Honda has released the preliminary technical details for its forthcoming Jazz Hybrid – the first hybrid supermini.
With a 1.3-litre petrol in combination with an electric motor, the Honda Jazz Hybrid is powered by the same IMA (Integrated Motor Assist) system as the Honda Insight, and becomes by far the most efficient model in the Jazz range.
However, in spite of its small size, CO2 emissions still don’t drop below the magic 100g/km mark; the figures are yet to be fully homologated, but during internal testing 104g/km is the best Honda could do. This translates into 64.2mpg combined.
Could the Jazz Hybrid have been greener?
That’s impressive for a petrol engine, certainly, and some 21g/km better than the previous best 1.2-litre petrol Jazz, with fuel economy 23% better than the best-selling 1.4 petrol. But it’s hardly stunning when eco-diesel versions of cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo emit 99g/km – or less.
The recently announced second-generation Skoda Fabia GreenLine has fallen as low as 89g/km CO2 with 83.1mpg combined. And the Fabia is even available as an estate.
While the Honda Jazz Hybrid is undoubtedly very practical for its compact size, the Fabia will almost certainly cost less money. Jazz Hybrid prices are yet to be announced.
Jazz practicality maintained
Despite needing to find space for the extra hybrid drivetrain, Honda has managed to retain its supermini’s trademark folding ‘Magic Seats’. Boot space is also unaltered at 300 litres – or up to 831 litres with the rear seats positioned to reveal the flat load floor.
Under current legislation, the Jazz Hybrid will have the advantage of exemption from the London Congestion Charge – something its eco-diesel rivals currently can’t match. Annual road tax is set to be just £20 a year.
The Honda Jazz Hybrid will be among the stars of the 2010 Paris Motor Show, which kicks off later this week. It shouldn’t be hard to spot given the luminous green paint job. Which? Car will be there.
The Honda Jazz Hybrid goes on UK sale early next year, with full pricing and specification details to be revealed nearer the time.