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September 02, 2015, Wednesday
  • Some fishermen at Navotas Fish Post preferred to send 'protection' or financial aid to fellow fishermen protesting at Luneta. 2 hours ago |
  • Many fishermen at Navotas Fish Port did not join the 'fish holiday.' 2 hours ago |
  • Maynilad and Manila Water say rotating water supply interruptions may begin next week. 2 hours ago |
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  • MMDA personnel to act as support group to PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) that will now man traffic flow along EDSA. 2 hours ago |
  • PNP says it can readily deploy at least 80 Highway Patrol Group members to take charge of traffic flow in EDSA. 2 hours ago |
  • PNP Highway Patrol Group that will now man traffic along EDSA to focus on 6 'choke points.' 2 hours ago |
  • Atty. Levito Baligod to submit to Ombudsman the affidavits of witnesses linking 20 current & past lawmakers to pork barrel scam. 2 hours ago |
  • Murder & illegal possession of firearms filed vs. Jojo Abaya who fired at a van at Katipunan Ave. in QC & killed a female passenger. 2 hours ago |
  • Woman dies as son of a ret. general fires at a van he thought was from a drug rehab center that was fetching him at Katipunan Ave. in QC. 2 hours ago |
  • Missing mountaineer in Tarlac found dead. 15 hours ago |
  • Two bodies recovered from a landslide in Benguet. 15 hours ago |
  • Senate approves bill exempting Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) from paying 12% VAT. 15 hours ago |
  • Baler RTC Judge Jude Erwin Alaba shot and killed in an ambush in Baler, Aurora. 16 hours ago |
  • 1 woman & 2 men shot in an ambush on Tuesday at about 8 pm along Katipunan Ave. at the boundary of White Plains & St. Ignatius Village QC. 16 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she’ll decide in 1 month if a case may be filed vs. Abad & other gov’t ofcls. over DAP. 21 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales reveals she has started a probe on the role of Pres. Aquino, DBM Sec. Abad & other gov’t officials on DAP. 21 hours ago |
  • MMDA collects at least 10-truckloads of trash from EDSA-Shaw Boulevard following INC’s rally in the area. 21 hours ago |
  • One Dream Pres. Arnel Gacer fails to show up at DOJ preliminary investigation on syndicated estafa case filed against him. 21 hours ago |
  • Coloma says the Ombudsman may launch a probe into any issue like DAP but the President is immune from any suit. 21 hours ago |
  • Atty. Renato Bondal says P 127M in professional fees alone was paid by PHEI to STI from 2006 to 2015. 21 hours ago |
  • Lawyer Renato Bondal says the Phil. Health Educators (PHEI) was established in 2003 to take money from Makati’s school system. 22 hours ago |
  • Lawyer Renato Bondal sues VP Binay & Makati Mayor Binay for alleged anomalous deal between University of Makati (UMak) & STI. 22 hours ago |
  • Atty. Renato Bondal files plunder & graft charges vs. VP Jejomar Binay & suspended Makati Mayor “Junjun” Binay. 22 hours ago |
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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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