Toyota may be the flag bearer for Hybrids in TLCB’s home market (in fact, they sell more ‘alternatively fuelled’ vehicles than all the other manufacturers put together), but Honda were right alongside them in the earliest days of Hybrid power when they launched in Insight way back in 1999, just two years after the first Prius.
Since then Toyota have gone on to massive Hybrid success with no less than seven Hybrid models available, however Honda now don’t sell a single Hybrid in our home nation at all. So what went wrong? Part of the blame lies with this car; the brilliant-looking CRZ.
With cutting-edge Japanese looks, forward-thinking Hybrid power (with a manual transmission too), and following the legacy left by the funky CRX, the CRZ should have been a success. Unfortunately 135bhp, a high list price, and underwhelming fuel economy (at least compared to European cars) meant the CRZ – along with the second generation Insight – bombed.
Honda ceased selling both models in Europe after just a few years, leaving a product range of just three cars – something the brand is only just recovering from now.
Perhaps what they should have built is this. Lachlan Cameron (aka Lox Lego) has recreated the CRZ’s razor-sharp looks in his Technic CRZ brilliantly, and he’s given the chassis a bit more bite than Honda managed too; Lachlan’s model adds a second electric motor giving his CRZ all-wheel-drive, which sure would’ve pepped-up the real car. There’s also remote control steering, electrically opening doors, torsion beam suspension, LED lights front and rear, a four-cylinder piston engine, and bluetooth control via SBrick.
The result is a superb Technic supercar that’s well worth a closer look, which you can do via both Flickr and the Eurobricks forum. We suspect the real Honda CRZ may one day be worth a closer look too, as we anticipate it becoming something of a cult car in time. Ironically – considering its failure – if the CRZ were relaunched today it’d probably do rather well…