Honda has brought the new 2013 CR-Z to the U.S. market with sales to begin on November 21, 2012. The changes give the 2013 Honda CR-Z more power, better fuel economy, and a slightly new style.

The 2013 CR-z gains an all-new Lithium-Ion battery that improves performance, and at the same time, mpg ratings, along with styling upgrades to the exterior and interior.

Under the hood, a 144-volt lithium-ion battery replaces a 100.8-volt nickel metal hydride battery, allowing the car’s electric motor to produce 15 kW instead of 10 kW. As a result, the combined output from the 1.5-liter gasoline unit and the electric motor is 130 hp at 6,000 rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque (127 lb-ft. on CVT-equipped models).

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So the new model gains 8 hp and 12 lb-ft of torque (4 lb-ft for the CVT versions). Other changes include a shorter final-drive ratio, a bigger clutch for manual-transmission models, and more aerodynamic front and rear fascias.

On the other hand, Honda has introduced a new Plus Sport System on all 2013 CR-Zs, which can be used more than 50 percent and the car is travelling over 19 mph (31 km/h). Furthermore, the 2013 CR-Z offers a 1 mpg improvement in city driving with a CVT (36 mpg city, 39 mpg highway and 37 mpg combined), and 1 mpg on the highway for the manual version (31/38/34 mpg).

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On the outside, Honda also upgraded the 2013 CR-Z with changes like a new mesh grille, a new lower front spoiler, chrome accents and blue tints for the headlights, blue-tinted taillights, a blue clearcoat treatment for the taillights, a darker finish for the 16-inch alloy wheels and two new colors named Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic.

The interior is dressed up with new metallic trim pieces, redesigned door panels, and an available red-and-black seat treatment.

Also, the standard equipment includes Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and rearview camera while also adding LED daytime running lights and Pandora Interface with SMS text message function to the options list.

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The base 2013 Honda CR-Z starts at $20,765, including a $790 destination charge, reflecting a $280 price increase over the outgoing model, while the top-of-the-line 2013 Honda CR-Z EX with navigation starts at $24,595, including shipping.

Source: Honda