I was comparing it to its rating with a manual transmission...there is no traditional automatic available with it.
Even so, once more my statement stands.
The bane of automatics, and one of the reasons why even an incredibly efficient automatic has a hard time keeping up with a manual for FE, is the wasteful, overheating Torque converter.
With the fact that not only does it not have one of those horrid things, added to the fact that it is able to keep up the RPM at a perfect efficiency, means that it is more efficient than a manual, when the manual is driven normally.
At a comparable scale (Adjusted for the method of MPG calculation of 2008), the 1986 CRX Si (The most efficient Si CRX of all), got 26 city, 30 highway.
The manual CR-Z gets 31/37.
As far as performance goes, yes, the 91 CRX Si has a 0-60 of about 8.5 vs Edmunds test of 8.8 on the CR-Z, so it does have the miniscule advantage there, but the CRX Si could only pull .81g on the skidpad vs .83 for the CR-Z, with the CR-Z posting a 61.4mph slalom vs a 61.0 for the CRX.
So... Perfomance wise, these two cars are, near as makes no difference, Identical.
And yet the CR-Z gets better City MPG than the CRX did highway. Heck, even when you take the 1991 EPA ratings, the CR-Z still trashes it. Originally, the CRX Si was rated at 28/33.
So yes, the CR-Z IS a hyper efficient CRX Si. Meeting it in every performance category, and beating it in every FE category.
And when you think of it not as a hybrid, but as a performance car, it still is the most efficient performance car you can get, at all.
According to the EPA site, fort 2011 cars:
The current highest MPG "Sporty" car is the Audi A5 at 23/30.
The current highest MPG "Coupe" is the A5 quattro at 21/31
The current highest MPG "Hatchback" is the Aveo at 27/35
Heck, the only current non-hybrid gasoline cars that get better MPG are the new Fiesta and the Smart.
Yes, it is a hyper efficient sporty car. It is the most fuel efficient sporty car EVER made.
I do challenge you, find a sport oriented car that has ever had EPA mpg ratings higher than it, and you can even use the manual EPA ratings to make it easier. (Edit: It has to be in the USA, of course. No cheating by using nations with lax emissions regulations)
Edit: So far the closest thing I could find for a "sporty" type of car would be the Mini Cooper, and even that only is able to match the highway FE of the CR-Z, but not even touch the City MPG. 28/37
If ESC is the only thing stopping you from looking at newer cars, it's easy enough to disable. Also, you don't need to go so far back to mid-90s; 2008 was when the law first started taking effect, before that there were plenty of cars sold without it.