Thursday, February 13, 2020

There is a Non-Hybrid Honda Jazz After All


Honda shocked the world in announcing that the all-new Jazz/Fit will be available only in a gasoline-electric hybrid set-up. True enough, when it was unveiled globally at the Tokyo Motor Show last year, it debuted a new 2-motor hybrid system that’s part of Honda’s e:HEV brand push.

But now that it’s officially gone on sale in Japan, we’ve just learned that’s not completely true. See, while the star of the Jazz line-up is still the 2-motor e:HEV (it makes a stonking 253 Nm of torque and a reasonable 109 horsepower), Honda’s still selling a version that doesn’t have an electric motor or batteries attached to the drivetrain.

Scrolling through the data sheet reveals that, at least for the Japan market, the all-new Jazz/Fit can still be had with a 1.3-liter DOHC i-VTEC engine. It’s actually the L13B1—a carryover engine from the current Jazz GK model; for that, it makes a reasonable 98 horsepower and 118 Nm of torque. The sole transmission attached to the engine is an Earth Dreams CVT.

According to Honda’s internal tests, the Jazz 1.3 non-hybrid does 20.4 km/L (combined WLTP). It’s great, but it’s also significantly lower than the Jazz e:HEV that does 28.8 km/L on the same testing cycle.

The kicker though comes to the price. The non-hybrid Jazz is priced from 1,718,200 yen (~ P 789,000) to 2,186,800 yen (~ P 1.004 million) compared to the e:HEV’s 1,997,600 yen (~P 918,000) to 2,536,600 yen (~ P 1.164 million)—a 15 percent premium. This significant price different may actually see more buyers opting for the non-hybrid model.

Now what does this have to do with the Philippines, you ask? Well, if Honda opted to keep its Jazz/Fit purely a hybrid model that would significantly reduce its chances of making it here. But now that we know that there’s a conventional powertrain option, and that the current 1.3-liter i-VTEC engine still fits in the bay, it could mean that the all-new Jazz/Fit might arrive here after all. It might sport a carryover powertrain from the current GK Jazz or might even have the all-new City’s 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbo.

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