I grew up on high octane, high compression heads, and real fuel. Fuel injection gets me high, and it's best when blown.
I've owned several
pieces of heavy american steel: '67 Chevelle, '69 Camaro, '76 T/A, and a handful of old IHC trucks. Of course gas being almost $4 a gallon makes
these less, and less practical to drive, and more, and more pieces of memorabilia in a garage. The 10% ethanol fuel literally kills them.
So, in the late 90s I started buying current cars, and have driven fairly nice modern cars for daily drivers, and relegated the street rods, and
muscle cars to play time. Up until a few weeks ago I would have told you that you would never, ever catch me behind the wheel of a hybrid. Why?
Because they are soul-less cookie cutter cars that rape you of your masculinity. They force you to succumb to the blah of mundane existance in the
name of fuel economy. Even the exhaust note of a Prius sounds like a fragile old lady trying to sneak a fart. If you like the Prius I feel so sorry
for you, if you own one, I'm afraid you are beyond hope. If you are a male, and own one, I must demand that you relinquish your man card immediately,
and put down the tabasco sauce. For your protection of course you might go into anaphylaxis due to your obvious over sensitivity. All joking aside
they are UGLY, and have no power whatsoever.
I went car shopping earlier this fall. I drove this, that, and the other. I was ambiguous as nothing "did it" for me. Yes, I'm picky about my
cars. I was about to give up, and just keep driving old faithful a few more years when I happened by the Honda dealership. I was looking for something
small, fast, fun, and affordable. Everything else I drove was either too cheaply made, had no power, or was rediculously expensive for a small car. It
caught my eye form the road, and I had to go see what it was. I made the mistake of letting the salesman see me oogle the car like a dirty old man.
Honestly I didn;t know he was watching.
I test drove it, and fell in love. Not the fastest thing in the world, but that also is not what I wanted. I want spirited, and fun, not necessarily
bowel voiding romp. I already have that. It also gets 40+MPG combine between city, and highway. It has a 360 Watt 7 speaker sound system with built in
Ipod dock, blue tooth, 10" subwoofer, and noise cancelling. It is a CVT transmission which I wasn't crazy about, but the wheel mounted paddle
shifters give you back a bit of a sense of control. Power everything, and it only seats 2! A plus in my book as I like small sports cars, and the back
seat in them is a joke, and only adds weight anyway. Instead it has a cool storage compartment where a seat would be. The cargo space in the hatch is
enormous, again because Honda didn't "pretend" to put a back seat in it. It handles emmaculately well, very good ride for a small, light car. Much
less road noise than I expected. Almost flawless fit, and finish of interior components. Enough get up to go from zero to sixty in just a tad shy of 8
seconds, and I have had it up to 133 mph, although that was really maxed. Still, will a Prius ever see 130mph? Ok, dropping one off of a cliff
doesn't count. Back to the story... I fall in love with this car. First newer small sporty car that has pushed the right buttons in a while. then I
go around to the back of the car and my jaw drops. I felt gut punched, the salesman even laughed at the look on my face when I saw the little badge on
the deck of the hatch. There laughing, pointing at me like manifest karma "hybrid" NO! Say it ain't so!
So I swallowed my pride, and bought it. A 2011 Honda CR-Z. It is the grandson of the venerable pocket rocket the CR-X. I just couldn't pass up
zippy, sporty fun, great looks, and way cool features for under $25K, and 40MPG. I have put almost 10K miles on it already, and I still love it like
the day I drove it home. The only thing about it that even belies that it is a hybrid, short of lifting the hood and seeing the massive power cable
going to the IMA motor, is the little "hybrid" badge on the back. The exhaust note is quietly reminiscent of an older Civic Si. I may have to fix
that(the quiet part). I have already spanked a few 4 bangers with it, and it's fun to have them ask what I did to it to make a "hybrid" go so fast.
Of course the truthful, and honest reply is "nothing." It's bone stock.(for now, mwahaha)
However... before my fellow gear heads, and velocifiles disown me, and accuse me of having sold out, do me but one favor first. Withold judgement
until you drive one. You may be very surprised at the "cool factor" Honda has engineered in this hybrid. I love it because other hybrid owners hate
on it because it gets about 3mpg less mileage than a strict hybrid, but has three times more power, and a whole order of magnitude better styling, and
looks. I'll give up a few mpg to keep my testicular organs right where they are thank you. I think it's hybrid jealousy. They could have waited for
a cool car, but settled for the 1950's toaster on wheels, or the sculpted bar of soap car. Besides I get 35mpg around town if I drive nice, and 45+
on the highway if I drive nice. I even went on a hypermiling test, and drove as conservatively as I could and got 52mpg highway once. However if I
choose I can hit the sport mode, slap my lead foot on the gas feed, and haul arse if I want. Other hybrids don't have the latter option.
Does anyone else on ATS have a CR-Z? It would be way cool to meet some other Z owners.