2011
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16-valve, 1.5-liter i-VTEC
The CR-Z is powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC® 4-cylinder engine with Integrated Motor Assist IMA®. The CR-Z operates its 16 valves via one overhead camshaft, employing rocker arms for each exhaust and intake valve. In addition to providing variable intake-valve duration and lift profiles across the rpm range, the CR-Z's engine closes one intake valve at low rpm, running with three valves per cylinder until the engine crosses the 2300 rpm threshold, after which the engine resumes four-valves-per-cylinder operation. This makes the engine run more efficiently in the very bottom end of the power band. As an added bonus, the engine also produces an impressive exhaust note—how many hybrids can say that?
Integrated Motor Assist IMA®
Instead of having a separate alternator and starter motor like traditional internal-combustion engines, the IMA system combines the two functions in one with an electric motor that starts the engine, accelerates the car, recharges the battery and provides regenerative braking.
6-Speed Manual Transmission
The Honda CR-Z is the world's first production hybrid vehicle to offer a 6-speed manual transmission. These six speeds reward CR-Z drivers with the perfect gear for every driving occasion — including a high final-drive ratio for excellent fuel efficiency[1]. From the S2000 to the Civic Si, Honda has considerable experience with 6-speed manuals. So it's no surprise that the CR-Z's 6-speed gearbox is as efficient as it is entertaining. Adding to the pleasure is an easy-to-grip, ergonomically shaped shift lever, finished in aluminum and black leather in the CR-Z EX.

[1] 35 city/39 hwy/37 combined mpg for CVT models. 31 city/37 hwy/34 combined mpg for 6MT models. Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
An electronically controlled, continuously variable transmission (CVT), essentially an automatic, is available on all CR-Z models. Instead of gears, the CVT uses a set of pulleys — a "drive pulley" connected to the engine and a "driven pulley" connected to the differential.

What makes the CVT so fuel efficient is that there are more ratio choices than in a conventional automatic transmission, so the CVT can find the ideal ratio to help take better advantage of the engine's power and fuel efficiency[1].

[1] 35 city/39 hwy/37 combined mpg for CVT models. 31 city/37 hwy/34 combined mpg for 6MT models. Based on 2011 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
Hill Start Assist
The CR-Z 6-speed manual includes the hill start assist feature. When the driver releases the brake to activate the throttle pedal, hill start assist maintains brake pressure for about 1.5 seconds to prevent the CR-Z from unintentionally rolling backward until the driver is ready. The system releases brake pressure when engine torque increases, allowing a smooth and controllable drive-away. The system does not operate when the transmission is in reverse.
Suspension System
The CR-Z's suspension system uses a combination of MacPherson front struts with lightweight forged, aluminum lower control arms and a torsion-beam rear suspension. Using struts in front makes more room available for crash reinforcement, and the rear torsion beam's compact size helps maximize cargo space. Honda engineers have tuned these components to give the CR-Z responsive handling and a decisively fun-to-drive character. At the same time, the suspension is exceptionally compliant, even over rough roads. All CR-Z models feature Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control as standard equipment.

Standard on the CR-Z are 16-inch alloy wheels with P195/55R16 all-season tires. Available as a dealer-installed accessory are 17-inch alloy wheels with 205/45R17 tires.