Today the hybrid car market is largely dominated by Toyota and most recently Ford – but Honda is getting ready to enter the segment in full force with new models like the upcoming 2014 Accord hybrid. The Accord hybrid and its plug-in variant are just the beginning – today Honda unveiled its next-generation Fit, which will be offered with a new, more efficient hybrid system.
The new Fit (which is also known as the Jazz in some markets) will be the first Honda offered with Honda’s “Sport Hybrid Intelligent Dual Clutch Drive” system, which pairs a 1.5L engine to an electric motor, a lithium-ion battery and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. The Honda Fit Hybrid gets 86 MPG on Japan’s testing cycle, but Honda hasn’t released fuel economy specs based on the EPA’s testing methods. Either way, Honda has confirmed that the new system is it up to 35 percent more efficient than the current system that is offered in markets outside the US.
The new hybrid system can travel up to 1.9 miles in EV mode and features three driving modes: EV drive mode for motor-only driving, hybrid drive mode for both engine and motor driving, and engine drive Mode for engine-only driving.
Although Honda has unveiled the new system in the third-generation Fit, the US will not receive the Fit Hybrid – instead we will get a hybrid version of the new Fit-based crossover that is set to debut next year.