I remember the CRX Si from the eighties and early nineties as being awesome: it was fun to drive and affordable to anyone who appreciated the little coupe’s practical design and enthusiastic spirit. When Honda introduced the CR-Z hybrid coupe, they attempted to bring back the essence of the CRX Si, but totally missed the mark. Visually, the CR-Z looks the part of a hot hatch. Unfortunately, the 130 horsepower gas-electric hybrid falls short with lackluster driving dynamics and a powertrain that feels overworked.
Now that a supercharger is available for the CR-Z, the product team at Honda decided to transform the underpowered and underperforming CR-Z into a car that is reminiscent of the CRX Si – one of the greatest affordable enthusiast cars ever created. Scouring the parts list from the Honda Performance Development (HPD) catalog, the team built up the CR-Z the way it should have been long ago.
First on the list was installing a supercharger that boosts the output of the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder from 180 to an estimated 197 horsepower. Torque also benefits from the forced induction and is now up to an estimated 176 lb-ft over its stock torque rating of 166 lb-ft. A carbon semi-metallic street performance clutch and limited slip differential from the HPD catalog sets up the CR-Z with quicker response and acceleration.
Stopping is just as important as accelerating. Thus, 4-piston brakes with aluminum calipers at the front are used to bring the 2,639 pound 2-seater to a swift halt. Ride height was lowered by 10mm after swapping the stock springs at all four corners for something with a stiffer spring rate. 18-inch alloy wheels finish the package. Now the CR-Z is ready to carve some corners and raise the spirits – all with a factory warranty.
Watch the video below as Roman takes the CR-Z, modified with Honda street performance parts, and makes it sing high up in the rev band.
2014 Honda CR-Z Modified with HPD Street Performance Accessories:
- Engine: 1.5L supercharged 4-cylinder
- Power: 197 hp @ 6250 rpm
- Torque: 176 lb-ft @ 4850 rpm
- Differential: advanced limited slip helical gear type
- Clutch: carbon semi-metallic six-puck street performance type
- Front brakes: 4-piston aluminum caliper / 300mm, directionally ventilated
- Wheels: 18-inch alloy
- Tires: P215/40 R18 89Y
- Suspension: lowered by 10mm
- Front spring rate: 26.3 N/mm (150 lb/in)
- Rear spring rate: 29.4 N/mm (168 lb/in)