Honda's continuing commitment to petrol-electric hybrid technology. The launch of the latest addition to the practical Jazz line-up marks the first time a parallel hybrid vehicle has been available to B-segment consumers. Importantly the Honda Jazz Hybrid will not lose any of its practicality, with the compact nature of the Honda IMA system allowing the B-segment car to retain its ultra-flexible "Magic Seats" and 300 litres of boot space.
The IMA battery pack and power control unit have been integrated in the area under the boot floor, retaining the normal boot area and allowing the "Magic Seats" to fold in the same manner as non-hybrid versions. This means that the seats still fold entirely flat to provide a surprising 831 litre of space or the seat bases can be folded up to sit vertically, so as to accommodate tall items within the car.
The IMA hybrid system is shared with the Insight and CR-Z hybrids, taking advantage of the proven reliability of this important technology. With almost two decades of development and 10 years of sales behind it, the Honda IMA system has proven itself to be a flexible and dependable system, with over half a million vehicles on the road benefitting from its combination of low emissions and fuel economy.
The new model features the same IMA system as in the Insight hybrid, using the same 1.3 litre i-VTEC engine as its dedicated hybrid model sibling. The IMA system is combined with a CVT gearbox in the Honda Jazz and with emissions of just 104 g/km of CO2 it has the lowest CO2 output of any automatic car in the B-segment. As a petrol-electric hybrid, the new derivative has ultra-low levels of other exhaust emissions, not just taxable elements.
Visually the Honda Jazz Hybrid is distinguished from the current Jazz range with revised headlights, which have a blue surround, clear rear lights, new front grille, restyled bumpers and a chrome tailgate garnish. The new hybrid will be available in a range of existing colours plus a bespoke Lime Green metallic.
Inside the cabin is given a fresh look with a darker single colour dashboard, which contrasts strongly with the blue lighting of the dials and centre console. The new hybrid is also available with leather trim, the first time this has been available on a Jazz model in Europe. The dashboard integrates a version of the Eco Assist function, which uses the ambient lighting of the speedometer to advise the driver on how their driving style is impacting on their fuel economy. The Eco Assist function aides drivers in getting the maximum economy from their car in everyday situations and gives users real-time feedback on how their use of the brakes and throttle affects their fuel bills and environmental impact.
While respecting the unique features of the car, a range of Genuine Accessories will accentuate its hybrid character even further. Decoration items, such as doorstep garnishes, a variety of exterior and interior stickers, B-pillar garnishes and alloy wheels can be fitted according to the driver's personal taste. A Solid State Drive navigation, hands-free Bluetooth® and rear entertainment system are set to provide extra technological comfort. A complete range of Genuine Accessories is available for those customers that want to add in even more functionality and style.
The Honda Jazz Hybrid will go on sale in some European markets in the early part of 2011, prices and full specifications will be announced in due course.