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September 17, 2019

Next-Generation Honda Jazz to Go Hybrid Only (At Least in Europe)

After the debut of its first all-electric vehicle, the Honda e, at the Frankfurt International Motor Show, Honda is announcing the next steps in its “Electric Vision” strategy.

Chief among them is the confirmation that the upcoming all-new Honda Jazz will be offered only as a hybrid for the European market. Per Katsushi Inoue, Chief Operating Officer and President, Honda Motor Europe:
“In 2020, Honda will launch the next generation Jazz and today, we can confirm that this model will be introduced into Europe with hybrid technology as the sole powertrain option.”
While the current Jazz, and by extension, the City is available with Honda’s i-DCD or Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive (a mild hybrid system), it’s understood that the upcoming Jazz will abandon this technology in favor of Honda’s more advanced (and more efficient) i-MMD or Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive.

While the i-DCD prioritizes compactness and simplicity, the i-MMD system goes for maximum efficiency. It uses a system of five interlinked systems: an internal combustion engine, electric motors, a power control unit, an engine-linked clutch, and a lithium-ion battery.

What’s clever about the i-MMD is that there is no transmission, at least in the traditional sense. There are four gearsets between the electric and combustion power sources and the front wheels, but all drive ratios are fixed. The powertrain provides three standard propulsion modes: electric-only, gasoline-only, and combined gas and electric, without shifting gears or varying a planetary ratio.

Honda’s “secret sauce” takes away the conventional transmission and torque converter. And with no pulleys and one fixed gear, it delivers 46 to 80 percent less friction compared to a conventional automatic.

The all-new Jazz is expected to retain a similar footprint with the current model, but will be slightly wider making it even roomier. Spy shots also suggest that it will gain a less angular, softer styling as well. It is also said to gain a floating infotainment console seen in other car manufacturers, too. The all-new Jazz is the centerpiece of Honda’s display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show this October.

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