Automotive Intelligence - the web for automotive professionals and car enthusiasts
February 08, 2010
Sport buttons have become commonplace usually offering a sharper throttle response, but Honda's 3-Mode Drive System is different. The new system alters the behaviour of the hybrid drivetrain and the power steering assistance as well as the throttle mapping between the three modes.
When the CR-Z driver is away from the town or city and wanting to enjoy their drive more, they can put the car into SPORT mode. This sharpens the throttle response, changes the behaviour of the IMA hybrid system to provide more electric motor assistance, and increases the weight of the electric power steering.
Honda recognises that even the most enthusiastic driver may regularly experience heavy traffic, where maximising fuel economy is more desirable than the perfect line through a corner. In these situations ECON mode can be selected, which prioritises fuel economy in the operation of the drive by wire throttle, ECU, air conditioning and the hybrid system. For those times when spirited driving is not possible or desirable, the Eco Assist function, in conjunction with the ECON mode, allows the driver to enjoy beating their best economy score on the way to work, or in heavy traffic.
At all other times the car can be run in NORM mode, which provides a balance between performance, economy and emissions and suits most driving situations.
The ambient lighting of the speedometer is used in the same way as in the Insight to guide the driver in driving more economically and ecologically. In addition to the Eco Assist function, the CR-Z's meter lighting is linked to the 3-mode drive system. In NORM mode the speedometer is illuminated blue, with green illumination when the car is being driven in an economical manner. In ECON mode it is also blue (glowing green when driven economically) and it has a green eco flower lit alongside. When the speedometer is illuminated in a red ambient light, this indicates the CR-Z is in SPORT mode.
The CR-Z will go on sale across Europe in the middle of 2010 and prices will be announced at the Geneva motor show.