The guessing game on whether last month’s scans of the Honda Fit (also known as the Jazz) were real or not ended today as the Japanese carmaker came out with an official release and photos of its new subcompact model that will first go on sale in its home market this September, and then the rest of the world.
Whereas the new Fit retains its semi-tall hatchback stature, the third generation model’s styling strays away from the looks of the first two iterations featuring more complex exterior lines combined with a sharper looking front end and a rear that will remind some of Volvo’s crossovers.
The interior is also new and comes with more geometrical shapes and harder lines, along with fresh comfort and technology features such as the full-touchscreen controls on the center console.
Honda said that in Japan, the new Fit will launch in September in three flavors, a 1.3-liter unit delivering 100PS (99hp), a 1.5-liter engine producing 132PS (130hp) and a hybrid version fitted with a 1.5-liter Atkinson cycle (high expansion ratio cycle) engine.
The Fit Hybrid is the first model to be equipped with Honda’s new Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive (i-DCD) system for small-size vehicles that consists of a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission (DCT) with a built-in high-output motor, and IPU (intelligent power unit) incorporating a built-in lithium-ion battery. Honda said this system improves the Fit’s fuel economy by more than 35 percent to 36.4km/l (85.6mpg US – 2.7l/100km – 102.8mpg UK) on the Japanese driving cycle, compared to a current IMA hybrid system.
The SPORT HYBRID I-DCD system has three driving modes named EV Drive Mode for driving only with the electric motor; Hybrid Drive Mode in which both engine and motor power the front wheels, and the self-explanatory Engine Drive Mode. Honda said the system has an auto function that engages and disengages the engine and motor depending on driving situations.
Full information, including details for the North American and European versions of the car are to be released in the coming weeks and months.
Photos: Honda and Carwatch