Honda launches new hybrid

Honda launched a sporty new hybrid today hoping to attract younger buyers to the green car market.

The CR-Z goes on sale in Japan tomorrow and in the US and Europe by midyear.

The Japanese price for the CR-Z is a relatively affordable £16,500 (€18,707) for the basic model and £18,200 (€20,638) for the top-end model. Prices elsewhere have not yet been decided.

Honda said the CR-Z gets 58.8 miles per gallon, less than its Insight car introduced last year to go head-to-head against Toyota's Prius, which had dominated the hybrid market for years.

The car is Honda's fourth hybrid following the Insight and petrol-electric versions of its Civic and Accord models.

The CR-Z's debut comes two weeks after Toyota recalled nearly 440,000 Priuses and other hybrids for faulty brakes amid complaints about a slight delay in the brakes working in cold conditions or on bumpy roads.

Honda said its braking system for hybrids is slightly different than Toyota's, and that the company has not received complaints about braking problems on its hybrid models.

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