HONDA JAZZ HYBRID
The Toyota Prius may be the iconic hybrid of the last decade, but Japan’s number two carmaker isn’t about to let that deter it.
Following confirmation that its CR-Z hybrid sports car will debut locally next year, Honda has this week unveiled the upcoming Honda Jazz Hybrid at the Paris Auto Show.
As with the new Honda Insight (scheduled for an Australian launch late November), the Jazz Hybrid is powered by an Integrated Motor Assist mild hybrid system. It features a 1.3 litre petrol engine and an electric motor, all mated to a continuously-variable automatic transmission.
Even with its official unveiling now done and dusted, Honda has yet to reveal power and performance figures for its latest hybrid.
With the Jazz already a frugal performer however, managing just 6.4 l/100km, success will perhaps lie in the lower development and production cost of Honda’s hybrid systems compared to other manufacturers. Meaning, we can expect it to be competitively priced.
One figure Honda has been happy to reveal is the Jazz Hybrid's emissions rating, coming in at just 104g/km - a figure it says is the lowest among automatic cars in the B segment.
Honda is also proudly spruiking the Jazz Hybrid's compact battery pack allowing the Jazz's 'Magic Seats' to fold perfectly flat, just as they do in the regular non-hybrid Jazz.
With the production version of Honda’s CR-Z performance hybrid coupe expected to debut next year and an all-new Civic hybrid expected in 2012, the Jazz hybrid and the Insight will be in good company.
If Honda can ensure that its low-cost hybrid technology translates to lower-cost hybrid cars, and if its fuel economy offers a marked improvement on the regular petrol version, the Jazz hybrid could prove to be a real success in Australia’s small car segment.
Honda Australia's Public Relations Manager, Mark Higgins, told TMR earlier this year that both the CR-Z and Jazz Hybrid are likely to arrive in Australian showrooms in 2011, although firm dates have not yet been confirmed.