Honda's new hybrid strategy is focused on reducing the cost of hybrid components and introducing the fuel-saving technology into new markets, including the ultra-competitive compact car segment. We’ve already seen the first of these low-cost hybrids in the form of the Insight, as well as the more recent CR-Z, and now the automaker is launching a new green model in the form of the Honda Fit Hybrid.
Set to make its world debut next month at the 2010 Paris Auto Show, the newcomer is especially surprising considering Honda's previously held view that there was no point adding a hybrid option to an already frugal car.
The Fit Hybrid shares many of its components with the larger Insight, including its 1.3-liter gasoline engine, CVT and IMA hybrid drive system. On its own, the internal combustion engine produces 88 horsepower. The IMA incorporates a 13 horsepower electric motor and a compact Intelligent Power Unit (IPU)--recapturing and storing kinetic energy from vehicle braking and deceleration and supplying additional power for acceleration when needed.
Honda Fit Hybrid
No performance figures have been released, but expect somewhere in the ballpark of 60-65 mpg for fuel economy and CO2 emissions of around 100g/km.
As for its appearance, the new Fit Hybrid looks largely unchanged from the standard model. Badging and exterior trim are the only cues used to distinguish the hybrid from a distance. Inside, there’s a single-color dashboard and blue-lit dials and instruments.
No word on any U.S. release date but European and Japanese sales are scheduled to start in the first half of next year.