It’s efficient and looks sporty but can’t back it up with performance. That has been the rap on the Honda CR-Z hybrid, a tiny car that has been a curious offering from the automaker’s performance division. Honda hopes to change that perception with the release of a supercharger kit for manual transmission models of the CR-Z. Already available in dealerships as of mid-August, Honda’s supercharger will jack up the power quotient in a pricey upgrade that cuts down on the hybrid’s ability to skimp on gas.
Honda Performance Development (HPD) shipped supercharger kits to dealerships for installation on a hybrid that maxed out at 130 horsepower in its latest model. With the aftermarket upgrade (which Honda dealers will install for a fee), the power quotient jumps to 197 horsepower, according to a statement from the automaker. Along with the power boost come an air-to-air intercooler by HPD, upgraded fuel injectors, HPD air filtration, and an ECU designed to meet California Air Resources Board (CARB) regulations for an Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV).
For an added cost, Honda is offering a sport clutch and limited slip differential. Manual models from the 2013 and 2014 are equipped to take the suite of upgrades.
The cost of this considerable boost rings up at $5,495 before dealers get to work on the fitting of the kit and will get the benefit of what’s left of Honda’s five-year warranty. That represents more than 25 percent of the CR-Z’s MSRP of $19,995 before destination charges. While Honda mentioned CARB will be satisfied, it didn’t mention how much the supercharger would ding the CR-Z’s efficiency.