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Hybrid with a Twist


The thing about hybrids is that they usually have a strong aerodynamic feel to it, especially considering that you will need the car to be able to slice through the wind without too much drag stressing the engine and affecting the fuel economy of the car.

Sometimes, although not all the time, you might want to throw everything away, and maybe have a bit of fun with the vehicle of choice, and in this context, the same hoonage should be accorded to hybrid vehicles as well.

There are a few popular hybrids out there, with the two brands taking hybrid tech all the way to the top competing against each other to see which one will produce the less drag, or create the most interesting shape to look at.

Hands down, by far, the CR-Z is simply the most exciting hybrid vehicle to date, taking into account of its predecessor’s reputation as being one of the sexiest hatches and an equally capable street-slayer on and off the track.

Back when fuel was cheap and the only circuit available was the Jalan Raja Laut “ring road,” the CR-X was a menacing sight, even just with minor mods. The B16B V-TEC fuel-injected mill was feared by all, including the turbo-charged players, but all that is part of history.

The CR-Z is taking the lead for the two-door Honda category, and it looks like the hybrid is here to stay. Motivation comes from a capable LEA engine, a 1.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC inline-4 engine coupled with the Integrated Motor Assist hybrid-electric system developed by Honda.

This Spoon-inspired CR-Z is an example of how you inject some hoonage into a docile hybrid, although the CR-Z was never meant to be babied around to begin with. All the work was done by capable hands of Naga Motorsports. The car is pretty much good enough as it is, and requires minimal mods to make the most out of its superior handling that comes together with its hatch characteristics.

Nevertheless, the customary air-filter upgrade was given to the car, using a customised K&N open pod air filter to enhance breathing capability. Naturally, it can’t hurt to dump in more oxygen into the fray to allow better burning and amp up the response a little bit more. The electronics are kept at its stock form, as meddling with the electronics of a hybrid powertrain is a little more complicated than your strictly internal combustion engine.

The manual transmission is kept for the car because, let’s face it, nothing beats a three-pedal setup for experiencing the true joy of driving intense and nailing that perfect heel-toe downshift.

An UltraRacing front strut bar was installed as well to enhance the rigidity of the car, providing more room for those intense maneuvering sessions. In stock form, the CR-Z is already good enough as it is in terms of handling, but to up the ante a little, Naga Motorsports installed GAB SS coilovers along with a host of supporting Ultra Racing bars. The coilovers allow better customization, as well as a little extra tuning capability on the cornering department.

The braking system is kept at stock as well, but the wheels have received some generous loving. Enkei RPF-1 17-inch wheels cover up the brakes, wrapped in Yokohama A-Drive 225/45 tyres, which are enough for daily drives as well as some hard driving.

The interior is kept at stock as well due to the sexiness carried by the CR-Z. If you have ever stepped into the cockpit of one of these hybrids, you will surely understand why the interior is kept in its stock form as it is a very nice place to be in. It feels a little more luxurious than a regular hatch in its class. We also love buttons, and the dash of the CR-Z is loaded with them, especially the driving mode selectors.

The exterior has been completely decorated with Spoon liveries in its yellow and blue hues, quite fitting for the CR-Z as it spells out the intentions of the car, not only from tuners but Honda alike.

Hyperfacts!
Car: Honda CR-Z
Engine Mods: Custom K&N open pod air filter with piping
Electronics: Stock
Transmission: Stock
Chassis & Handling: GAB SS coilovers, complete range of Ultra Racing bars
Brakes: Stock
Wheels & Tyres: Enkei RPF-1 17-inch, Yokohama A-Drive tyres 225/45/17
Interior: Stock
Exterior: Complete Spoon liveries by Tom’s Stickers
Garage: Naga Motorsports

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