Honda city car gets a new hybrid drivetrain and dual-clutch gearbox – and a claimed 102.8mpg
The new Honda Jazz Hybrid has been revealed, with massive improvements in fuel economy for the smartly packaged and keenly priced urban runabout. Its 102.8mpg (UK) claim puts the current Jazz Hybrid’s figure of 62.8mpg in the shade, as well as that of the Toyota Yaris Hybrid with 81.0mpg. It will be shown at the Frankfurt motor show this September before arriving in UK showrooms in 2014.
What’s new about the Honda Jazz?
Almost everything. The Jazz is an all-new model, with a new platform, interior and body, and a new engine range. The new model will be more spacious, with Honda confirming an increase in rear legroom thanks to a 2.0-inch longer wheelbase, but overall length, width and height is similar to the current car, which offers impressive headroom both front and rear. The Jazz is all about comfort and access, so it’ll easily fit four adults comfortably, be loaded with storage cubbyholes and has a low-lip for easy access to its rear hatch. The seats, too, will again be able to be folded to maximize its load-carrying capacity.
How has the Hybrid achieved such a jump in economy?
Honda has confirmed the flagship Hybrid model will use a larger 133bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder in place of the current version’s 87bhp 1.3-litre, but despite the increase in size, it will use much less petrol. The battery pack is now Lithium-ion (like in the Fit EV that was sold in the USA) and is lighter than the current car’s Nickel-Metal Hydride pack. The old Hybrid’s CVT has also been replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, which not only helps the fuel figures but should make the Jazz better to poke around town in. There are also some smaller, clever tweaks, such as an electric brake servo that can harness more energy from the regenerative braking system than before, also helping economy. The result is a massive improvement of more than one-third compared to the current hybrid.
What about the non-hybrid version?
The all four-cylinder engine line-up starts with a 97bhp 1.3-litre as well as a non-hybrid version of the 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1.3-litre comes with a new CVT, while all engines are now DOHC, as opposed to the single-cam units currently on sale. The 1.5-litre in non-hybrid versions is offered with either a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission.
Pricing should remain similar to the current model’s, which starts at £11,695 for the petrol models and £16,770 for the hybrid version.