Here's another instance of Honda calling a car a concept when it's actually mere inches away from production. This is the 2011 Honda CR-Z, and it is a reborn 1983-92 Civic CRX. It goes on sale in Japan in February 2010, with the U.S. following a few months after that.
Compact and sleek, this 161-inch long coupe/three-door hatch was first shown as a real concept at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. Now two years on, the 2009 show car is "95 percent" of the real thing, according to Honda officials. The final, final production version will be unveiled at the 2010 Detroit Show in January.
We know that the 2011 CR-Z will be powered by a 1.5-liter i-VTEC inline-4 combined with Honda's IMA hybrid powertrain, tied to a 6-speed manual gearbox -- essentially the sportiest drivetrain setup the company has offered in a hybrid to date. However, we still think it's likely that Honda will broaden the appeal of the CR-Z line by offering several drivetrain options -- perhaps a price-leader base model with just the 1.5-liter gas engine and perhaps, perhaps a CR-Z Si with a slightly larger, revvier engine.
The CR-Z's busy, compact 2+2 cabin is now virtually production ready and it's believed the car's Ni-Mh battery pack lies beneath the rear floor, as per the Honda Insight, on which it's is based. Even the wheels on this "concept" look production-spec, and if the "lack" of exhaust pipes on the CR-Z gives you pause, just have a look at the tail of a production Insight.