Following the world premiere of the refreshed and slightly more powerful 2013 CR-Z at the Indonesia auto show in September before it headed to the Paris Motor Show later in the same month, Honda has brought the updated model to the U.S. market with sales to begin on November 21, 2012. For the new model year, the CR-Z gains an all-new Lithium-Ion battery that improves performance, and at the same time, mpg ratings, along with styling upgrades to the exterior and interior. Thanks to the new battery, assist from the electric motor has increased from 10 kW to 15 kW. As a result, the combined output from the 1.5-liter gasoline unit and the electric motor is 130hp at 6,000rpm and 140 lb-ft. of torque (127 lb-ft. on CVT-equipped models), a gain of 8hp and 12 lb-ft of torque (4 lb-ft for the CVT versions). Other mechanical improvements include a larger clutch and a new lower final drive ratio for the manual transmission models. Furthermore, Honda has introduced a new Plus Sport System on all 2013 CR-Zs, which can be used when the battery is charged more than 50 percent and the car is travelling over 19mph (31km/h). According to Honda, once the driver activates the “S+” button on the steering wheel, electric boost begins, delivering increased acceleration for up to five seconds. Honda says the 2013 CR-Z offers a 1mpg improvement in city driving with a CVT (36mpg city, 39mpg highway and 37mpg combined), and 1mpg on the highway for the manual version (31/38/34 mpg). Exterior revisions include a new front fascia with a mesh grille and a “floating” lower spoiler lip, chrome plating and a blue tint for the headlamp assemblies, a redesigned rear diffuser, a blue clearcoat treatment for the taillights, a darker finish for the 16-inch alloy wheels and two new colors named Passion Berry Pearl and Polished Metal Metallic. The interior of the hybrid model gains new metallic trim on the door pulls and latches, center console, speaker grilles and lower steering wheel spokes, along with redesigned inner door panels and pads, while the the horizontal bar on the speaker housing has been eliminated. Finally, Honda has improved the standard equipment of the base model with Expanded View Driver’s Mirror, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and rearview camera while also adding LED daytime running lights and Pandora Interface with SMS text message function to the options list. The 2013 CR-Z is available in two trim levels, the base and the EX, with prices starting at $19,975, excluding a $790 destination charge.