. Famed for converting Hondas of every sort, Bisimotor Engineering set work to tune the CRZ in a way that no one had done. My first look at photos of the engine bay below made me do a triple take.
Most tuned CRZs that Iíve noticed have a decent looking engine bay. You can still see lots of stock bits with maybe an exhaust system, some ECU tweaks and at the very least an open pod air-filter. Much like the photo right above. But Bisimotor has taken the whole petrol engine apart, gave it new camshafts, pistons, conrods, crankshaft, 70mm throttle body and a whole lot more stuff while adding a humongous 65mm Turbonetics turbocharger and a front mount intercooler with all its necessary ancillaries. The engine is still a 1.5liter but now pumps out a phenomenal 533bhp.
And yes, the car is still a hybrid as it still keeps its 14bhp electric motor Ė in case 533bhp isnít enough to do the job I suppose. Oh, it must sound like a mosquito as the exhaust is a 3inch short pipe exiting just after the front wheels. Wonder if there is still a catalytic converter with an exhaust system so short (this must be a discreet one finger salute to all of the CRZ's eco-friendliness).
The car runs on 18x9inch wheels with staggered offsets +29front and +27 rear on 225/40/18 Falken rubber. Brakes are by Stoptech.
Bisimotor states that Honda provided them with the CRZ with the limitation that it was to ďretain its eco-friendly propertiesĒ. They also claimed that the car gets 31mpg in the city and 37mpg on the highway and it still runs on regular RON95 (American 91/92AKI standard) unleaded fuel.
Now this is truly the car of the year in my books.