Encouraged by the growth of cleaner forms of mobility in India, reports suggest Honda Cars India is planning on introducing a hybrid powertrain to its model line-up in the near future. This will not be the first time Honda introducing hybrids in India either. In 2008, the company dipped its feet in the Indian hybrid segment with the Honda Civic Hybrid priced INR 21.5 lakh (ex-showroom). Failing to convince buyers to shell out that much cash at such a nascent stage, the Civic Hybrid was quickly discontinued. Unperturbed, Honda Cars tried their luck again with Accord Hybrid in 2016 and once again, failed to see the sales numbers they had hoped. However, this time the company is betting on producing locally in order to price its new hybrid competitively.
While we bring you this news at a time when there are no pictures and official reports that can confirm the same, our render artist Shoeb Kalania brings us an imitation of what it could look like. While even the fact that Honda’s new hybrid will be based on the fifth-gen City is still unconfirmed, unofficial reports suggest that is the most likely choice. Along with that, Honda now has the infrastructure to build locally and hence, price can be brought down significantly. However, while sales of Honda Cars India were down by 60 per cent in the month of June, Mr Gaku Nakanishi, President and CEO of Honda Cars India, has confirmed that there will be no delay in the launch of the new hybrid vehicle.
While the possibility of the hybrid vehicle being based on the all-new fifth-gen Honda City is high, information about its powertrain is hard to anticipate. Yet, some sources speculate it will borrow its motor from the Honda Jazz e:HEV in International markets. It will still be a petrol-powered hybrid but is likely to be modified to suit India’s needs. The Honda Jazz, in question, offers a 1.5-litre iVTEC engine paired to two electric motors. Together, they produce 108bhp and 256Nm of peak torque. It gets a fixed-gear transmission and a 0-100kmph sprint time of 9.4 seconds. It can be controlled via three drive modes - EV, Hybrid and Engine