Honda City Hybrid Unveiled; Likely To Launch In India Too
This could be the first mass-market Honda hybrid for India
Honda City’s first-ever hybrid version unveiled in Malaysia.
It uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and two electric motors for its strong hybrid system that is very different from the mild-hybrid systems offered by the likes of Maruti.
The engine usually acts as a generator for the small battery pack but can provide direct drive when necessary.
Honda City’s main electric motor has a performance rating of 109PS and 253Nm.
India launch likely in 2021.
The fifth-generation Honda City made its global debut in 2019 and was recently launched in India too. But we didn’t get the new turbo-petrol engine like some international markets. Honda has now revealed the new-gen hybrid version of the City in Malaysia and it is expected to arrive in India as early as 2021. It has the same hybrid powertrain that was introduced in the new global-spec Jazz hatchback.
The City hybrid features Honda’s strong hybrid powertrain system termed the i-MMD (intelligent multi-mode drive). In this compact sedan, it uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a twin-electric motor setup. The main electric motor offers a performance rating of 109PS and 253Nm while the 98PS/127Nm petrol engine acts as a generator for the majority of the time. The petrol engine provides direct drive at higher speeds when it would be most efficient, while the electric motors perform the slow-speed, city driving duties. Its second electric motor acts as a starter-generator. The hybrid system can switch between hybrid mode, pure EV mode, and engine mode as needed. It also features regenerative braking.
While Honda is yet to reveal the full specifications of the new City hybrid, we expect it to feature the same fixed-gear transmission with an electronic control unit as offered in the latest Jazz Hybrid. The hybrid hatchback claims a 0-100kmph time of 9.2 seconds and a fuel efficiency rating of 22.22kmpl, under the harsher WLTP testing in Europe. While the City is a larger and heavier car, the acceleration and economy figures won’t be too different.
In Malaysia, the hybrid City has been revealed in the top-spec RS avatar which is also the sportiest-looking version of the sedan. It doesn’t seem to be getting any hybrid-specific cosmetic updates on the RS variant but there might be some new badging indicating its electrified nature.
Honda had made a statement a few years ago about the possibility of introducing a mass-market hybrid in India by 2021 and this Honda City hybrid could be the one. The City is already a popular offering as a premium compact sedan and a hybridised version that is not plagued by the range-anxiety of EVs could enjoy some demand too.
Even here, the hybrid option will likely be offered with the same set of features as the top variant of the regular City. That means it would be equipped with a lane-watch camera, sunroof, auto AC, premium interior, and semi-digital instrument cluster. In fact, the hybrid version will get its own graphics to display hybrid-specific information such as power and charge.
Considering the current top variant of the Honda City with the petrol-automatic powertrain is priced at Rs 14.45 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), a hybrid variant could attract a premium of a couple of lakhs. As of now, none of its rivals have announced any plans to offer a true-hybrid system in this segment while Maruti has long offered the Ciaz with a mild-hybrid setup for better fuel efficiency.
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