Automotive

What Car Needed More Power?


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Photo: Honda

The answer to what makes a fun car is not more horsepower, despite what many drivers would lead to you believe. High horsepower alone does not a good car make, like the new GR 86 shows, but there are definitely some cars that would have been better with more mustard. What cars do you think needed more power to be considered one of the greats?

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I’ll gladly take a car with a good exhaust note that handles, but if there’s a car that needed a tad more oomph, it’s the Honda CR-Z. That car was supposed to be a sporty hybrid, with a manual transmission to boot. The spiritual successor to the CRX, but it was more CRX HF than CRX Si.

Actually, it was neither of those. It lacked the incredible fuel efficiency of the HF, and the sporty feel of the Si. Honda tried to make a car that would be greater than the sum of its parts with the CR-Z, a machine that would have all the strengths of a hybrid and sports car but neither of their weaknesses. In the end, the CR-Z had all of the weaknesses and none of their strengths.

It breaks my heart because the CR-Z could have been great. Its design was ahead of others in its segment. It didn’t care that having two seats would make little sense to some drivers. Two-seaters are underrated—sometimes I just want to be in a small space by myself and have the cabin cocoon me and just, like, drive, man. In any case, it had a hatch for your bags.

But the CR-Z’s greatest crime was that if it had just a little more power, just a little bit more, it could have changed people’s minds about hybrids. It could have convinced a generation of drivers that small, hybrid cars could one day replace ICE classics like the Miata. If only, Honda. If only.

But what about you? What car do you think needed more power?

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