Although it’s far from being a traditional sports coupe, the 2013 Honda CR-Z will follow a very traditional formula in attempting to boost sales for the new model year: Boosting its power output, too. As revealed during the 2012 Paris Motor Show in France, the CR-Z gets that and more, also welcoming a refreshed design and new battery technology. The car’s fuel-economy, however, appears as if it will remain the same—as evidenced by its initial results in European fuel-economy testing—and while that’s better than if its ratings went down, it’s still a little surprising. Especially when you realize that the sportiest version of Honda’s sport hybrid, the one with the six-speed manual transmission, is rated by the EPA at relatively mundane 31 mpg city/35 mpg highway/34 mpg combined. (The CVT-equipped model can reach 35/39/27.)
On the other hand, given the priorities of most U.S. drivers, if Honda engineers were only going to enhance one side of the CR-Z’s performance-efficiency balance, it certainly picked the right choice.