Honda City Hybrid Possibly Headed To India. Here’s How Much You Will Need To Shell Out For It
Honda’s new City will bring with it a strong hybrid system that returns 10kmpl more than the current India-spec petrol City
Self-charging City hybrid makes use of a 1.5-litre petrol engine and twin electric motors.
Hybrid City can run on pure electric mode, unlike mild-hybrid cars like the Ciaz.
Honda intends to bring the hybrid City to India sometime in 2021.
We expect a premium of around Rs 3 lakh over the top-spec petrol City sold in India.
Honda launched the new City in India a few months ago and its upscale design, levels of refinement and features on offer, were all one step above the outgoing model (which is still on sale). However, it continues to use the 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines in India that we have grown accustomed to seeing under the bonnet of the City. There was an RS-spec version in Thailand that made use of a new 1.0-litre turbo-petrol engine, but it was quickly ruled out for India. Now, however, there’s a new powertrain that has us excited -- a hybrid.
The Japanese carmaker has launched the City with a strong hybrid powertrain in Thailand. It is unlike the mild-hybrid systems we are used to seeing on mass market cars in India, such as the Maruti Ciaz, which is the City’s competitor. While the mild-hybrid system assists the engine in a limited number of scenarios, the strong self-charging hybrid system, dubbed the Sport Hybrid i-MMD by Honda, can even run in a pure EV mode only.
This system makes use of two electric motors, one to power the wheels and the other to start the engine. The electric motors have an output of 109PS and 253Nm. The 1.5-litre petrol engine, which is good for 98PS and 127Nm, acts like a supplementary power system, whose job is to primarily top up the lithium-ion battery. It can, however, also step in and power the wheels when needed. The transmission on board is an electronic CVT. The entire powertrain in this hybrid City, dubbed the e:HEV, is rated to deliver 27.78kmpl. The petrol City currently sold in India returns anywhere between 17 and 19kmpl according to ARAI, depending on the transmission options you choose.
Honda has launched the City E in Thailand at 8,39,000 baht, which translated to Indian currency stands somewhere around Rs 20 lakh. Compare this to the regular City sold in Thailand, the top-spec variant of which goes for 7,39,000 baht, and we get an approximate price of Rs 17 lakh.
There are minor differences as the car sold in Thailand uses a smaller turbo-petrol engine and gets a couple of more safety features, but they are easily offset by the fact that the India-spec car gets a bigger 1.5-litre petrol. Thus, in Thailand, where the City hybrid is manufactured locally, there is a premium of around Rs 3 lakh for the hybrid City.
As far as the India launch is concerned, Honda had made a statement a few years ago that it intends to bring a mass market hybrid vehicle to India in 2021 and with this development, we are pretty sure it will be the City. We expect them to assemble the hybrid City locally in India and for that, we expect them to demand a similar premium. For your reference, the top-spec petrol City currently retails for Rs 14.45 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi). None of the cars in the sub-20 lakh price bracket offer a strong hybrid powertrain as of yet.
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