A new video produced by Honda attempts to explain the design and development of the 2011 Honda CR-Z.  The 3m 08s video features the car's chief chassis engineer, Terukazu Torikai, who says the CR-Z was created with the basic concept of "fun to drive."

The engineering team drew inspiration from the performance abilities of the Lotus Elise, and decided that they wanted a car that handled as well as the MINI.  Engineers also used the VW Scirocco for benchmarking.

"Since the target of this car was to realise enhanced handling we put huge emphasis on the settings of the EPS [Electric Power Steering], and set body stiffness at a similar level to that of the Civic Type R, using the base frame of the Insight in order to gain predictable control," Torikai said.

The 122-horsepower CR-Z Hybrid is slightly more powerful than the MINI Cooper, but at 2,670 lbs it weighs 174 lbs more.  The European-tested car uses a torsion-beam rear suspension, which may not provide as enjoyable handling as other options.

Despite this, Torikai thinks the car will be a hit.

"I believe that the car provides exhilarating driving pleasure," he said.