According to a report on Autocar India, Honda has started work on the next generation Honda City which is due to arrive in 2020. The publication reports that the fifth generation City will likely offer a petrol hybrid variant, albeit a mild hybrid variant. While the development is on, the launch is decided upon the Indian government's policy for future mobility.
The Honda City's key rival, the Maruti Ciaz, now offers Suzuki's mild hybrid technology in petrol and diesel variants. Called SHVS, this technology features an additional battery (a Lithium-ion battery in case of the Ciaz) which stores energy from regenerative braking and assists in acceleration when required thereby reducing the load on the engine. The Ciaz is thus able to offer class-leading fuel efficiency, a title previously held by the current City in 2014.
Though Honda already offers a full-fledged hybrid on the current City in its home market and select international markets (Honda Grace Hybrid), the carmaker is unlikely to give access to this technology for India even on the next gen City owing to cost reasons and the government's policy that does not help hybrid vehicles.
Instead, Honda will direct resources to update the engines of the City to meet BS6 emission standards. A diesel will continue to be offered on the 2020 Honda City despite a sharp decline in sales: As compared to the 50:50 mix in 2014, diesel variants of the City now account for only 16 percent of the nameplate's sales.
Honda will try to increase sales of the diesel City by offering the convenience of a CVT in addition to the 6-speed MT.
[Source - AutocarIndia.com]