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August 04, 2015, Tuesday
  • Comelec says the planned extension of campaign period will prevent candidates from abusing the election rules. 15 hours ago |
  • Comelec considers the extension of campaign period for local candidates from current 45 days to 120 days. 15 hours ago |
  • Comelec mulls the extension of campaign period from current 90 days to 120 days for national candidates. 15 hours ago |
  • Abad says Sec. Mar Roxas will step down once Pres. Aquino has found his replacement at the DILG. 15 hours ago |
  • Binay says more Filipinos have become poor & are experiencing hunger after 5 years under the Aquino administration. 15 hours ago |
  • Binay enumerated the alleged dismal gov’t response during the tragedies in Luneta, Zamboanga, Mamasapano & Tacloban during ‘Yolanda.’ 15 hours ago |
  • Abad says Binay had clapped his hands for the Aquino administration when he was part of it for the last 4 years. 15 hours ago |
  • Binay says MRT, BBL and DAP symbolize the huge failures of the Aquino administration. 15 hours ago |
  • Binay delivers his 40-minute counter-SONA in front of a jam-packed crowd in Cavite State University in Indang, Cavite. 15 hours ago |
  • Sen. Marcos hopes the bullet hole found in his satellite office has no link to the Senate BBL deliberations which he is leading. 15 hours ago |
  • Sen. Bongbong Marcos hopes that what hit his satellite office was just a stray bullet. 15 hours ago |
  • Police investigate a bullet hole found on Sunday at the satellite office of Sen. Bongbong Marcos along Roxas Boulevard. 15 hours ago |
  • House to resume plenary session on BBL on Tuesday. 20 hours ago |
  • Tesda to provide training and livelihood programs for PWDs. 20 hours ago |
  • Shell to implement oil price rollback on Tuesday. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino hopes Binay will honor his pledge to serve the people by giving them the right information. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino urges Binay to stick to the facts when he delivers his counter-SONA on Monday afternoon. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino says Roxas has agreed to stay longer in cabinet so long as proper turnover is guaranteed. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino plans to ask Roxas to stay a little longer at the DILG to finish some things. 20 hours ago |
  • Pres. Aquino off to attend BIR's 111th Anniversary in Quezon City on Monday. 22 hours ago |
  • DND hopes China will be sincere in using the 'hotline' that will be opened to ASEAN members as they tackle sea disputes. 22 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas may submit his resignation letter to Malacanang on Monday afternoon. 22 hours ago |
  • DILG Sec. Mar Roxas says goodbye to policemen at the flag-raising ceremony in Camp Crame on Monday morning. 22 hours ago |
  • Sec. Mar Roxas reportedly prefers DILG Usec. Austere Panadero to replace him at the DILG. 22 hours ago |
  • Western Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento & Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. reportedly being considered for DILG post. 22 hours ago |
  • Coloma says BBL must be approved by the present congress because peace in Mindanao cannot wait. 22 hours ago |
  • Coloma says Pres. Aquino will not wait for the next congress to pass the proposed BBL. 22 hours ago |

Highballing with Honda

By Dino Ray V. Directo III | Mar. 21, 2013 at 08:02pm
CRZ- a hybrid that looks and feels good

Honda is a brand synonymous with performance and innovative technology. So one can just imagine my elation when some officers at Honda Cars Philippines Inc delivered the Honda CRZ hybrid a day before my birthday recently.” Sir, have fun with the CRZ this weekend. Sorry, we did not have the time to wrap it,”  Mitch Malto, marketing officer at Honda, said  in jest.

What immediately caught my eye is the clench-fist styling of the front end, and the huge “Mugen” sticker emblazoned on its side. A closer inspection of the test unit and a quick call to HCPI confirmed that this specific test unit has been prepped by the go-fast guys of Mugen Japan. “It’s the only Mugen CRZ here in the country,” says Malto. It’s got tons of Mugen accessories starting with the suspension system, lightweight wheels, full exhausts, interior bits like the shift knob, carpets, wrap around body kit and rear deck spoiler.

My enthusiasm waned a bit when I discovered that the car’s combined gasoline and electric motor only had 122 bhp. For a car that looks excitingly fast with a good chassis and Mugen bits thrown into the mix deserves more power. Maybe I am missing the point here. What Honda wanted lead footed motoring hacks to realize and experience is one can go considerably fast, yet be environment friendly at the same time.

While familiarizing myself with the CRZ, I noticed three buttons on the upper left side of the dashboard panel; Normal, Eco and Sport. Since I was up in the hills of Tanay, Rizal, I flicked the “Sport” button, and the CRZ transformed into a totally different mechanical beast. Mugen cleverly utilized the power train as a starting block, keeping the fundamental characteristics of the car and tuned the car by strengthening the internals, tweaked the ECU and exhaust system to ensure it works harmoniously with the 14hp electric engine and voila, more horsepower were given to the car on tap. Although the electric motor provides a small percentage of the total torque, the kick comes in at 1500 rpms when in “Sport” mode.  It was a blast when the CRZ’s sport mode is engaged. Fun can be had at every corner and straight line drive.

It may not be as powerful as the Civic SiR or Type R, but the CRZ commands respect and approval in terms of handling and drivability. Apart from looking the part, the exhaust notes emanating from the triangular shaped Mugen muffler had a subtle rumble to it. Fellow motorists and onlookers were snapping away with their camera phones as I drove by.

Due to government restrictions, Honda is not certain if they will introduce the CRZ into the domestic market. But if ever the Hybrid Law is enacted, the pricing of all hybrid vehicles will be drastically reduced by as much as P500,000. For now, driving the CRZ and other hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius will be a little bit prohibitive  although insiders reveal that Honda might just launch the standard CRZ in the market. It should be an auspicious start.
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