On the morning of July 29th, Honda applied for a new trademark for the CR-Z nameplate in the United States, hinting at the return of the model that saw a premature ending in 2016.
History is bound to repeat itself. And Honda seems to be following that trend. A trademark application filed on July 29th, 2020, with the Trademark Office and the United States Patent appears to indicate that Honda might be planning a comeback for the CR-Z.
Rumors have it that the upcoming 2021 version will eventually be filling a hole in Honda’s model lineup between the Civic Coupe and the Fit Hatchback. However, the 2021 CR-Z might be completely different from its previous version.
On the other hand, it’s important to mention that Honda didn’t confirm whether it’s bringing back the same model or launching a new hybrid with the same name. Of course, the trademark filing could also just be a technique to avoid other manufacturers from using the nametag.
Earlier, when the old model Honda Del Sol, popularly known as the CR-Z Del Sol, disappeared from the market in 1998, there were some rumors that the model could come back at some point. But, to everyone’s surprise, the post-2000 CR-z was instead intended to replace the classic CR-X. No need to mention that it completely failed to do so.
The reinvented CR-Z was lightweight, reliable, and came with an optional manual transmission. Even if it failed to impress fans of the original CR-X, it ended up by finding its niche and somewhat succeeded in a particular market segment. However, the CR-Z was unable to appeal to a large enough consumer base to be viable in the long term. In fact, since it was intended as a sport compact car targeting a young audience, it wasn’t even close to the expectations!
The CR-Z had a severe identity problem. It’s like it didn’t quite know if it was supposed to be a cheap, eco-friendly vehicle or a real compact tuner. Unfortunately, it resulted in both the eco-maniacs and speed enthusiasts were never really satisfied with either its performance or fuel-efficiency. Let’s be honest, it wasn’t a great period for Honda.
However, the CR-Z was a reliable car despite obvious inherent flaws. It may not be the perfect car for enthusiasts, but it can be an ideal daily driver for college students looking for a cheap and efficient ride. It sure doesn’t look so cool, but it was one of the few hybrids equipped with a manual transmission.
Unlike the Mustang and Subaru BRZ, the CR-Z was not an expensive car. It was only $19,950 at the time when it was introduced in 2010. Unfortunately, like the Acura MDX and the CrossTour, the CR-Z was an unmitigated failure for Honda. In 2016, after many marketing stunts aimed to revive the model, it just had to go.
At this time, we can only speculate what the new CR-Z could look like but, if it’s really about to make a comeback, let’s just hope that this time, Honda will better target it’s intended demographic and their specific needs.
To be continued…