The 2012 Paris Motor Show is in full swing, and Honda has used the show to announce some upgrades to its sporty hybrid coupe - the CR-Z.
Enthusiasts have been crying out for more power than the petrol-electric CR-Z previously offered, with only 122 horsepower on tap - and their wishes have been granted.
Honda has raised power of the 1.5-litre petrol engine from 112 bhp to 119 bhp, and the compact electric motor has also received a boost, from 14 bhp to 20 bhp.
Due to the way in which engines and electric motors develop their power and torque you cant just add these numbers together to find a peak figure, but Honda says combined total horsepower is now 135. Theres now 140 lbs ft of torque on offer too, up by 12 lbs ft. As a result, acceleration has improved, reaching 62 mph in 9 seconds, rather than 9.7. Top speed is 124 mph.
The electric motors improvements have partially come about thanks to a change from nickel-metal hydride batteries to lithium-ion cells. Economy is unchanged, at 56.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of 116 g/km - so youll still only pay 20 a year on road tax. On the flip side, this still isnt a car thatll qualify for congestion charge exemption.
Still, youll have more fun - a new Plus Sport (S+) mode can be used in either Econ, Normal or Sport modes, to provide an extra boost of acceleration from the electric motor, when the battery is more than 50 percent charged.
Honda has tweaked the funky styling a little too, with a new front bumper and revised grille, and a new diffuser-style rear bumper. GT models get a sharp 17-inch wheel design (Sport models roll on 16 rims), while Energetic Yellow and Aurora Violet paint colours are now available. Inside, Honda has tweaked the door castings for better storage, and spruced up the interior with a new colour scheme.
Available from: January 2013
Priced from: Not yet announced
We quite like the CR-Z here at carwow, and the model already gets a pretty decent buzzScore of 8.1 - and we cant see the quicker, equally-frugal model doing any worse when the reviews start pouring in.
The extra emphasis on performance should certainly placate those who felt the previous model a little under-endowed, and the S+ mode could be useful for those quick overtaking opportunities. Were looking forward to getting our hands on the car early next year.